I spent the last week of the year at the farm. While I was there, family and friends showed up with the makings for various dishes. You might call them “guest chefs.” Fortunately, my farm kitchen is designed for guests to spend time cooking and talking around an island or just viewing from the four seats along a counter.
My “guest chefs” make for adventuresome eating. Age is no barrier to participation.
For a recent dinner, one man arrived with two ducks, which he baked to a gorgeous mahogany color—crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside. It was the way his mother in Germany had cooked them, he said.
Another man, with Irish roots, brought his family’s version of Colcannon, a yummy combination of potatoes and kale (cabbage works, too).
A woman of Jewish heritage turned out an impressive Challah, that she kneaded and braided deftly just as she has done for her family for decades,
A Mexican woman made a casserole of Chilaquiles and a huge bowl of Guacamole. My son-in-law did his traditional Colombian dish, Lomo al Trapo, the fireplace-baked tenderloin encased in a salt mold. (More on this scary cooking method in a later post.)
I tossed a huge salad with my favorite basil vinaigrette, roasted a tray of chopped, root vegetables, and fashioned some appetizers from dates stuffed with goat cheese and rolled in prosciutto.
Not everything goes as planned. But who cares? My daughter’s Cheese Ball appetizers flattened into Cheese Cookies, when she mistakenly used regular flour instead of cake flour. No one seemed to notice.
We finished the meal with a dessert that Robin made, a New Orleans-style flambé: Bananas Foster. Ohh… ohh…ohh!
Yes, a few ingredient and several guest chefs can create an amazingly memorable meal. Here’s to more food adventures in the new year!