June 9: DC School Garden Bike Tour!

School Garden Bike TourOn Sunday, June 9th, Slow Food DC is helping to organize a bike tour of school gardens around the District. The tour is made possible by our friends at BicycleSpace and the garden managers who are graciously opening their gardens up to as many as 80 cycling garden lovers.

We’ll meet at 1019 7th Street NW at 11:30 AM and go until 2:30 PM, visiting 4-5 school gardens along the way. Breakfast and lunch will be included. You can register at the Eventbrite site.

There are more details at the BicycleSPACE website and on Facebook. Please contact SFDC board member Ibti Vincent with questions.

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Volunteer Event: The Neighborhood Farm Initiative!

Come volunteer at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative  and help maintain their organic, urban garden right here in DC! We will be planting, weeding, and working compost piles in the (hopefully) warm morning hours, followed by our usual deliciousness in the form of a potluck picnic. Remember that this is dirty work, so dress the part! NFI will provide tools and gloves, but food and water are up to you, so remember to bring plenty of water and a snack! Your own reusable picnic ephemera is also appreciated.

Event: Volunteer Day at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Location:  To get to the garden from the Fort Totten metro station, turn left (north) and walk up the sidewalk past where the buses stop.  Across from the parking lot and after some trees, you’ll see a paved path going up over a slight hill on your left (going north), take that path across a field and you’ll see us at the top of the hill! (If you Google 100 Gallatin Street NE-map , you’ll see the field from the satellite view and the path that connects Gallatin street to the metro stop.)
Cost: This event is free, but we ask that you RSVP in advance since space is limited! email sarah@slowfooddc.org 

 

Neighborhood Farm Initiative Logo

click the logo for more info on NFI!

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Neighborhood Farm Initiative

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Neighborhood Farm Initiative 38.952684, -77.006425 Event: Volunteer Day at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013 Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm Location:  To get to the garden from the Fort Totten metro station, turn left (north) and walk up the sidewalk past where the buses stop.  Across from the parking lot and after some trees, you\'ll see a paved path going up over a slight hill on your left (going north), take that path across a field and you\'ll see us at the top of the hill! (If you Google 100 Gallatin Street NE-map , you\'ll see the field from the satellite view and the path that connects Gallatin street to the metro stop.)
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Looking Back at the 2013 Annual Winter Potluck

Riva Soucie is a freelance food writer and staff writer for Public Affairs at the Embassy of Canada. In addition to volunteering with Slow Food DC, she’s a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founding member of the Canadian Association for Food Studies, and she previously managed the Whistler Cooking School.

Being new to DC (and the USA) sometimes makes it hard to find out about simple, street-level socializing. Sometimes it seems like everything in our city revolves around work or politics…or policy or politicking. But that all faded into the background for a couple hours in March at SFDC’s Annual Winter Potluck. Even though the organization does have a partly political bent (i.e. the DC chapter promotes ‘good, clean and fair food’), the potluck was all about communal tables and crazy dishes, foodie jokes and secret recipes, shaking hands and digging in.

I suppose you can tell a lot about an organization’s culture by the food its members cook up and lug to potlucks. The spread included mushrooms escabeche, laced with melted onions, big metal pots with lids pushed down over duck and goat tamales, a jar of little local peppers, even a Vita Mix filled with a thick green vegetable smoothie for drinking. On the other side were Ibti Vincent’s day-pickled yellow beets, sliced potato frittata and a bright carrot root salad. In filling my plate, I made the lucky fluke of balancing a piece of freshly-based soda bread on a messy serving of traditional uova in purgatorio. Sopping the chewy bread in rich red tomato sauce and mild poached eggs was a tasting highlight for me.

Toward the end of our meal, Kathryn Warnes – SFDC President – turned to me and confessed to preferring savory tastes over sweet ones. And usually I would agree. Still, we both took a generous lap around the dessert station. And a good thing we did. Those pretzel and stout whoopie pies were delicate as air and deliciously salty! (Incidentally, whoopie pies are a Northeastern U.S., and particularly Pennsylvania Amish, traditional treat.) Plus, sweet almond points, profiteroles bébé on a tiered platter, spelt shortbread and one glorious apple pie made with Bramley’s Seedling apples (from Snail of Approval award winner Distillery Lane Ciderworks).

