Week 25: Autumn Equinox and the End of the Season

This week marked the official turn of the seasons. The weather has become consistently cooler and the completion of the final Heirloom Harvest dinner have begun the transition for fall.

Monday I spent my day working on items for a dinner with Carina. I started off by making a venison stock. Meanwhile I made a red wine blackcap reduction and finished spinning the rest of the berry sorbet. I took a break and went with David to the hospital garden to do some clean-up and harvests. I did my usual by picking kale, checking tomatoes and pulling out old cabbage plants for the not-so-baby goats. David and I finished our time in town by running a few errands and shopping for a few items. When we returned, I combined my venison stock and berry reduction to make a blackcap gastrique to go with the dinner for Carina. Then I moved onto dicing carrots and making a leek dressing for a carrot relish. Afterwards, I made a subiose puree to go with the main course. Once I finished that I tourneed potatoes and seasoned the venison. When Carina arrived I began my prep for a tomato salad. After I served her and David, I moved onto preparing the main course. I seared the venison and then butter basted it with some herbs before letting it rest. Meanwhile, I reheated my purees and sauces, warmed the carrot relish and fried the potatoes. The dish I served to Carina and David was seared venison, fried potatoes, warm carrot relish and a red wine-blackcap gastrique. Once we finished our meal, I served some of the berry sorbet I had made and then spent the evening catching up with Carina about her recent vacation and her plans for the future. The next day we were scheduled to have a potential intern over for an interview. I began my morning by preparing some fresh fettuccine. While the dough was resting I made a venison bolognese sauce. I let it simmer for a while and rolled out my pasta. Jackson arrived early in the evening and I prepared another tomato salad while David and Jackson talked. After that, I served the bolo and we spent the evening meeting each other and talking about my experience here at the farm.

Wednesday morning I tightened up the kitchen for our check-up with the health inspector. This didn’t take long so afterwards I started making the base for the corn ice cream for the upcoming Heirloom Harvest Dinner. It was rainy for most of the day and once I got done with the ice cream base I decided to take a nap. When I woke up, I received a call from the health inspector notifying us that she wouldn’t be able to do the check-up. David and I worked on some leftovers for dinner and I called it an early night. The next day I worked on setting up the dining room. I started by sweeping up before setting up the tables and chairs. Things went by pretty quick so I took the time to set all of the place settings as well. Afterwards, I checked the cabin for our upcoming bed and breakfast guests. It was still raining so I spent the rest of my day doing some reading before heading to bed.

Friday morning was spent working on finalizing the finishing touches before the dinner. I finished spinning the corn ice cream and then waited for Gloria and Rosa to arrive to begin our prep. When they got here I started by mincing some onions and cilantro. After that I helped roll tamales and then assisted with cleaning the kitchen. It was late and I had no problem falling asleep. When I got up the next morning David was serving breakfast for our overnight guest. I sat down and enjoyed it with them before moving to the kitchen with Gloria and Rosa again. I filled the role of tournant by gathering plates, organizing details and dishing up garnishes and items. All in all, I didn’t spend that much time cooking or preparing and it wasn’t super enjoyable. The guests began to roll in around 4.30pm and I brought out the appetizers before checking on our final details. The dinner started around quarter after six with pork pozole soup. People were hungry and after a quick plate clear we moved onto serving the pupusas. These are little stuffed disks of masa that are lightly fried on a flat top. Again, this course was devoured and we then followed up with the entree. It was a composed plate of refried beans, a layered “cake” of various ingredients and a chicken tamale. At this point people were starting to slow down. As we cleared the plates, I scooped the corn ice cream. People were so full that some were declining this course, and we still had an additional one to go. As people worked on the ice cream Gloria reheated hot chocolate and we served the after dinner drink. People didn’t stick around for long and by 9.30pm almost everyone was gone. I spent the rest of the night running around cleaning up so I could get to bed.

Sunday, I slept in. When I got up I worked on breaking down the tables and chairs. Then I put away the rest of the dining equipment – plates, silverware and glasses – before taking a quick lunch break. David returned from picking up some apple juice and so I helped unload the car. After that, I took a long nap and then helped get dinner ready. Of course, we ate leftovers and Korbin stopped by to work on some details for her tobacco harvest before joining us for dinner. The evening went late and after some work on the computer I went to bed to prepare for next week’s garden clean-up.

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