Sally Fallon comes to DC on Sept 30!

The way our ancestors ate was not only delicious, but conferred excellent health, generation after generation.  Find out the key principles of healthy traditional diets and how to incorporate them into your daily life. The free talk will be given by the inestimable Sally Fallon Morell — author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, and founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

As always, this Slow U event will be followed by a potluck (with bonus points for anyone bringing a dish inspired by Nourishing Traditions, and a hug if you supply your own reusable plate, cup, and utensils)!

WHAT: A free Slow Food University talk with Sally Fallon!

WHEN: Sunday, Sept 30 from 4-6pm

WHERE: Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC*
474 Ridge Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001
(about 3 blocks from the Convention Center metro stop)

RSVP: This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please RSVP by sending an email to slowfooduniversity(at)slowfooddc(dot)org.

HELP OUT: If you are interested in volunteering with setup or cleanup, please email ibti(at)slowfooddc(dot)org.

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Sally Fallon Talk

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Sally Fallon Talk 38.906370, -77.018642 WHAT: A free Slow Food University talk with Sally Fallon! WHEN: Sunday, Sept 30 from 4-6pm WHERE: Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC* 474 Ridge Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 (about 3 blocks from the Convention Center metro stop) RSVP: This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please RSVP by sending an email to slowfooduniversity(at)slowfooddc(dot)org.

ALSO: Some other events relating to traditional foods and preservation will be happening at nearby Old City Green that weekend — Sept 29 & 30 — so be sure to check out their website for more details!

*Please note that this event takes place at a church with a no-alcohol policy.

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Contest: what are you doing with your summer bounty?

Calling all local foodies,

One of DC’s coolest farmers’ markets wants to hear what you’re doing with late summer’s bounty — the dishes you’re making with market ingredients — and they’ve got a prize to say thanks for sharing your seasonal creations….

Post your favorite Labor Day recipe using at least one ingredient you’ve bought at the Columbia Heights farmers market and enter to win a trendy “No Farms, No Food” cap! (All the cool kids are wearing ‘em.) Whether it’s an original recipe or simply a photo of your creation and a link/credit to the original author, to be eligible you must note which ingredient(s) come from CHCM (and if possible which CHCM farm/vendor). Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, September 5th at midnight!

Entries can be:
1. Tweeted (@chfestivus)
2. Posted on CHCM’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chfestivus)
3. Posted on CHCM’s blog (via the “comment” feature)

More details, as well as some recipe ideas to get you started, can be found here.

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How tasty is YOUR tomato?

This past Saturday, I joined a panel of esteemed judges to taste some of the District’s most delicious homegrown tomatoes. The Tastiest Tomato Contest — the first event leading up to the third annual DC State Fair — took place at the Columbia Heights farmers’ market, and to delicious success. (The actual fair will be held near Barracks Row on Saturday, Sept 22. More details are here.)

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The most discerning tomato judge arrived just after the official panel turned in our comments….

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We were glad to learn that the seven-year-old connoisseur concurred with our assessment, and the awards ceremony proceeded as planned. Congratulations to John Andreoni, who walked away with this year’s “Tastiest Tomato” award (and a 1-year subscription to Washington Gardener Magazine) for his sweet yellow winner!

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The remaining tomatoes found their way into Chef Kenneth’s fattoush, enjoyed by many a passer-by at the market following the competition — no use letting good tomatoes go to waste!

Want to strut your gardening and/or culinary prowess at this year’s DC State Fair? From homemade pies and cupcakes to jams to pickles to homebrew to The Ugliest Vegetable contest, there’s sure to be an event to suit you. The full list of 2012 contests and sign-ups can be found here. It’s going to be delicious…. (And in case you’re wondering, there’s already a waiting list to be a judge for the pie tasting event.)

[Awesome photos courtesy of David Manuel.]

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Shrubs

L to R Board Members Sarah McKinley, Kathryn Warnes, and Richard Naples man the Shrub table

Have you heard of a shrub?

As co-sponsors of Eat Local First Week, Slow Food DC was lucky enough to have a booth at the Farm to Street festival on the only cold rainy Saturday this July. And beyond just giving out information about our upcoming events, we felt like this was a great opportunity to showcase an Ark of Taste product that both preserves and highlights the peak ripeness of summer fruit–the Shrub.

