Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We got our first snap peas of the year at the farm this week. I think the best way to eat these peas is to steam them until they turn bright green , about 3 minutes, then top with a sprinkle of sea salt. Sometime I'll put a little butter on the top and let it melt over the warm peas. That's also very good although the butter isn't really necessary. Cooking them isn't even necessary. These peas taste great raw. Just snap the top of the pea off, pull off string like part that holds the pod together, and eat!

Having eaten several meals with steamed peas, today I thought I'd give them a try in some pasta. I decided to make a spaghetti with peas, pesto, and toasted pine nuts.
Serves 6
1 pound of spaghetti
6 oz cleaned snap peas
one small clove garlic, chopped finely
1/3 cup pesto
2 TBS olive oil
toasted pine nut
freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot (3 quart) of salted water to a boil. Drop the cleaned peas (snapped the tops off) in the pasta water and blanch them quickly. Take them out as soon as they turn bright green about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove peas from the boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and keep the peas crisp. Place the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook according to the package. Reserve some of the pasta water. In a large skillet heat the olive oil, add the peas, pesto and garlic. Saute about 1 minute, them add the pasta and about a 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water. Cook until the water is mostly evaporated about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the toasted pine nuts and the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Farmer's Table

Saturday evening we hosted the first "Farmer's Table" dinner on the farm. The idea behind having dinners at the farm was to give people in our area a chance to make a connection with the food they eat. We intentionally kept the group fairly small for this first dinner. We ended up with 18 guests. It was the perfect size for our first event.
The evening started at 5pm with a tour of the strawberry greenhouse. Mom and Dad (Harold and Carol) gave the tour answering any questions about the farm and our growing methods.
The group made their way down the field to where we had the tables laid out. A variety of cheeses, bread, and olives awaited the guests, giving everyone a chance to meet and mingle.

Then it was time for dinner. Having a Culinary Institute of America trained chef in the family makes all this possible! Pamela, one of the five daughters, graduated from the CIA in 1996. During that time she did her externship under Frank Stitt at The Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama. She created the menu for the evening around fresh, local ingredients using as much as possible from our farm.

Joe, picking the chef's brain.

The food was fantastic. As we were eating dinner, the sun set and the full moon rose over the greenhouse. We couldn't have ordered a more perfect evening. Thank-you to all of our guests for coming out and being a part of the first, of what we hope will be many more, Farmer's Table dinners.

The Farmer's Table Menu

Georgia Fresh Corn and Leek Soup
with Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Lardoons

Waterberry Farm Butter Head Lettuces
with Strawberries, Mandarin Oranges, and Spicy Pecans

Handmade Fettuccine
with Asparagus, Shitake Mushrooms, and Tarragon

Grilled Gulf Red Snapper
with Fava Bean, Pea Tendril, Rice Pilaf

Waterberry Farm Fresh Strawberries Three Ways

Chocolate Hazelnut Covered Strawberries
Toasted Pound Cake with Lemon Cream and Strawberries
Panna Cotta with Balsamic Glazed Strawberries

Time to go home, grab your lantern and walk back up the field!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In the news..

Our farm was featured in The Dothan Eagle, our local news paper, today. Check it out here.