We had some special company for dinner "on the table" this week: Pat and Sharon are excellent growers who have established successful gardens literally around the world: at a Peace Corps assignment in Southern Africa; both the wet and dry sides of Oregon; deep soils of the Bitterroot Valley to their current impressive garden in the Ninemile Valley of Montana, where they have experienced a frost in every month of the year. All that garden starting means they are experts at building soils and building fences. They are the ones we called when stymied by how to stretch 400-pound roll of 8-foot fence.
And what do you serve when some of your gardening mentors come for dinner? Homegrown, of course. In the whole meal, the only things we did not grow right here were: salt, pepper (collected by Noah on assingment in Sri Lanka), olive oil, butter (from Lifeline Dairy down the road), and wheat flour (grown in Montana but not by us), and some wine (we're working on that).
- Pasture raised lamb, roasted on a bed of potatoes, carrots, and onions, topped with rosemary, garlic, and red wine sauce.
- Kale picked moments before dinner from the bed of covered greens, sautéed and topped with toasted walnuts and pears. It has turned extra sweet from the recent hard frosts.
- Sourdough rolls, from a starter originating from our friends at Quail Springs.
And of course, because the Sweenys are the sort who show up with work gloves, sun hats, and two pairs of fencing pliers when asked to stop by and give us some fencing advice.....well, they brought dessert. For us, it was the first pumpkin pie of the season, delicious, and it introduced us to a new plant to love: the "Winter Luxury" pumpkin. They say it is the very best pumpkin for pies. We'll be putting that in the garden notes to order for next year's growing. In the meantime, we're grateful for the luxury of warm evenings with good friends and food.