Jeffrey + Caroline Create An Anniversary Campfire Dinner
Hello from the farm where we've been very lucky with the weather. It hasn't rained much and the humidity has been minimal so, we've been taking it all in and cooking outside as much as possible. With all that's been going on, and our routines shifted, our wedding anniversary crept up on us (officially on Monday, June 22nd) so we decided to celebrate in the way we've been living lately... low key. We recently completed our cross country RV road trip where campfire cooking was the norm, and we've become quite accustomed to this way of meal prepping. To celebrate our anniversary, we challenged ourselves to make a whole meal plus dessert outside on a campfire and I'm happy to say we succeeded, so I'm sharing it with you!
When we first bought the farmhouse four years ago, we discovered a variety of wild herbs, fruits and vegetables growing throughout the property. We haven't had much time yet to design the gardens, so for now we have continued to let them grow wild. This month there is an abundance of fresh mint and rhubarb, which inspired me to create some dishes with those ingredients for our celebratory dinner.
Jeffrey discovered an old school fishmonger in old town Kingston and picked up a whole porgy fish. We stuffed it with a date filling that's loosely based on this Date-Stuffed Whole Mackerel recipe from Ottolenghi and cooked it over our fire pit outside. We already had most of the ingredients on hand, so it was super simple to put together.
One of my favorite parts of the farm is all the outdoor spaces. All the mature trees have created different environments to hang out and entertain and we try to work our way around them all. While we know it's going to take some serious effort to fully design these gardens and keep them maintained, it's going to be well worth it and part of the legacy we can leave behind for the next inhabitants. This beautiful old maple tree has become a favorite spot to sit under at the end of the day...it offers shade and attracts little fury friends like squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. It's the perfect place to lay out, relax, take in the view and make our campfire dinner.
I brought this twin bedroll from California, through all 16 states, to its final destination here in New York. And, it's been the perfect sun lounger, bed cover, dog bed, picnic blanket, lakeside seat and more. I love it so much that I've ordered more for the house and the store too. They've been a hit! Made by artisans in West Africa using hand-dyed and handwoven yarns, it's super soft and versatile. For this occasion, I rolled it out on the grass and added a couple of cushions and a linen throw.
We used paper plates for our campfire meals traveling across the country so it was a nice upgrade to bring out our Handmade servingware. I used these salad and dessert plates, my favorite new linen placemats and hand printed napkins made by my friend, Gail. Bringing dinnerware outside for the meal, even though eating picnic style, is a simple and easy way to elevate and make the occasion more special.
We paired the grilled fish with this Green Herb Salad from Ottolenghi. I've made it quite a bit over the years and despite it being a bit fiddly to put together (the ingredient list is on the long side) it's always worth the effort and to this day is still my favorite salad.
The highlight of our evening was pulling off the campfire dessert that we made using our wild rhubarb. A friend sent me this recipe video for Campfire Style Rhubarb and Lemon Balm Crumble and I was inspired to recreate my own using mint, which grows in abundance in our garden. The entire dessert is made over a flame, from the oat crumble, to the delicious rhubarb filling. We topped it off with a scoop of cashew ice cream, and let's just say, there weren't any leftovers...