August 2, 2016 Missive from J.K. Farm
It happens every year. I look up and all of a sudden it's August. We have been in an absolute torpor all summer. I am joyful in my work but I do fantasize about lying in a hammock clutching a tall refreshing beverage and staring off into middle space feeling the breeze moving the leaves and branches of the poplars, swaying and drifting off into a long afternoon nap. The buzz of the cicadas casts the ultimate hypnotic spell.
The days are getting shorter, ever so slightly but enough so that we have decided to begin the festivities at 4:00 instead of 5:00. The first date will be the 13th of this month and every Saturday thereafter.
This past weekend we held our dinner on Sunday rather than Saturday. At around 3:30, for the first time all summer, I realized we needed to plan for rain. Our guests would arrive in an hour and a half and it was pouring. Of course we were jubilant about the rain but we still needed to greet our guests graciously. Jane and I settled on plan "b" and continued with our work. I always prefer to welcome our guests up on the ridge. There is always a breeze blowing through the vineyard and you can see the whole village below from there. The outdoor setting is a perfect antidote to the drive from the city, allowing guests to settle in to the rural environment hold a flute of wine and a cone of fries. A perfect way to set the tone of the evening before descending the hill to dinner amid twinkling lights and chic elemental decor of the loafing barn.
I channel this desire of settling and anticipation as I set about loading the trailer with the requisite items for the ridge setup. It was still pouring and everyone was staring at their smart devices tuned into environment Canada. "Oh yeah, it will be sunny again by 5:00." seemed to be the consensus. Jane and I agreed we would make the call at 4:30 either to receive our guests on the ridge or right away in the loafing barn.
The sun poked through at 4:15. The rain stopped at 4:20. There was a rainbow and we stuck with the ridge plan. Jonas Newman, proprietor and winemaker at Hinterland rolled up in his truck moments before our first guests to pour Hinterland's lovely and refreshing traditional method sparkling rosé from the 2013 vintage. Just behind him Norm Hardie also rolled up to place his riesling and Chardonnay in our stock tank to chill for later in the evening.
It was indeed a lovely evening. The rain had a cool and refreshing effect that affected our guests in a cool and refreshing way. It was great to see Norm in the house presenting his wines to a sold out room. Both Norm and I go back many years in hospitality and gastronomy in Toronto and now of course in Prince Edward County. We are fascinated by the possibilities that present themselves here to create truly unique gastronomy from this place. Evenings such as this are the reward of this shared fascination.