Primavera picnic on the farm

A beautiful spring day, an organic farm and muddled strawberry vodka cocktails....sounds like a slice of heaven?
That was my Sunday afternoon to celebrate May Day and support our local organic association who, in turn, support the dedicated farmers that grow this delicious local produce for all of us to enjoy.
The meal featured a tantalizing array of local produce just picked from the garden and prepared from a few of Atlanta's most inspiring chefs. From kumamoto oysters nestled in their shells with a champagne nasturtium minionette to fresh radishes rubbed with creamy butter and dipped in sea salt to a braised turnips in soy sauce with Kampachi tuna to a refreshing "salad bowl" of vegetables in a shot glass dressed with an herb vinaigrette. Finger food at its finest. Yes, that was just the starters!

Over hundred of us took our seats and waited for the procession to begin. The wine was poured, the hot honey and butter drizzled yeast rolls were laid, and the feast began. Roasted asparagus, anson mill grits, braised escarole with carrot puree and sauteed scallops, the best bar be que brisket ever! More sauce please. Oh and the strawberry cake for dessert. Now, that is what a strawberry should taste like. Warm and juicy, you wont find these at your neighborhood grocery store unless it is a farmer's market.

As the sun was setting, we walked through the gardens, souls and stomachs satisfied. Sharing a meal at the table with friends is a memory we will cherish.
I hope this becomes an annual celebration. Sign me up!

Here is my version of the muddled strawberry vodka cocktail:

1 pint strawberries, stems and hulls removed {save a few for garnish}
1 Tbsp. fresh meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
fresh mint leaves

In heavy bottom saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
Place strawberries and mint in food processor and pulse just until coarsely chopped.
Add the sugar syrup and lemon juice, process just until blended.
Pour strawberry mixture into large glass pitcher.
Add 4 cups vodka and 2 cups ice. Stir vigorously until mixture is chilled.
Pour into tall glasses with ice, sprig of fresh mint and a wholestrawberry for garnish.

Buon appetito!
Copyright 2007 Alisa Barry

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