Sunday, October 23, 2016

Always good to know a chef with a farm

Last weekend we where invited to our good buddy's farm for a get together, slash reunion, for some of his returning friends. The dinner was potluck style so we each brought a favorite dish. Since we were surrounded by an international crowd of Europeans, Aussies, Canadians, Americans and Nicaraguans the food was diverse. The clear standouts of the night were the warm fresh homemade loaves of Aussie bread and the 15 pounds of specialty cheeses from Rome and Paris. Not to be outdone was the centerpiece of the dinner, a smoked lamb (from the farm) with a wonderful reduced sweet Jamaica (hibiscus) glaze.
   Fine dining can hardly get any better but throw in the views and the smells of freshly cut grass and it is breathtaking. As the adults relaxed with wine and spirit, the kids chased animals around the 19 acre farm. Hearing the bleats from the sheep, barking of the dogs and the nervous excitement from the other farm animals being chased by a dozen happy kids is the best sound imaginable.  Idyllic as it was, we were actually living it and celebrating getting to know other people and cuisine. Not one mention of politics, nor any mention of world problems. Rather, we spoke of cheeses, recipes, wine regions, and found time to sprinkle in some self deprecating jokes about ourselves and our home countries. Elise and I were reminded how we enjoy conversations without the barriers, the politics, and opinions obscuring everything to a point of blindness. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such friends.
   As the night progressed we found ourselves around a pasture, leaning on the fence, staring at the dark field. Little lights began to twinkle on the ground and the kids were wide-eyed as if they were watching a magic show. We were watching fireflies rise for the evening. As the fireflies slowly flew higher, their lighted signals shown ever further into the horizon, letting all know it was safe to illuminate the night. We quietly watched this slow motion light show when my wife leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Oh my god, they look like little fairies, they're so beautiful." Within ten minutes a billion fairy-like lights were bouncing in the forest, quietly dancing under the full moon. Moments like this we feel both insignificant and blessed at the same time.

Video of Zoe and the girls playing in the rain at the farm a week prior to the party.

View from the entertaining area looking towards Mombacho and the farm

The guest house doubles as entertainment facilities on the farm. As the evening went on, the place was packed with good food, good people and good times. 

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