SHAW FAMILY FARM
Feast in the Field
Written by Amanda Burden • Photos by Jaci Goodman
Guests gathered at the Shaw Family Farm in Truckee on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 for a Feast in the Field.
Before dinner, participants walked around the 40-acre property to enjoy the Shaws’ bountiful outdoor gardens and beautiful greenhouse stocked with leafy greens. A large enclosure housed roaming chickens and a coop brimming with fresh eggs. Another enclosure housed two fat pigs, Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, who will be slaughtered this fall. Guests gathered around a large outdoor oven and counter for Northern Sierra wines and freshly baked pizza piled with Barbara Shaw’s basil pesto, Super Sweet 100 tomatoes, and shaved American, Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses, as well as a pizza of Brie and prosciutto with Nevada’s Hearts of Gold melon and Shaw arugula salad.
Then guests were prompted to descend into Pine Meadows for dinner. Amidst a high alpine setting, diners teetered on wooden chairs and gathered around one long, rustically adorned table under a string of pretty lights. The moon rose between old-growth ponderosa pine trees in the dry, grassy landscape.
The menu featured a selection of seasonal and farm-grown specialties prepared by Barbara Mills of Back of the House Cooking School in Reno. John Shaw’s wonderful multigrain bread with Shaw honey butter started off the meal, followed by Barbara Shaw’s pickled beans.
The first course featured Shaw Family Farm deviled egg tartine with tarragon and chives and corn and zucchini cakes with heirloom tomatoes and Back of the House buttermilk bleu cheese dressing. The salad included Barbara Shaw’s field greens with Back of the House onion peppercorn vinaigrette topped with fresh local berries, local greens, feta, red onion, and spiced Bogarri Farms walnuts. The main courses consisted of summer chicken potpie with a cheddar thyme crust, as well as grass-fed, local California beef meatloaf with house-made organic tomato bacon glaze and wood-fire-roasted and mashed potatoes with garlic aioli. Dessert featured a roasted half of a Chattin Family Orchard Sun Crest peach with mascarpone cream and berries.
Guests enjoyed music from sophisticated two-man band Brian Hess, of Quartet Minus One, with Steve Kershisnik playing a blend of zydeco, bluegrass, and blues. When the temperature became crisp and the wind kicked up, the Shaws emptied their closets of all their jackets and handed them to thankful guests. At the evening’s close, satisfied diners gathered around a fire pit to sip wine, chat, and chase away the chill.
A portion of the event’s proceeds benefited Slow Food Lake Tahoe in support of Sierra Senior Services.
For details on the Shaw Family Farm, visit Shawfamilyfarm.com.