Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fun Party: Grilled Pizza Buffet at Cottage Hill Farm

One of the most fun events I did this summer was a grilled pizza buffet at the charming Cottage Hill Farm in Ravenna. I've had the privilege of cooking at this spectacular estate before, indoors last time, in the only kitchen that has a meat hook on a pulley adjacent to the large kitchen (handy for unruly guests, perhaps, but thankfully there were none).

The original stone house was built in 1834 and has a rich history, including ownership by the Hanna family, and is being lovingly restored to it's original condition by Josie and Dale Adams. Dale Adams Enterprises does amazing historical automobile restoration, and examples including the pink cadillac, were on display, and guests were offered rides.

Even though it was sultry, 90 degree summer day, my gracious hosts took excellent care of me and set me up in the old barn, which had a fabulous cross breeze, plus they provided a huge fan, which helped keep the area cool when the grills were fired up. I probably had the coolest station on the grounds.

This was the view towards the house from my station. The beautiful quilts on the tables were courtesy of the Adams, and I carried the theme by putting some toppings in canning jars and icing them in tin containers.

I prepared a buffet of topping choices which included freshly grilled summer squash/zucchini, red onion, fresh tomatoes, banana peppers, olives, pesto, white bean and garlic hummus, red sauce, flavored olive oil, turkey pepperoni, various flavors of chicken sausage, roasted bell peppers, feta, mozzarella, and goat cheese.

Guests selected their toppings and I grilled to order using par-baked crusts from my friends at Frickaccio's Pizza Market at the West Side Market. They also have gluten-free, whole wheat, and organic crust options, plus they offer fresh pizza kits with cheese, sauce, and crust with instructions.

Beautiful vegetable garden right off the barn.

Part of the days festivities included hay rides around the property, and I was invited to join the last one of the day, along with the family German Shepherds, who weren't sure if it was the best mode of transportation.

The back of the barn - that's why there was a good breeze.

I had an admirer on the ride.

View towards the house and outbuildings. It's always a pleasure to work with the Adams and spend a little time at this historical farm. I am looking forward to seeing more progress on the restoration. And I really wished I had the summer kitchen when I was canning.

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