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Summer dinner at Foxhollow FarmSummer dinner at Foxhollow Farm
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Dinner at Foxhollow Farm
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Original Makers Club dinner
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Summer dinner at Foxhollow Farm
Summer dinner at Foxhollow Farm with the Original Makers Club Dinner Series
I remember when eating a dinner of food fresh from the garden was just what you did in Kentucky, not something you put on a dress and fixed your hair for. (As soon as I wrote that I realized how old that makes me sound! But really, it wasn't THAT long ago.)
I didn't especially like going out to my grandparent's garden in the tiny dot on the map called Faubush – there were bugs on the potatoes, and I'd rather be down the road playing in my great uncle's tobacco farm, hoping his horse Scout would wander up to the fence and let me talk to him.
But I did what I was told and helped a bit in the garden, then sat on the porch and listed to my mom and grandma chat while they broke green beans, the snaps punctuating whatever they talked about that day, my reward later a plate of those beans. They were fat and firm and slick with bacon grease, and tasted nothing like the ones from the store. I'd put my head down and barely look up until the first plate was empty, then work my way through a second full plate not much more slowly. Then I'd go back outside to play.
I remember those beans and the corn on the cob and the potatoes (I always did like the starchy veggies) as if it were yesterday, not nearly 30 years ago. We can't get the days back we had as kids, but sometimes we get chance to have a taste of them. On Friday, my husband Brian and I went out to Oldham County to Foxhollow Farm, where the Original Makers Club hosted a dinner with Wiltshire Pantry. Because this isn't the 1980s any more, the fact that nearly 100% of the ingredients were uber local was a big deal. Chatting with a nutritionist yesterday, I mentioned the dinner and agreed wholeheartedly when he said I should just gorge myself on all the fresh from the farm food.
After cocktail hour (there are benefits to not being a kid anymore!) we walked out into a field under a sky full of lazy clouds that seemed ordered up for photos. A hundred people, some old friends and some new, settled into a long wooden table for a celebration of what's fresh and good in Kentucky right this minute. Happily, it was served family style, so, just like when I was little, I could refill my plate. I'm sure I wasn't the only one. The clouds turned shades of cotton candy as the sky melted into gold, or I wouldn't have even looked up from my plate(s) of Wiltshire's beautiful pickled vegetables; mixed grill of Foxhollow's pastured beef with chimichuri; glazed turnips and beets; grilled onions; salad with borage, blackberries and honey vinaigrette; bread and ramp butter; and mulberry jam cake. As the fireflies emerged, boxes of Cellar Door Chocolates made their way down the table.
This morning thoughts of that blissfully delicious dinner and recollections of other farm to table (before that was a thing) Kentucky meals I've had are compelling me to get out to my own little garden, a new endeavor this summer. It may not be the same as my grandma's cooking or a talented chef like those who cooked at the Foxhollow Farm event, but I have a feeling I'll want more than one plateful of the good stuff I've got growing.