After a great tip-off by the Four Coursemen, we headed out to Mills Farm for our Sunday brunch. Nursing a slightly sore head from the festivities of the night before, we arrived at the farm which is just north-east of Athens, hungry.
For the wee price of $8, we were treated to a selection of dishes all created by some of the leading kitchens in the area: all were using the corn grits that Mills Farm is famous for, served with a constant supply of handmade Lemonade or Iced Tea.
Grit and sausage quiche with cheddar.
Braised pork shoulder, apricot mostarda and corn bread from Farm 255.
Shrimp and grit fritters with a black eyed pea salad, the peas also coming from Mills Farm from The Foundry Park Inn.
The National, a restaurant we didn’t make it to while we were passing through made Field pea, pea shoots, tomatoes on corn bread with a dukes mayo and sherry vinaigrette.
The guys from the local Cordon Bleu made a braised beef brisket served on a grit cake.
In a buffet style presentation, S and I went up many times for these nibbly snacks. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and a great way to bring attention to the origin of ingredients and a face to the farm. Tim Mills, the farmer who found the inspiration to develop this mule-powered mill from God one night and who over the course of three years worked out how to use the axle of a tractor to be a key part to the mechanics that now grinds grits, polenta and other cornmeals for local restaurants. In the two days that we were in Athens, we saw the Red Mule Grits in various locations for sale.
Luke the Mule is 18 years old, which makes him middle aged in mule years. He didn’t appear to mind being centre of attention, and remained patient while we and others patted him. He actually looked like he just wanted to continue on with the business of the day, going round in circles, grinding the corn that we were all enjoying eating. A thoroughly pleasant way to spend the morning. Even if you’re a mule.