My friend Natalie turned 35 a few years ago. She sent me a text the other day thanking me for her birthday party that year. How sweet was that? It was a special one for all of us involved; especially because it was a surprise and took a group of her closest friends to pull it off.
A few weeks before her birthday, she sent me a link to something called “Outstanding in the Field.” The idea behind the company is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. They set tables in fields, on farmland, on hills, seashores, etc. They serve food that is locally prepared and fresh, fresh, fresh! Natalie said, “Why don’t they ever do anything like that in Amarillo?” I sighed and proclaimed it was because our dear panhandle is not a place where farmers have ever been successful in vegetable farming (on a larger scale anyway). My search for a nearby Outstanding in the Field event turned up nothing. So I thought, “Why can’t her friends make a meal for her and eat it in our field?” And so the idea was birthed for Natalie’s 35th.
I found the photos from this celebration and thought I’d share. It was so much fun. All of the guests made a menu item, the husbands decorated the “scene” with lights, and I decorated the birthday table. You are supposed to take your own plates at Outstanding in the Field events, so our guests did the same, with Nat’s hubby Nick sneaking dinnerware from their home without her knowing. This is how that evening turned out…
It was a wonderful way to spend an evening celebrating someone who is outstanding in HER field. (Even though I couldn’t be with you on your birthday this year Nat, I too, will especially cherish your 35th : )!)
Check out OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD’S WEBSITE here. I just saw that they have an event next week at the Abalone farm in Cayucos, CA! How crazy is that? 12 miles from my hometown… *sigh* Central Coast friends, it looks like they do these dinners every year near you ( Big Sur, Morro Bay…). PLEASE let me know if you go to one! I’d love to hear about it!