My Slow Food Weekend

Friday night I tried out a new recipe I have been holding onto, clams with bacon and potatoes braised in beer.  Dining on the porch enjoying the warmth of early summer evenings with a crisp French rośe, catching up with friends is the perfect way to unwind from the week.

Saturday morning I met with a group of about 10 to volunteer at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative. I admit I don’t often get up and out on a Saturday morning before 9am, but the bright sunny day brought an invigoration to embrace the day. The Neighborhood Farm Initiative cultivates a resourceful community of adults and teenagers working together to engage in small-scale food production in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to the numerous educational programs they also donate the produce from the community garden to area soup kitchens and food pantries.  Hopefully, photos from our day will be posted here soon: https://picasaweb.google.com/neighborhoodfarm.

It was fun to meet new people, weed, prep beds and plant some summer crops like beans, tomatoes, and squash. In just a few hours we could look back over the rows and share a feeling of accomplishment and know the benefit of efforts with spread across the community. We then shared a wonderful pot luck lunch; Slow Food potlucks are always fantastic.  Favorite dishes included delicious lentils cooked with spring beets and a tasty okra salad. I am in the smaller population of people who love okra, fried, stewed, in gumbo, it’s great but this was the first time I have had it in a salad. The flavors were similar to stewed okra and tomatoes of my childhood but brighter and fresher in this form. Whoever made this if you want to share the recipe you have one happy fan.

The Food and Water Watch gave a presentation on important issues that need to be included in the Farm Bill. If you are interested in learning more about how to lend your support to protecting small farmers, visit http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/fair-farm/. It will take more than just voting with our forks to continue enjoying fresh local food produced in ways that are fair to both the animals, land, and people involved.

After the farm day, a friend took me on a bike ride through Rock Creek Park, our muscles stretching from the day of weeding and riding. Good thing I worked up an appetite because Sunday night capped off my Slow Food weekend in a glorious manner with an EcoFriendly Foods dinner at Dino.

Chef Dean of Dino brings his passion for locally sourced humane foods to the dinner table through his passion of food history and traditions. As each course was presented he shared the history behind it or a funny anecdote. Each course was unique and showcased the product but for me it was equally important to share the bounty with others around the table we broke bread and sipped wine and by the end of the evening all rubbed our bellies with satisfaction that comes from a slow three-and-half-hours meal.

I am grateful that I am able to participate in a variety of ways that brings meaning to what we eat and the importance of sharing that with others.

Originally posted on Taste Driven.

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