17 June 2007

Father's Day, Living Kitchen in Bristow OK





All these photos were taken at the Living Kitchen, someplace near Bristow Oklahoma where 20 people had a wonderfully prepared dinner of roasted garlic on crostini, creamy soup, lovely salad and an entree of roast served with potatoes. Dessert? Of course. Fresh raspberries on a butter cookie tart crust topped with rich, creamy tapioca.

Lisa Merrill and Bibi Becklund work the farm and gardens and serve meals once a month for about 6 months a year. Becklund is a trained chef whose internship was at Chez Panisse.

Many of us met Lisa through her father, Darrell Merrill who most people know as Tulsa's Tomato Man. Merrill is retired now but after a successful career as a banker he moved to his family's land and grew heritage tomatoes and garlic galore - for decades, it seems. People flocked to Merrill's little place with the old farm house to buy tomato plants and garlic out of bushel baskets that he set out and sold on the honor system.

When Lisa moved here a few years ago she took up the family business in her own style. Living Kitchen catered a Master Gardener Conference in Claremore this month and served buffalo stew, chicken and an assortment of vegetable dishes.
The dinner at Living Kitchen includes a tour of the farming and garden operation and goat milking for the courageous.

The setting is two dining room tables where couples and groups sit together family style. The service is relaxed and efficient at the same time. At our table there was a couple from Tulsa and a couple from Oklahoma City.

Living Kitchen is a unique experience of some of the best food in the area. A cocktail was served for the tour, the cheese was made at Living Kitchen, local wines were poured. The produce came from the farm or from other local growers and the farmer's market.

This weekend's dinner theme was garlic because of the harvest. The next dinner is a lavender theme.

The drive is an hour and a half from Muskogee.

You have to go to the website and click on the various links to see photos of baby goats, the garden before and after and click on the "Menus" link to see lists of dishes Bibi has prepared for guests.

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