Upon leaving a guest recently commented, "Your food is so good I didn't think it could get better, but you continue to out do yourself. How will you keep this up?" I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Actually, it takes up most of my head space. Luckily I'm continually inspired by nature, the seasons, the works of others, songs, and most dangerously by plateware itself. When a guest accidentally broke an heirloom owl umbrella holder it cracked in such nice pieces I said, "well, I guess I'll have to create a dish to serve on this." And it's truly vicious for me to go to Chinatown, Sur La Table, or CB2. I see something that will beautifully serve or hold food and think, that's a new dish. These inspirations are what continues to drive the climb of my menus.
So this is what I have to do to trump myself. I have to utilize more of my garden, more of the woods, more of myself and siphon it all into my preparations. Here is an idea! My father recently told me he seeds saved from vegetables he had grown in 1968 on our small farm. He soaked them and planted them and they began to sprout. Today I visited him and brought home some of those seeds. The words banana musk melon and sweet Hungarian peppers were scribbled onto little browned pieces of paper tucked into the jars. Creating dishes from these seeds, which will hopefully sprout and fruit should help in this out doing myself project. Seeds from the farm I grew up on from vegetables that grew 11 years before I was born, replanted and created into a dish to serve to my guests. I think I will add elements to that dish directly from the woods. We'll see if it works and if it does you can have it this summer.