I heard Stephanie’s laugh before I ever laid eyes on her. Thomas and I had just moved to Austin; we’d read about Dai Due supper clubs, and, intrigued, decided to attend one at Rain Lily Farm. Poking around this magical little oasis in the middle of the city, I heard a throaty laugh, infectious and inclusive, soft and a little raspy, but full of liveliness and mischief. I turned toward it, and thus was my life here in Austin defined. We laugh a lot at The Farmhouse. Early on in the business planning stages, we decided we would only deal with nice people. One of the real perks of business ownership, we’ve also used this guiding principal for the other people we bring into the Farmhouse family. Everyone who works with us is someone we’d gladly choose for a friend. Our “staff meetings” always involve lots of laughter as well as true listening and time for everyone to share ideas. Tink Pinkard, our master butcher and warehouse manager, keeps all our wheels turning and continuously inspires us with his commitment to humane animal husbandry and innovative business models. The ever-essential Jesse Kelly-Landes keeps us organized and straight and manages to run a very successful bakery business on the side–she really is that amazing. Josh Jones, fleet of foot, is filled with music and eternally enthusiastic, getting deliveries made in record time. Martha Pincoffs, who knows everyone in the world, and is a smashingly good cook, has been a constant support since I first met her, knife roll in hand, ready to do anything. And Jody Horton, talented enough to allow us all to see the beauty in the smallest, simplest, everyday things–he makes me laugh a lot too. That famous magnetic laugh of Stephanie’s draws others into our sphere as well. Amazing people drop by the farm all the time, sometimes bearing funny little gifts. And our customers . . . I had no idea when we started that the Farmhouse family would grow to include such friendly, warm, talented, and vibrant folks. At potlucks and picnics, farm tours and happy hours, through this blog, email, facebook, twitter and by phone, I have been amazed at the incredible people we share food with each week. Sometimes when I’m cooking dinner, I feel like we’re all having one big dinner party–everyone cooking up a storm.
Roasted Beets with Coriander-Citrus Vinaigrette
1 bunch beets, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1/4 c. pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs. red wine or sherry vinegar
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbs. freshly toasted coriander seeds
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c. olive oil
In blender container, combine orange juice, vinegar, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. With blender running, slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Add coriander seeds and pulse until crushed but not pulverized. Arange sliced beets on platter and top with onion slices and pistachios. Drizzle vinaigrette over and serve.
Indian Potatoes & Spinach
1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and boiled til just tender
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
2 Tbs. grapeseed oil
2 Tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
3 large handfuls baby spinach or other tender greens
juice of 1/2 lemon
Cut potatoes into quarters or large chunks and set aside. Heat butter and oil in large skillet. When butter foams, add onions, garlic, ginger, and spices, and saute until fragrant. Add potatoes and stir to thoroughly coat with oil and spices. Meanwhile, place spinach in a large bowl. Season potatoes with salt to taste. When they begin to get slightly crisp in places, turn them out on top of spinach in bowl. Let sit without stirring until spinach wilts, then toss all together, correct for salt, and serve. Delicious hot or at room temperature.
Beautiful and talented stylist Elizabeth Pecore sets the table.
The table is graced by Mod Green Pod’s Atticus print, designed by the lovely Nancy Mims (whose laugh is also one of my favorites).
Gorgeous serving pieces loaned by aesthetic mastermind Currie Person, proprietress of my favorite store on the planet–Spartan, a jewelbox of a space filled with carefully selected finds for the home.