Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The LONG Days of Summer

This is a picture of the kids getting ready to snooze for the night, like I should be doing right now!!!

We have been very busy catering and farming and taking care of all of the animals and...and working too much! I can't believe August is nearly over and we are staring down the barrel of September. It is starting to feel a little fall-like, but I have yet to catch a whiff of it in the afternoon breezes. It will be here soon enough!

One of the many things we have done since the last posting was the Vision Cellars Collard Greens Cookoff! This is the third year that Jeff has competed and the second year that we helped out with cooking the meat for the potluck, Central Texas-style Natural Angus Beef Brisket. YUMMMMM

Farmer Chef Jeff won First Place in the Professional category, an honor for which he is very proud. Southern Food is very important to us, as is this award. Please join me in congratulating my honey!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Not Quiet Day at the Farm

(Jeff's Mom and my friend/ mother in law, Barbara and our friend Josh, fellow chef and owner of Syrah Bistro)

We had a lovely day out at our site 3 farm, the Ruff Garlick Patch, named after our farm partner and his wife, Larry Ruff and Hazel Garlick. Larry and Hazel invited some people, we invited some people, we made the food from the was a fine day.

Here is the menu:

Hors d’Oeuvres

Fried Green Tomatoes with Corn Relish

Grown at the Ruff Garlick Patch

Dill Pickles and B&B Pickles

Made with Great Northern Pickling Cukes from RGP


Grilled Eggplant wrapped around Fresh ZIN-Made Mozzarella

Assorted Eggplant and Basil from RGP


Smoked Pork with Fresh Plum Chutney/Salsa

Plums from the front yard of RGP

Roasted Chicken with Rajas of RGP Pasilla Chile and Onion

Side Dishes

Potato Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans and RGP Basil Vinaigrette

Caprese Salad

Sliced RGP Vine ripe Tomatoes with Freshly Made Before Your Eyes Mozzarella, RGP Basil and extra virgin olive oil

Rice Chile Sour Cream Casserole

Made with RGP Pasilla and Anaheim Peppers

Thai Red Kabocha Pumpkin Curry

With RGP Kabocha Pumpkins and Yellow Bells

RGP Yellow Sweet Peppers with Italian Sweet Sour Sauce/Agrodolce


RGP Plum “Fruchtwahe” Swiss Fruit Tart

(Yes, my heritage is Swiss and I do what I can to promote that cuisine!)

The real star of the day was the C-17 from the nearby AIR SHOW!!! "The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force". It was simply AMAZING!!!

We knew that Larry's property was below the flight path of the little local airport. This very same airport also has an annual airshow. We have been talking with Larry about cooking food for a party which would include friends of each of ours.

Today was the day. The weather was perfect, about 80 degrees, clear and a light breeze. Ideal for an afternoon day.

We saw a few old planes flying around and then this big monster came blasting through!!!

(this is a little noisy, so check your sound first!)

Then, before we knew it, here came the craziest, noisiest, sneakiest plane of the day! I will leave it to someone else to tell me exactly which kind of plane this is!

It was really a thrilling day and I loved the juxtaposition of the jet and the farm. Ah, the quiet life...NOT!

Happy Monday!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where in the world...?

(The above photo was taken by Alan Campbell at "Site 3", aka The Ruff Garlick Patch, of
Eastside Farm. Thank you, Alan!)

We haven't been on vacation, we haven't been sick, we HAVE been working our A***S OFF!!!

The farm is full to burstin' with corn, peppers, tomatoes, chiles, eggplant and more chiles! We have been picking, taking care of business at both the farm and at our restaurant, ZIN, have been selling at 3 farmers' markets AND catering 2-3 events a week!!!

In the last two weeks we have:
Had a visit from my German girl friend and former co-worker, Miz Julia, seen here with our other former co-worker, Muff.

The next day after this picture was taken, we catered a high end birthday party for 40 in the Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves. It was beautiful!

In addition to catering we have also been picking a lot of produce!!! We are even amazed at all that we have picked! The cherry tomatoes started coming in full force a couple of weeks ago and we are just now beginning to get our full sized tomatoes. The eggplants are starting to show up as are the peppers. The "Great Northern" pickling cucumbers are just flipping out with such a heavy production...we are picking something like 70 pounds every 3 days!!! Thankfully ZIN can take them.

We catered an event at Acorn Winery for their Eastside Bunch Summer Open House (99 degrees in the shade!) and made our fresh B.A.T.'s with Jeff's House-cured and smoked BACON, ZIN Garden at Eastside Farm Arugula, Tomatoes and home-made Focaccia. We also added a little home-grown Basil mayonnaise. YUMMY!!! It went PERFECTLY with their wines!

We were treated to a visit from faithful ZIN customers visiting from Utah for the afore mentioned open house. Apparently they come out every year to the Acorn event and eat at ZIN on their first night in town! Thank you!!! (So sorry, I can't find where I wrote down your names!!!)

The very next day we did another Farmers Market in Windsor and my girlfriend brought her totally darling son with her. He tasted his first raw sugar pearl corn on the cob and LOVED it!!!

I love to introduce kids to fresh produce. During market I give stuff to kids to munch on. It often freaks them out to be handed a strange raw food product, but their parents are amused by it and encourage the kids to at least try it. Every once in a while they will come back after their child realizes, Hey...this tastes good!

Not to be slackers, Jeff also taught a cooking class in our back yard on Friday night with Relish Culinary Adventures. It was an all tomato class, starting with Fried Green Tomatoes and ending with a Red Fig Tomato and Ricotta Cheese tart topped with Yellow Tomato sorbet. It was GOOD!!!

I guess I just wanted to show y'all that we haven't been slackers...although right now that sounds so appealing!!! Tomorrow we rest...right after a couple of meetings and Pilates class!!!

Happy Monday!

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