Meals in the Meadow is the annual event on Martha’s Vineyard that I look forward to every year. Read more below and you’ll find out why it’s my favorite and why I keep coming back every year!
Martha’s Vineyard is an island focused on community, focused on family and friends, focused on local foods. When all of that comes together, events like Meals in the Meadow occur on an annual basis to promote just that: what it means to be a culinary community surrounded by friends and family.
Not only does the Farm Institute provide the island with grass fed beef, pork, and gorgeous eggs, but it is more so a teaching farm. A farm that during the summer opens up its heart and brings in children from all over the island and mainland, children looking to connect with their food, children that have never tasted a warm tomato, children that yearn to connect with farm animals. And that’s when this event comes in – it showcases what the farm teaches with the help of scholarships from donations.
At Meals in the Meadow 2014, we were welcomed into the farm by these gorgeous Fresh Watermelon Margaritas. Deliciously refreshing, they were the perfect start to a night on the farm.
As we walked into the tented area of the event, we basically stopped in our tracks when we saw the raw vegetable and dip table. Yes, not a platter, not a dish, but an entire table covered with raw local vegetables ready to dip in a variety of dips, including Green Goddess dressing. Talk about fresh!
A gorgeous setting was enjoyed by all, where we dined among the resident cows. Attendees enjoyed listening and learning from summer campers on what they had learned while at the farm. Everything from animal digestion to the growth of a variety of legumes, and the making of herbal sun teas were discussed.
Now, like I had mentioned before, this is a favorite event because of the community. But let’s be real, it’s mostly about the community of FOOD LOVERS! Dinner was catered by Buckley’s Catering again, a local catering company that does an incredible job each year showcasing the farm’s fresh produce and meats.
Starting with Creamed Corn Straight of the Cob, we knew this was going to be an amazing dinner to remember. Marinated and Grilled Spears of Zucchini and Yellow Squash graced our plates, but just a couple, because I sneaked a peak at the main entrees and needed to save space on my plate for some local beef and chicken!
A Farmer’s Salad made up of chilled watermelon, crispy arugula, and creamy local feta cheese was a delight to have on my plate. It refreshed my palate and reminded me why I love summer so much.
This Roasted Rosemary Lemon Chicken was a favorite at the table I sat with and we raved about how moist and flavorful it was! The lemon and rosemary were a delightful flavor combination, bright and delicious!
Somehow, I must be living under a rock since I’ve never had salted potatoes, but these Salted Baby New Potatoes Roasted with Garlic, Lemon Zest, and Fresh Herbs have changed my outlook on life! They were perfectly salted, tender, and just so pure. Like potatoes should be – not crowed in butter or covered in cheese, I think these are my new favorite potatoes.
Another of the entrees were gorgeously Grilled Tenderloin, Prime Rib, and NY Strip Steak served with Horseradish Cream, Chimichurri, and Red Onion Marmalade. Tender beef from The Farm Institute paired exceptionally well with the three sauces, although my favorite was the red onion marmalade. I’m a sucker for a salty-sweet combination of flavors.
Another Farmer’s Salad packed with summer’s bounty and dressed for the occasion with a champagne vinaigrette, as well as fresh cornbread from the Scottish Bakehouse (a local bakery in Vineyard Haven), rounded out the meal.
Once dessert was passed around, we were too busy watching the beautiful sunset and dancing the night away with Johnny Hoy and The Bluefish, so I wasn’t able to capture the light as a cloud Chocolate Mousse Parfait with Melba Sauce, Whipped Cream, Strawberry Coulis, and Summer Berries. But trust me, it was heavenly.
Year after year, Meals in the Meadow inspires me to buy local, eat local. It reminds me that I should be eternally grateful to be living on such a beautiful and bountiful island. Thank you to The FARM Institute for the invite to this fantastic event, I’m already looking forward to next year!