Category Archives: Farm to Table

Farm to Table- the Autumn Finale

Dinner at Lewis Landscape

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon. The setting was Lewis Farm in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. The event? The last Farm to Table dinner hosted by my friend, Jacob Mains and his delicious business, The Farmer’s Table.

I had been to Lewis Farm before to meet Jane, the owner, and had simply fallen in love with the barn and the land (and Jane, who is one sweet person). It is a beautiful place for an outdoor wedding and reception and I look forward to bringing events to Lewis Farm in the near future.

So it was with great anticipation that my friend Lynda (winner of my first Katherine’s Daughter Events giveaway ever) and I made our way to the back roads of Cranberry, to experience both the beautiful scenery and the amazing food that I knew Jacob would prepare.

Dinner at lewis Squash bitesIt’s great to be recognized and Jacob and his father Martin gave me a warm greeting. Lynda and I took in the view and pretty soon the appetizers were tantalizingly displayed amid the back drop of the autumn trees.

Little squash breads with apple butter sage, apple slices with whipped hazelnut ricotta, and mini meatballs with sweet sour and spicy sauce were served while Martin played bartender and poured a delicious crisp autumn white wine. I loved all three appetizers but I have to say those tiny squash breads just won me over with their delicious flavor and soft, moist texture.

It is amazing how strangers become friends in such settings. Lynda and I chose one of the cozy outdoor seating arrangements and before long, we met the neighbors from an adjoining farm and  chatted like only good farm friends do.

We saw everyone walk into the barn and knew it was dinnertime. Lynda and I introduced ourselves to our dinner mates and met a couple who were there celebrating the husband’s birthday. We talked all evening about everything- kids, bees, chickens- you name it as we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

Dinner at lewis best menu

Dinner was five courses, including dessert, and each one was a culinary delight. All courses used local organic produce from Kretschmann Farm and included pumpkin, squash, cabbage and of course the delicious grass fed meat of Lewis Farm. My favorite course was the pumpkin gnocchi with sage brown butter and kuri squash puree. Oh, just the thought of it now as I write this, makes my mouth water.

Delicious slices of delmonico steak lay next to a delicate strada of new potatoes, and fresh asparagus for the main course. It has been a long time since I tasted meat that soft and flavorful.

Dessert!

Dessert!

Dessert was a perfect ginger cookie with pumpkin mousse and a dollop of cinnamon creme fraiche. The other dinner guests used their fork or spoon, but I put aside all formal manners and picked up the ginger cookie, swooped it into the mousse and creme fraiche and bit off a generous bite! Everyone followed suit and before you knew it, we were murmuring sounds of delight as we enjoyed the last morsels of our delicious dinner.

Jacob Mains

Jacob Mains

Now we must wait until spring or early summer, when Jacob will again bring his delicious dinners back to us. He told me he will be planning, promoting and posting the 2014 dinners on his website soon so I encourage you to bookmark it or follow him on Facebook. What a great Christmas present for a foodie- a gift certificate to one of Jacob’s dinners.

Here’s some links for you:

The Farmers Table, LLC

Lewis Family Farm, Cranberry Twp, PA

Katherine’s Daughter Events

As for me, I am already dreaming of an event between Jacob, Jane and I to showcase the beautiful Lewis Farm. As soon as I gather my thoughts, you’ll be the first to know about it!

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Grace at the Source

Farmer's Table 1

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” -Brillat-Savarin

The picture above is not out of a story book- it is for real. If you look closely, you’ll see tables of people at the V of the stone wall. It is right there that my friend Cathy and I had our first Farm to Table dinner.

We were at Manchester Farms and Left Bower Farm in beautiful Avella, Pennsylvania. The farmhouse is from the early 1800’s and is a real stunner.

I read about Jacob Mains and his Farm to Table dinners recently in our local newspaper. I was immediately smitten and am actually trying to figure out a way for us to work together (more about that on another post!) given my background in events planning. After reading about the dinner, I recruited my organic loving friend Cathy to go with me to our first ever farm sourced food event.

Farmer's Table 2What unfolded was an amazing evening under a blue summer sky. Vegetables that had only been picked out of the ground earlier that day were served beautifully on a white plate, exhibiting all their natural qualities. Diced beets, roasted turnips, kale, cabbage and fresh lettuce greens were featured, as was a delicious dairy cheese. There were yummy meatballs made with beef right from the farm. And to top it all off, a dessert of vanilla creme, topped with fresh berries from the farm next door. And did I mention the cookie? A delicious butter cookie made with butter from the farm was nestled into the dessert. Yes, I broke up the cookie in little pieces and dipped it into the vanilla creme and strawberries!

Cathy and I had to pinch ourselves several times as we met some amazing people. From Jacob and his parents, to Margie and Dave the farm owners, to the talkative radio station owner we sat next to, we were just in awe of the entire evening and the karma of the whole night.

Jacob and his Grandfather

Jacob and his Grandfather

There is something magical about eating outside, among beautiful surroundings, with happy people and enjoying food that is minimally handled and served in its natural grace. When bounty is pulled from the ground and nourishes us heart and soul, there is something very fulfilling and joyful about that experience.

I hope you live in an area where you have access to a farm or farmer’s markets. Please make an effort to support CSA- Community Supported Agriculture– when available. This dinner was an amazing event, one that I hope I will experience again and again!

Thank you to Drew Nicholas for sharing these photos with me!

What’s your favorite farmer’s market or place to buy locally sourced food?

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