In these parts farms have become important centers for the community. We think it is because it provides a moment or two and an inspiring place where we can all get back to basics.
Good food has always been about sharing …just like good music, good beer and good stories. So now and again we’ll provide the setting, family-style. We’ll find a long table and host small gatherings, featuring all these things and a few surprises along the way.
Oh, and we seem to have started a tradition at Little Ghent Farm. As with the all the best traditions it started accidentally. During the long process of taking down the old barns and constructing new ones we lovingly referred to the farm as our ‘shanty’. As the dictionary suggests the term shanty often refers to a collection of different style buildings in a varied state of repair. Exactly. Then we realized, from our own experiences, that shanty towns around the world are often sources of the best hospitality, stories and cooking to be found anywhere.
We have also been known to discuss the idea of having Tuesday dinners – the day that nearly all restaurants are closed in this part of the Hudson Valley. Understandably everyone needs some time off, even cooks and servers. But of course they still have to eat and their passion for preparing and sharing delicious local food never takes a day off. So we thought of this as being a collaborative affair where the guests weigh in with the sourcing, preparation and cooking. It’s where the lost souls of the Tuesday restaurant shut down can come to eat and relax.
So on Tuesday September 16th, 2014 the idea of Shanty Tuesdays became a reality. The maiden voyage for the Little Ghent Farm kitchen happened with eleven of us gathered around one table to enjoy pork (from the farm) braised with prunes and apricots as well as sweetcorn, polenta, haricots verts and bread made right here in Ghent. Someone brought some local beer and we finished up with home made ice cream and the last of the summer’s peaches.
Roll on the next Shanty Tuesday … .. .