One of my favorite activities in the whole world is cooking with the people I love. For me there is no greater way to share the bounty we enjoy here in this part of the world. It is not just a way to share what is offered here, but  to also get creative with my favorite people. People hear me preach the act of eating locally, and cooking from scratch on my blog and in person, and when they come to visit us, we all have a great time together living out that vision. Mostly it is for fun, but it also shows people in a personal way why we decided to make our lives here, and how easy it can be to eat locally and healthfully in a place that really strives to make that ideal a reality.

I have had the best summer because we have had quite a few guests visiting the homestead, and since all of them love food in one way or another, we always, without fail end up spending time in the kitchen or out on the deck at the grill and then of course EATING what we have created together. Such a simple yet magical act that really brings people together in a fundamental way.

Here is our summer of eating so far – in mostly visual terms.

My mom was here earlier in the season, and we celebrated her visit with lots of al fresco dining. One evening we enjoyed mead sprizters – local mead, with a splash of Italian prosecco, garnished with muddled mint and currants from our garden. Sadly at the time of her visit we weren’t harvesting many veggies yet. But we still enjoyed many local meals out on the deck!

When my dad and stepmom came to visit, they both ended up cooking for us. My stepmom Kayzie made her mom’s famous crabcakes – and brought fresh blue crab with them all the way from Maryland! On another night my dad grilled some beautiful local steaks that we enjoyed with local sweet corn.

Roberto and I also got a duck as part of our meat CSA share from Applecheek Farm . I cooked duck once before with my friend Amber (who also came to visit us!!! ) but wanted to try a different method this time. So with the help of my dad, we grilled it on our rotisserie. It was lightly seasoned with herbs de provence and stuffed with orange wedges. I made a cherry sauce with red wine and oranges to accompany it. We also grilled some potato wedges under the duck letting the drippings season them.

Most recently my stepdaughter Gwen is visiting. She loves to cook, and whenever she comes to visit we end up making something yummy! This time we made the ultimate nachos – Tortilla chips covered in 3 kinds of cheese (cabot cheddar, maple smoked cheddar chunks and parmesan), homemade beef and bean chili, tomatoes and cilantro from the garden and green chilies.

Tonight she and her dad made me dinner – their specialty, spaghetti with tomato-cream sauce and garden fresh herbs with a delicious side salad – all veggies from the garden.

Thanks to everyone for your visits – and we look forward to many more wonderful meals with family and friends here on the homestead!