Monday, August 23, 2010

Dining in the Field....

Whew. Life has been busy. School started last week. Little M is starting her second year of Waldorf kindergarten. I have been working my way through summer eating heirloom tomatoes on sourdough toast drizzled with olive oil. For breakfast I have topped it with a fried pasture egg. What is your favorite way to eat heirloom tomatoes? My friends mother makes a sweet tomato conserve with her summer tomatoes. Tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and salt stewed until it is a compote and then canned. Her son Cedar and his wife Ruby have been serving this delicious jam at their glorious Off Grid Dining meets Farm to Table Movement dining event all the weekends in August at their farm. A spectacular feat they are pulling off. Ruby is a master gardener, CSA owner and local seed cooperative organizer. The food is showcasing her beautiful farm bounty and local butchers and cheese makers. Cedar is a traditional Japanese carpenter craftsman and musician. He and Ruby built their house. Themselves. Yep. The kind of thing you just want to be a part of. Of course word has spread like wildfire and their dining event has sold out every weekend. Another reason to absolutely love where I live; things like this happen. And better yet, I get to be a part of it.
Locally raised chickens, beef, chevre and honey have all been served. Tamales (Ruby's hand ground cornmeal of course!) topped with chevre made from goats that live just down the hill. Ruby's "hippie" bread made with barley, local soft white wheat and corn. (I could have eaten a whole loaf of that bread by the way...) House cured olives, pickled green beans, handmade white peach sorbet. That is just a sampling what is coming out of their kitchen.
I became involved because they know I love all things food and asked me. I debated over cooking or serving for them. I decided to be one of their servers to make sure every person dining in my presence would have an experience they would not soon forget.  I have had years in my early 20's waitressing in various fine dining establishments and that my friends is a skill I still use every day. Well, mostly on a six year old, but I think it has helped her love food even more. I had a great time talking about the grapefruit driven sauvignon blanc going well with the garden zucchini fritters. It was a bit like being on vacation watching 20 or so people a night throughly enjoy themselves at Ruby and Cedar's farm. What a wonderful community event. Friends coming together to eat food they have grown. Passion for all things local. Loving where I live. A special place.

Ruby and Cedar...

My Brother-in-law Ralph the chef helping out!
Entrance to the garden
Ruby making white peach chutney
Local Celebrities...
Dear, dear friends came up all the way from town!

4 comments:

windycityvegan said...

Oh, heirloom tomatoes! I like to eat them right off the vine, piping hot from the sun at high noon. I also like them roasted for a quick soup or pan seared and then cooked down with caramelized onions and fresh herbs for a fresh pasta sauce.

The farm looks wonderful. My husband and I are slowly working towards something similar, but on a much smaller scale. Hopefully it will evolve into a B&B someday.

Can you believe autumn is just around the corner?

Anonymous said...

love this post...and loved our nite out there so so much. what a gift this community of ours is! x

Jessica said...

Wow! A future B&B sounds just divine! Caramelized onions and heirlooms is a great combo! I am going to try that..

Anonymous said...

jess, you summed it up so well. this farm meal experience was one of the best meals i've had, from the spectacular off the charts local fare to the absolute pleasure of having you, a most eloquent and educated food enthusiast describing and serving our food and drink. what an evening!!! thanks for showcasing. and thanks to ruby and cedar and all involved for their labor of love.

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