Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Mountainous Feast

It's funny what happens when you get together with family and friends to put together a big meal. You wake up early before the sun is high in the sky to harvest fresh veggies from the garden, last minute trips to the store are made, and finally a small army of people descend on the kitchen to lend a hand in preparing dinner. Everyone pitches in, chopping and mixing and skewering, all to prepare this feast they have been waiting all day to enjoy.

This particular feast featured the bounty of my Mother's home garden, supplemented with fresh corn from a farm just down the road. On this particular morning, we picked no less than 63 pounds of tomatoes, from Early Girls to Romas, Better Boys, Whoppers and beautiful heirloom Copias. A few peppers came along for the ride,and before 10 A.M. we had half of the ingredients we would need for that night's dinner. We would be serving 12 people at this dinner, a celebration of my Father's retirement, and a simple summer dinner that featured the amazing fresh vegetables of the season seemed to be the perfect thing.

On the menu for that night was chicken, pork and vegetable kebabs and corn on the cob. The veggies were primarily from my mother's garden, and we seasoned the kebabs with the lemon garlic vinaigrette we used for the Panzanella. A few Portobello mushrooms (not from the garden) were also thrown onto the grill with a little olive oil for the few of us that enjoy fungus.

The corn on the cob, meticulously prepared for our meal by T, E, & M, is one of my favorite things to make during the summer. After the corn is shucked, place it on a sheet of foil about 16 inches long. Add a pat of butter, a couple pinches of minced garlic, the juice of 1/2 of a lime, a couple shakes of chili powder, salt & pepper, then roll the foil up around the corn making sure to close it up tight. We cooked it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 - 60 minutes, and it was perfect. The grill works too, if you have room.

The caprese salad featured a collection of fresh, ripe and beautiful tomatoes from the garden, including the amazing Copia and those succulent Whoppers. The basil was grown on the back patio, and picked right before we made the salad. Drizzled with olive oil, it made the perfect compliment to the other dishes.

This weekend was all about good fresh food, and getting to share it with friends and family. And it was about harvesting copious amounts of tomatoes and other veggies. I had a great time harvesting the garden and working in the kitchen with everyone pulling this feast together in honor of my dad, and even more fun eating it. Thank you to the Oldhams, Criders, and Megan for making it out to celebrate my dad and helping to prepare this amazing meal. Enjoy!


Dodger Fan said...

Nice blog. Great tomato photos! We had a lot of fun. Thank you for coming down.

Grandma Sandy said...

Gee, I thought your parents were exagerating the amount of tomatoes you picked - guess I was wrong! We missed your parents at church this past Sunday.

Jamie said...

Wow, that is one heck of a feast and it all sounds so good! Beautiful garden produce!