Friday July 06, 2012 | 10:57 AM

Maybe it was the sunset. Or the alpacas casually chewing grass or the rows of fresh raspberries loitering in the garden waiting to be picked.

Maybe it was the bread baking in the cobb oven or the half-dozen picnic tables playing Ring Around the Rosie beneath this awesome, lumbering tree - its trunk wrapped festively in colored lights. But something about last night's Twilight Dinner at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth went well beyond your typical outdoor dining experience.

I bet it was Chef Mitch Gerow and his staff from East Ender Restaurant working the grill and cobb oven.

Turkey Hill Farm hosts a Twilight Dinner every Thursday - and each week a different local chef takes the cooking helm, using locally sourced foods from up the street and from the garden five feet away to prepare a three-course meal. Proceeds benefit Cultivating Community, an organization dedicated to strengthening communities through food. Good, sustainably grown food. The dinner, well that benefits everyone who eats it.

Last night's menu included a chilled cucumber soup with radish and cream.

A tasty salad of greens and blue cheese and a side of hearty bread.

And then came the pork - the most flavorful pork I've ever tasted.

  The dessert - a fruit pie with a flaky crust that I devoured in a minute flat - was eaten after the sun left the sky (and my iPhone couldn't photograph it). But it did photograph this:

For more information about the upcoming dinners:

To purchase tickets ($30):

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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