You can smell it on the air. The smell comes from the snap of the frigid grip of this wicked winter. It is the wafting smell of mud; it is the smell of victory.
This weekend marks the beginning of daylight savings time, that blessed holy event that, in my mind, marks the beginning of eating outside. Unofficially, of course. I've already begun my pre-season by sitting on the freshly shoveled front steps while eating a prosciutto with fresh mozz sandwich and basking in the ever-strengthening sun.
I'm just letting you know that I've already begun planning a crawfish boil and digging the pit for a hog smoke and bonfire dinner in which we have various things on spits. This is how I get through my namesake month.
And now I have been delivered another nugget of inspiration, a reason to look forward: Tour de Farm. It seems that the unsinkable Scott Pampuch has gathered his pasture-lovin' buddies (JD, Lenny, Mike Phillips, and Scott Graden) for a little outdoor dining, farm-style.
Can you imagine it? Close your eyes, and picture yourself in a pasture with sweet and mellow grasses underfoot, sitting at a long table. Gentle breeze; bare arms; sociable people with above-average intelligence and manners; and a finely crafted, multi-course dinner: each plate a testament to fresh ingredients and an homage to the local farm. It is our local version of Outstanding in the Field, and we deserve it.
Do you really need more to get you through this slushy month? I'm on board. Reservations are limited to seventy-five people per event, and the cost is $85 per person, all inclusive. A small price to banish despair.
The photo above was from the Outstanding in the Field dinner at Cedar Summit Farm last August.