G A T H E R I N G S | Farm to Table

The teacher/chef for this evening's Farm to Table Gatherings was long-time friend and sister-in-Christ, Lisa Rooks. The first time I met Lisa was at my wedding almost 32 years ago. She rode to Corinth with her then "new boyfriend/now husband", Joe Rooks, to his college friend's wedding (that would be my hubby, Mike). Lisa and I immediately struck up a friendship from the moment we met. We always love telling each other we are the kind of friends that might not see each other for several years, but we know we are each just a phone call away. And on this afternoon, we picked up right where we left off from the moment she walked in the front door with an arm full of fresh produce from her good friends at Two Dog Farms in Flora, Mississippi.

Lisa is owner of Hardware for Her. She had dreamed for years of opening a housewares store inside one of her families hardware stores. And this past year, her dream came true. She found herself with time to devote to her dream after their youngest of three sons went to college. Hardware for Her is located inside the Revell Ace Hardware in DeVille Plaza, and carries products such as KitchenAid mixers, All Clad cookware, Cuisinart food processors, Breville coffee makers, Caspari paper products, Messermeister cutlery, the original Mosser Glass, Lodge cast iron and Vitamix blenders. Hardware for Her is stocked with cookware, cutlery and other kitchen products and housewares as well as cookbooks, premium coffee and specialty foods.

Also on the long list of items carried by Lisa's store was a couple of tonight's specialties that she brought for us to sample. These included cheese straws, pretzels, and candied ginger pecans. But the real treat was the fresh produce supplied by Two Dog Farms, a friendship made with Hardware for Her through their CSA distribution location. Not only did Two Dog Farms supply fresh veggies, but they brightened our evening with these beautiful fresh flowers, which are known as Celosia.

What a wonderful evening sitting around the kitchen island visiting with friends and watching Lisa cook up a true "farm to table" dinner. We enjoyed Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Arugula Salad with Turmeric-Infused Honey Dressing, her mother's cornbread recipe, and a batch of Skillet Apple Crisp. Everything was so fresh and delicious. Lisa really outdid herself on this Thursday evening. If you were not fortunate enough to be at tonight's event, don't fret, Lisa demonstrates basic cooking techniques, products, and samplings of food on Saturdays @ 1:00 p.m. in her store, Hardware for Her, located in DeVille Plaza. Just drop-in and make yourself at home!

Now, for the real stars of the show from tonight's Farm To Table:

The look of excitement shown by Beth Dean as she realized she guessed the correct number "7" and won a box full of fresh veggies from Two Dog Farms.