These dishes say a lot about the chapter’s ingrained sense of adventure and highlight an intense curiosity about local food and traditional foodways. Plus, they were all plain old delicious. For all of that, I’m so in! Already looking forward to the next SFDC adventure.

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Event: Coffee Cupping with Vigilante Coffee

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this event is sold out.

Vigilante Coffee cupping

While living and working in Hawaii, Christopher Vigilante developed a passion for coffee. This passion led him from working in coffee plantations to working in cafes, learning the nuances of the art of roasting to a commitment to sourcing quality beans. Christopher chose DC as the location he would launch his business, Vigilante Coffee, and has developed quite the following despite not yet having a permanent location. That location should come in the not-too-distant future, in the form of Maketto, a street food and fashion space dubbed the “next generation Eastern Market.” Until then, Slow Food DC is pleased to have arranged a coffee cupping at Vigilante’s current Pop-up Coffee Shop. Join us as Christopher Vigilante brings us through the cupping process and teaches us the methods they use to evaluate all of the coffees they roast. Learn about the subtle and not-so-subtle taste differences–and don’t forget your notepad!

Event: Coffee Cupping with Vigilante Coffee
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013
Time: 10:30am to noon
Location: Vigilante’s Pop-up Coffee Shop, 1017 7th St NW, Washington DC 20001 (conveniently located by the Green/Yellow Mt. Vernon Metro Station)
Cost: $8.00 for Slow Food members, $12.00 for non-members. This event is sold out.

 

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Vigilante Pop-up

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Vigilante Pop-up 38.903718, -77.021901 Event: Coffee Cupping with Vigilante Coffee Date: Saturday, April 6, 2013 Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm Location: Vigilante\'s Pop-up Coffee Shop, 1017 7th St NW, Washington DC 20001 (conveniently located to the Green/Yellow Mt. Vernon Metro Station)

 

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A pickling and fermenting extravaganza at Rooting DC!

Check out this beautiful, just-made kimchi made by my fellow Slow Food board member and Rooting DC pickling workshop attendee, Shelu:

Tell me you wouldn’t put that up on your shelf to impress your friends. (Actually, if you really want to impress them, they should taste your homemade kimchi.) It’s so complex and spicy, not at all pricey, and so easy to make with just about any greens you have around. Pickles are just as easy and inexpensive. Who knew!

This is what 50+ attendees learned at the SFDC-sponsored pickling workshop this past weekend. I blabbed for about 15 minutes while folks nibbled on savory pickled beets, radishes, turnips, and spicy beet green/cabbage kimchi I’d made, and then folks got their hands dirty. (Well, after washing them first, of course.) A mere 20 minutes of mixing and mashing later, each eager novice pickler and fermenter left with a jar of something tasty. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.

It was a group effort, as all good food experiences must be. I could not have done it without the help of my fellow Slow Food DC board members, who not only sponsored the workshop ingredients (including produce from Farmer Mo over at Moutoux Orchards) but also helped and encouraged me leading up to and throughout the day! Rich even made a beautiful poster with ideas for Ark of Taste you could find locally to pickle:

What’s that? Suddenly have a hankering for some pickles? Have more questions about making pickles? Well, I’ll be at the (also free) Slow Food DC annual potluck this coming Saturday, and I’ll be bringing along some goodies I pickled on Sunday afternoon (because clearly I have not done enough pickling lately)….

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2013 Winter Potluck

2012 Slow Food PotluckSlow Food DC invites all our members and friends to join with us for our Annual Winter Potluck! Please note the change in venue from our past few potlucks. We will be meeting in the community room of the Friends Meeting House of Washington, in Dupont Circle. Hope to  see you there!

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time: 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Location: Friends Meeting House of Washington, 2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington D.C. 20008 (The main entrance is on the Decatur Place side of the building.)
Cost: Free! (suggested donation of $5.)
What to Bring: Your favorite dish, along with the recipe for possible inclusion in a Slow Food DC cookbook!
(This is an alcohol-free event.)

