( a long and drawn out account of our heroine's weekend wherein much food geekerie happened, a bit of sunburn and some lovely lovely times )so, my company has a mandatory shutdown for the holiday, giving me a full week off. sweet!!!
after Lionhearts, I quick like a bunny did laundry and reloaded the car, sending some stuff with D and D, and then hit countess_e s on Wed morning. after an amazing display of tetris abilities, we shoehorned everything in and hit the road by 1 or so. woohoo!
the drive south was uneventful. we did our traditional burgerville stop ( mmm....fresh strawberry milkshakes!) and hit fearga s place at dinner time. we celebrated with a visit to www.marcheprovisions.com/ where I enjoyed a fine meal of charcuterie and a lovely disassembled salade nicoise like object (mmm. tuna rillettes....) accompanied by a local sauvignon blanc. yum! fearga s pork chop with roasted cherries (!!!!) looked fabulous as well, and countess_e had a braised lamb shank on a bed of flageolet beans. egads, I love that place :)
after much chattage and such like, we hit the road early the next morning for more of an uneventful drive. we arrived on site around 1pm or so, set up our tent with the help of Ivar and Co and after a run into town for grocieries, etc, we had a dinner of cheese fondue cuz that was what I managed to dig out of the cooler :)
the camp was awesome!!! ldyanna and crimsonkil brought their giant dayshade as well as building an oven right before our eyes. hooray! we had two large fireboxes going full tilt all weekend as well as H and Ss in the back... boy howdy what fun!
Fri AM we starting things up. we made a bunch of little "toy food" units to hand out to each other and passers by. we had Sabina Welzerins cheeseballs, deep fried dough lumps with Js ginger honey sauce, bread out of the oven, and assorted other treats.
we also had run into town that morning and nabbed 4 dozen fresh oysters off the boat which I spent the afternoon grilling up and passing out to folks (the ones I didnt eat myself :)). yum!
we set up tables for dinner and folks brought forward the dishes they had made...I made sauce robert (a whole new kingdom to fall in love with Bob!!) as well as a large pot of braised mustard greens. Folks had grilled salmon, or a lovely piece of halibut, or tossed langoustines with a green sauce from scappi (yum!) or smoked fish with leeks and herbs and cream (yum yum!) and a lovely lovely fish pie that got baked in the oven. after we finsihed, we got to pass out leftovers to passersby which was tres fun.
in the non period department, I got introduced to pims cups and must admit I am hooked. yum!
Fri night I ran over a plate of dressed eggs (from one of the german sources) as well as a plate of pickled things for T and Ss birthday party. chatted up some foliks icluding back40joules but went to bed pretty early.
Sat the fun started all over again!! more toy food (this time I made little fried pastries filled with the marjoram fish cookie stuffing) and vittoriosa made these cheese dumpling things....OMG. with the honey sauce from the day before???? *drool!!!*
we dined en tableau again, this time I made a big pot of jowettes of fish (braised spinach, almond milk and lovely halibut from the fishmonger in town) as well as a big pot of chickpeas with apples, onions and fresh sage. Ivar made this gorgoeous stuffed pork loin, and there were two kinds of gnochi....I seem to remember about 17 different dishes. yum!!
again, we had folks lining up for our leftovers :) which is an awesome way to get rid of them!!
that night I gave the westie/antir party a miss...I was pretty tired and a bit peopled out . so we just hung in camp and nested and it was lovely. got to feed japanese visitors their first smores, and I managed to acquire a carton of plum wine (which is alcoholic, no matter how it lies to you when you drink several glasses of it....)
packing out next day went super smooth and easy. lets hear it for people who pick up after themselves!!!!!! we even got off site at a reasonable hour. a short 4 hr drive to fearga s where we took long hot showers and got some dinner and then hit the road early again. A quick stop at Fabric Despot, and Burgerville for lunch (mmmm fresh raspberry milkshakes!) and home in enough time to rescue poor Archie from the Vet office. (more on that later under a different post. this post is about the food!!)
all in all, a raging success. Me and ldyanna and j_i_m_r and co came up with this idea over pancakes in a biker bar after the food symposium. it was everything we envisioned and I am very very very pleased :)
not sure how to apply the model at home...it takes an event that you can just COOK at, and most events for me are about being so torn and spread thinly that you end up not being able to do any one thing well. but for this one weekend, it was bliss :)
it will be interesting to see what/how/if it happens next year...different management, I dont know if we'll get the carte blanche that the autocrate team gave me this year :). location was certainly a large part of its success, plus the infrastructure that ldyanna and crimsonkil gave with all their STUFF. of course having j_i_m_r as cheerleader didnt hurt :)
but I'm hoping we can do it again next year :)