Take Me to the Fancy Farm
The Friday Newsletter goes farm to table to your inbox
Fall has arrived, and I’ve got a feeling.
As the equinox came and went this week, and the temperatures—blessedly—dropped across much of the country, I found myself filled with certain autumnal urges.
The urge to walk around a farmer’s market clutching a pumpkin-spice latte in my hand. The urge to drink beers and play cornhole at a tailgate. The urge to festoon my porch with pumpkins and cornstalks and dried corn. The urge to overspend on elaborate animatronic Halloween decorations. The urge to do all of this while wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shorts, as is my Midwestern birthright.
More than all of that, though—I’ve got the urge to go to a farm.
Not a regular farm, mind you. Heavens, no.
I’m a resolute city boy; the most rural location I have ever lived in is my current residence in the suburbs of a city with a AAA baseball team and an international airport. I have no interest in actual farm work; no desire to deal with the practical realities of raising animals or tending crops or any of that real-world nonsense. (I don’t like getting up that early.)
No, I want to go to a fancy farm1.
I want to go on a hayride while drinking a craft cocktail. I want to look at animals from a place where my shoes will not get dirty. I want to take a picture of my children standing in front of an artfully-arranged pyramid of pumpkins, and then I want to go inside the “farm” store and pay $12 for a jar of honey.
I love the fancy farm—and fall is its home season.
Friends, it’s another glorious Friday at The Action Cookbook Newsletter, and I’ve got a great slate of things on tap to celebrate the first weekend of fall, including:
A delicious farm-to-table meal made in the comfort of your own home!
The perfect cocktail for launching Brown Liquor Season!
Great recommendations in books, music and more, plus reader pets!
The best comments section on the internet!
Summer is over. Fall is here. Follow me to the fancy farm, friends.
7) Cuisine de Barn
Part and parcel of the Fancy Farm Urge is the desire to eat inside a barn.
Once again, though, I must emphasize: I do not with to eat inside an actual barn, at least not one that’s used for its original purpose any more.
No, I want to eat in a barn that’s been subject to an expensive renovation to turn it into a restaurant, the kind of restaurant whose menu is full of extra descriptors explaining the farm where the pork came from and the mill where the grains came from and the name of the person who grew the carrots and everything costs $35 but you don’t care because the barn is so pretty.2
For today’s meal, I wanted to channel that atmosphere, and that kind of cuisine—rustic, hearty, wholesome food created with the best ingredients and the utmost care. Once I imagined myself in a fancy barn, the meal appeared to me almost like a vision.
Thick bone-in pork chops grilled with a deeply flavorful espresso-maple glaze. Rich, buttery grits with brown butter and white miso. Smoky, slow-simmered greens and a perfect cocktail pairing to boot.
It’s the perfect meal for a fancy farm, and you can make it too.
RECIPE: Reverse-Seared Bone-in Duroc Pork Chops with Espresso Maple Glaze