Well, that dinner that Tom had mentioned a couple of times: This afternoon-- 150 foodies in our front pasture, nibbling on venison rillettes with caramelized onions, basking in the cool October sun, and touring the garden.
The Outstanding in the Field people organized this dinner, as they do around the country, to bring cooks, food-lovers, and their farmers together. To their shocked surprise (and ours) this event sold out in one day, the moment it opened, back in March.
We caravaned down to Ellen's place, where a beautiful lo-o-o-ng table stretched across the lawn, from driveway to oak tree, looking across George's bottom land to the hills on the other side of the river. And dinner was simply heavenly: arugula salad with Benton's ham and Kentucky cheese, radish salad (this was so gorgeous, just brilliant pinks and greens) with spicy sausage, crispy fried Mississippi quail with cubes of sweetpotatoes and winter squash, tender beef with grilled veggies (carrots, tiny turnips, bok choy), and a dessert of cornbread with apples, rhubarb and buttermilk dressing. With paired wines. Oh, I forgot the creamed greens--had to have a bit of a second helping of that!
Tyler Brown, the chef extraordinaire from the Capitol Grille, was the featured cook, with much of the dinner coming from our own Bells Bend Farms and from Tyler's farm at Glen Leven. (Tom took his spader over there last spring to help prepare the soil, and JeffThe BarefootFarmer has been working with Tyler, too.)
It was cold, though, but folks were clustered at the table, lit by little oil lamps in canning jars, chatting and laughing and not really wanting to pull away.
It's been quite the weekend, entertaining 500 people in two events, both of which were managed flawlessly by other people. OK, make that 505--counting Zach, who is now living in Liz's room for a while, and Tom's college friends.
You know, cultures, in the scientific sense, are all about multiplication of an organism. A culture seems to have taken root around here, that is warm, hospitable, welcoming, and social. May it multiply and may you all come to enjoy something like it, wherever you are.