In September it was Kelly’s turn for our surprise weekend. David and I were told to pack casual clothes, sleeping bags and pillows. With our gear loaded into Vinny’s truck, we headed east out of Seattle. Kelly gave Vinny turn-by-turn directions, which was driving him crazy. An hour outside of Seattle we turned onto a long dirt road that wound its way uphill until we arrived at Dog Mountain Farm. As we meandered up the driveway past animals, vegetables, adults and kids, Kelly told us that we were getting a tour of the farm, eating a ‘farm to fork’ dinner and staying over at the property’s ‘B & B’. We smiled, smirked, cheered and quickly hopped out of the truck and began exploring.
As if the amazing farm experience wasn’t enough, Chef Mark Fuller from Spring Hill Restaurant in Seattle was preparing our five-course ‘farm-to-fork’ dinner. Farmhouse tables were beautifully set in the orchard overlooking the whole farm. The overnight arrangements were rustic, quaint and absolutely perfect. There was a large platform tent with a nicely decorated queen size bed, table for two, porch with rocking chairs and a campfire area out front. Kelly completely outdid herself and set the bar quite high for future outings.
Before dinner, we toured the farm and found chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, goats, horses and pigs. The pigs Bonnie, Bartholomew and their five piglets severely distracted me as you can tell from some of the pictures at the bottom. The fruits and vegetables were beyond anything I had seen before. Figs, limes, zucchini, onions, garlic, tomatoes, apples, pears, artichokes, eggplant, peppers, kale, grapes, squash, blackberries, cucumbers, hops, and beans just to name a few.
Sparkling wine was poured and appetizers were passed as we mingled around the farm before dinner. Since we were the only ones staying at the farm that night, we were sat at the VIP table with the chef’s mother and sister. The made the meal that much better that we got to know the chefs family while eating his food. His mother and sister were outgoing, friendly, funny, and certainly added to the overall enjoyment of the meal. The food was incredible and the paired wines from Apex Winery complimented the dishes perfectly. The conversations were full of laughter, and we ate and drank until the sun set and then into the darkness. We hobbled our way to the tent after dinner to build a fire and toast s’mores.
I woke early the next morning, dressed quickly and ran over to the pigs to say good morning. Breakfast was at nine and Vinny, Kelly, David and I gathered at the garden table which was set next to dozens of hanging garlic heads from the farm. Our host arrived with coffee, OJ and muffins, followed by yogurt & blackberries, and finally by eggs and bacon. Upon request, David scored raw goat’s milk for drinking and for the coffee. Everything was delicious, but the eggs were my favorite. Slowly we packed up the truck and made the drive back to the city. We look forward to going back to Dog Mountain Farm for more dinners, classes and to welcome more piglets in the upcoming months. Here are my Pinch of Pork pictures…