The Pleasures of a Country Dinner

by Sarah Henry on March 10, 2011 · 25 comments

in food events,food flotsam & jetsam

So my friend Felicity Crush, an artist and graphic designer who has the very good fortune to reside in Stinson Beach, invited me to a supper club with a country spin last Saturday.

It was held in neighboring Bolinas, a lovely rural enclave in West Marin best known for trying to keep its location secret, in a recently refurbished barn behind the 24-hour Farm Stand on Gospel Flat Farm run by farmer-artist-educator Mickey Murch. On Saturday, the vibe was country chic with a suitably Boho twist for the area known to locals as Bobo. Think extremely local, sustainable, seasonal eats.

The rustic meal was cooked in Murch’s mobile boat-turned-kitchen, a piece of art in its own right. Diners noshed on Tomales Bay mussels, Star Route greens, and a cassoulet studded with white beans.

Art work with an Impressionistic feel made from found objects on local beaches adorned the walls. Overhead, hand-crafted metalic lamps. Two simple wooden tables festooned with flowers filled the space. On tap: A smooth red courtesy of a resident winemaker. Fiddle music filled the room, conversation flowed, a good time ensued.

I’d wager the world would be a better place if we sat around a communal table more often and shared a simple meal with strangers surrounded by art and music.

What say you?

Food by Rebecca Sterlin and Heidi Lundy of Wild Onion Catering in Bolinas
Wine by Brian Ojalvo
Painting and mixed media work by Tess Felix Greene of Stinson Beach
Shag lamps by Katy Balthazar
Gypsy Grooves by Beso Negro
Photos by Heidi Gross Sandvoll

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Mickey Murch and Gospel Flat Farm
What Next For Berkeley’s Multi Culti Grill and Birdland Jazz?
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Dinner Guests: What Makes a Good One?
How to Host a Dinner Party so Everyone Enjoys it

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

debbie koenig March 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

What a fantastic-looking evening! I’m jealous. And yes, I think the world would be much improved if there were more evenings like this.
debbie koenig´s last [type] ..Almost Wordless Wednesday- Leak

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Sarah Henry March 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I understand the emotion, Debbie. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to attend such soirees.

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Molly Brown March 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Wish I was there! Everything about it looks gooooood.

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Sarah Henry March 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

You would have loved it, M. Next time.

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Nani Steele March 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

My kind of evening….encore. encore!! Nani

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Sarah Henry March 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Yes, indeedy, Nani. I see similarities between Bolinas and Big Sur.

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Casey@Good. Food. Stories. March 11, 2011 at 5:12 am

Great photos to really capture the feeling of a warm, welcoming night with friends. Love these kind of get-togethers! My group of gals tries to do them once a month (on a lesser scale) and it really gives us something to look forward to.
Casey@Good. Food. Stories.´s last [type] ..CC’s Modern Stone-Age Attempts at Paleo Baking

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Sarah Henry March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

That’s impressive, Casey, that you and your galpals have a meal together every month.

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Ellen March 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

Good food, music and conversation. Unbeatable combo.
Ellen´s last [type] ..Spinach- Bacon and Cheese Quiche

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Sarah Henry March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

Agreed, Ellen.

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Sheryl March 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm

There is absolutely, positively nothing to make food more fun or taste better than to celebrate it with good friends. Sounds like a fabulous time.

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Sarah Henry March 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I went with one good friend, knew one or two others, but was struck by how friendly and welcoming people were. Is that a country custom?

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MyKidsEatSquid March 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm

What a cool idea. I wish there were something like this in my area. How do you get invited to such cool events?

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Sarah Henry March 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I’m blessed to have cool, creative friends (as for me: can’t draw, knit, sew, paint, or do anything vaguely artistic myself), so it’s just as well I can write.

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Steph Auteri March 16, 2011 at 5:24 am

Ha! I was going to ask the same question. Obviously, I’m not hooked up with the right crowd.
Steph Auteri´s last [type] ..Having Trouble Defining Your Specialty How To Determine What Makes You An Original

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Jane Boursaw March 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I love everything about this idea. I live in a farming community, and I’ve always thought some ambitious farmer could create a nice side business hosting fundraisers and gatherings in their barn (if the local zoning board went for it, that is).
Jane Boursaw´s last [type] ..I Am Number Four- Going for the Smallville Crowd

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Sarah Henry March 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

This gathering was small enough that it could be considered a private party (though money did change hands, so maybe that’s where zoning would come in).

I don’t think I realized you were in a farming community, Jane. Tell me more.

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Christine March 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I say….I agree with you, wholeheartedly. What a wonderful post – I feel almost as though we were there with you.
Christine´s last [type] ..Blue- blue hat

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Sarah Henry March 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Christine, that is such a sweet comment, thank you muchly.

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Jennifer Margulis March 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I agree, the world would definitely be a better place if we spent time breaking bread and having long leisurely meals together. Come to Ashland, Sarah, and we’ll do it!

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Sarah Henry March 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

Sounds good, Jennifer. I’ll let you know when I’m heading up your way next.

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