As a belated anniversary gift to each other, my husband and I purchased tickets to a fun farm-to-table dinner in Bedford, PA. One of the main streets in town was closed so this event could occur, and it couldn't have happened on a more perfect evening.
This was a bring your own bottle of wine affair, but there was plenty of mango iced tea provided by a local shop owner and tables of delicious local goat cheeses, chutneys, herb butter, crackers, and homemade bread. We helped ourselves to these as we waited for dinner to officially begin, and a kind lady seated across from us generously let us borrow her corkscrew since I didn't think to bring ours.
The four-course meal was catered by Horn O' Plenty Farm to Table Restaurant, and local celebrities and non-celebrities alike volunteered to serve around a hundred people seated down the center of South Juliana Street.
Organic ingredients from local farms are used by Chef Mandy at this restaurant, and all of the food was amazing! These wooden chargers were handsawn from cherry trees locally.
The tables were rustic, yet elegant, with white linens, the wooden service plates, burlap table runners, and Mason jars filled with fresh flowers that a number of local guests got to take home at the end of the night.
A couple of talented local musicians performed throughout dinner and created the perfect background sounds. No traffic from surrounding streets could be heard, yet the music wasn't so loud that we all couldn't comfortably chat with one another throughout the evening.
It was a full "house" and every seat was taken. Not only did this event promote local businesses, but the proceeds benefited Downtown Bedford Inc., which is revitalizing this charming small town.
Not only was it a large crowd, but each course of dinner was large too, and I was stuffed by the end of the night. And I definitely threw the low-carb diet out for the evening as well. Everything was just too fresh and too good to pass up or feel guilty about consuming. It was a lovely evening with interesting people and so inspiring for me to see people come together to support a community, good food, and each other. It gives me hope for other struggling small towns that have been abandoned and overlooked. Bedford has made an incredible comeback in a way I never would have dreamed twenty or thirty years ago. For me, this dinner was a symbol of what is possible if people are willing to think outside the box, try something new and different, and commit to a vision for the future.
Needless to say, we look forward to attending this inaugural event next year, and I hope to see more of its kind nearer to where we live.