There’s always an abundance of fresh food served whenever someone calls a lunchtime meeting at a Lawrence County farm.
Lunchtime made the events all the more worthwhile at two recent gatherings at local farms. One was at the Trotter farm in North Beaver, which provided recipes previously. The other was a luncheon at the Elder farm in Wilmington Township, when state agriculture secretary Russell C. Redding addressed local farmers about the state Farm Bill.
Forget the pizza, subs and other fast foods that people provide as a quick fix lunch.
The farm families go all out to ensure that the food served has all the elements of a healthy, balanced diet, including ice cream.
The luncheon at Redding’s visit in Wilmington Township was catered by Michonda Whiting Weber of New Wilmington.
The Whiting family has been heavily involved in agriculture in Lawrence County for decades, and Weber has her own catering business called Weber Catering & Events LLC, that she started 20 years ago. She recently purchased the Pulaski Elementary School, which she intends to open as the River Valley Complex for receptions, parties and other events.
Nobody left hungry from the feast that she and her troops prepared at the Elder farm, which also included an attractive array of homemade pies and ice cream. Michonda said that she uses a confectionary company called “It’s Sweet,” through Whole Life Services of Hermitage, to provide pastries and sweets for her events.
The luncheon included tender roast beef, a strawberry salad, oven roasted potatoes and vegetables and a variety of fresh rolls of different grain choices.
“We’re all about farm to table,” she said of her catering business, emphasizing that she tries as much as possible to use local products. “We are not a ‘can to pan’ caterer.”
The meats she uses come from her brother Sam Whiting’s family beef business in New Wilmington.
Michonda is heavily involved in the beef 4-H club of Lawrence County, helping to promote the beef industry aspect of agriculture through young people who raise livestock on local farms.
For those who haven’t tried her catered food, Michonda has provided a family recipe for Corn Spoon Bread to try, that she says is in big demand in her business. The recipe comes from her aunt, Joyce Whiting of Pulaski.
“Most of our recipes at our catering company came from the great cooks in our family, and sometimes even our clients,” she said. The corn spoon bread goes over well at barbecues, paired with local slow roasted barbecued beef or pork, she said.
Weber also has provided the recipe for her popular strawberry pecan salad that was served at the luncheon.
Corn Spoon Bread
1 stick softened butter
1 small box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
Cream butter and eggs, then add sour cream and muffin mix. Stir in corn. Pour into greased 9 by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and a knife inserted comes out clean. This can be cut into squares or eaten with a spoon.
Strawberry Pecan Salad
1 cup Pecans
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
Toss together and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or just until lightly toasted. Let cool.
Sweet and Sour dressing:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp celery salt
Mix together and shake thoroughly.
Arrange a large bowl of Lettuce and greens, toss in 1 quart of fresh sliced strawberries and the toasted pecans.
Pour dressing over salad just before serving.