Food, Farms, Friends, and Fun!

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IMG_6722If you don’t know about Plate & Pitchfork, you should check out their website. Basically, they bring together local farms and local restaurants to host incredible dinners in farm setting. And they do it to raise money for worthy agricultural related organizations. We were honored to be asked to create a dessert for a Plate & Pitchfork dinner again this year, working alongside our great friends from Firehouse, and utilizing the summer-fresh berries from our P&P partner farm, Smith Berry Barn. Wine pairings from Brooks Winery rounded out a night of amazing flavors in a beautiful setting.

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While we prepped for dinner, we caught glimpses of folks peeling off from the farm tour to grab a ripe berry straight off the plant, city people gingerly feeding the goats and chickens, and smile after smile despite the punishing heat. As the sun went down, and a gentle breeze ushered the guests towards their seats, the setting was nothing short of magical: white linen-topped tables nestled between rows of fruit trees, heavy with fruit, platters of gorgeous food, clinking wine glasses, and lots of laughter.  In a business that is demanding of time and energy, it’s nice to stand out in an orchard, where so much of our food gets its start, and remember why it is we do what we do.

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Smith Berry BarnFor Emily Squadra, our kitchen manager, it was a bit of a dream come true.

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“It was so fun to have the opportunity to design a dessert course for a farm dinner. There was an abundance of fruit to choose from, so I decided to use as many as possible, creating a summer fruit trifle,” Emily says. “I added a little more Oregon flare by making a spongecake featuring local hazelnuts.”

She created the trifles in mason jars to make it look extra farm-y, and easier to transport.

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“It was so nice to work out in the field, surrounded by the plants and trees that yielded the fruit we were using.”

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She was also stoked to have the chance to work with Matthew Busetto and Kate de Pape from Firehouse.

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“We worked together as a team, and it was really cool to see how they do things on the other side of Dekum Street.”

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As the sun dipped behind the trees, and the crescent moon made its impressive appearance, I think we were all looking forward to the next time we could cook for people in such a naturally beautiful setting.

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