1 It was the perfect day for entertaining at my farm. I decorated the stone wall at the side of my home with these colorful pumpkins from my patch.
2 My friend, Chef Pierre Schaedelin, and his sous chef, Aron Cutuc, were busy in my Flower Room kitchen preparing homemade soup and salad for my special afternoon guests. http://pstailoredevents.com
3 On the menu, a delicious creamy potato and leek soup. The leek is in the Allium family, along with onion and garlic. It's an excellent source of vitamin-K.
4 Here was Aron just before he pureed the soup. The potatoes we used for the soup were grown in my garden this season. It is always so nice when I can share my produce with friends.
5 Here was the soup after it was pureed - it was such a gorgeous chartreuse color.
6 It went back into the pot and was heated again before it was served.
7 Chef Pierre also prepared poached eggs for lunch. A poached egg is essentially an egg that has been cooked in simmering liquid.
8 The dish included two eggs for each person - delicious, fresh eggs from my chickens.
10 Chef Pierre cooked the eggs until the whites were just set, but the yolks were still runny. This took about three to four minutes.
11 Here you can see that the fragile, runny yolks were still intact inside each egg white.
12 The poached eggs were part of a salad made with frisee and a very light honey mustard vinaigrette dressing.
13 Pierre prepared endives for the salad. Endives are leafy vegetables, very rich in vitamins A and K.
14 For dessert, a bold colored pomegranate sorbet. Pomegranates are typically in season from September through February. They are wonderful in cooking, baking, eaten on their own, or mixed into drinks. I love pomegranate juice, and often make it for guests using POM Wonderful concentrate. http://www.pomwonderful.com
15 Here was the sorbet after it was made - I loved the rich pink-red color.
16 Inside my home, my dining room table was set in silver and shades of green. My longtime housekeeper, Laura Acuna, sets the most gorgeous tables - every one of them different and inviting.
17 All these cucurbits were from my pumpkin patch. They looked perfect on this table.
18 On one side of my dining room, my beautiful red factor canaries. Their bold colors can range in shades of light peach and apricot to orange and red.
19 I also decorated my front entrance with the colors of fall - pumpkins and squash I grew in my garden.
20 It's always a good idea to select pumpkins, squash and gourds with long stems - this increases their keeping time.
21 My Green Room was adorned with many cucurbits of different sizes and colors.
22 Here was Chef Pierre after he moved all the food to my kitchen and began preparing the soup for lunch - perfect timing after a tour of my gardens.
23 We also had delicious bread to go along with our meal.
25 Here was Chef Pierre plating the frisee for the poached egg salad.
26 A nest of endives and frisee with two eggs.
27 For some of the guests, a bit of bacon for added flavor.
28 Dessert was one of the biggest hits - the pomegranate sorbet.
29 Here was a scoop of sorbet with pomegranate seeds drizzled on top. It was so refreshing.
30 Here were my guests: Adam Nicolson, my garden and features editor, Melissa Ozawa, photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo, and Sarah Raven.
31 Here we were all together in my dining room. We had such an enjoyable time learning about each other's farms and passions for gardening.
32 After lunch, we decided to take a drive to see the estate of my good friends, Michael and Judy Steinhardt. Their property is near my Bedford farm. I wanted to show Adam and Sarah their Japanese Maple Grove. It was a spectacular day for such a visit - look at the beautiful autumn colors.
33 As we drove through the property, the changing colors of the trees looked more and more stunning.
34 The Steinhardts' property is 54-acres and quite amazing with its landscape of hills and slopes.
35 Their Japanese Maple grove is filled with more than 400-cultivars from around the world.
36 They have matured so nicely, creating many canopies of color along the pathways.
37 The Steinhardts also have many exotic animals living on their property, including two majestic Eurasian eagle owls - one of the largest species of owl with wingspans that can reach more than six-feet.
38 Such a spectacular creature, the Eurasian eagle owl is a mostly nocturnal predator. And, look at its eyes - they are orange-red in color - very distinctive for this species.
39 As we neared the end of our visit, we drove past some hanging ghosts blowing in the wind.
40 Such a fantastic day with Sarah, Adam, Melissa and Ngoc, and a visit through the Stinhardt Garden. Tomorrow, I will share more photos of my fall entertaining decorations and a special dinner I hosted for some of our friends at PetSmart. http://www.petsmart.com