Thursday, October 13, 2011
I spent last weekend in Maine for an Indian summer last hurrah. It was an unexpectedly balmy 84 degrees and I felt disappointed that I didn't get to wear the sweaters I'd packed, but I ate some incredible food.
My first meal was dinner at the venerable Fore Street in Portland, and my first bite of salad exploded with a rich, peppery heat. I had to put my fork down and look at the plate. It was an arugula salad; what was the big deal here?
The big deal, it turned out, was the farm where the arugula came from: Laughing Stock Farm in Freeport, about 20 miles north of Portland. I sent the farmer, Lisa Turner, an e-mail to arrange a visit.
I found her packing a shipment of fall veggies in her barn. Lisa is an all-season farmer in a part of the country where farming in all seasons is a practical impossibility, or so you would think. The ground is frozen rock-hard for four months. Temperatures dip below -20! There's a good reason no one wants to visit Maine anytime after November 1 (except to ski): It's God-awful cold.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Nick Fauchald shooting (probably missing) a clay bird with a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun. Adam Houghtaling is sitting on the thrower, the catapult-like contraption that hurls the clay disk into the air. Charlie, the dog waits for his turn.
Photograph by William Hereford
Last weekend we had a bit of a bro weekend at the farm. A clan of New York City food writers and photographers came down to the country for 24 hours of manliness. We drank whiskey and shot clay birds (in that order--your correspondent does not recommend you try this progression; nevertheless, it was fun). We rode the tractor and the motorcycles, chopped wood, played poker, and all in all had a respectable, testosterone-filled time.
The thing about hosting a houseful of dudes who write about food for a living is that at some point, they'll be hungry. And the food, well, it needs to be really good, but also not dainty. I was in charge of dinner and it was my task to make some top-notch fall-friendly guy food. Not as easy as you might think.