Those of us in the DC region are blessed with an abundance of film festivals. In fact, DC is highly regarded as a center for documentary film production, with places like the National Geographic, the Smithsonian, the Discovery Channel, and PBS all in our backyard. So letting another film festival slip through the cracks is all too possible.
We are, in fact, in the midst of the DC Environmental Film Festival right now! Continue reading
I used to be very diligent about writing my thoughts down, taking the time to sit and reflect more about my work, about life. This year, stopping has been neglected more and more (as apparent in my timeline of posts with Slow Food) in my life and my work. Now it’s time to catch you and me both up to speed.
The last time I left you it was winter and it was the beginning of a new year, a new glass that was half full. But what that glass was full of was yet to be defined. Three months into the new year I can tell you now what that glass is full of…it’s full of hope. Not to be too cheeky….. but it is.
“There is less processed foods in the kids meals”
“More kids are eating their fruits and vegetables”
“Kids are eating more salad because they see other kids eating salad”
“My kids want to only eat the fruit and veggies at school”
“I see them eating broccoli and dipping it in the ranch you make from scratch”
“They eat the peppers as if they are candy– even the sweet tooth in the class is gobbling them down”
These are just some of the quotes from this year at the new school I have been working in since August. It’s amazing to see so much change since the summer. And indeed the 6-month mark is a big one to analyze a change in behavior.
Kids still feel strongly about not being fond of beans unless in the form of BBQ. They still love their pizza, their hot dogs, and burgers. But now they eat them on a whole-wheat bun, they eat them with real beef from real local cows that eat real grass. They eat real food and that’s what we talk to them about each day. That real food tastes good and it’s made with love; not from a processing plant. Anand makes it or Iris makes it or Tiffany makes it. It’s made by people who use their hands and who put flavor into that burger you’re eating.
That is the best part of what we do at DC Central Kitchen and with schools and with the community. We educate and we give out tools to be healthier. Cooks, chefs, nutritionists, teachers, advocates, instructors, buyers, growers, and transporters, are all invested in giving back to the community and you can too! It’s about baby steps and it starts with a whole-wheat bun stuffed with a patty of HOPE. ☺
Nothing makes the Winter Blues go away faster than helping out two great organizations at once! That’s why Slow Food DC has paired up with DC’s Bread for the City to host our Bid Away the Winter Blues Fundraiser and Auction! Thursday, February 23, Slow Food DC will be hosting this event at the Bread for the City’s Northwest Location.
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Location: Bread for the City, 1525 7th St. NW, Washington DC 20001
Tickets: $55.00 at Eventbrite
Bid your winter blues away at our silent auction while enjoying catering from DC Central Kitchen’s Fresh Start Catering and complimentary wine tasting.
So far, we have a wonderful assortment of items to bid on, including:
Don’t pass up this opportunity!
Bread for the City’s mission is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC, with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. They have been most generous in providing Slow Food DC with space to hold our monthly board meetings and this is a chance for us to give back.
Last weekend marked the annual Slow Food DC community potluck. In addition to the usual array of friendly people and delicious food which I’ve come to expect at these sorts of things, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of folks I somehow hadn’t crossed paths with before… one of whom warmly welcomed me to her preschool class to speak a bit about Slow Food and sit in on a food education session. Yes, food education classes for 3 and 4-year olds! I was intrigued, having never worked with such a young age group before myself. (You see, most food education programs, such as they are, begin with 3rd graders.) So this past Wednesday, I headed out to Patterson Elementary. What I discovered was simply fantastic.
After I introduced the idea of “slow food” — taking the time to share ideas over homemade meals — and encouraged the youngsters to share their favorite foods to make and eat with friends and family, Vera (or as she is known to students, Auntie Oye) asked the student chefs who’d helped to prepare the day’s snack of fruit salad and guacamole to name some of the ingredients. “Cilantro!” I heard. “Apples!” “Raisins!” “Yoghurt!” A 3-year-old that can identify cilantro? These kids were good. After snack, it was time for the day’s special guest, Chef Herb, who along with his technical work as a Nutrition Educator at UDC also happens to be a food sculptor.
I was as intrigued as the kids as he proceeded to show us a wide variety of animals made out of fresh fruits and vegetables: a pear parakeet on a grape and cantaloupe swing, a mango and orange squirrel, a kiwi fruit and kale bat. To my amazement, students collaboratively were able to name nearly every fruit and vegetable on the table. (None of that “can’t identify tomatoes not in ketchup form” for these smart young students!) Class ended with Chef Herb carving a watermelon rose right before our eyes. As he worked, students clapped, danced, and sang along to a song whose refrain was, I was tickled to learn, “I like cous cous, I like cous cous!” Some of the kids were really belting it out, too. As we chatted afterwards on our way back to Northwest DC, Vera insisted that the success of the program at the school was due in large part to the ongoing enthusiasm of Ms. Murphy and Ms. Pringle who work with the kids at the school, reinforcing the ideas and positive health habits daily.
I left with a big smile on my face, hopeful that folks like Vera — Culinary Storyteller and Nutrition Educator with UDC herself — can reach more groups like this. I should mention that she’s always on the lookout for guest chefs and speakers to help get her proteges excited about fresh foods and healthy living….
Posted in News
Tagged food education
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Time: 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Location: Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P St NW Washington, DC 20037 (entrance around the corner from main doors, on the left)
Cost: Free! (suggested donation $5)
What to Bring: Your favorite dish, along with the recipe for inclusion in Slow Food DC’s first cookbook!
