The One In Which I Went To Tuscany

8:40 AM Edit This 14 Comments »

About a month ago, I emailed Symphony Date with an audible giggle. I had found it! THE event that I MUST attend. And I knew that he would be up for it. A farm to table sort of dinner that is all the rage on the coast. Harvest Table. I kept hearing about these things and kept looking and looking and looking for one around here because seriously? This is the heartland, people! This is where the food COMES from! And lo, and behold! We went to the premiere South Dakota event. Yeah, me!

We took a tour of the gardens. And frankly, they looked a lot like my own, just on a larger scale.
This gorgeous white haired man was the hit of the party. A heavy accent, a chef, a charmer. He called me The Woman in the Dress all night long. At one point, removing the scarf from around my neck and draping it over my shoulders instead because "The sun, my dear! The sun has gotten you!"

Bellagio Salad

Honey-Balsamic Couscous Salad

Crostini with Herbed Cheese

Spread, topped with

Roasted Veggie Relish

Pita with Babaganoush

Cucumber Boats with

Creamy Fennel Cheese

Braised Pork Shoulder with

Apricot and Honey

Roast Fennel and Potato

Lasagna with Heirloom

Tomatoes and Basil

Flourless Chocolate Cake,

Watermelon Granita, Melon Sorbet

and Coffee

Artisanal Breads

The food was amazing. Simply amazing. And it just kept coming. But strangely, when it was all done, I was not stuffed like Thanksgiving stuffed. Just pleasantly full and ready for coffee. The only thing I did not care for was the couscous salad. It had pieces of grapefruit and raisins and craisins and oranges and flavored with honey and well? None of those things are my favorite. But I ate more than three bites to make sure I didn't like it before I gave up. My favorite was the crostini with herbed cheese spread and roasted veggie relish. I could have made a whole meal out of that alone. And I will most certainly recreate it at home. It was such a romantic kind of evening. But Symphony Date and I are not romantic. We are just finely partnered in good conversation, an appreciation of good food and music, and someone we can each relax with and well? That's what makes a very good friend.

Did I mention he has a convertible? Well he does. And convertibles call for scarves. And I am a movie star.
I kept trying to describe to my friends what it was like. I felt I had been to another place, wandering the countryside, eating fresh food, drinking in the sunset and breeze. In my mind, I have been to Tuscany. And now fall can come. I have had my quintessential summer evening.


Shelley said...

You radiate pure happiness in that last picture - what a beauty!!!

This evening sounds amazing. Love that you embraced it - what a fun thing to experience!

Summer said...

You gorgeous thing!! BTW love the little old man.

The Good Cook said...

Oh Oh Oh!!! I love harvest dinners. How lovely. How enchanting. I'm so glad you got to experience that.

Malaise Inc said...

That menu looks scrumptuous.

And that red dress? Va-va-va-vooom!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so happy for you! I hope you'll make it a tradition. We've done that and it makes our summer. Love it.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I've heard of those dinners, too, and they sound fabulous. You look marvelous and that menu sounds divine. What a fun evening!

Keelie said...

So COOL! I would have gone with you...

Anonymous said...

What a great outing. Great food, beautiful place, good friend and a convertible! What more can a girl ask for? :)

Kelly Hogaboom said...

1. You look gorgeous.

2. I'd have been hating on that couscous salad (as described) too. We'd have looked at one another over sipping our beverage and rolled eyes.

justme said...

you sexy thing! you look amazing and it sounds like the food was incredible. what could be better!

carrster said...

That sounds awesome! What a lovely evening. And I love that you have a "Symphony Date." That rocks. Glad you had an awesome time.

Yay Fall!

KT said...

OMG it is lunch time and reading the menu made me SO HUNGRY. I have always wanted to do one of these "farm to table" dinners- I will have to research the different options out here. Glad you had a great time!

KT said...

OMG it is lunch time and reading the menu made me SO HUNGRY. I have always wanted to do one of these "farm to table" dinners- I will have to research the different options out here. Glad you had a great time!

clearness said...

Don't know how I missed this post....but it's lovely!