A drink with colonial roots, a shrub is basically a vinegary fruit syrup. The high sugar content and acidity of the vinegar preserved the harvest in a time well before refrigeration. Mixed with cold water, it becomes a tart yet sweet summer thirst quencher. Today, it can be mixed with soda water, or made into a cocktail with the spirit of your choice, such as Gin or Whiskey. It could even make a decent champagne cocktail or wine spritzer.

There are various methods to creating a shrub. The following is the way I created the five shrubs showcased at our booth. But please, be creative! With so many wonderful varieties of vinegar out there, and an infinite combination of spices and herbs you can include, you can truly make this your own creation. The most basic ratio is one part fruit to one part vinegar to one part sugar, but even this is a suggestion. Adjust as needed given the natural sweetness of the fruit, acidity of the vinegar, and how you plan on using the shrub.

Shrub
makes 20-30 servings

1.  Combine one cup of fruit and one cup of vinegar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the fruit has softened. Mash with a potato masher or muddler to extract more juice and flavor.
2.  Pour the mashed fruit and vinegar mixture into a sterilized jar. Cover and let sit at least 24 hours, and up to three days.
3.  Strain the fruit and vinegar mixture into a saucepan. It is perfectly acceptable to place the fruit inside cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice.
4.  Add a cup of sugar to the juice and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Let the mixture reduce until slightly thickened, about five minutes.
5.  Pour the shrub into a sterilized jar or bottle. Refridgerate for best preservation of quality. The flavors should mellow over time.

Once the shrub has cooled, add a small amount to a glass with ice and fill with cold water or seltzer water. Enjoy!

Here are the shrubs made for the Farm to Street party:

  • Sour Cherry with Sherry and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Strawberry with Sherry and Balsamic Vinegar (The strawberries were local. I used a jar of homemade jam and left out the sugar part of the recipe. This is a great way to use your extra jam!)
  • Plum with White Wine Vinegar and Juniper Berries
  • Peach with Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon and Allspice
  • Apple with Cider Vinegar and Cinnamon

Sarah McKinley, Richard Naples, and Kathryn Warnes at the Slow Food DC table

We brought out the Snail of Approval winners list from 2011, and had a few of our new Slow Food DC products for sale

Richard Naples is not above getting excited about beverages and the color orange.

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Join Slow Food DC for Eat Local First DC, a Weeklong Celebration of Local Food – July 14-21

Slow Food DC is proud to be a part of Eat Local First DC, a weeklong celebration of local food, including our local farms, restaurants, chefs and independent retailers. There will be wide variety of events – like a garden tour, film screening, and food industry panel – in addition to happy hours and parties. Things kick off Saturday, 7/14, with a party at Acre 121 featuring local music from Listen Local First and local BBQ and beer.

The focus of this year’s Eat Local First DC will be on local farms and restaurants and the organizations and people that are making locally-grown food more accessible in DC. Throughout the week, you’ll be able to dine at restaurants participating in Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week. On Thursday, 7/19, Slow Food DC is hosting a happy hour for our Snail of Approval awards, which recognize local eateries and artisans for their commitment to quality, sustainable food and the preservation of food traditions and craftsmanship. The event is at Ripple, a 2011 honoree.

Slow Food DC is helping to organize a garden tour on Tuesday, 7/17 that will highlight the work of DC residents who have created sustainable and edible gardens in the historic heart of the city. Then on Saturday, 7/21, we’ll be out celebrating local food at the Farm-to-Street Party – look for our table. You’ll be able to enjoy delicious dishes made with local ingredients, drink local craft beer and wine, shop local retailers and take craft food classes. Listen Local First is providing music from local artists.

There will be a special focus this year on the emerging culinary entrepreneurs who are growing the local restaurant economy in DC. The Femivore Award winner will be decided at an event on Monday, 7/16. The award recognizes women in the local food movement and will provide $1,000 for the winner’s local food project. Additionally, there will be two all-star panels (details here and here) on the local food economy.

You can read about all the upcoming events on the Eat Local First DC website. We hope you’ll come!

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Don’t just scream for icecream: make it!

I first heard the word Presidium during my time at Slow Food International’s Terra Madre conference in 2010. I recall sampling Presidio goat cheese and brought my dad back some Presidio olives from the Salone del Gusto (which translates roughly to “The Tasting Hall”). Mmm mmm mmm.

Now, I concede that I am tragically unhip — always have been — and so suspect that I am probably the last person on the planet to have heard of the prestigious award. But in case you are new to it as well, the Presidia, according to Slow Food International, are “projects that involve food communities in safeguarding native breeds, plant varieties and food products (bread, cheese, cured meats, wines, etc.). Their objective is to save traditional, artisanal, quality foods, strengthening the organization of producers, raising the profile of geographic areas, preserving traditional techniques and knowledge and promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production models.” That’s pretty impressive. It’s kind of like the food version of a UNESCO historic site.

