Everything tastes better eaten outdoors on a beautiful day, especially with good company. That’s why we never miss an opportunity for a potluck at our C.S.A., Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Folks haul in their own utensils, cups, plates, beverages (don’t forget the bottle opener!) and of course, prized dishes, which often include fresh produce from the farm or backyard garden. Everyone grabs a section of picnic table – sometimes with friends, sometimes with folks they’ve just met – and chows down on delicious food from the buffet table (carefully labeled vegan, vegetarian, organic, no-nuts, gluten-free, etc.). The conversations run the gamut, but usually come around to weather conditions, agriculture, food politics, and what do I do about those infernal critters that are taking the blossoms off my zucchini? There is live music that runs toward the bluegrass, folk, blues genres and the setting is incomparable: open fields, berry fields, and homes and buildings from mid-19th century Long Island. (The sanitary facilities are modern; fear not!)
Recently Slow Food Huntington held a potluck at the farm for the first time, so I attended my first Slow Food event with my six-year-old (kids are always welcome at Restoration Farm potlucks, but you can’t always get them to sit down for long, as the attraction of huge lawns, trees, pigs, sheep, and other children going mad with freedom is very powerful). It was wonderful to meet new people so dedicated to good food.
It was a terrific alignment of interests, according to Lisa Eicher, who with Antonella Rivara, was one of the Slow Food organizers of the event. “It is local, and the owners are committed to sustainability and organic farming practices, in alignment with the principles behind the Slow Food movement,” Eicher told me.
About 40 people attended the event with music by Natalie Gmora. And if anyone can get me the recipe for the lentil and beet salad, I would appreciate it! I think I might have to make it for the next Restoration Farm member potluck!
‘tis the season to incorporate peas into dishes. For a nut-free Cilantro & Parsley Pesto with Penne and Peas, please visit Hot, Cheap & Easy.