I love receiving an email from an elated bride or groom about how the wedding day was just as perfect as they hoped and then some. Even better, sometimes a year later, one of the couples will write to ask if they can surprise their partner with a first-anniversary celebration here on the farm. We don’t usually cater meals for two, but this is an exception.

  We love that our farm is a special place for so many people — old-timers who have connected to the place for years and years either as friends or family of the Clymers and new friends who have made the connection via one special day.

   Here’s what we might put in the anniversary picnic basket in fall.

Wild Rice Salad

Yields 7 cups

This recipe is adapted from long-time Nelson resident Pamela White’s delicious dish. It’s so nice to make this while you can still walk out to an herb garden and pick big handfuls of mint and parsley!

1 cup wild rice

Salt

1 cup slivered almonds

2/3 cup yellow raisins or currants

2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

⅓ cup orange juice

2 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ cup best quality olive oil

½ cup finely chopped scallions

¼ cup minced mint

¼ cup minced parsley

Black pepper

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: scallions, mint, parsley

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook wild rice (according to package directions) in lightly salted boiling water until grains burst completely open. Drain well.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a small baking sheet and toast five minutes to brown lightly. Let cool.

Combine raisins or currants, zest, orange and lemon juice, olive oil, scallions, mint, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and a good grinding of pepper in a medium-size bowl. Fold in rice and almonds, let stand half an hour and adjust seasoning.

Tikka Marinade

Yields: 1 cup (enough for one 4-pound bone-in chicken, cut up)

This marinade is so popular! It requires several Indian spices, but once you add them to your pantry, you’ll find delicious ways to use them in other recipes.

¼ cup yogurt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon Garam masala

1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves, optional

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

½ cup minced cilantro

1 lemon, cut in wedges

One 4-pound bone-in chicken, cut into pieces

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: yogurt, garlic, ginger, cilantro, chicken

Combine all ingredients except cilantro and lemon wedges and chicken. In refrigerator, marinate chicken for 12 hours, turning once or twice.

Remove from marinade and grill over hot coals until cooked through. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.

Carrot Cake

Serves 12-15

When fall comes around, eating cakes with carrots and pumpkins and cinnamon and allspice seems just right.

2 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 ½ cups oil or 12 ounces butter, melted

1 ⅔ cups sugar

3 cups finely grated carrots

LOCAL INGREDIENTS: eggs, butter, carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter a 9”x13” pan. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together eggs and butter. Add sugar and whisk again. Use a rubber spatula to fold in flour mixture and then carrots. Pour into pan and bake until cake tests dry.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces butter, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Beat all ingredients together until light and smooth. This will not work unless cream cheese and butter are completely soft.

Sarah Heffron lives at Mayfair Farm in Harrisville with her partner, Craig, and their two children. She runs the kitchen side of Mayfair Farm, specializing in catering farm-to-table food and events.