Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Christmas Yarn Preview - (the newest Designer Nest is almost here!)

A little preview of something coming up very soon - the newest in my designer nest series~~

Unlike anything that I have ever done before~~

In beautiful shades of red and green and gold~~

and tucked inside each nest- a beautiful handmade pear
specially created just for this nest.
(just you wait~~)!
(and another special surprise!)

Very limited~~ 18 of these little nests will be looking for  Christmas homes~~

Of course I had help!  I cant wait for you to meet the talented artist who created these adorable glazed pottery pears
and the special surprise~~

(This beautiful card was made by Teroldego & Tomatoes.)

The Photo Shoot

Mary - my faithful "nesting" companion!  These designer nests have become such a huge undertaking - that honestly- I could not do it without her.

This is no easy task - this photo shoot business!

You should have seen Mary build this "mountain of yarn" display! It was so incredibly beautiful - I hated to break it down after the photo shoot! 
(In our next life~We are going to be window designers for
Anthropologie stores!)

Mark your calenders for the debut on the morning of November 21. 
(at 11 am EST) 

Coming soon~~~
The Partridge Nest~

(I'm telling you - they are gorgeous!!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure~~

From their website-
"Our mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.

Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table."

The Gardener and I recently attended our first "Outstanding in the Field" farm dinner.  The dinner was held on the grounds of the beautiful, historic Woodland Farm in Goshen, KY (about a 3 hour drive for us).  I've been "stalking" this group for a couple of years - trying to decide if I wanted to make a 5 (or more) hour drive to attend one of these dinners.  When this years dates and locations presented with a rare visit to Kentucky - I jumped at the chance to purchase tickets and make plans to attend.  (When the tickets go on sale - you have to buy them quickly!  They can sell out in a matter of days - sometimes hours!)  I had been eagerly waiting for months for this day to arrive~~

From their website-
"Woodland Farm, owned by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, is a working farm in Goshen, Kentucky with historical roots and a sustainable vision. The 1000-acre farm is home to many heritage breeds of livestock, including American Buffalo, and has several large gardens that use sustainable best practices."
"From raising bison on grass pastures to using best practices in the garden, sustainability is practiced farm-wide. The farm’s lumber is harvested from its own forests, and sustainable biofuel is used for farm implements. Gardeners at the farm use sustainable practices such as no-till growing methods and picking insects from plants by hand. As horticulturalist Stephanie Tittle says, “We don’t use any -ides. No pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides.” It’s slow, hard work, but once you taste a fresh-picked fruit or vegetable from Woodland, you’ll understand what the fuss is about." 

Come along with the Gardener and me to this beautiful historic farm situated on the banks of the Ohio River.  The reception starts promptly at 3 pm - so dress casually (I'm wearing jeans), and lets go see what all the buzz is about with these "Outstanding in the Field " dinners~~

The Reception

The View from the Front Yard

The amazing appetizers were prepared on the side porch of this civil war era house. 
My favorite appetizer - the fried okra with malt vinegar mayo

 The reception lasted for about 2 hours during which we were welcome to leisurely walk around and take photos.  After the reception there was an informal tour of the farm - guests were  invited to speak to some of the people who worked on the farm and learn more about the farms sustainable practices.  

Come along with us on a leisurely farm tour~

My primary focus in attending this dinner was for one reason ~~ I wanted to see that famous TABLE!!  Outstanding in the Field is famous for their L O N G tables that are set in unique places - like orchards, and riverbanks, and beaches - and cornfields.    Are you hungry yet?  Look closely - the table is at the top of this hill - right against the cornfield - come on lets go!  (I want to take pictures before the crowd gets there!)

Here we are - and we beat the crowd- yea!!  Lets go take some photos~

The tradition of the plates~~ one of the fun and interesting features of this farm dinner is that guests are ask to bring their own plates.  The appearance of this long farm table set with different and colorful plates lends added character to this most unique dinner. 

 The Gardener had no idea what to expect when we set out to attend this dinner.  He had never heard of this organization and knew nothing about what this experience would be like.   He was so excited to see this amazing table!

Chef Michael Paley from the famed Louisville restaurant Proof on Main was the guest chef for the farm dinner.  All ingredients were from local farms and the final portion of the meals were prepared on site~
(in this green tent at the end of the cornfield!)

From the Outstanding in the Field website-
"Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table."

They just rang the dinner bell - we need to go get our own plates and take our seats at the table - it's almost time for dinner! 

The wine (fabulous!!!) is from a local vineyard - the Horseshoe Bend Vineyard and Winery in Willisburg, Ky.  They offered several different wines over the course of the evening, but I stayed with this one because it was so good - (Riesling 2010).

  Our plates are from one of my vintage collections. 

The Menu

 The first course - "Last Summer Bean Salad".   If they had served nothing else I would have been totally satisfied - it was the best salad ever!   All the food is served family style - and the servings are plentiful~

 Emily - our server for the evening.  She took really good care of us! 

 Soon after our dinner started, the evening sun began to cast those wonderful golden glows.  Can you see this beautiful reflection in my wine glass? 

 The second course - Milk Braised Duncan Farms Rabbit with Roman gnocchi, celery, nutmeg, and lemon.  Absolutely to die for!  The rabbit was supplied by the Sarah Duncan farm in Boston, Ky.  I actually sat next to Sarah and her husband - nicest folks ever!  

Can you see the beautiful glow on the river behind us?  Is this just not a magnificent place for a farm dinner?  (That's Sarah sitting next to me - she owns the rabbit farm.)

The last dinner course - Grilled beef short ribs, sweet potato ravioli with sage, mushrooms, and brown butter.   The beef was raised on Woodland Farms. (I am going to be honest here and say that I could not get past the fabulous Sweet Potato ravioli - so I did not actually eat the beef.  The Gardener however, thought it was wonderful!)

Sunset over the bend in the Ohio River.  The evening view from our seat at the table was nothing short of magnificent~

 Evening glow at the table  just as the moon is starting to show~

 Playing with our cameras - we captured the moon's reflection through the wine glass.

Dessert - apple toffee bread pudding with bourbon caramel whipped cream~~ (there are no words- it was unbelievable!)

 The evening is soon drawing to a close~

 Our last few minutes at the table of this totally amazing farm dinner.  Have you enjoyed your trip here?  Do I not take you to the best places?  

If you are interested in attending your own Outstanding in the Field farm dinner - a word to the wise~~ Buy your tickets early - preferably the very day they go on sale - most venues  sell out incredibly fast- sometimes within hours!

Coming up next - a little yarn preview of the newest designer nest. You don't want to miss this!   (It is going to be a few weeks before we get back to the National Parks tour - there is lots going on here in the Sacred Yarn Room right now- hint, hint!)   

ps - (sorry for the long post~)