This past weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of experiencing an Outstanding in the Field dinner. Instead of sopping up a farm fresh meal in the river valley of Washington we were nestled in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains at the breathtakingly beautiful Blackberry Farm. It was just about three and a half years ago when my husband and I, along with our dearest family and friends, celebrated our wedding here at Blackberry, so our return was sweet and nostalgic.
For those of you unfamiliar with Outstanding in the Field I highly recommend you visit their website and read what they are all about. In short, they are a group of sustainable minded, farm enthusiasts who travel the world hosting farm to table dinners to educate the importance of organic foods, supporting local farmers, and celebrating the coming together of people while sharing a delicious and noteworthy meal.
Whilst on the farm we enjoyed all the fresh, organic produce straight from their gardens. We also sampled the home made sheep's milk cheeses, learned how they raise their Italian truffle dogs, took a stroll through the hazelnut orchards, greeted the free ranging chickens, learned about heirloom seeds (and even got to bring some home with us), and savored the grandeur and peaceful nature of our surroundings.
The meal was so beautiful. Simple yet thoughtfully constructed with unique pairings and flavors. Their farm raised lamb roasted over an open fire. Local greens laced with a sorghum aioli. My mouth waters as I try to reminisce the artful combinations that graced my palate.
Once again we were reminded of why we hope to have a farm of our own one day. To eat a meal based solely on the labor of your hands is an edifying gift that is so easily taken for granted. Sustaining the land in an organic and life giving way is a testimony of the stewardship and responsibility we have been given. Sharing a slow meal with those closest to us is an art form that expresses love, hospitality, selflessness and gratitude. I am so thankful to be reminded of these things, and I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy a farm-to-table dinner with the ones you love and experience the abundant joy of an intentional and outstanding meal.