I love going to weekly markets. The atmosphere is pleasantly slowed down. The vendors take their time for their customers, talk with them about their products, the saison and recommend ways of preparing. That’s why it was clear to me that we will go to the market in Knoxville on our first weekend in Tennessee.
The Market Square Farmers‘ Market has a charme of its own. There are long aisles with small market booths. The vendors offer their regional products which are grown or made within a distance of 150 miles.
At one market stand we bought delicious tomatoes and found a flyer which promoted a fall dinner. We really enjoyed the market so we decided to go the dinner.
Two weeks ago we went off, high-tensioned, to Lacewing Farms. The name Lacewing comes from a small useful insect. The farm is situated north of the Knoxville area. The farmers, Christina and Brian Ader produce for the Farmers‘ Market and single consumers since 2013. They offer different types of seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruits, honey and eggs.
From the start on we were caught. Brian started the evening with a tractor-tour over the farm-property. Sitting on bales of straw we passed the colorful beehives, the chickens park and the cultivated areas.
The dinner it self took place in a barn. We ate at a long, simple but elegantly set table. The barn and all the walkways were illuminated in a charming way. As it is common in the southern states drinks were offered in big barrels, filled with ice cubes. Good vines from the Winery at Seven Springs Farm and american beer from the Blackhorse Brewery were served this way. You could fill up Mason jar-glasses with water, selfmade apple juice or sweet and unsweet tea from big glass dispensers.
A winter squash-soup with microgreens and garden radish opened the dinner. Additionaly small bowls with self-made kimchi and chili sauce were placed on the table. The main dish composed pork belly and goat legs from the own slaughtering, both cooked slowly over seven hours in the smoker. Vegetables like sunchokes, colorful beets and spicy pak choi were served as sides. Glaced sweet-potato donuts with pecan nuts as desert rounded the dinner perfectly.
The starters and the main dish were prepared on the farm just in front of the barn by Christina and Drew McDonald, the chef and owner of The Plaid Apron Restaurant in Knoxville. With just a grill, the smoker and some big pots and pans everthing was truly handmade on the same day.
After this wonderful evening I can repeatedly recommend to look for local farmers and producers and support them. You’re not only finding some wonderful vegetables and fruits but great events, beautiful areas and get to know some awesome people.
The Fall Dinner was Christinas and Brians debut as hosts which they passed with flying colors. I really want to thank both of them for a wonderful evening as well as the beautiful pictures they provided for this blog article. Go on like that! We’re really looking forward to be part of the next dinner.