“Farm to Table Fabulous” is a back-to-basics approach to cooking and entertaining. This easy-to-follow cookbook will guide you through the seasons with 12 monthly menus for preparing delicious step-by-step meals and tips for hosting a dinner party any month of the year. Using the freshest ingredients for cooking and decorating, you’ll create a casual yet enchanting experience for your guests…one they will talk about for years to come.
In this book, which was published this year, you:
*Enjoy a month-by-month glimpse inside what happens behind the scenes on the farm.
*Learn to pull a room together from the décor to the tablespace with designs that are magical as well as cost effective.
*Give your guests an unforgettable experience with an incredible meal plus joy, laughter, conversation and happiness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimberly Storm knows Farm-to-Table first hand as she grew up on a small farm with her family in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her grandparents owned a chicken farm and egg/vegetable stand. This is how they made their living and frequently invited the family to Farm-to-Table style dinners with only the freshest ingredients from their garden.
Kimberly graduated from Marywood University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design and later went back to pursue her Masters Degree in Education. She worked in the commercial design industry for most of her career. After 12 years she decided to take a leap of faith out of corporate America by quitting the design industry to pursue other interests and that’s how the Ritter’s Farm to Table Experience began.
She has successfully hosted dozens of events in addition to the very popular Ritter’s Farm-to-Table experience including weddings, showers, business mixers, rehearsal dinners, brunches, birthday dinners and more. She does off-premise catering and prepares her “Real Meals” for their farm markets each week for a quick easy way for busy families to eat homemade, healthy meals on the go!
She has appeared on her local TV show WNEP’s Home & Backyard with her recipes and is currently the Special Events Director at Ritter’s Farm Markets & Winery with her husband, Ian, owner/operator of Ritter’s. Her son, Kaden, loves helping her in the kitchen with his latest creations when he’s not on the baseball field or working on an art project of his own. They live together in Covington, Township PA with their rescue puppy, Morgan, and rescue kitty, Bella.
Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR
VIP: Tell me about the title of your book. In recent years Farm-to-Table meals have become quite popular.
KIMBERLY RITTER (KR): Creating the title was really easy for me because I have a history of hosting dinners over the last two years. In our market, a year-round farm market is a great experience, but when you walk into our Farmers’ Market area where our tables are, it is fabulous! It takes us to another level. People have told us they feel as if they’re in Napa or New York City. They forget where they are. Thousands of little white lights, candles, everything is sparkling. We literally bring the outdoors in. We created a magical place. It feels fabulous. It’s not just about the food. It’s about the experience.
It goes back to when I was a kid. We did little skits or shows or sang for our family after dinner. It’s a complete package. It’s really almost a nostalgic feel. Our events cause you to forget where you are. It’s really fun. Many times our guests don’t even know what’s on the menu.
We’re in a farm market, so two feet away from the dining tables is a big bin of seasonal, fresh produce. We have a beautiful display of vegetables on the back of a pick-up truck. We eat with our eyes. There are so many colors. You can’t outdo nature! From a designer standpoint, looking at colorful vegetables and setting a beautiful table, we could just eat the hors d’oeuvres and drink wine all night.
VIP: What do you mean by Farm to Table? We hear this phrase locally at our Clarksville Downtown Market which is held every Saturday from May until October. Coming up in August they are hosting a Farm to Market dinner.
KR: I look at Farm to Table even in the winter months when our gardens are not in full bloom. We’re still getting some really nice produce from other states….For me Farm to Table is about creating an experience for our guests: farm fresh simple food, beautiful décor, a little sprinkle of magic (magic dust). It’s about creating magic and nostalgia.
VIP: You are multi-talented: an interior designer, a really good cook and hostess, a mother, a wife, and you work at your family-owned Farmers’ Market located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Discuss the importance of tablescapes and foods being attractively presented.
KR: I get inspiration from a piece of fruit. I take a concept from floor to ceiling to a piece of fruit-- whatever is in season as a rule. I translate that theme to your plate from your plate setting to the food on your plate. We eat with our eyes. I like cooking with color. It’s a simple concept. One of my favorite decors is the simplest. Cut fruit open, look at the inside of a fruit. Sitting in front of a beautiful vase with lemons and limes—it’s so fresh and so beautiful. It gets you excited about what’s coming for dinner. You know it will be equally fresh and appetizing.
VIP: Give our readers some tips on creating lovely tablescapes.
KR: Go 1-2 days before an event and set the tables. Really be in a zen space when placing people next to each other and then create. Creating should always be fun. I love the idea of mismatched anything. People are looking for an experience—something to take them away for a few hours. Give them the razzle dazzle! You could serve a hamburger on fine china. It’s an experience from every part of your senses.
VIP: What are some of your favorite recipes in your new book, focusing in particular on August and September?
KR: Think about an Asian-inspired menu: Eggplant Rolls, Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Fresh Local Parmesan, Roasted Asian Green Beans with Candied Walnuts, Spaghetti Squash with Cucumber and Scallions in Lime Cilantro Sauce and for dessert, Snickerdoodle Cookies.
VIP: What’s next on your professional wish list?
KR: I have begun a second cookbook but with more recipes and less emphasis on entertaining. It will be an everyday go-to cookbook with almost 200 recipes. I’m also working on my Farm to Table Fabulous blog.
What: “Farm to Table Fabulous: Seasonal Entertaining, Cooking & Inspiration” by Kimberly Storm Ritter