Last weekend, I had a unique opportunity: A benefit barbecue at Mariquita Farm in Watsonville. They were raising money for an employee who was injured in a car accident recently and has mounting bills and is unable to work. To help out their employee, Andy and Julia of Mariquita decided to put together a Michoacan Feast and invite anyone to the farm who was willing to donate.
Talk about direct fundraising -- something that we don't really have the chance to do these days: see someone in need and come together to help that specific person out as a community, in a substantive, meaningful way -- directly and not through a middleman.
I was excited to have an opportunity to go to Mariquita Farms, as I have read Andy and Julia's newsletter for quite a while but had never been able to meet them or go to the farm. This event was at their home farm -- most of their produce comes from another piece of land a few miles away.
And the food! While I was able to snap some shots of the food preparation, there were many things that I didn't take pictures of ... mainly because I was too busy eating. It was a feast that I will remember for a long while. We had: birria tacos, nopalitos salad, King City Pink beans, calabasitas con crema, green onions for the tacos (cebollas), roasted corn, melon and berries (thanks to George @ Slow Food Monterey Bay for the reminder of the menu). The preparation was a team effort, as guests were in the kitchen helping with tomatillos, outside shucking corn, collecting flowers for centerpieces, and flipping tortillas. Jessica (whose has a lot of great things to say over at Stirring the Cauldron) helped oversee some of the preparation over the fire, and a group of people were off preparing the goat. We sat on hay bales, and the generally raucous crowd became much more quiet as we all tasted delight after delight. It was all wonderful, though my personal favorite was the beans.
Weary and full, my friend JB and I said our goodbyes and drove back to the city with visions of the country in our heads.