Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The wonderful Prodigal Farm

Back in mid April, I recommended supporting a Kickstarter program that Prodigal Farm was running to fund the construction of a space to age hard cheeses.  I signed up for a reward that featured a dinner at the farm from chef Sean Fowler of Raleigh's delightful Mandolin.  I was happy to learn that the Kickstarter program succeeded, and tonight a group of us went to Prodigal Farm to see the place and enjoy the meal. 

It was a wonderful evening.

The farm itself is lovely.  Though the evening was warm, a light breeze made being outdoors quite pleasant.  Here's a shot from the tent under which we ate, looking back toward the building where Fowler's team prepared the food and the Prodigal Farm folks milk the goats.

Click an image to see a larger version.

The owners, Kathryn Spann and Dave Krabbe, were excellent hosts, full of information and energy and enthusiasm.  Dave showed a couple of us his 1939 one-ton truck, which was an amazing piece of machinery he still drives.  The truck in the photo above is another old one they use; it was born the same year I was.  I very much enjoyed my brief chats with Kat and my longer conversations with Dave.

The red sofa they put in the field held many of us during the drinks and appetizers portion of the evening, and we all loved how it looked.

The menu appeared promising.

The chefs delivered on the promise:  every dish was delicious.

The mackerel in the starter was tasty, but the star of this dish was the superb cold corn soup.

I would happily eat a bowl of that creamy soup every day in the summer. 

As we were finishing the soup, the goats began heading back to the fields.

These folks obviously see this sort of thing every day, but to many of us it was a bit of summer magic.

Next up was the head cheese, which was flavorful and rich without ever even coming close to being too intense for any of the meat-eaters in our party. 

The vegetarians had an equally tasty option.

The final savory dish, the goat chops with vegetable salad and scone, both looked and tasted great.

Dessert, a cheesecake built around the farm's own chevre, was a perfect end to the meal, creamy and smooth and light and utterly lovely.

My thanks to chef Fowler and his team for a delicious meal, and my thanks to Kat and Dave for running such a great place, creating such delicious cheeses, and generally for being such lovely people.

As Sarah said to me after the meal, North Carolina in June is magical and wonderful.  With Farm to Fork on Sunday and this dinner on Tuesday, I've been privileged to experience some of that magic recently.  I could not agree with her more. 

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