sunday supper at salt water farm
Sunday began at the Hope General Store in Hope, Maine, where Keryn and I found local mead to pair with the final course for Salt Water Farm‘s Sunday Supper that evening.
On our way to Belfast, Maine for brunch at Chase’s Daily, we stopped at Keryn’s friend Ladleah’s house, and she showed us how her gardens are beginning.
Ladleah has that certain sense of when to plant, the farmer’s way of intuiting the season ahead for her own gardens and those at Salt Water Farm, and she introduced me to her chickens that lay beautiful eggs, as I was to discover at dinner that night.
With a stop at Keryn and Mike’s house later that afternoon to pick up the rest of the wine for dinner (for that part, you bring your own), we headed over to the farm, following the sign,
and walking down to the greenhouse with quite the view,
we found Ladleah and gracious Chef Annemarie Ahearn picking sprouts with pink stems,
that they brought back to the open kitchen, where the table was set,
the chalkboard announced the night’s event,
and the menus detailed the courses ahead.
On a side table, spring onions, chickens, and custards were prepped, waiting, as the guests began to arrive.
Then the largest oysters I’ve ever seen, local Pemaquids, were opened, and Annemarie placed a classic Mignonette next to them.
The kitchen mirror highlighted the guests (Keryn always radiates, especially so here) as they talked, admired the food, sipped a special cocktail Ladleah concocted,
and pretended to reach casually (but really, very deliberately) for another lamb sausage.
As we took our seats, brushed bread was grilled for the first course,
a roasted bone marrow salad,
the marrow perfect as it melted, spread on the crispy bread.
Then, grits with greens, pork hock, and pecorino,
while Ladleah turned the lovely chickens,
that were served on big platters Annemarie explained as she placed on the table, and the room grew quiet as we happily served ourselves potatoes and parsnips, grilled spring onions that played against the chicken, aioli bright with yolks from Ladleah’s chickens, and famous local pickles from Morse’s Sauerkraut.
To finish, cups of custard (with more of those beautiful eggs from Ladleah’s ladies) drizzled with honey and a simple syrup of lavender arrived in jars.
No one wanted to leave this space helmed by two women strong in their vision for what a meal can be and what this special summer kitchen can become…