Tag Archives: Autumn

Peace on the Farm

NC Mist

How have you been? Here in my neck of the woods, the days are slowly getting shorter. It is dark in the morning until after 7am and the leaves are slowly falling from the trees.

I took a quick trip to my sister Mary’s house (farm, really) last week and spent two lovely days in North Carolina. One highlight of the trip was Starr’s food. Dinner on the first night was black eyed peas, collard greens, carrots, homemade mac/cheese, and fresh baked bread. If you think this was amazing you are right.

Dinner on day two was homemade pizzas and salad. Delicious.

I got acquainted with the six dogs of the farm but I have to tell you about my absolute favorite. It was Emma- the Emmanator– as Mary has fondly dubbed her.

Emma 2Mary rescued Emma as a pup from a hot car (Go Mary) and ended up being her new owner. Emma has doubled in size in a few months and is just a ball of energy. From the moment I walked into the farmhouse, Emma squealed to visit with me and I couldn’t help but indulge her in as much attention as I could.

It was a tempting thought to stash Emma in the car with us and bring her on home to PA. But Mary loves her and I’d never argue with a dog to owner kind of love. Plus, Emma would likely exhaust me as she has a way to go before some of that puppy wears off!

Other things I did in NC…. two trips to the best Goodwill store ever (in Mocksville, NC) yielded me two new comfortable tops, a Christmas red tablecloth for $3, a gorgeous fall scarf for $1. What woman doesn’t love a bargain?

I had a great lunch with my webmaster Susan at my favorite Winston Salem restaurant- Sweet Potatoes. I chose the grilled turkey burger with cranberry mayo and of course, a side of sweet potato fries. Susan and I kicked a few ideas around and got to chat like good friends!

On the morning of our departure, Mary and I walked the dogs down a long path that runs adjacent to her property. Corn stalks had recently been cut down and the field was wide open. The sun was coming up and it was a scene right out of a movie. A glowing sky, the multiple colors of a sunrise, and even a cloud formation that evoked a bit of a spiritual presence filled my heart with a calm and serenity. I knew these blessings were a good reason to live on a farm.

Cloud Cross

So I’m back home now, reminiscing about my time in North Carolina. Even when it’s only for a few days, it’s great to just get away….

Horse NCHow are things with you? Are you busy, slow, doing anything autumn-y with yourself?

Please follow and like us:
998

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!

Please follow and like us:
998

The Sound of Silence

Silence is a source of great strength.  ~Lao Tzu

I realized, as I was on a social media site this week, that a couple of my normally vocal and oft-posting friends seem to be taking a break. Translation: wow, it’s kind of quiet…

My big fundraiser project is over, the meetings are over, the wrap up is over, summer is over…..yes, it’s really quiet.

Photo by Michelene Cain

It’s mid-October. It’s dark earlier now and I love to curl up in a blanket and read or relax. The peace feels really good, welcoming in fact as compared to the more hectic and packed long, summer days.

That said, it is usually not quiet at my house. There are four of us under one roof of a small, ranch style house. There is a noisy, over exuberant yellow lab thrown into the lot. People like to drop by, hang out, have a cup of coffee. Holidays are usually big, messy and loud with a ton of people and eating, eating, eating….

If it sounds like I secretly love all this, you are right. I do. However, I have also been known to sneak off somewhere in busy moments, to disappear for a few minutes, just to bring myself back to center. I have to take a break to pause, to rest, to connect with my source of inspiration.

I think solitude is necessary for our spirit. It is nourishing, revitalizing, and somewhat selfish. But it is a good selfish. The kind of selfish that’s necessary to recharge our batteries and connect with a source of inspiration and grace. It’s a fuel to keep us going.

I’m going away with some good friends this weekend in a setting of quiet woods. I’m thinking about the fun we’re going to have, the laughter and the good times. The thought of those moments of quiet solitude that I will find there too appeals to me as well. I’m looking forward to it all.

Have a quiet, lovely, joyous weekend my friend.

Photo by Terri Ruggeri

Please follow and like us:
998