I am really excited to see familiar and new faces at our first potluck of 2012 on Saturday January 28th. It will be held in the basement of the Church of the Pilgrims, from 1:30 to 3pm. The potluck is free and everyone is welcome. We will be taking donations to help cover the cost of the space. Five dollars should be enough, although we always welcome more! Continue reading
The National Portrait Gallery recently commissioned a portrait of the chef, author, and restaurant owner Alice Waters by artist Dave Woody. In celebration, Slow Food DC is participating in the Farm to Table Family Day at the National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard.
Date Sunday, January 22, 2012
Time 11:30am to 3:00pm
Location Kogod Courtyard in the National Portrait Gallery
Host National Portrait Gallery
Enjoy live music, learn about the “farm to table” movement, and participate in hands-on activities! This event is family focussed, with lots of fun activities and recipes you can take home.
For over forty years, Alice Waters has been a vanguard of the food movement in the United States. Since the founding of her restaurant, Chez Panisse, she has been a champion of local, sustainable, and organic food, while educating on seasonal eating, knowing where your food comes from, and of course incredible flavor.
We hope you can make it to this free, family-friendly event. Expect to see many organizations that also work on food issues. Questions? just let us know by emailing info (at) slowfooddc.org
Update: The Bethesda viewing party is completely booked! We recommend you check the TEDx Manhattan website to find a viewing party, or create your own viewing party
Ideas worth spreading-our food system could certainly use some to help us achieve a more sustainable, healthy, and fair way to feed our world. With this in mind, TEDx Manhattan has organized Changing the Way We Eat 2012. This series of inspiring talks intends to bring people together over the Issues, Impact and Innovation surrounding food and food systems. The actual event will occur in New York City for a limited number of applicants, but will be streaming to viewing parties across the country. Bethesda Green has organized a viewing party that Slow Food DC and Full Plate Ventures are co-hosting, and we hope you will attend! This free event is your opportunity to join a viewing party with other inquisitive folks who care about the food we eat. While the event has a focus on Montgomery County specifically, all are welcome to this metro-accessible venue.
Date: Saturday January 21, 2012
Time: 9:00am to 5:30pm (Come and go as you wish)
Location: at Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Ave, Bethesda MD (Second Floor above the Capital One Bank)
Co-Hosted by: Bethesda Green, Full Plate Ventures and Slow Food DC
Tickets: Free through Brownpapertickets.com
The talk is broken into three sections, with ample time in between for the great activities we have planned, including a speaker panel and discussion circle. We also will be having a Local, Sustainable, Seasonal Potluck Lunch Challenge, where we ask that you please bring a locally grown and/or locally produced food (homemade is encouraged!) to share according to the category by your last name. Honest Tea and coffee will be provided.
A-H appetizers, bread, cheeses, spreads, veggies
I-P main dishes, side dishes
Q-Z desserts including fruit
More information on this event can be found on Bethesda Green’s site.
If you are willing to volunteer, please contact rich(@)slowfooddc.org
Slow Food DC is starting a new blog series about our favorite recipes! We hope you’ll get to know our board members through what we like to eat.
This recipe comes from our outgoing secretary, Laura.
Below is her interpretation of her grandmother’s recipe for New Year’s Lentil Soup. Italians believe that eating lentils (and wearing red underwear ) on New Years brings good luck – hopefully this will bring some to you, our readers! Like many grandmothers, Laura’s conveniently leaves out parts of her recipes when she passes them on, so she has had to add in what she believes are the missing ingredients. This version has served her well, but Laura will admit “…my soup is never quite as good as my Meema’s!”
Meema’s New Year’s Lentil Soup
1 lb lentils
1 lg. can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt/pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 quarts water
Rinse the lentils in cold water. Sort and drain them. Simmer lentils uncovered in the 4 quarts of water, and then bring them to a boil. Add all the other ingredients, and simmer for 1.5 hours. Serve hot with crusty Italian bread!
*To make this soup with sausage, take about a 1/2 lb. of sausage out of its casing and brown it. Add it to the lentils with the tomatoes and other ingredients.
(photo used under Creative Commons license. From Flickr user ebarney)
I don’t make new years resolutions; I make them everyday. We as a society should be aware of our actions everyday and the effects they have on others… something Congress has lost sight in; something we need to urge them to reconnect with.
This year, people all over the country mobilized to turn out better food for the kids in this country. Chefs worked to demonstrate, teach, and feed thousands of kids not only in DC but also all over the country. Farmers showed students and parents how they grow the food that they eat, truck drivers dropped of local healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to put in their mouths, and logistic coordinators helped facilitate all of the above. Lots of people have made their resolutions to not only themselves but to the kids of this country to get better food to them. To get wholesome food that isn’t processed into the mouths of kids and teach them skills that no longer exist in mainstream America is a task that should be on many resolution lists this year and for many years to come.
Congress may still continue to follow big business lobbyists and monopolies to cut corners (pizza will never be a vegetable) and the health of our next generation but it does not mean we have to give up. It fuels my fire to believe that such rhetoric can occur and that such ignorance exists.
We got this folks; and we’re still doing a great job together.
Here’s to more kids getting real food in 2012. Please join me in fighting childhood obesity and hunger in America. Let me know if you want to help in the fight @chefallisosna on twitter.
Happy and healthy holidays!