Early mornings at Boggy Creek

Dear Friends,

It's early (for me) on Wednesday morning. I'm tasked with market shopping for the restaurant today. I grab a few green grocery bags and head straight towards Boggy Creek Farm. It's not a long trip from my house, but I don't want to miss any of the cool, limited quantity stuff that Carol Ann puts out first.

I'm already running late when I turn into the long dirt driveway, bumping over the curb and finding a parking spot next to quite a few cars - hope not too many of them are chefs from other restaurants!

As I turn the corner, I marvel (as always) at the majestic old oak that towers above the lean-to barn structure that serves as Boggy Creek's farmstand. Carol Ann and Larry's house to the right, where my brother Ben got married a couple of years ago, is a gorgeous white frame structure. A location scout tasked with finding a "quaint farmhouse" would summarily end their search with one look at its elegant lines.

I hustle into the barn and make a quick assessment of which items I will need to nail down first. One of the chefs from Olamaie is here with a plastic grocery carry and a clip board, and so are a couple of guys I know from Wink, but they seem to be scouting different vegetables than I am, so I relax a bit.

Right now we're concerned with buying Boggy's wonderful lettuces and greens (my primary mission today) in quantities that allow for our generous portions. I gather as much romaine as I can carry for our caesar, a few gorgeous heads of butter leaf and bags of baby lettuce mix for our market salad, and chicories for our salade lyonnaise. For fun, I grab a few almost perfect bunches of French breakfast radishes - not sure exactly how Chef Mike will want to use them, but I'm imagining throwing them down on a plate with whipped butter and sea salt - we'll see.

I walk my bags up to the counter and chat with Carol Ann about growing conditions and what we can expect over the next couple of weeks. We spend quite a few minutes talking about the upcoming East Austin Farm Tour, which we'll be participating in at Boggy on Sunday afternoon, April 12th - the Sunday after Easter (tickets can be found here).

I mention to Carol Ann that we'll need to hit it out of here right on time that day as we're also doing our Garden Party for our outdoor garden/wine-bar space beginning at 6 pmthat same evening. We'll be open to the public I tell her, we'll be giving away small appetizers and snacks, and we'll have the bar open for business too, so I hope she and Larry can make it over (although I know the chances of this happening post event are pretty slim).

Bumping back down the rutted dirt drive as I head back to TFB with my goodies, I realize (and not for the last time) that I've got a pretty cush job. Not everyone gets to spend their mornings out in the fresh air and beautiful weather at the farmstand for work. I feel pretty fortunate. Hope you can come share some of that bounty with us soon.

bon appetit,


PS - turns our the radishes will be the first course (paired with chicories and roquefort) on this weekend's prix fixe, to be followed by sage and ricotta stuffed Lockhart quail wrapped in prosciutto - you don't want to miss this one, so I'll see you tonight ;-)