Hey guys, Kristen here! When creating Rooted Event Co, I set out with the intention of bringing people together around the table to create authentic community. I had so many ideas running through my excited mind that it was difficult to just get started on bringing them to life! I feared that starting something like this opened me up to public failure, personal disappointment in my own abilities to execute the events I dreamed of creating, or- even worse- that even if I built it people might not come. What tipped the scales for me and finally allowed me to start was the realization that the people I kept meeting in The Dalles seemed to be thirsting for something real, something honest, something delicious, and I felt like I shared that desire, as well as had a unique opportunity to speak life into that area, helping satisfy needs in a very real way. So, I swallowed my fear, took a deep breath, and dove into the waters of the unknown.
I began planning our first community Rooted Table dinner, decided on a menu, opened up ticket sales on Eventbrite, and was utterly shocked (in a good way!) when twelve people bought in to our vision by purchasing their tickets for our pasta dinner!
And, suddenly, the date was upon us! I spent so much time lovingly prepping food in the kitchen, dressing the table with the linens I had chosen, arranging the place settings, and adjusting little things so they would be just right, until finally there was nothing left to do that could be done ahead of time. I felt the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach as we waited for our guests to arrive with nervous anticipation!
People began to filter in to the sanctuary, and we got to work! Jakob began pouring glasses of bubbly wine for our guests, and I put out our appetizer board for guests to snack on as we waited for everybody to arrive. We so enjoyed mingling and meeting people as they arrived!
Once everybody had arrived we took our seats at the candlelit table in the heart of the old stone sanctuary, and the real meal began!
We began with our Rooted Kale Salad. This was not your average kale salad! We massaged fresh, crisp kale until the bitter green was transformed into a silky, delectable version of its former self, tossed it with a fresh garlicky lemon dressing, and topped it off with shredded parsnips, sweet apple, and toasted sunflower seeds. Unfortunately none of us thought to snap a picture of the salad platter until we had demolished the majority of it... oops! I guess that's a good problem to have, though!
After salad, we moved on to the main attraction- our fresh handmade pappardelle pasta with slow roasted, hearty pork ragu. We chose to serve the pasta family style to encourage conversation around the table, and create a feeling of community while dining together.
Our pork ragu was the meaty, flavorful product of an entire day well spent in the kitchen. We know the secret ingredient to a flavorful sauce is time, so we spent the day roasting the pork to tender perfection before mixing it into the lovingly handcrafted sauce simmering away on the stovetop and then let the flavors get to know each other in the pot until it was time to eat!
We did our fresh pappardelle pasta noodles the right way, lovingly handmaking each of our noodles from scratch. We mixed our pasta dough with the highest quality ingredients, kneaded it by hand, let it rest, rolled it into thin sheets, cut it into the wide strips characteristic of pappardelle, and boiled it to the perfect al dente texture before mixing it in with our pork ragu and topping it off with a hefty helping of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Plenty of food was had by all, but we all made sure to save a little room for dessert! We made crisp fried cannoli shells and filled them with our homemade sweet ricotta and chocolate chip filling; just like Nonna used to make it!
After that, we enjoyed another half hour around the table with each other, winding down, wrapping up conversations, savoring the final bites of cannoli, and sipping the last of our glasses of wine. As the last guest left through the doors, I couldn't help but feel amazed at the level of connection we witnessed happen among strangers, and grateful for each person that intentionally shared a few hours of their life with us around the table! We loved getting to know each of you at least a little bit, and are excited to continue meeting and getting to know the people that come to our future events! We hope to see you around our table!