Last spring, my husband, Jonathan, received a phone call from one of our corn buyers. This buyer uses some of our organic corn to make vodka for other companies. They wondered if we would be interested in hosting three people who would be in the area to visit the corn plant and organic vodka bottling plant where their product is processed. We have had the privilege of hosting Dean Phillips and his marketing team when they rolled out Prairie Grains Organic Vodka. We love to tell people our farming story, so we thought it would be alright to host another group. We were given a date, along with their names and the names of their companies. This is when things got a little interesting, and nerve wracking for me. Two of our guests were from Chatham Imports of New York City. I don’t know if you have the same stereotypes that I do, but I instantly felt that I was too redneck to be their host!
The day of their visit, the weather was warm and beautiful. The sky was a gorgeous blue, without a single cloud – a perfect day!
They pulled up in a chauffeured Lincoln Town Car. Not something you see very often in this part of Minnesota! I had to laugh when the driver was eating his lunch…being watched by two farm cats perched on the roof and hood of his shiny car.
We invited Joe, Connie, and Jim into the house, and visited over “a little lunch” of Lemon Bundt Cake, coffee, water, and juice. All three were very interested in the process of a farm becoming certified organic, and asked many questions. After we finished visiting in the house, we brought them outside for a tour of our farm. They were pretty intrigued with all of the equipment that we showed them. We explained what the different pieces of tillage equipment do, and whether we use it in the spring, summer, or fall. They had the opportunity to sit in the combine, and hear how the grain gets harvested. We tried to answer all of their questions regarding the farm, organic farming, and if I really did make my Bundt cake from scratch.
We found Joe and Connie to be very warm and friendly. The 2.5 hours they spent on our farm really flew by. They invited us out to New York City to visit them and see their company, which planted an idea in our heads. But that story will have to wait…
Lemon Bundt Cake
1 package lemon cake mix
1 package lemon pudding (not instant)
¾ cup oil
¾ cup water
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon butter extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
Filling: Mix in small bowl
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
Put all cake ingredients in mixer bowl and beat for 8 minutes at high speed. Grease and flour bundt or tube-type pan. Reserve 1 cup of cake batter; pour remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon filling onto batter, being careful that filling does not touch sides of pan. Pour reserved batter on top. Run knife through batter to swirl filling into batter. Bake in a preheated 350o oven for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto platter.