Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Outstanding in the Field

Sandy Springs Farms, location of OSIF
There we were, out standing in a field with vistas of red rocks, roaming buffalo, and the aroma of fresh foods being cooked.  How lucky is that?  I consider myself a survivalist cook--simple basics.    However, because Jack and I have been fortunate enough to travel from coast to coast and Japan to Switzerland, I have acquired a delightful pursuit for delicious meals and exotic flavors.  When Katy and Shaun discovered this special meal called "Outstanding in the Field" http://www.outstandinginthefield.com/ I couldn't resist the temptation to travel with them, and partake in an open-air feast with food fresh from the land  prepared by Russ Johnson & Jonathon Stranger, two chefs from Ludivine's in OKC.http://ludivineokc.com/

Arriving early at Sandy Springs Farms
( http://www.sandyspringsfarms.com/
James riding his pet buffalo, Stormy
allowed us time to roam the red hills, see the buffalo, and tour the barn, which is set up with a large kitchen and meeting area.  Katy and I had visited there a few years ago for a basket weaving class, and thoroughly enjoyed our day learning to weave a
Katy and Letty completed their baskets.
basket one step at a time, and then enjoying the evening meal with the weavers and James and Sandy Stepp.

Once the guests had arrived James introduced us to their pet buffalo, Stormy.  They have raised him since birth when his mother abandoned him.  So at two years old his is quite used to James being near him and riding him.  As a group most of us watched Stormy from outside the fence, but a few of us eager souls walked inside his gate to touch him.  Perhaps because James has known me for nearly thirty years, he turned and asked if I would like to ride Stormy.  Without hesitation I said, "Yes."  (That was the younger Letty from thirty years ago who responded, not the sensible one who has a bad back!)  But I did reason with this logic, "I once passed up a chance to drive a combine, and I've never had that chance again.  This might be my only chance to sit on top of a buffalo."  That was all I did.  With James' leg to stand on I heaved my right leg over Stormy's back, and I was there on his back. Before I could breathe a sigh of relief Stormy, took a sudden move forward, and I took a sudden slide backwards.  James, to the rescue, threw his body on the ground behind Stormy and me.  Consequently, my bottom hit James' belly,  my feet hit the ground, and I was fine.  I'm sure James was more bruised than I, and Stormy was content!

Sheila & Joey Dills Tulsa

I digressed with stories, but then again meeting new friends from across the Midwest and seeing old friends is really why we come together, that and to eat deliciously prepared food.  The day started with hor dourves of reuben profiteroles, rabbit rillette dolmas, and eggplant rollatini.  The profiteroles were my favorite, and then I read the menu! No one complained, but rather we laughed at our taste buds, we liked the Wichita Buffalo Co. bison tongue reuben profiteroles.  I knew my taste buds and imagination were in for a thrilling day after enjoying the appetizers with  water and a glass of wine.

After several hours of roaming like the buffalo, getting acquainted with new people, discussing ways of preparing foods we meandered down to the grass covered lowlands where our tables were set.  We gathered with new people in tables set for eight.  With each table of eight having its own server.  There was no rush and we all took the time to chat and relax as we dined on succulent foods.  Reading the menu below, I hope, will convince you to go online and find this great event somewhere near your home or state.

OSIF   Wednesday, October 9, 2014
hosted by Wichita Buffalo Co. at Sandy Springs Farms, Hinton, Oklahoma

Wichita Buffalo Co. bison tongue reuben profiteroles
rabbit rillette dolmas
Leatherwood Farm eggplant rollatini
2013 Lady Hill Winery Pinot Gris,
Willamette Valley, Oregon,  Selection of COOP Ale Works Beer

salade de Ponderossa Farms gesiers confit de canard,
Scissortale Farm live baby red Russian kale,
grapefruit-sage-squash seed oil vinaigrette
2013 Lady Hill Wintery Radical Vine Sauvignon Blanc,
Columbia Valley, Washington

Wichita Buffalo Co bison cubanelle relleno,
purple hull-wagyu tallow refritos,
fresh Whitmore Farms corn grits, green pepita mole
2012 Lady Hill Winery Ad Lucem Daystar Red,
Columbia Valley, Washington

roasted suckling OSU Hog Farm & Walnut Creek Farm pig,
Crow Farm duck fat sweet potato mash, grilled onions, smoked elephant garlic-parsley sauce
2012 Lady Hill Winery Procedo Proprietary Red,
Columbia Valley, Washington

Jonathan's Livesay Orchards apple crisp with
buttermilk ice cream, smoked whiskey caramel.

Oh, my!  

Message from the Founder

In the summer of 1999, I came up with the idea of setting a long table on a farm and inviting the public to an open-air feast in celebration of the farmer and the gifts of the land. I decided to call this idea Outstanding in the Field. I thought a big table, carefully composed alongside the ingredients for the evening’s feast would inspire both a conversation at the table and a broader discussion about food, community and the meaning of place. A traveling feast with a central vision of farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and winemakers in delicious communion with the people they sustain. It would be a terrific challenge to bring this message to the field and to the world — it would also be a lot of fun and adventure.
It’s been 15 years since we set the first table near Santa Cruz, California at Andy Griffin’s Mariquita Farm. Since then, we’ve organized more than 600 Outstanding in the Field events, made ten coast-to-coast tours of North America, visited 45 of the United States and set our table in a total of nine countries. 60,000+ people have come out to the farm — or ranch, or sea cove, or vineyard, or rooftop, or sea cave — to understand, learn from and celebrate the farmer.
See you on the farm!
Jim Denevan


  1. Looks like my kind of place. ts

  2. This is really interesting. Riding a buffalo is a pretty good bucket list item checked off. pm

  3. Beautiful, how fun is that. I love that you find so many wonderful things to do. jr