Sunday, August 17, 2008

Outstanding in the field Dinner

After Susan's wedding party, I got to go to this wildly expensive dinner on the farm, put on by an outfit called Outstanding in the Field. They organize dinners all around the country, mostly on the West coast, at farms, with local chefs. The Wisconsin dinner was at Fountain Prairie Farm, and the chef was Tory Miller, from L'Etoile.

At Fountain Prairie, they raise Highland beef, a breed of small furry cows that make good eaten' and are well-adapted to the Wisconsin climate. I took the teeny tiny camera, and got some good pictures of close things, like the dinner plate above, but I had not learned how to use the zoom yet, so my pictures of the cows are the kind where you look at the image, and say, "Now what was I trying to take a picture of?". The cows are just furry dots in the landscape.

We arrived a touch late for the dinner - they had run out of glasses for the cocktails, and we missed Willi Lehner's cheese, although I did get to chat a bit with Willi and his wife. There was a bit of trek to get to the tables, sort of a de Rigueur farm tour, but it was nice to walk.

Once we were seated, we were served a tomato salad, and the same pull-apart, wheat sheaf bread that L'Etoile serves at the restaurant (I think it's called Épi). Then there was another salad-y course of melon with crispy pork belly (a.k.a. bacon - we could smell it cooking the whole walk to the tables, and our tablemates were a bunch of youngsters who all work at L'Etoile, who said, "oh, bacon - Tory's favorite food"), and a dressing with chiles in it. The main course was Fountain Prairie Beef with beets and goat cheese. And we got blueberry crumble with corn ice cream for dessert. Later I decided that even though the corn ice cream was good - and it was corn flavored, no actual kernals of corn; they must have steeped corn in the cream, then strained it out - and I do like corn meal and blueberries as a combination, like cornmeal cake with blueberries, or corn-blueberry muffins - I would have preferred plain vanilla, or even plain cream flavored ices cream.

You can see a few more pictures of the evening here:

Outstanding in the field Dinner

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