Even’ Star Organic Farm party

Rhubarb Ginger Galette, round two.

We celebrated Memorial Day by attending a party at ‘our’ farm: Even’ Star Organic Farm, where we’re members of the CSA. We’d had a fun time at the autumn party and enjoyed the drive down, which included stopping on the way for pumpkins and honey at a farm stand in Dunkirk. This time we drove straight through, and arrived for a gorgeous afternoon.

Having taken the farm tour last autumn, we opted for eating the delicious food, drinking the tasty Weiss beer, and lounging around. My contribution to the desserts was a Rhubarb Ginger Galette with a half-whole-wheat crust; it was meant to be all whole wheat, but I mistook the bags of flour and dumped the remaining white flour into the bin by mistake. I was glad that I had planned to make and bring two galettes, as that meant I already had a backup plan in place when the first one wasn’t ready for prime time: I forgot to strain out the excess liquid from the fruit and inadvertently omitted the butter that would have thickened the filling, which combined with a small tear in the crust to create a gooey puddle around one half of the pan. This first round also helped make clear that the galette needed to cool on the sheet; once we’d let it cool that way overnight it slid off onto a board without a problem. Probably the French have some large flat galette-removing spatula-type implement, but I certainly don’t.

Having an afternoon party meant no bonfire, but it did mean that we could explore the woods a bit more. Once we’d eaten, we trooped off in search of new birds. As promised, we sighted several Indigo Buntings in the fallow fields near the house. Buntings, like bluebirds, are common in the right habitat in this region, but I’d yet to see one. I still haven’t gotten over the surprise of seeing such blue birds, so it was a thrill to see them popping up over the grasses. On the drive in we’d seen a true Black Vulture in a group that was devouring something on the grassy median of the road. It was unmistakable with its deep black plumage, gray face and white beak, and it was a thrill to get such a good look at it on the ground after years of peering into the skies hoping not to see the flash of red on the faces of what always turned out to be Turkey Vultures. In addition to those long sought after life birds, we lucked out and spotted a mature Bald Eagle circling over the treeline. It was only the second time I’ve seen an eagle in adult plumage, and the first for my partner, so that was a great treat. No trip to a farm is complete for me without sighting a few amphibians, and the best part of the day was seeing a juvenile salamander that the kids had collected from the stream. The frogs and tadpoles were lovely, of course, but the little guy with gills still on was particularly nice.

On the way back home we stopped to check on Solomon’s Island Winery, which is quite small and run by a couple basically out of their home. The property is smaller than my family’s blueberry farm, which means that it would be virtually impossible for them to grow their own grapes. The wines were largely low alcohol fruit-flavored varieties—coolers in a bottle seem to be a popular item in Maryland—with only a couple of serious labels. The Meritage was decent and tasted like a Bordeaux, as advertised. The Icewine was also a fine dessert wine; we bought a bottle, and it made me regret not tasting the Eisling when we were at Boordy Vineyards earlier in the weekend. Overall, though, I would recommend sticking with wines by actual vineyards, from regions where the terrain is more suitable to growing grapes.

Having fulfilled our farm-related duties for the season—sent in our check, attended the party—we now sit back and let the food come to us. Not too shabby!

Even’ Star Organic Farm party

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