Valerie Confections Petits Fours/Tea Cakes

A Mid-Summer Garden Dinner

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
August 11, 2009

Recently I received in the mail a curious small square box containing sunflower seeds and an invitation from Woodbridge for a wine dinner in a public garden on 9th and Ave C. I had no idea what to expect, but the synergy of the various participants and the quality of the experience made it the alfresco dinner of my dreams.

Here are some visual memories of the night and some good causes I’d like to urge others to explore:

Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng with marinated sugar snap peaSara Jaye Weiss

The simple joy I found in the marinated sugar snap pea appetizer paired with the 2008 Woodbridge Pinto Grigio.

fava bean crostini on Sullivan Bakery’s pizza biancaSara Jaye Weiss
Pure, fresh, and a hit: Fava bean crostini on Sullivan Bakery’s pizza Bianca.

herbs blooming at the La Plaza Cultural public gardenCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
Herbs blooming at the La Plaza Cultural community garden.

End of a mealCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
The quiet night settles after an amazing outdoor dinner.

Highlights & Recommendations:

The dinner was organized by Outstanding in the Field. Check out their calender for unique dinners across the nation.

The seeds in the curious small box promoted the eSeed program. Plant a virtual seed and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi will donate $1 to the American Community Gardening Association, a nonprofit group that supports community gardens around the country. The website also has great recipes.

My favorite summer entertaining discovery was the new Moscato by Woodbridge ($8). Floral and crisp, it makes a refreshing aperitif or dessert in a bottle. I like keeping desserts simple and light, so I wouldn’t pair this with anything. Light is the key to surviving this hot weather.

Finally, visit the folks from Queens Farm, one of the produce sponsors that night, at the Union Square market on Fridays. And, check out their website for events and dinners at the farm.

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