Farm to Table
That'll Do Farm is very busy place. With alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens, bees, produce, gardening classes, fiber classes, a farm store, a fiber CSA, a produce CSA and one very silly llama, sometimes we feel pulled in a couple hundred directions, wishing we could clone ourselves to get the work done.
Now don't get me wrong. We LOVE what we do, and for 99.9 percent of the time, none of us here would trade what we do for a living for anything else in the world. We just wish there was more time in the day to do it all.
But this Summer, we've been lucky to have an intern/volunteer working with us. We'd like you to meet Laura.
Laura is a Virginia native, New York city transplant to Ohio with a love of farm-to-table cooking and the desire to learn small scale produce farming.
She's been planting, watering, weeding and cooking her way through the Spring here at the farm.
She is keeping us well fed. For example, this past weekend, we enjoyed:
Deviled Farm Eggs
- As many eggs as you’d like to hard boil (measurements below based on 4)
- Yellow mustard (3/4 tbsp)
- Mayonnaise (1 tbsp)
- Sweet relish juice(1 tsp)
- Either paprika or cayenne
- Fresh chives
- Bring salted water in a medium/large saucepan to a hard simmer; eggs should take up to 12 minutes to become hard boiled
- Allow eggs to cool before slicing them in half, long ways and removing the cooked yolks into a bowl- set egg halves aside
- With a fork, mash up the yolks; then add the mustard, mayonnaise and relish and mix until smooth- season to taste with salt and black pepper
- Fill each egg half with the yolk mixture and top with a dash of either paprika or cayenne and snipped chives- refrigerate or eat!
There is something to be said for eggs fresh from the hen house topped with chives cut minutes before eating. They are the essence of freshness. If you're a fan of deviled eggs, give these a try. You won't be sorry.
Laura will be posting her cooking creations here and on the farm's facebook page throughout the season.
Go grab your recipe cards and start taking notes. We are lucky to live in an agricultural state, filled with an abundance of fresh-from-the-farm food. And we're lucky to have young farm cooks like Laura that want to share with us ways to enjoy it. Bon Appetit!
Today's Guest Blogger is That'll Do Farm's manager, Mike. He recently returned from a trip to Italy where he learned the Italian way of farming and cooking.
If the Italians do one thing right (besides wine), it is preparing fresh food.
Everything I ate on my trip to Italy was - "insert buzzword of choice here -- 'organic,' 'local,' 'pesticide free'"-- but the restaurants hardly even thought to mention it. That was just the way it was. After all, how else would food be? The 'slow food idealogy' is simply a way of life in most of rural Italy. Expected. Not special or unique like it is here in the states.
Our slow food enthusiast group stayed at Peppe Zullo's Villa Paradisio, located in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy.
Peppe's restaurant defined farm to table in every sense of the word - from our table, we could see the trees that produced his olive oil that was used in every dish. Same for the vegetables.
The secret to Peppe's food philosophy is its' simplicity. Not only does he avoid the strange, non-food things that find their way into American cooking (corn syrup, for example), but he uses just a few ingredients fresh from the land, bringing out the flavors of each. No exotic sauces or spices. Simple, "peasant" food that is so bursting with fresh flavor you can hardly believe so much taste can come out of such common ingredients.
I went on the trip with the brother and sister team of Mike and Carmella Fragassi of La Campagna restaurant in Westlake. During one of our meals with Peppe, we realized that we could offer our own Farm to Table dining experience at That'll Do Farm.
With the Fragassi's cooking skills and our farm fresh produce, this Spring, we hope to bring the same freshness in cooking to the farm. Just like in Italy, how and where the food is grown and the lack of miles it travels to get to your plate all contribute to the flavor of the meal.
While Italy is the center of the Slow Foods movement, the idea is certainly growing in the United States. I felt like I was learning from the best, from some of the leaders of Slow Food.
"Whose Your Farmer" has never had more meaning than it does right now.
We'll keep you updated on future Land to Table dinners at the farm.
-- Mike Wargo