Reservations were made several cold winter and spring months in advance, my past captivating thoughts were shaken and my tastebuds trembled at the mere thought!
It was our second visit to Outstanding in the Field held at the same location as our first, Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, Vermont. I was no longer a stranger to the farm, it was as if the buckwheat fields somehow recognized me. I quickly found my place at the informal, white draped table and settled in for the evening. Familiar faces were scattered where mirthful whispers and reminicing of last year’s downpour at the end of the gathering were abound.
The sun-filled evening began where any glimpse of social discomfort was quickly dismissed with cordial nods and greetings from across the picturesque table. This table, so perfectly purposed with its placement amongst the freshly cut buckwheat. The fields had brought us together for an evening of farm-to-table dining prepared by Chef Eric Warnstedt from Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, Vermont. Local farmers dined that laboriously gave towards the evening’s menu all across my own beloved state of Vermont.
The evening’s menu began with sweet corn fritters dipped in local sweet honey and moved on to radicchio salad with chioggia beets, hazelnuts, apples and Jasper Hill farm blue cheese. The salad was perfectly paired with a new favorite wine of mine Black Sparrow from Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven, Vermont.
Without a fork’s pause, we moved on to heirloom tomatoes with fresh feta, radishes, cucumbers and a lovely sunflower vinaigrette.
Samplings of golden raw honey were passed about straight from the honeycomb. Gorgeousness!
The dancing sun gently excused itself for the night and placed its mantle of responsibility of light on to the mason jars filled with small tea lights. The glow was minimal, yet somehow perfect. And the wine, along with its influence discouraged any need for more.
The main entree was porchetta, new potatoes with roasted garlic and grilled carmen peppers. The provider of this tender porchetta was able to attend the night’s gathering.
We ended the evening with new stories and laughter that will tag along with me to the next field gathering and a honey glazed cream cheese poundcake with walnut praline and Vermont honey ice cream that should have been illegal. Amazing!
With a self-induced indulgencing discomfort, I did however, find a most curious spot and sipped a glass of Eden Ice Cider made in West Charleston, Vermont. As sweetly and appealing as its towering sparkly labeled bottle, so is its content. A fine aged cider!
Eden Ice Cider, West Charleston, VT
Be sure and visit Outstanding in the Field’s website www.outstandinginthefield.com and all the fine treasures crafted right here in Vermont. I was able to track down the wine, cider and cheeses at local specialty stores in Norwich, Vermont and Woodstock, Vermont!