Farm-to-Table Dinner Series

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“Slice of Americana” Served Up at Beech Springs Farm’s Farm-to-Table Dinner Series

By Karen Hendricks  |  Photography by Casey Martin

Favorite recipes are crafted with the perfect blend of ingredients, often including a special or secret ingredient. Likewise, favorite dining experiences rely on the perfect mix of location, ambiance, and culinary flavors.

Beech Springs Farm’s Farm-to-Table Dinner Series have struck gold with a winning formula that combines a beautiful Adams County location, an enjoyable ambiance set by local musicians and warm hosts, and farm-fresh dishes prepared by talented local and regional chefs. The secret ingredient? Everything revolves around an authentic, farm-fresh theme.

“Adams County’s Rich Agricultural Bounty”

The journey to Beech Springs Farm takes guests on Adams County’s winding back roads offering picturesque hillside orchard views. Upon arrival at the Orrtanna property, attendees are invited to stroll through the gardens while being serenaded by musicians. At the July dinner, the sounds of fiddle and fife by Celtic group Across the Pond floated on the warm summer breeze, while the lush herb, vegetable, and flower beds were a treat for the senses.

“I love it when guests walk around the farm and enjoy the gardens because it’s a unique experience—they can see where their food is grown,” says Jayne Shord, who established numerous gardens when she and husband Bill purchased the farm in 2001.

The dinner series, a collaboration between Shord and Lori Korczyk of Savor Gettysburg Food Tours, launched in 2015 with three dinners and a concept: five-course, farm-fresh meals paired with accompanying local wines, ciders, or beers. The lineup expanded to five Second Sunday Suppers in 2016, with five unique experiences also planned for 2017, June-October.

“The dinners feature Adams County’s rich agricultural bounty—cider makers, wine makers, producers—there’s so much here, and it leaves people with a greater appreciation for farmers,” says Shord.

“Farm-fresh food is something that everybody enjoys,” Korczyk says. “To look at the face of the chef who prepared the food for you, the person who created the wine…It builds a relationship.”

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“Perfect Day for a BBQ”

“Summer Farm BBQ” was the theme of July’s dinner featuring Chef Josh Fidler of Fidler & Co. Craft Kitchen & Grocery, Biglerville, with beverage pairings by Dan Kulik of Battlefield Brew Works, Gettysburg. As guests arrived, they could enjoy Kulik’s cocktail, a Cranapple Moon. The sparkling pink drink combined his Apple Pie Moonshine, for a white whiskey base, with cranberry ginger ale.

Sizzling scents and wafts of smoke carried from the nearby grill where Chef Fidler and his staff worked, tantalizing the guests. “What a perfect day for a barbeque,” Fidler said. “It really doesn’t feel like work.”

After cocktails, social time, and a stroll around the property, attendees were seated at one continuous table, under a grove of shady trees. Some dinners are held in the Shords’ restored barn.

Fidler’s first course included Pork & Kimchi Brats on potato rolls, enhanced by black garlic mayo and caramelized onion. A jewel-toned Beet Salad incorporated Beech Springs Farm’s beets and herbs, tossed with rice vinegar and creamy local goat cheese. Kulik offered Battlefield Brew Works’ Fishing Church IPA, and his explanation of the name received a round of laughter from attendees: “It’s a refreshing beer—one that you could drink all day while fishing, or it’s light enough that you could even drink one before going to church.”

Smokey Pulled Pork, the result of 16 hours of smoking, was the star of the second course. All of the meat was provided by Rettland Farm, Gettysburg. Dressed in a barbeque sauce Fidler described as “a cross between a Carolina and a Yankee sauce,” the pork was served up in potato rolls. Broccoli Salad showcased Shord’s broccoli, banana peppers, and red onions, accompanied by feta cheese and a Greek dressing.

For the second and subsequent courses, Kulik offered guests a choice of his German wheat beer (Hefeweizen), Double Dark Chocolate Bock, or another Fishing Church IPA.

Sunday supper comfort food comprised Fidler’s third course, featuring grilled Fidler Family Secret Chicken, Baked Mac & Cheese, and Compressed Watermelon. Fidler relied on modern techniques to put a spin on summer’s signature fruit. “We put the watermelon in a chamber vacuum seal, which makes it very tender, then we add fresh mint and basil from Jayne’s garden with a Balsamic reduction.” The resulting Compressed Watermelon glowed a deep, dark scarlet.

“It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This”

Meantime, a 1929 John Deere Model E Hit & Miss engine was powering dessert production near the barn. Jim Cuomo of Grandpa’s Country Catering, Carlisle, connected the engine to a stainless steel ice cream maker to create vanilla and chocolate ice cream before guests’ eyes. “It puts a smile on people’s faces,” Cuomo says.

Guests could enjoy bowls of ice cream, or root beer floats featuring Battlefield Brew Works’ hard root beer, for dessert. Then, it was time to sit
back and enjoy final performances by Across the Pond, as evening set and fireflies emerged.

Cindy Hammett of Lake Meade said she enjoyed her first trip to Beech Springs Farm. “It’s gorgeous, and the family is so nice, so gracious. The farm-to-table aspect is what drew me. I enjoy supporting local [agriculture]…everything was perfect.”

Betsy and David Lower of Biglerville hold the distinction of being the only guests to attend every dinner in the series, going back to the start. “We love food, and it doesn’t get any better than this,” Betsy says. “We enjoy Jayne’s generosity and spirit of sharing her farm…the dinners are like a slice of Americana.” 

Cranapple Moon

Recipe courtesy of Dan Kulik of Battlefield Brew Works

Fill a 12-oz. cup with ice.

Add 1 oz. of Battlefield Brew Works’ Apple Pie Moonshine.

Fill the glass the rest of the way with Schweppes’ Cranberry Ginger Ale.

Fall 2016 Farm-to-Table Dinner Series

Sunday, Sept. 11:
Autumn Sunday Supper

Featured
Chef:
Bryan Busch, Tutoni’s Restaurant, York

Entertainment: Jazz Singer
Kerensa Gray

Sunday, Oct. 9:
Autumn Cider Supper

Featured
Chef:
Jeremy Schaffner, SCCAP Café, Gettysburg

Entertainment: Pianist Bryan Herber

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