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By LuAnn Schindler

Comfort food in Holt County

Woodshed Vittles offers sweet treats, home cooking


February 2, 2023

LuAnn Schindler | SAM

Baked goods • Woodshed Vittles, located in rural Ewing, offers a variety of baked goods, jams, jellies, relishes and salads. A strawberry jam-infused Christmas star was one of several bakery items Wood made during the holiday season.

Foodies searching for the ultimate comfort food will find plenty of options available from Woodshed Vittles.

Located on a ranch near Chambers, owner Deeann Carson Wood bakes, cans and cooks a variety of foodstuffs available at area establishments, including the sidebar in Clearwater, Farmers Store in Page, Valley Food Coop in Lynch and Village Market in Chambers.

Boutique 129, in O'Neill, sells her company's jellies and jams.

Wood's interest in cooking began with family members.

"I've always cooked with my grandmas, canned with my grandmas and mom," she said.

A former "lunch lady" at an area school, Wood said the idea for Woodshed Vittles came to fruition after she married and moved to the area.

"We tried to think of another income for the ranch. That way, I can stay home and help with work there and bring in extra income," she said.

In 2021, Wood, alongside her husband, Mike, constructed a separate building on the ranch, which houses a commercial kitchen.

Wood took classes through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Food Processing Center. In order to sell low-acid and acidified low-acid canned foods, the class is a requirement, based on Food and Drug Administration's regulations that have been in effect since 1979.

An avid canner, Wood concocts a variety of jellies and jams, including variations of peach, chokecherry, elderberry, rhubarb, plum, mint and lilac spreads. All jellies and jams contain wild fruit, when available.

Mike developed a bloody mary mix that's had "rave reviews" and DeeAnn's tequila-candied jalepenos are a popular customer pick.

She also offers homemade salads, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls and, during the holidays, a sampler box of goodies.

What's her favorite item to make?

"I like to make bread," she said. "I get to take my frustrations out when I'm beating that yeast," she added with a chuckle.

Bread dough can turn into more than one creation. Wood finds that appealing.

"You can do different things. Make a loaf, make buns, braided bread," she added.

Woods built a following via word-of-mouth, from customers who seek out of her products at area vendors. Last fall, Wood toted her goods to craft and vendor fairs around the area.

"Social media is a big thing right now, getting the word out where you're going to be," she said.

On Facebook, she keeps customers up to date with what's being delivered to area vendors. Deliveries depend on the farm schedule.

While best-selling items vary from place to place, bloody mary and cinnamon rolls are "big sellers."

She's experimented with different takes on cinnamon rolls, including pumpkin, banana, apple butter and strawberries and cream.

LuAnn Schindler | SAM

"Jelly roll • Woodshed Vittles owner DeeAnn Carson Wood uses wild fruits, when available, to make home- made jams and jellies. The rural Ewing business has products available for sale in Clearwater and Farmers Store in Page.

In the future, Wood said she would like to offer meal prep items, like lasagna and soups. Homemade salads are currently available at grocery stores she services.

Woodshed Vittles also offers catering services and customizes the menu for her customer's needs.

She also owns the Veranda Guesthouse in Lynch, the former Catholic Church rectory constructed in 1918. The house includes three bedrooms which share a bathroom and a suite. Eventually, Wood hopes to incorporate catering at the guest house.

"We'd like to do a murder mystery," she said.

The two enterprises keep Wood busy.

"I'm too busy," she said. "I couldn't do it without my mom. She's my salad lady."

There's a natural ebb and flow in the kitchen when the two work together.

Customers interested in ordering a specific food item may contact Wood via Facebook.


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