So lucky for me, I got invited to Farm Day - Farm and Dinner Party! It is really amazing, less than 15 miles north of my home, and about 10 miles from the Capitol Building on Nashville is Davidson County farmland. Some friends of mine, both formerly city slickers from the Northeast Corridor, decided to give up the city life, good buy Park Ave, and hello to Green Acres!
On the farm lives the donkey. Donkeys are usually hard working pack animals, but this little one has the life of leisure. Donkey's only job is to be best friends with her big horse pal.
There are llamas that live on the farm too. There is the old wise one who spends a lot of time in a cool ditch next to the barn during the summer heat.
There is the baby llama who loves to meet new friends. She just tromped up to us as we walked into the llama yard. She was like a golden retriever. She was happy to see new people, she wanted to be petted and she wanted to see if there were any treats in our hands, just like most good natured golden retrievers are like. This baby was so happy to be there.
There was the middle aged llama who has been around the block once or twice, and she too likes getting petted, but she was more reserved in her in her way.
The one thing I noticed is that the summer air and breeze was much more forgiving on the farm than in Nashville downtown. All of the downtown hard surfaces, such as concrete, asphalt, and building absorb the summer sun and heat, and then turn around and spew it back out to passers-by like myself. On the farm, the grass, trees and soil buffer the heat, and the breeze is allowed to flow freely on the farm, so it feels about 10 F cooler on the farm.
My farm friends have free range chickens who lay eggs. I was not able to get photos of the chickens because they were roaming around the farm somewhere and did not come back to the roost until about 7 pm, and I had already gone inside. At my request, my farm friends made food from their farm fresh eggs. They made mayo made with their own egg yolks and oil, and then adding another layer of basil pesto flavoring. I could drink this stuff, it was so good. I am not drinking mayo out of a jar with a blue lid, that is for sure, but this fresh pesto mayo was heavenly. Embarrassingly to say, they had to take the mayo container out of my sight to make me stop eating this stuff because the next course was ready to be eaten, and I had to give up the mayo.
The hosts also made deviled eggs with the pesto mayo. I could not get enough of these either! As most people know, I can eat a lot of deviled eggs. A lot. I had to hold back from eating all the deviled eggs, so all the other guests could try at least one piece. It really does make a difference in flavor, texture and aroma when farm fresh free range eggs and farm fresh free range mayo are used to make a dish. There is no comparison. That is why I need to be able to have chickens within the Nashville city limits, and I too can have access to eggs everyday. Mmmm fresh eggs.
Another set of guests brought pho made the traditional way, no cheating. The broth was made with beef and beef bones. The rich brown broth was flavored with traditional pho spices including star anise. The aroma was delightful. The guest said that this was not best broth they have made, and it was only ok. Well, it was the best pho broth I have ever had, so I hope to be able to have their best pho broth some day.
To make pho, the broth and meat is created separately from the rice noodles. The broth days many hours to make. Once it is done, the noodles are boiled in a separate pot and placed at the bottom of a serving bowl. The broth and meat is then ladled onto the noodles. The soup is then served with a side of onions, limes, cilantro, basil, mint, and other aromatic herbs to be used at the diner's liking.
The meal was accompanied with a dish from chez Lannae. It was not 100% successful because I could not find the right noodles for the peanut sauce dish. I made spicy peanut sauce, which was Arnold Myint and his PM Resturant inspired. I love Arnold's peanut sauce, and I really love my variation on the peanut sauce just a little better. I julienned carrots, summer squash, and scallions and sauteed them briefly to keep a crunch to them, and I used the julienned veggies to contrast with soft noodles. I made a mistake on the noodles, and I got mung bean noodles because I could not find soybean noodles to use. Eh, the mung bean was too toothy, and there is not enough boiling to be down with a mung bean noodle to get it to be the right texture. I would have been better off using a regular wheat noodle. Oh well.
So the peanut sauce, julienned veggies, basil and bean sprouts were all tossed with the mung bean noodles. I love that spicy Thai inspired peanut sauce!
I can't wait to go back and hang out and pet the llamas again. I had such a great meal and such a great time at farm day! I love it out at the farm!