It is firmly mid summer now. The long hot days and torrid nights tell me so. That, and the welcome sound of crickets and cicada wings and evening skies that twinkle with the light of fireflies. I love that summer effortlessly evokes a childlike sense of freedom. Something that seems to lie quiet the rest of the year. Even as an adult summer is the season of no rules; staying up long into the evening, neglecting chores in favor of spontaneous beach trips, swimming out deep into the cool green waters of the atlantic.
And there is part of me that thinks perhaps this clarity of inner child on these sweltering summer days affords me the opportunity to see things in a simpler light. To unpack and uncomplicated the life I live the rest of the year. Leaving it behind in favor of salty beach hair, bare feet, and lazy outside dinners. continue reading
I can envision dappled sunlight filtering down through the leaves of the apples. Their branches bowing under the weight of a thousands of young bright green fruit. There is a table under these branches and pitchers of water are dotted along its length, catching the light and throwing it in large angular patterns across the surface. An easy-going Sunday sort of music can be heard and people are wandering about the garden nibbling on various crostini, cheeses and fruit. Some have cocktails in hand as the stoop to admire a flower or reach toward one another in greeting.
Cooking for a crowd is something for which I have the very greatest affection; the menu planning, ingredient shopping, kitchen prep and especially, those last few moments before the meal begins and everyone is seated together at the table. I even love the clean up. Washing and putting away all the plates and flatware and large platters; I ones I only ever use when serving a crowd.
Unsurprisingly, the Wednesday before my recent Boston workshop which I hosted with guest teacher Betty Liu, in the midst of all the bustling and prepping, I felt that familiar infectious excited happiness I always feel before an event. I could feel it bubbling up as I was driving back to the farm, windows down and heady hay scented summer air rushing in and a load of beautiful Five Fork Farms blooms in tow. I began to feel intoxicated with happiness . In less than 24 hours, accompanied by two of the loveliest food bloggers I know, Betty & Valentina, I would be standing in my kitchen, cooking for a crowd. We were preparing a lunch which relied on fresh ingredients, prepared simply, and using as much gorgeous produce from my gardens at CottageFarm as possible. Our gardens at the farm have been producing at such a rapid rate it was wonderful to have an excuse to cook up a big meal to share! To showcase without overworking or overcomplicating things is always my desired method of preparation. I simply want the food to be at its best and freshest and for this to shine through. continue reading