I recently had the delightful opportunity to cook a four course dinner for my friends and neighbors. Last year at the Whitelock Community Farm Annual FUNdraiser (which you can attend this year, coming up on November 8th!), they bid on and won a dinner for two at the farm.
I enjoyed planning the menu around produce available from the farm as well as making it fall inspired. And since I know Courtney and Jonathan, I knew which ingredients to avoid and which to embrace, for example, nuts are out, and cardamom is a sure thing.
Apple Crisp with Cardamom Whipped Cream
I spent the three hour nap time (I was lucky that day) prepping the food, and then a friend took Evelyn so I could finish prepping. It was fun to be so efficient in the kitchen and know exactly what I needed to do. There are definitely occasions when I don't time things properly for executing a dinner, but this was not one of those times. I whirled around the kitchen chopping, sauteing, measuring, roasting, assembling, broiling, and finally serving.
Justin set up a little table and chairs in the middle of the farm. He picked flowers and placed the menus on the table. It was drizzling just a little, so he set up a tent. The whole effect was lovely: dusk, soft lighting, a verdant farm...and apparently passersby asking Courtney and Jonathan every so often what was going on at the farm. At least it was good promotion!
Justin, still in his nice pants and button down shirt from work, served the meal. Our house is just two blocks from the farm, so it worked very well. He would double check: "Where is the pumpkin from? Is the kale from the farm? What is the title of this recipe again? Is the sausage local?" He did his serving duties with a flourish.
The final course went out, and I sat down to enjoy my meal. Courtney and Jonathan helped Justin carry the table, chairs and tent back, and they raved about the third course, "Restaurant quality!" and the other courses, "The salad was light, the soup was perfectly seasoned, and the crisp was delicious." We all hugged and laughed and said goodnight. I look forward to cooking dinner for two at the farm again next year!