Crisp air, comfort food and fresh harvest are undeniably my favorite fall elements. Where better to fully enjoy all three than in a pastoral setting? Last week, I got to enjoy all three when I drove up to farm country to meet the folks at KFC Canada and share a lunch prepared by renowned chef and Food Network star, Bob Blumer. Talk about loving life!
In a tent, in the middle of a gorgeous family farm, we feasted on a meal that included pumpkin pie soup shooters, kale Caesar salad and KFC chicken, as well as a spicy pumpkin brittle for dessert.
When you’re eating a meal prepared and served by a true-blue Food Network chef, there’s no question that it is going to be great! But I was surprised at how well the chicken went with the rest of the meal the chef provided.
But really, I shouldn’t have been surprised. KFC is serving the same real, farm raised chicken I buy at the grocery store. It comes from the very same barns on the very same farms. And, certainly, since it’s been outlawed in Canada since the 1960s, there are no added hormones or steroids in the chicken.
And it was obvious that the Vantol family is passionate about the chickens they raise. In fact, they have been providing chicken to KFC Canada for more than 40 years.
Talking with the folks at KFC Canada who joined us for lunch, I was reminded of how KFC chicken is delivered fresh to KFC restaurants every week. It’s even hand breaded and prepared in small batches in each restaurant kitchen. Maybe that’s why it has such a delicious homemade taste.
After lunch, we got to tour the farm, which included peeking into the barn where about 40,000 chickens were walking around inside!
Any time I get out to a farm I am inspired—by the passion of the farmers, by the beauty of the land. And, this time, also by Chef Blumer’s menu.
On this blog, I’ve long been a proponent of offering a combination of store bought and homemade foods when entertaining. Life is busy. We don’t need to be superheroes and spend three days in the kitchen preparing everything from scratch. When you chose the best of both worlds, you end up with a menu that everyone enjoys — and you save your own sanity in the process!
I am going to be having my own dinner party Bob Blumer style — with a combination of KFC chicken and made-from-scratch items. Inspired by my day on the farm, I am thinking:
- traditional fall flavors such as apples and pumpkins
- a menu served family style
- simple but elegant fall decor — that includes lots of cream and white
- a striking floral centerpiece on the table that isn’t too fussy
Stay tuned! I’ll be sure to include my comfort food recipes and harvest decor ideas in a future post!