Days four and five of camp are always so exciting! After three days of working and playing together and learning from our guest chefs, our counselors and the farmers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market it is time to take Bay Leaf Kitchen on the road and go up to Eatwell Farm!
We arrived at Eatwell in time for lunch. The kids were so excited to see all the open space around us and were full of questions. After lunch we met up with Lorraine and Nigel who lead us on a tour of the farm. On the tour we harvested and tasted watermelons, strawberries, mulberries, tomatoes to name just a few!
After some fun water games, the kids divided into groups where they each got to work on a different cooking activity. One group took their "shopping list" out into the fields and foraged for the ingredients Chef Fran, from Bluestem Brasserie, would need for our dinner. One group headed into the farm house to learn how to make dinner rolls with Lorraine and one group set up shop in the outdoor kitchen and got to make strawberry jam!
As the day started to cool off it was time to come back together in one group to meet Chef Fran who, along with Erin Euser and the founders of Bluestem Brasserie, Stacy and Jed, took the time to come up to Eatwell to teach us all how to make a meal, using seasonal ingredients and recipes developed for their restaurant!
The campers divided up into groups, again, to each tackle a different component of our dinner. Thanks to the group who did the harvesting and to Chef Fran, we had the ingredients all ready for us to prep and assemble. One group mixed the spices for the lamb meatballs, one group tackled a fresh peach, arugula and mozzarella salad, one made thinly shaved summer squash and squash blossoms with goat cheese and another group made prosciutto-wrapped melon.
The counselors cooked up the meatballs over an open fire pit and we all sat down to enjoy a, truly decadent, meal under the open sky in our outdoor kitchen. Even the Eatwell folks came to joined us. I definitely saw Cameron and the twins going back for seconds!
Once dinner clean up was done we gathered around the fire, roasted homemade marshmallows and ate s'mores while the campers made us laugh with their exceptionally creative skits! There were dance routines, scripted mini-plays and even one group of campers who did extremely accurate counselor impressions! Fun was had by all and, as the sun started to set over the fields, we all shuffled off to our tents to get some, well-deserved, shut eye.
The next morning we all ate a hearty breakfast and started to get camp cleaned up for the trek home. It wouldn't be a day at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp, however, without some kind of big meal! As it was our last day, Elianna organized a secret ingredients lunch challange and we got to see what the campers had learned over the last week as they put their heads together to create their own recipes for our lunch that day!
I think we were all blown out of the water when we saw what each group came up with. It was a delicious lunch of quick-pickled carrots in tomato cups, mixed green salad full of fresh veggies and fruits, cold "tomasil" soup and a melon and strawberry drink that was made by hand-crushing ice with the fruit. It was so refreshing!
After our al fresco lunch over, we said our goodbyes to the folks at Eatwell Farm, cleaned up our space and loaded up the bus to head back into the city.
We will miss the campers so much but we are so excited to look towards what's next at Bay Leaf Kitchen! Stay tuned for Fall Programming announcements and more photos, stories and tidbits from life, here, at Bay Leaf Kitchen!