Growing up, our mom insisted each of us kids pick one night of the week to plan and cook dinner. We learned basic nutrition, a little budgeting and most importantly the feeling you get from preparing and serving a successful meal. Ben and I both talk about how our most enduring frienships have been forged over stone soup style dinner parties, smokey backyard grills and campfire cookouts. Wood + Salt unfolded from this habit of bringing people together over a meal to tell stories and push ourselves creatively. Sometimes we get caught up in the hustle of growing this little business and forget to enjoy the company of friends, changing seasons, drawn out dinners and other small luxuries life offers. Thining leaves dropped from the trees. Fall was creeping on. We impulsively decided to host a dinner party to remind ourselves why we create the ingredients for a perfect gathering.
Ben knew of a secret road that went missing from maps sometime after the 1950's. We went to scout it out. The old road was washed out, leaving behind a rough path suitable for walking. The spot was a perfect. Public land, low and flat in the flood plain, scattered with drift wood and limestone under the cover of hickory, oak and locust. We sent invites and directions to a few friends and threw together a menu.
We started with a ripe Tellagio style cheese from Green Dirt paired with a hearty loaf of Sourdough Rye from Wheatfield's Bakery and crisp Rome apples. We set up a hearth of limestone, drift wood and wire. Everyone sat around the fire and enjoyed Boulevard's limited release Rye-on-Rye, a perfect fall ale, mellowed in rye whiskey barrels. An assortment of heirloom potatoes, beets and a One Stone Bird Brined chicken were laced on wires to roast over the fire. The butternut squash was packed with brown sugar, Shatto butter, a pich of curry and Winter Salt before being burried in the coals to cook.
The sun slipped down over the water turning everything gold; then silver in the light of the almost full moon. By the time the food was done everyone had arrived. We toasted each other over a glass of homemade Nocino. A soft autumn rain rolled in and a farmer's market tent was set up. Dinner carried on, warm with candle light, laughter and rye. Coyotes sang in the distance. Our friends from Kansas City Canning Co shared buttery thumbprint sables filled with Vanilla Bourbon Peach Preserves for dessert.
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