Buzzin Honey Farm Dinner
Thursday, October 25, 2012
La dolce vita: Honey Butter, Honey wine and other treats
Buzzin Honey Farm Dinner | Farm to Table Lunch Santa Cruz By Donna Maurillo
Recently, my neighbor Sharon Schoenbeck and I enjoyed an outdoor lunch organized by Love Apple Farms co-owner Cynthia Sandberg. About 40 of us gathered at long tables on a hillside overlooking gardens and forests. It was one of those perfect Santa Cruz days where everything was buttered with sunshine and even the honeybees were in a good mood.
These festive meals are organized frequently, each with a particular theme. This time, the focus was on honey, so each course prepared by chef Breana Greene of Root Foods Catering used the ingredient in a different way. We started with a honey-drizzled fig topped with a thin wafer of manchego cheese.
Then came the parade of appetizers. Each table had a long baguette of rustic bread, which we slathered with honey butter. Platters were loaded with artisan cured olives and pickles, Spanish chorizo and coppacola from El Salchichero, montrachet cheese, herbed ricotta with ultra-thin apple slices, creamy duck liver pate, bell pepper jelly from Jeanne's Jams, honeycomb with spinach blossoms, toasted crostini, and much more.
After pausing to catch our breath, the wait staff brought out a salad of greens and roasted golden beets with lemon honey vinaigrette. That was followed by duck leg confit with roasted Brussels sprouts and root vegetables, and honey-apple gastrique. Oh, those legs! They had a delightfully golden roasty-toasty exterior and a juicy interior. Perfection on a plate!
And finally, creamy cheesecake made with goat cheese and gingersnap crust topped with honey and dried fruit. We left fat and happy.
If you're interested in these themed lunches or dinners at Love Apple Farm -- or their excellent cooking or farming classes -- visit growbetterveggies.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The farm is on the old Smothers Brothers Winery property at 2317 Vine Hill Road, off Highway 17. The next dinner is 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, featuring mushrooms.