Tuesday, May 17, 2011
A couple of years ago, I went with my dining group, Pleasure Palate, to Tanaka Farms for a Farm Tour and Watermelon Eating and Picking. Click here to read the blog post about my experience. A member of the Tanaka Family actually read my post, contacted me and said they would like to host me and some friends for their Cookout Tour. So what is their Cookout Tour about? Basically, it's a guided walking tour of the farm. On that walk, everyone gets to harvest their own vegetables to be cooked at the end of the tour.
Since we had arrived earlier than the start time, my friends and I checked out their Produce Stand first.
Check out the beautiful nectarines, asparagus and sweet Maui-style onions in the pictures below.
Tanaka Farms even makes their own jams and jellies like this jarred strawberry jam.
As our tour time started coming up, we headed on to the waiting area and waited for our tour guide to pick us up.
My first bite today of farm-raised produce was a sun-warmed, juicy cherry tomato.
Next door to the cherry tomatoes were sausage shaped tomatoes and those were the first to go in the plastic bag we were provided.
After walking past other fields, we came to our next stop. Here it was all about the bell peppers and I snagged both a purple one and long green one.
Then we said hello and good-bye to a field of lettuce and some interesting looking characters working in one field before our next couple of stops.
There were beans to be picked.
And don't forget the cilantro.
Green onions will definitely add some flavor...
...and carrots are just plain good for your eyesight.
Red cabbage and broccoli weren't going to make the cut this time around, but there's plenty of zucchini to be had.
From the fields and up a hill, there was a tented area where some work needed to be done to these veggies.
However, they needed a good wash first.
Nice and clean, it was time to do some prep work.
Once the veggies were all chopped, including the tofu we were given, all it needed was just a little seasoning...
...before it was wrapped up in foil and put on the grill.
Earlier, sweet Maui-style onions were also being cooked on the grill, so we enjoyed some of that while waiting for our food to cook.
Salad was also on the menu. After finishing that and after a little bit of wait, our veggies and tofu hit our table ready to be savored. It was delicious, but then how could it not be when the ingredients are organic and freshly-picked from field to your plate.
Before heading off to get dessert, here are some photos of the farm from the top of the hill.
Then it was time for dessert. At the time of our visit, watermelons were in season so that's what we had as a wonderfully sweet and juicy way to end our meal. We had both red watermelon and yellow watermelon. Isn't that yellow color beautiful?
After we've had our fill, we strolled back to the main entrance. Bye corn fields!
Bye Tanaka Farms! Thanks for the wonderful afternoon!
If you'd like to visit Tanaka Farms for yourself, check out all the info below.
Tanaka Farms Cookout Tour
5360 3/4 University Dr
Irvine, CA 92612