Farm to Fork
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This has always been my favorite Maya Angelou quote, and it is the reason I create experiences for most meals I cook. You might be thinking, “I do not have the time to cook fabulous dishes with amazing experiences.” I would tell you that you do. As an entrepreneur, mom, and wife, I have learned to create delicious meals in no time. Texarkana has wonderful resources, so I created this simple but elegant picnic date for my husband after I visited the Texarkana Farmers Market one day prior. The Texarkana Farmers Market had fresh, unique items that allowed me to spoil the hubby with a farm to fork experience.
Setting the Scene
A simple transformation of a backyard is easy to do. I laid out an old rug, but you could use a blanket. I started with a four-foot folding table but did not extend the legs. I covered the table with a simple tablecloth and runner that I purchased at Walmart. As my friend would say, “You must always stay ready,” so I used chargers, plates, and napkins I purchased from one of Hobby Lobby’s 80 percent off sales. I wanted to create a true picnic experience, so we sat on pillows that I borrowed from my guest bedroom. I purchased a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the market as my centerpiece, and I added candles and some greenery to create a beautiful, simple tablescape.
With summer weather upon us, I decided to break out the grill. While the grill heated up, I served blackberry lemon drop martinis, rosemary white cheddar popcorn, and stuffed strawberries as appetizers. You can find these recipes and how to purchase the popcorn at bougiegrubs.com.
The appetizers gave me time to cook burgers and enjoy my husband’s company at the same time. An outdoor grilling picnic deserves juicy hamburgers and hot dogs. I purchased ground beef from my friends at Dutch Springs Farm. The meat was the perfect base for my garlic herb hamburger patties. I decided to try my hand at making refrigerated pickles with cucumbers from the farmers market; it was super easy, and it only took 15 minutes to prepare. I built the burger using garlic aioli, lettuce, goat cheese, fried egg, and homemade pickles—all things available at the farmers market.
Garlic Herb Hamburgers
- 2 pounds of hamburger meat
- ¼ cup of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and basil)
- 2 tbsp of garlic powder
- Dash of black pepper and salt
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal patties.
- Grill, pan fry, or air fry patties.
- Toast your hamburger bun and spread it with garlic aioli.
- Add lettuce, pickles, and goat cheese.
You can purchase Dutch Springs items by visiting their website dutchspringsfarm.com or going to the Texarkana Farmer’s Market. You can find my pickle recipe on the Bougie Grub website, as well.
To accompany the burger, I chose to make a cajun-inspired hot dog. I purchased andouille sausages from Capers and Conns Farm. My husband was raised in Louisiana, and he is picky about his Louisiana cuisine. He thought I purchased this sausage from the market in Louisiana on our last visit. That’s a thumbs up in my book. I topped the hotdogs with a cajun cole slaw.
Cajun Cole Slaw
- 4 cups cole slaw mix (red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots)
- ½ bottle of sweet vidalia onion dressing
- 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp of creole seasoning
- Place cole slaw mix in a bowl.
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour sauce in a bowl with cole slaw mix and toss. Make sure all pieces are covered with sauce.
I purchased fresh sugar snap peas at the market, but I wanted to make them special somehow, so I made a salad. You should eat at least one serving of raw fruits and vegetables a day, so I figured this was a good way to eat our veggies (and it tastes great, too!)
Sugar Snap Pea Salad
- fresh sugar snap peas
- red onions
- garlic vinaigrette
- Cut peas in half to create a long slim look. Cut the cucumbers in a similar fashion and add both to a bowl.
- Top with thin slices of red onions.
- Drizzle with garlic vinaigrette.
- There is no meal worth having without dessert. My friends at Dutch Springs Farm had a delightful angel food cake. I decided to add a little bougie touch to it by adding a cream cheese sauce and fresh blackberries.
Blackberry Cloud Cake
- 4 slices of angel food cake
- 1 cup of whipped cream cheese
- 1 cup of Cool Whip
- 1 cup of fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup of sugar
- Mix cream cheese and cool whip together well.
- Add sugar to blackberries and toss.
- Spread cake slices with cream cheese mixture and top with blackberries.
The key to creating a memorable food experience is to add at least one thing to a simple dish. People will think that you cooked all day. I hope your summer is filled with picnic day dates, the Texarkana Farmers Market, and plenty of Bougie Grubs!