I do the lion’s share of the cooking around here you know, the day to day job of keeping my people fed. Paul comes in for the glamour: the legs of lamb, the roast turkeys and gravy, but it is me dolling out potatoes and rice and eggs and beans and burgers and salads and tacos and pasta and breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks each and every day. this is no easy task. most often it never occurs to me to garnish, who has time for that when one if not all of the kids are screaming? last week however, we had a little role reversal.
with the departure of our final apprentice, our family settled into our solo selves and with the mood of transition in the air dad headed to the kitchen. farmer Paul wasn’t simply trying to relieve this tired mama of her duties, there was another motivation. he was transitioning our home kitchen to his test kitchen for his first ever farm to table extravaganza at Nashville Farmer’s Market once monthly Night Market.
yes, farmer Paul was due to become chef Paul for pumpkin festival and we were his taste testers for the many days prior. we dined on batches of pumpkin bisque, shared desert samples of pumpkin custards, filled up on ramekins of shepherd’s pie, and our family loved every minute of it.
OK, so i have to interject I was not totally supportive of this endeavor. Paul and I are the perfect match: he the visionary, me the realist. (Really friends, where would we be now if there wasn’t anyone paying the bills?)We both reach for the extraordinary, that we share, but Paul definitely stretches the limits and I certainly remind him of the bottom line. This is a role I don’t always relish (I have been called a naysayer and a downer) but it is a role I have occupied for the two decades of our partnership.
You can probably guess the end of the story. Despite an inadequate amount of preparation time, we pulled off the event with glory. The family worked together to send Paul off with joy by mid day on Friday. He was welcomed by helpful hands in Nashville: sous chef times two, overnight accommodation, market stand support times two. The food was totally perfect and sold out way too early. I have a feeling that this was not the last chance you will have to sample our foods grown with love, prepared with style, and served with a garnish.