Thursday, March 28, 2013

Just Another Night on the Farm...

Back lighting is tough without a flash - but here's TOFGA president, Susie Marshall, Joel Salatin and Central 214 Executive Chef, Graham Dodds

So I started off this warmer (than it has been) afternoon, post a morning farm tour, enjoying an impromptu early dinner with the new head of marketing for a large food co op, Urban Acres, the president of TOFGA and friend, Susie Marshall, and Mr. Alternative farmer himself, Joel Salatin.  Now it turns out Joel was staying at Hotel Palomar which was perfect as it's where Graham Dodds, one of my favorite farm-to-table chefs, whips out an incredible menu.  Graham, had just prepared dinner the night before for Joel at a fund raiser with Chad Houser and others, where Salatin was key note speaker. So it totally worked out to be a pretty good idea to ask Joel to meet us for dinner at Central 214 as he and Graham had already met and he was heading there anyway to sleep! The dinner was put on by Urban Acres to raise scholarship funds for a day-long intensive workshop, that Salatin was teaching the next day, for area ranchers and farmers put on by Mountain View College and Carbon Economy Series. Then the following day, he is scheduled to kick off the college's day long Sustainability Summit with another key note address. He was having a busy 3 days - the man deserved more than Whataburger or some take out order! (Although, room service would have been quite good there!) But Susie and I couldn't bear to think of this out of town farmer sitting by himself for dinner when we knew so many great places to take him - what kind of Dallas hospitality would that be? So we ate - and ate, and ate..... the pictures won't do justice - and I lost track after about the 4th course. The finale was 4 different deserts - so much for eating light.....
Cabrito via Windy Hill Farm & Fellow TOFGA Member Ty Wolosin - prepared in mouthwatering fashion

So,... I get roll back to the farm, only to spend 30 minutes (at least) trying to reunite 2-two day old baby chicks with Dottie hen who seemed to have misplaced them; I could hear the cheeping all the way at the hoop house - cries for help really; meanwhile, trying to keep the two new Icelandic sheep from trying to get to the chicken feed I was using as a lure for Dottie - see she had found one chick, only to then leave the other back on the nest, and now she was out of my reach at the wrong end of the coop; I ended up having to lift up the embedded coop (we bury the edges to keep snakes out), and push the stranded little one underneath it with my toe so it could get under Dottie's protective (and warm) wings. Then I searched for a now suddenly missing water bucket I was going to fill for the sheep - that the dogs have no doubt buried somewhere; fed the dogs - who are rarely in a hurry to eat;

No, really, Molly - no rush. Just take your time eating I have all the time in the world..... NOT!

only to get up to the house - finally - and have one of the silly house cats unaccounted for. Apparently he decided to take himself for a late night stroll, barely visible to me and totally stealth as he zipped out the back door when I opened it; not a peep out of him, but I saw one of the other cats look down and I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye as he made his escape. He forgets one problem with being outside all night - he's a HOUSE cat!! He is not "street" savvy. He's not supposed to be outside. I shook the feed jar and walked around the back yard for like 10 minutes with a flashlight calling his name listening for a wimperish "help me" meow or some other sign of him scurrying about on a midnight mouse hunt - to no avail. Well Ed, you know what? I'm tired, still have email to check, a shower to take, and the other indoor cats to feed and clean up after, and I really don't have the energy left to play hide and seek with a feline in the dark. Sorry, Ed. Be safe little guy.... I'm going to sleep. I'll leave the light on for ya.

ok - maybe I'll check one more time right before I hit the hay - but if you don't answer this time, you're on your own kid. This farm girl needs some rest - there's tomatoes to plant!!  But I sure made sure that wonderful dinner's energy was put to use.....and people wonder why I'm skinny..... LOL

Marie Eat Your Food - Naturally!