Barbecue smell in the air, a view that brings you to your knees and an inviting table in a lovely decorated barn, … What more can you ask for on a Sunday evening in early summer!
Christina and Brian invited for the second time to their Lacewing Farms in the north of Knoxville. Like the first time it was just beautiful and the Summer Supper has captivated me, like the Fall Farm Dinner in the fall.
The dinner on Sunday was more casual than the first one. We started with finger food and after that the two young farmers and chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro of the OliBea in Knoxville set up a large buffet with all the main dishes.
The decoration of the barn was again simple, but it was no less beautiful: blue tablecloth, flower arrangements from the Napping Cat Flower Farm and many, many charming light chains. Nearly 20 people were sitting on each side of the table. The atmosphere was relaxed and the guests were happily talking and laughing.
As starters we had creamy goat cheese on tomato slices and braised pork belly with spicy micro-greens. In fact, I’m not a huge fan of pork and pork belly isn’t a favorite dish of mine. However, these little bites were so tender and full of flavor that I considered stealing the whole tablet. The tomatoes were also delicious, but the buttery pork belly: super delicious!
Next we had a salad of mustard leaves and “burned” carrots topped with a tomato vinaigrette. It was my first tomato vinaigrette and I will definitely try that. I think of lettuce, I think of steak stripes, I think of a summer evening on the porch, …
I really enjoyed the main course, goat accompanied by multiple sides. To prepare an animal altogether and to eat everything is wise and even more so delicious. It’ s a great way to taste all the different pieces of an animal, which unfortunately are offered too rarely, such as the neck.
The sides were just as tasty as the meat: purple and red potatoes with sweet onions and epazote, fingerling potatoes, shaved kohlrabi and radish with chick peas and a Greek vinaigrette, buried beets from the Dutch Oven, braised collard greens and cabbage with garlic scapes.
Last but not least, the honey ice cream with smoked blueberries was plain, but really tasty. The honey and the blueberries were harvested on the farm, although not both on the same day. A dessert without a big hoo-ha, but one that rounded the dinner perfectly.
I’m well aware that life on a farm is a lot of work. Christina and Brian, proud faces behind Lacewing Farms, however, know how to make it look easy and how to make other people happy. The only thing for me to say: Thank you two for opening the gates of your farm from time to time, and to share everything with us despite the hard work!