The good news is that I’m getting out of town for a couple of days.
The bad news is that I’m getting out of town for a couple of days.
Bad, because I’ll be missing one of the most delicious, and freshest, culinary experiences of the year—The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) annual Harvest Celebration Dinner—held at one of the most beautiful spots in the area, Longwood Gardens. I attended last year and was wholly impressed with the magical ambiance created from the combination of the gorgeous setting and the prettily arranged, locally inspired—and delicious fare. PASA does a lot of great things for both farmers and consumers, and the guest list always includes a slew of interesting folks plugging away on all sides of the local foods industry
Open to PASA members and the general public, the event kicks off with a 2.5-mile walk to help you work up a hearty appetite and burn a few calories in advance of the evening’s hearty feast. ($35/person for PASA members.)
Â Billed as “A Guided Walk Through Sustainable Longwood,” the low-impact romp around the park offers a tour of Longwood’s composting facility. That may not sound appetizing, but if you view this as an opportunity to feed your brain, you’ll feel a lot better about the excursion. Plus, you’ll be able to show off all that knowledge while mingling with all the eco-friendly peeps at the party later that night. Your efforts will also be rewarded with a “local foods” lunchbox. (The tour begins at the Visitors Center at 10 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m., after lunch and a Q+A session.)
If that sounds too much like school for you, you can skip the walking shoes and get all gussied up for one of the tastiest fundraising meals that you’ll ever have, PASA’s Harvest Dinner, which starts at 6 p.m. with light appetizers and a wine bar by Chaddsford Winery in the Idea Garden.
Afterwards, guests will wind their way to the Conservatory Fern Floor where a feast of locally inspired dishes await (menu below), along with wine service by J. Soif featuring Yellow and Blue Wines which I wrote about a few months ago for their “boxed” look. Another point of intrigue: a special exhibit by Subarashii Kudamono (an Asian pear farm in the Lehigh Valley), called “The Art of the Asian Pear.” The exhibit was conceived to introduce many aspects of this unique fruit— including a brand new dessert wine—to Harvest Dinner guests. You can learn more about the history of this unique farm and about its enticing variety of pears at wonderfulfruit.com.
Dinner tickets are $150. For more information on both events, go to pasafarming.org/harvestdinner.
It’s a great cause and a great night. And I am going to be very upset when I hear everyone’s post-event gushing!
Harvest Vegetable Sampler by Rushton Farms featuring Rushton Farms Roasted Beets, Red Watercress Greens, Candied Pecans, Carrot Vinaigrette, & Leek Puree
Award winning Cressbrook Farm 100% Grassfed Sirloin Tips & Mushroom, Onions & Rutabaga Stew, Blue Cheese Crouton Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Whipped Potatoes, Caramelized Fall Vegetables
Subarashii Kudamono Asian Pear Tatin, Shellbark Hollow Farms Goat Cheese & Cracked Black Pepper Ice Cream, CrÃ¨me Anglaise & Caramel
A Little Weeknight Fun: In the face of a Phillies’ win—or (don’t say it, don’t even think it) loss—tonight, The Newtown Grill Wine Bar is ready to high five or hand you a tissue and pour you a stiff glass of vino as part of its “Wine Wednesdays” program. Tonight, bartenders will be pouring a selection of red Zinfandels and Argentinean wines, available by the glass or as 2-ounce tasting flights ($9). $14 gets you a wine and cheese pairing, which isn’t so bad since a cheese plate alone is six bucks.
191 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square; 610-356-9700, italiansteakhouse.com.