If you’re in the know, Farmers’ Table Goes Gourmet is an experience you’ve
allowed yourself: a 13-course meal composed of the most luscious local
ingredients, displayed and served beautifully, for your delectation, and to
benefit The Community School.
Let’s explore the menu. Feel free to call and make your reservations at
The hors d’oeuvres cycle is made of three unique platters.
The first, lettuce jam and cheesy turmeric crackers, might at first glance
feel a bit…healthy. But imagine a wooden platter topped with rough edged,
golden crackers sprinkled with coarse sea salt. Imagine a beautiful
smallish bowls filled with a bright green puree that smells herby and
brinish. Imagine a small round of semi-soft goat cheese, tangy and bold.
Take a cracker, smear with jam, top with a sliver of cheese. When this
rises to your lips, your nose will piece together these separate parts and
your salivary glands will take note. You absolutely will not stop at one.
You might ask your server for another portion of crackers.
But then you’ll turn your attention to the caramelized onion dip and
housemade chips, which will have an entirely different aura. This is not
Lipton’s Onion Soup dip. We start with beef bones and roast them with a
little bit of sherry and some onion skins, until they’re very brown. The
pan juices are set aside, after the pan has been deglazed with more
sherry. The nibbles of beef are shredded off the bones and set into the
juices. To this we add a little of Red Gable Farm’s heavy cream and
yogurt, strained to thicken quite a bit. This is set aside while thin
slices of onion are browned in butter until dark and succulent. These are
pureed with a bit more heavy cream until silken. Salt, pepper, a pinch or
two of Steele Farm’s ground hot peppers. Yes, you can scoop this creamy,
fragrant wonder with a spoon, but the better foil would be the hot and
crisp chips made fresh from local russets. Sliced unbearably thin and
deep-fried, you’ve never had such a potato chip.
To cleanse your palate, we’ll offer a pickle plate. Moroccan carrot
pickles offer bright orange snaps of carrot, redolent of lemon and
coriander; good old New England dilly beans, all garlic and dilly goodness;
Russian tomatoes, salt-brined gems of cherry tomatoes which, when popped in
your mouth whole, zip and fizz delectably. Thinly sliced wafers of various
Vermont-made salumi will give you an intermittent chew between the crunch
of the pickles. Your digestive juices will be suitably stimulated for the
next round of dishes!
Check in tomorrow, for the soups and salads….
On Saturday, September 30, we’ll bring you a phantasmagoric dining experience, featuring the most luscious of local foods, prepared with love and creativity. Join us for this feast, as we come together to celebrate all the good that The Community School does in the world. Your ticket supports the financial aid which makes slowing down and digging deep possible for the 80% of our students who need financial aid in order to learn with us.
Check out the menu on Facebook, pick up the phone, and make a reservation! Save a seat or an entire table, for you and your friends.
Love to feed you!
I know summer is the time to relax on your back porch with a beer and a burger, but sometimes it’s worth it to pack yourself into the car and be treated to something often different and often better (really, sorry, yes) than what we all typically scrounge up in our home kitchens. July 15, from 6pm until about 9 is just such a time.
Rinse off the sand and sunscreen, dab a little lotion on your black fly bites, put on a snazzy shirt that doesn’t feel like the gardening clothes you wore all day, and head to The Community School in South Tamworth for dinner. We’ll be cooking up one of our Slumgullion meals highlighting the best of what our local farmers have springing from the earth.
Here’s how it works: call and make a reservation, saving yourself a seat at a table with other diners or reserving a table for your party. Plan on paying $50 per person, with a nice tip for your student server added on at the end of the meal. Then sit back and savor.
Once you’ve helped yourself to some tangy jalapeño punch, a glass of wine, or a cold brew, a rhubarb seltzer or some icy cold cucumber water, find your table. Your server will help you Get On Board with our literal board of delectables. Split biscuits of wheat flour from Maine farmers and corn flour from the Booty Family Farm become the perch for a deconstructed deviled egg, with or without roe. Karl Behr’s chicken wings are grilled with a burnt scallion bbq sauce, crisping the outside and holding in the succulence. Use your fingers! Counter pickles–spring baby vegs fermented quickly to a bright finish–add crisp satisfaction for this first course.
Next comes a creamy light green garlic bisque swirled with herbed buttermilk, adding tang and lushness at once. Fried green tomato croutons highlight the garlic note and add a toothsome crunch. You may be tempted to lick the bowl.
Baby beet and strawberry salad uses our own ruby reds, sliced into near translucent perfection, allowing you to see each natural swirl. A base of French sorrel adds a big pow of citrus and butter lettuce smoothes it all back. A drizzle of rhubarb vinaigrette (secret ingredient: Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse maple sugar) pulls together the whole plate, which is as beautiful to behold as it is to eat.
The earthiness of the beets leads you by the tongue to our first entree: beef encrusted in lichen, with baby spinach, Bear’s Head mushroom and a native-spiced Bordelaise. Lichen harvested from the woods behind my house, up Little Larcom meets my mortar and pestle and a few slivers of dried shallot from last year’s harvest. Together these give a woodsy depth and hint of sweetness to Zero Mile Farm’s sirloin. You will never, ever again turn up your nose at this cut of beef which, after a 24-hour, pre-rub marinade, hits the coals for a quick sear, rest, and slice. Yikes. So good.
But you’re not done yet. Go from the subtle hits of rich beef to the big pow of pork gyros with lemon crisped pita and tzatziki. Fresh pork shoulder gets all kinds of friendly with fresh cilantro, walking onion, garlic scapes, beautiful cilantro seeds (aka coriander), and roasted black pepper before hitting the long and slow of our smoker. Sliced thinly and draped over fresh pitas with spikes of lemon zest, creamy cukey tzatziki mellows the lot together. Definitely eat with your hands.
To this point, you’ve worked hard. Settle back for the gorgeous cool whisper of rose petal granita shaved onto a pool of vanilla cream. It’s like ice cream for really, really wise grown ups. For those who require a tiny crunch with dessert, nibble a lightly browned shortbread toast dunked into more pink goodness: rhubarb curd, lemon curd’s beautiful NH cousin.
Farmers in this neck of the woods have already been working hard for months to bring food to this tender place. Thanks in advance to those at Zero Mile, Red Gable, Windover, Booty Family, Tanna, Mad Hen, Rise Up Singing, and The Community School Farms. Thanks, too, to NH Mushroom Co., Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse, Dube and Robinson Cider and Beverly Woods.
Can you really resist?
Your support teaches kids how to transform food into something that sustains body and soul, gives us opportunities to make something beautiful and share it, and keeps our wonderful school flush. Changing the world, one bite at a time!
Call or email to RSVP. Love to feed you.
Emma, Ally, and Grant have become our most recent grads heading out into the world, following a joyfully sunny ceremony here on Saturday. We are so pleased by the steps they’ve taken this year to really assume the reins of their learning, both intellectual and social. It’s the mark of wholeness when you know not only what you do well but the areas you still need some stretch to reach. This lively bunch has dreams they can achieve, the skills to foster community wherever they go, and a support network of loving family and friends to shepherd the next steps they’ll take. Hurrah for each of you!
Join us on Saturday, November 12 at 6pm for a truly memorable meal, all in support of The Community School’s commitment to offering educational opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds. Check out the menu and then reserve a space or a table, all in the name of delicious education!slumgullion-1112-poster