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Friends Meeting House of Washington

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Friends Meeting House of Washington 38.913504, -77.047418 Friends Meeting House of Washington Slow Food DC Annual Winter Potluck Location, 2013

The annual potluck remains one of our favorite event. And we are more than excited at the prospects of tasting the delicious and varied culinary creations brought by you, the Slow Food DC community. It is also an opportunity for the board to reintroduce ourselves to you, and work together towards the goal of ensuring good, clean, fair food throughout the national capital region. We will take a few minutes to discuss our chapter, the events we hope to pursue for the year, and discuss things like community gardens and improving nutritional standards in DC. But mainly we want to enjoy good food with good friends, so we hope you’ll make it!

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Happy Hour at Queen Vic

Join us for an informal get-together at the Queen Vic, a Snail of Approval winner!

We’ll help the Queen Vic celebrate their recent hire of Chef Michael Bonk. You may recall meeting him and sampling his delicious treats at last year’s Sonoma happy hour. If you missed it, now have a second chance!

Date:
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue: The Queen Vic
Location: 1206 H Street Northeast, Washington, DC

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The Queen Vic

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The Queen Vic 38.900347, -76.989885

We’ll also toast the upcoming INTERSECTIONS Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Feb 22 – Mar 10th.  Meet some of the people behind this 12 day all-arts festival that features over 100 performances from DC and beyond.

Hope to see you there!

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Happy Hour Fundraiser for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sally satellite image

As we enter the holiday season, we have much to be thankful for. Our incredible Slow Food community turned out in great numbers for the Snail of Approval Awards, and for that we are very thankful. The days that followed showed us the brute force of mother nature, and although we fared relatively well here in DC, our neighbors to the North felt the full effects of Sandy’s wind, rain, and storm surge.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to hold a happy hour fundraiser for those affected by Sandy. The happy hour will be held at Snail of Approval Winner Dino in Cleveland Park. 25 % of the proceeds will be donated to Sandy relief, with opportunities to donate directly to the New Jersey Relief Fund and New York’s City Harvest.

Date: Thursday November 15, 2012

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm

Location: Dino
3435 Connecticut Ave NW (Cleveland Park Metro)

Happy Hour at the Bar (We hope to have a sign, but just ask on arrival)
Wine & Cocktail specials for $5
Beer Specials for $4
$3 off antipasti with your beverages
complementary olives, pickles & a daily treat

Charities:

New York’s City Harvest
City Harvest is working hard to get food to those in need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as well as continuing our work rescuing and delivering food in all five boroughs. For more information about our current operations and ways you can help, see the contacts below:

New Jersey Relief Fund
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie to help New Jersey communities rebuild and aide in the relief effort.

We in the National Capital Region have a great deal to be thankful for.  What better way to show it than to spend time with our Slow Food friends and help our neighbors?

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2nd Annual Snail Awards Celebration a Delicious Success

Marathon-related traffic and imminent hurricane and unreliable public transportation notwithstanding, DC-area food lovers came together last Sunday to enjoy — and celebrate! — some of the best food and drink our region has to offer. What better way to honor this year’s Snail of Approval winners?

This year, we skipped the long speeches and got right to the good stuff. I’m talking about raw oysters and savory pork belly buns and artisanal cocktails. There were a few words from Board members, but the focus was as it should be: on the food, and meeting the dynamic and dedicated people that work at bringing us good, clean, and fair food every day. As we nibbled and sipped, we had a chance to mingle and chat with farmers, chefs, culinary artisans, brewers, butchers, restaurant owners, farmers’ market directors, and others from DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia who have chosen to devote themselves to producing and promoting the food and drink that Slow Food DC is all about.

Congratulations to the 2012 Snail of Approval award winners — here’s wishing you continued success!

Think your favorite local restaurant should’ve been up there in the photo? Nominate them for a 2013 Snail award! Stay tuned for more details….

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Healthy fats and Slow Food principles

Many thanks to Ms. Sally Fallon Morell for her thoughtful talk this past weekend, and for joining SFDC members and neighbors for the potluck that followed. It was a lovely and informative way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And I may or may not now be in possession of a signed copy of Nourishing Traditions….

If you missed the talk, you can meet the outspoken author and food activist at Slow Food DC’s 2nd annual Snail of Approval Awards dinner, coming up later this month. She’ll be there representing Snail Award winner, P.A. Bowen Farmstead. Get your tickets now!

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