Monday, October 4, 2010

Farm To Table Dinner: A Feat of Madness (and Delicious-ness)

Hey everybody!  I feel really bad that I put my blog on a mini hiatus during September but I had to!! First off, I turned my camera on on one day just to find the screen cracked and no explanation in the world as to how this happened!  Second off, I had my independent study which was helping plan and run a farm to table dinner.  It was wild, it was crazy, it was so much fun, and it was yummy!!  So now I shall tell you all about the farm to table dinner and all the food that was prepared for it.

So our farm to table dinner would not be possible without my school's wonderful relationship with Kendall College in Chicago.  The way it works is that the Kendall students come down to Southern and take a ton (and i mean A TON) of farm tours.  They learn all about our local produce and farming as well as about wine, aqua culture, and tons of other cool stuff too!! As you can tell, I am extremely jealous that my busy school schedule prohibited me from attending the tours.   Local Farmers donate all of the food that we use for the dinner. While they are here they prep (with the help of our students) the farm to table dinner one night.  The night after is the dinner where we served a party of 70 local farmers and prominent community members, as well as many school officials.  It was very stressful and exciting! My job was head of the back of the house.  I had to make sure that all the prep was done and everything was packed to go to the venue.  The day of the dinner my job was to make sure that the food got out of the kitchen without a hitch and that everyone in the kitchen was happy and had everything that they needed.  We held the dinner at Starview Winery which is my favorite winery in Southern Illinois.  Their Venus wine is the bomb!!  The owners are the nicest people and did so much to help this dinner go off without a hitch.  It was a huge success....and now I shall share with you all (my favorite part) : The Menu!!!!

Course 1: Sweet Pepper-Ricotta Frittata with Tomato Herb Salad
Course 2: Grilled Hybrid Striped Bass with Braised Farmers Market Greens, Local Sausage, and     New Potatoes
Course 3: Watermelon Granita in Jonathan Apples (recipe below)
Course 4: Wood-Roasted Lamb with Veal Demi Glace, Candied Apples, Blue Roasted Pumpkin and Organic Garlic Butter
Course 5: Grape and Herb Clafouti

Now for the yummy pictures!!

The only thing I don't have a picture of is the Watermelon Granita and that is the only thing that I have the recipe for, though I may email the chef that came down from Kendall for the Clafouti recipe because it was so good ( so good that I ate like 4 slices!).

Watermelon Granita
6 c  seedless watermelon flesh 
1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger
Sugar TT (at least 1c)

1. Crush the watermelon flesh until it is a smooth puree. Use a wooden spoon and some elbow grease to do this.
2.  Add the sugar and grated ginger and mix well.
3. Place in a bowl in the freezer overnight or until frozen.
4. mix it around the bowl before serving.  If it melts at all, just refreeze it!

This is just so refreshing that I can't even tell you!!  I always mix mine with lemonade and make a slushie!

I'm hoping to have another post up this week (fingers crossed) so check back soon!
Until then remember, food is love

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