Farm To Table

When we were in California the beginning of July, B and I had several opportunities to treat ourselves to nice meals out.  For starters, we eat predominantly seafood when we are in California, we can't seem to get enough of it.  At the first meal that we went out to on a 'date night' we were disappointed that the food was just so-so.  We critiqued discussed the experience as we were eating and began to realize that either our expectations were way to high, or we had just gotten to the point that with the love and effort we put into our cooking and the enjoyment we get form our 'tastebuds' dinner club, we can do it, and better.  I know this sounds horribly conceited, but maybe our tastes are just more towards the slow food we cook than what was laid in front of us.

This experience and a bottle of wine later, we began to talk about how fun it would be to do a farm to table dinner a couple of times a summer (best after fair week) for maybe 6-8 people at the homestead.  This idea was blossoming in the back of our mind during the rest of the trip.  While we were tossing the idea around, I mentioned it to a good friend and fellow tastebud.  She was super excited and a couple of days later I got a text from her about a small catering job that she couldn't do and would I be interested in picking it up.  Leave it to dear friends to give you that little push off of the cliff you find yourself on the edge of! :)

This morning I completed 80 tea sandwiches for a wedding shower.  The ideas for them flooded to me easy enough and I just made sure to get all of  my prep work done in advance so that this morning was all assembly.  I was nervous about the sandwiches because if they sit too long they can tend to get soggy.  I took some precautions against this making sure to coat the inner bread with a portion of ingredients that would help stave off dreaded sogginess.  What I ended up with was three creations in a farm to table theme:  A tarragon poached chicken with blackberry aioli and arugula micro-greens, a play on a farm caprese salad; hazelnut pesto with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes in a balsamic reduction, and finally a farm fresh egg salad with green tomato relish.  I was excited about how it turned out and hope that it is a taste of a farm to table segment at the homestead.  Thanks D!

I'm afraid I was a bit redundant here, as I was so excited today that I decided to post it here and on Tilting At Windmills too :)
~ Amy


JPMB said...

that's awesome!! well done, you! how did they like the sandwiches?

i just got home from south dakota and am still pondering much of what i saw...we had lots of local produce - corn, watermelon, zucchini, tomatoes - some from dad's garden, some from other gardens in town - but i don't see a particularly refined sense of food adventure there - for example, i'm not sure my midwestern peeps would go for an egg salad with tomato relish or even for that fancy schmancy caprese stuff (because they would perceive it as such). is your area a bit more refined or do you see a reluctance in people to try things they haven't seen before?

julochka said...

oops, accidentally published that comment as husband, but it's me, julochka!

rayfamily said...

Hi! This was the message that the hostess sent to me: "The sandwiches were AMAZING and a huge hit! Every single person said that you must go into business doing this! Thank you so much for making the menu unbelievable!!"Kara EEEK! So exciting!

It's a really interesting question about openness to food adventure. I feel like people are pretty open here, sure there are a lot of people who would just as soon have Applebees or processed (boxed) food too, but there seems to be a genuine interest in good and wholesome food. Our town has made huge strides toward revitalization of the downtown, which includes some eclectic restaurants that have done very well. We are actively involved in bringing a co-op grocery to our area as well so have had to do a lot of meeting and greeting recently. So our experience may be focused around enough people who are of similar thought processes that we don't see as much of the other. I will say that our midwestern family always enjoys when we cook and is willing to try new things, I just don't think they seek it out on their own.

Julia said...

That does not sound conceited to me at all it sounds familiar! My husband and I love to cook and find enjoying a restaurant meal a challenge, good luck with your new endeavors.

Gunn said...

Smart. I will give it a try:)