Monday, June 25, 2012

June 23, 2012 Food to Field Food event at Center for Ageless Living

June 23, 2012 Food to Field Food event at Center for Ageless Living

I had to pour wine so I arrived at and set up the wine pouring table.  There was also a tented area for serving food and a tented area for eating.  I started pouring immediately because people has already arrived even though the official start time was 7:00 p.m.  About 100 people showed up.  The meal is always all local, all fresh, ingredients and products meaning that everything must be raised or produced within 100 miles of the center.  This year's theme was "Escape the Ordinary" and featured garlic and garlic scapes (the bloom that is produced early in the spring).

The wines included Milagro Winery’s 2009 Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  Casa Rodeño’s Meritage, Cabernet Franc, Viogenier and a lovely Spanish style blend with Tempranillo.   There was also Gruet Brut champagne and Chenin Blanc.     

I missed the appetizers because I was pouring but everyone liked the beef sliders and three kinds of roasted garlic cloves;  some of which were served with champagne in the new ¾ acre certified organic garden. 

As dinner was served, I left Betty to the pouring and got in line with Amy Jackson, my ex-wife, for dinner.  The best dish in my opinion was the vegetarian lasagna made with fresh mozzarella from Old Windmill Dairies.  The lasagna was actually a recipe Suzette and her friend, Debbie, and I first encountered in Intra, Italy on Lake Maggiore, which was made with spinach and some form of tallegio and baked in an olive oil bathed cassarole.  Since then we have experimented with the dish and the most successful form has been the one we make with fresh kale from our garden layered with sliced baby portabella mushrooms and whatever else we have, like artichoke hearts and ricotta and mozzarella cheese and topped with parmesan cheese.  The Bistro staff added roasted red bell peppers and garlic scapes.  The trick is to put lots of liquid in the lasagna so it will not dry out when it bakes, because it will absorb lots of liquid.  I think the Bistro recipe was made with a liquid we have used a lot, a vegetable broth made with mushrooms and a mirapoix.  Everyone loved the lasagna.

There was also lamb stew with fresh carrots we had purchased at the Farmers’ Market in Albuquerque Saturday morning.  In addition, there was garlic roasted chicken and two salads, one of garden greens (some of which were bought at the Farmers’ Market that morning) and fresh peas topped with goat’s milk chevré that was wonderful and the other, a caprese style salad fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basis, onions and more gat milk chevré from Old Windmill Dairy.  For dessert, Marie Paul made her wonderful Belgium waffles as she has been doing since the Brussels World Fair in 1958.

Suzette and the garlic people spoke about the Center and garlic.  The garlic people are in our Slow Food group and cultivate over 330 types of garlic.  They described themselves as preserving as many strains of garlic as possible and they have one of the largest collections of growing garlic in the U.S.

I drank Gruet Chenin Blanc most of the night.  I started doing research for our trip to France on Sunday and was pleased to learn that my favorite wine region in France, Savenniers, greatest wines are all Chenin Blanc.   I can hardly wait to drink the real thing with the real food in France.

Bon Appétit

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