Well, I didn’t get the downstairs bathroom repainted. And I didn’t get fresh curtains in Summer. But nearly everything else I wanted to have done for the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce After Hours event and the grand pre-opening of my B&B was present and accounted for. The place looked great and it was a fabulous setting for a fabulous event. The weather cooperated and a good time was had by all.
Turn out wasn’t huge. We weren’t expecting that it would be, under the circumstances. We’re well out of town, down a little two-lane road most of the way, and the farm itself is on a one-and-a-half lane road. The food and beverages were well received, though I suspect most of the people there didn’t realize I’d done all the cooking myself–including the crackers on the buffet table. I didn’t dry the fruit myself, but I did spice the nuts here in the farm kitchen.
I decided to serve a ‘Cornucopia’ for the hors d’oeuvres. I like the Cornucopia as a strategy, because there’s something there for everyone. I like the Cornucopia, because it’s visually overwhelming. I like the Cornucopia because it doesn’t have to be passed. It just sits there and looks yummy.
Props to Kellie Goodman for the fab photos below!
For my dips and spreads, I used Romesco (roasted peppers and almonds and tomatoes emulsified with olive oil), Green Bean Walnut Paté, and Spinach Dip (like the kind you make with Knorr onion soup mix, but without the soup mix and with fresh stewed leeks instead). For my desserts, I used Elevator Lady Spice Cookies, Best Cocoa Brownies off epicurious.com (and expanded enough to make plenty), and my own Cherry Jubilee Bars. I made a round of mini-quiches with fiddleheads from our own woods, eggs from Split Rail Run Farm–about four miles from here, and the milk and cheese from Hidden Hills Dairy.
I made rosemary-olive oil crackers, sesame oil crackers, and cheese crackers (with Hidden Hills Butterkase cheese). I spiced cashews with curry, walnuts with Old Bay, and pecans with mustard and ginger (powdered and wet in both cases). I provided eight veggies for dipping as well, pistachios in the shell, six kinds of dried fruit, and two plates of devilled eggs the farm manager fixed and filled.
The cheese, the eggs, and the milk were not only local; their farmers were at our event. We didn’t have anyone from the Grist Mill at Burnt Cabins whose roasted cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour were ingredients in our foods. We didn’t have anyone from the Summer Kitchen, whose jam was in the meatball sauce and the Cherry Jubilee Bars. We didn’t have anyone from Breezewood Honey, though that was an ingredient as well. Or the Bison Corral whose meat is delicious when I get the burger they make from it at the Jean Bonnet Tavern.
I wonder if people think consciously about how much of their food could come from right around here, if they only made the effort.