Idyllic Defined

We often find deer asleep in our front yard down by the pond if we’re out and about after dark.  This morning, one of the fawns that lives in our woods was lingering down by the pond underneath one of our maple trees.  Just lovely.

I Like To Drive

Jack takes his favorite spot in our Mule.  Milos, Jessica and Mina look wonder when their burn behind the wheel will come.

Best. Daughters. Ever.

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Our girls surprised us with an early 25th anniversary present last week.  They gave us VIP tickets to the Asheville Food and Wine Festival!  They searched around for things within driving distance that they thought we’d enjoy and gave us a complete itinerary for the weekend. We had time before the festival opened to do an art gallery stroll and hit a few amazing antique and craft shops.  Our tickets got us in 90 minutes before general admission to sample awesome wines and food from 300 different vendors.  They got us a ‘skyview’ room just 4 blocks from the festival and sent us to the NC arboretum the next morning to see their Wicked Plants exhibit.  On our way back home we had breakfast at the farmer’s market.  We had an amazing time that we’ll never forget!

In Hiding

Our sheep run into the barn when they think our border collie Jack isn’t looking.  Can’t chase us if you can’t find us.

Butchery Master Class

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James Beard nominee Craig Deihl boned and rolled a whole lamb for spit roasting.  It was an amazing thing to watch.  When he was done, someone asked him how many time he’d done that before.  His response?  “I’ve always wanted to do that.”  I would love to visit his restaurant in Charleston.  We just need to make that happen sooner than later.  What did he do with the bones?  Lamb stock of course!

Pork Belly Is Good

Smoked pork belly.  Holy crap.

My Own Personal Chef

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Surrounded by award winning chefs, who do you think put a lamb on a spit, seasoned and cooked it?  Brian!  My word was it good…  maybe I should let him cook more at home!  The New York Times thought it was pretty special, too.  He’s the “gent in a tie-dyed Lambstock 2010 shirt who tended the spit and prepped a whole lamb with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.”  :-)

dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/at-lambstock-2012-fire-bourbon-and-fat-back/

Posole For Breakfast

On Monday, chef Anthony Lamas treated us to an incredibly special breakfast of posole.  It’s a pre-Colombian stew with hominy, tomatillos, chorizo, merguez sausage and a bunch of other yummy things.  He served it with tortillas warmed on the grill and a bunch of toppings, including salsa, cabbage and lime.  You may remember chef Anthony from the Wild Wedding episode of Extreme Chef.  He was given $99 to cater a wedding from the 99 Cent store.  He won.  Our daughter Claire had the privilege of assisting him in the preparation a little bit.  I love that volunteering at this event gives our children memorable experiences.

An Amazing Weekend

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This past weekend we helped our good friend and shepherd Craig manage his annual Lambstock event.  It ended this morning.  I’m exhausted but it’s a good exhausted.  Our daughters came in for the weekend to be on the volunteer staff so it was like a family reunion at a rock concert with the best food ever.  The guests both camped out and filled local hotels.   Thankfully, we just live 10 minutes from his farm.  What do you get when you throw a pot luck 3 meal a day outdoor festival where the guests include James Beard nominees, Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters contestants?  You get AWESOME!  Here are just a few of the ingredients and side dishes, including my chevre.  I’m tired.  More later.

Extremely Local

When we bought this place, we thought wouldn’t it be nice to feed ourselves?  We’re there.  For dinner last night, we had home grown pea sprout and tomato salad, roasted potatoes and garlic, deviled eggs, grilled chicken and edamame.  We spend very little on groceries, we’ve got meat, vegetables and dairy taken care of.   As an aside, I’ll be scarce this weekend as I’m managing a food event at a friend’s farm.  Both of our girls will be rolling in to help, so we’ll have a nice family visit as well.  I’ll be back early next week with photos.

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