Well. Wouldn’t you know it, when I was in Florence last month for a friend’s wedding, I caught wind that there was a Presidia-certified gelateria called “Perche no?” somewhere in the city. Perche no, indeed. While my friends shuffled off to the Ufizzi — eh, I’d been there in college — I prowled the winding backstreets in search of creamy, Snail-worthy, dairy goodness. And I found it:

Yes, I cropped myself out of that picture. I mean, seriously, language barrier or not, what kind of friendly stranger taking the photo doesn’t tell me I have chocolate gelato all over my face? Anyhow, the important part is the delicious gelato. I daresay I had at least two cones of it each of the 10 days I lingered in Italy. Mmmm….

Suddenly find yourself hungry for delicious frozen dairy? Learn to make your own. SFDC is teaming up with Moorenko’s in nearby Silver Spring to offer an artisanal icecream making class later this month. Space is limited, and tickets are required. It’s not Presidio certified, but you know, it’s pretty darn good. Perche no?

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Ice Cream Tasting and Tour at Moorenko’s in Silver Spring, MD

Beat the heat with this hands-on ice cream event. The group will participate in crafting a unique flavor, which you’ll get to nominate with the purchase of your ticket. The most creative one will be selected and made during the event. You’ll learn about the artisanal ice cream process and how to discern the quality of ice cream. Best of all, you will get to take a pint home and our group’s flavor will be featured at the Silver Spring shop.

Moorenko’s Ice Cream was founded in 2002, inspired by ice cream that owner Susan Soorenko and her sons tasted on vacation. Determined to create ice cream that would stand apart from the rest, Soorenko attended Ice Cream University and has studied ice cream making in Italy and France. Moorenko’s ice creams and sorbets are ultra-premium, all natural, and built from the bottom up. The woman-owned company creates unique flavors for sophisticated palates as well as the all-time favorites.

Date: Sunday, July 15
Time: 2 – 4 PM
Location: 8810 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, 20910 MD

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Space is limited, and you must buy a ticket in advance.

Email kati@slowfooddc.org for more information.

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Snail of Approval Nominations closed

The nomination period for the 2012 Snail of Approval awards has ended. We’d like to thank everyone who nominated an eatery or producer.

Up next, Slow Food DC will be going over the nominees and finalizing the winners. Planning is also under way for a celebration where we recognize the winners of the 2012 Snail of Approval. If you’d like to help out either through volunteering or sponsorship, please let us know.

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Apparently LOTS of folks around here want to learn how sausage is made…

What’s that line about nobody wanting to see how laws or sausage get made? I beg to differ. Washingtonians are clearly excited to learn how to make their own sausages, as evidenced by the rapid selling out of spots for the workshop led by 2011 Snail of Approval winners last Sunday….

Luckily, I organized the event, so my spot was guaranteed. I joined White House Meats‘ dynamic duo to get a hands-on lesson on sausage-making here in the nation’s capitol. From the basics of cutting and grinding and stuffing, to the intricacies of seasoning and twisting sausages into links, Jon and Seth led 30 local food enthusiasts through all you need to know about making sausage.

We focused mostly on pork sausage, grinding, mixing, up and then cooking breakfast sausages, brats, and half-smokes in the kitchen at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. It was both an informative and delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon, to be sure.

Bummed that you missed this workshop? Want to learn about similar Slow Food DC events in the future? Then sign up for our newsletter so you find out before such workshops become a Washington Post or City Paper critic’s pick next time.

[Photos courtesy of Jeff Wilkes.]

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Tenth Annual Slow Food – Clyde’s Farm Dinner!

Save the date! Slow Food DC is proud to announce the tenth annual Slow Food – Clyde’s Farm Dinner, August 4th, 2012 at 5pm.

Slow Food DC and Clyde’s Restaurant Group join together to celebrate their 10th Annual Farm dinner, a once-a-year event that honors our local farmers and artisans. Hosted at Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, Slow Food members and friends gather to sip wines and to stroll the property on a tour of Clyde’s raised-bed garden, where all their veggies grow. Then they sit down to a splendid four-course farm dinner with matching wines, prepared by Corporate Chef Brian Stickel and Willow Creek Farm’s Chef Nathan Thomas.

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