It’s harvest time! The time of year when we reap what we have sewn. The fields of corn have evolved from the rich luscious green of July into an aged, well worn yellow ochre. We were feverishly harvesting and canning our prized heirloom tomatoes from the garden just weeks ago and now we are preparing for a great feast.
Friends from the city, chef Paul Bertolli and his son Anthony, along with artist Angelo Garro have come for a visit from San Francisco, California. Additionally we’re happy to see our good friends, Joyce Lock and her husband, Fred, (fabulous foodies from Des Moines, Iowa). Those two popped into Westy’s Bar & Grill downtown Thornton to get the flavor of our little town before joining us. We are so fortunate to have so many of our good friends willing to make a trip to the country and see us. Everyone is coming together to celebrate the end of the growing season with a wonderful Halloween Harvest Dinner, and with larger than life characters like these, it’s sure to be an outstanding evening.
As I help my daughter prepare for her annual trick-or-treating with final touches to her witches costume and an application of make-up, the others are setting up at the Thornton Community Center on Main Street. The community center offers us plenty of room to gather, cook and celebrate. We are as excited about our bounty of heirloom blue potatoes, tomatoes, and beets, Larry’s arugula, Angelo’s Syrah, Paul’s Mortadella and Polenta and wild American pheasant, as Sophia is about her Halloween candy.
It’s been a cold night and everyone feels the chill. After all the trick-or-treating Sophia’s fingers have turned pink on the ends and she can’t wait to warm up inside the community center where dinner awaits. Paul magically takes charge and pretty soon the kitchen is humming along like a well oiled machine. The beets are roasted, polenta cooks on the stove, and the pheasant is prepared with a secret ingredient… (lard). The aroma wafting from the kitchen eggs on my appetite, and as I sit down to eat surrounded by such great friends who have traveled far and wide to be here, I think to myself, this is the best of both worlds.