A week ago we held our first formal farm event for our CSA members, a méchoui . The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, after a couple of weeks of on-again, off-again rain – a balmy, sun-filled afternoon with nary a cloud in sight.
We hadn’t really planned it when we chose the date, but Sunday, September 11, was also the 9th edition of the annual ‘portes ouvertes sur les fermes du Québec’ event. Nearly 100 people showed up at Arlington Gardens for our méchoui and a tour of the farm, while more than 126,000 visited farms across Quebec the same day.
For those of you wondering where the term méchoui comes from, Wikipedia offers the following brief explanation: “In the cuisine of Northern Africa, méchoui is a whole sheep or a lamb spit-roasted on a barbecue. The word comes from the Arabic word šawa,which means ‘grilled, roasted’. This dish is very popular in North Africa.” There was no question we had to do a méchoui as our first farm happening…A banal corn roast just wouldn’t cut it. In addition to the de rigueur spit-roasted sheep, we also had ham hocks roasting in the same maple-burning oven. Libations were abundant and varied – ranging from wine to water and everything in between. The formula was ‘potluck,’ so guests came laden with delicious vegetarian and side dishes, and scrumptious desserts.
A fun time was had by all – or so we’re told – and we’ve already started thinking about next year’s event: maybe a déjeuner sur l’herbe on the river’s edge…