The Supper Club at Yonder Way Farm
From Their Farm to Their Table
During the Supper Club at Yonder Way Farm, Lynsey and Jason Kramer celebrate their farm at their table with their guests.
“We work hard to bring the best, freshest food to our customers, and the Supper Club lets us see them enjoy it,” Lynsey said. “It brings us a full circle experience—and a lot of satisfaction and joy.”
Hostesses from the ranks of the girls’ homeschooled friends greet guests at the gate and direct them to the parking area in an open patch behind the farm compound. On one side of the parking area, a sow and pigs root in the dirt for edible treasures. On the other, a flock of chickens in their mobile pen cluck contentedly as they scratch for their supper. Turkeys strut their stuff, and tail-wagging dogs act as the unofficial welcoming committee.
More busy, smiling kids—and adults—take care of immediate hospitality needs such as pouring wine, beer or cold drinks and pointing out the appetizer stations. Guests can stroll around the farm or gather under the live oak trees in comfortable chairs and talk with friends, those they know and those they’ve just met.
“Our Supper Club is not about being fancy; it’s about being real, being present and being well-fed,” Lynsey said.
The Supper Club kicked off in June with the completion of a rustic, barn-inspired gathering space just behind the family’s historic farmhouse. Like the area’s historic dance halls, the barn is ventilated with well-placed, oversized windows and doors and outfitted to accommodate a large group.
The family plans to host a dinner each month, but because the menu is dictated by seasonal availability of farm-fresh products in a 150-mile radius of Fayetteville, some months, such as August, which is when I attended, prove to be challenging.
“August is tough because the heat has put an end to the summer growing season, and fall crops aren’t ready yet,” Lynsey said. “We had so many requests for an August dinner that we got resourceful and did it anyway.”
Their resourcefulness yielded a bounty of flavor. The all-inclusive, prix fixe meal, served family style at long tables as the sun set, included brisket-topped caponata; a ratatouille-like mélange, featuring eggplant instead of zucchini, on grilled sourdough; grilled romaine salad with beets, pork cracklings and shaved parmesan with a lemon vinaigrette; maple-glazed smoked pork accompanied by grilled potato salad; and charred Chinese long beans with sautéed onions and deep-fried pork belly.
Jason and his team of sous chefs, who are talented friends pressed into good-natured service, cook the majority of the meal over open, wood-stoked flames.
“Everything incorporates grilling and smoke,” Lynsey said. “Jason loves it, and its becoming our signature.”
Dessert was home-style banana pudding (and as the Kramers joked, the bananas weren’t sourced locally, but Texas-grown fruit is hard to come by in August) and the wines came from the Rohan Meadery near La Grange.
“We’re blessed to live in an area of abundance,” Lynsey said, noting that they source organic produce from several farms near Houston and Austin, olive oil from nearby Cat Spring, cheeses from a family dairy in Schulenburg, fermented products from a farm in Elgin and sourdough bread crafted from unbleached flour and ancient starters at Kraftsmen Bakery in Houston.
“People often ask why we don’t post our menus in advance,” Lynsey said. “Frankly, it’s because we don’t know what ingredients we’ll have to work with until three or four days before it’s time to throw the doors open and start cooking.”
Guests shouldn’t expect a vegetarian menu.
“All of our dinners feature a lot of vegetables, but our preparations generally contain meat or meat products such as lard,” Lynsey said. “We operate a livestock farm, so our life–and our menus–are pretty meat-centric.”
Supper Club at Yonder Way Farm
by Lorie A. Woodward
photos by Roundtop.com staff