Dear Local Gourmands,
For the last five years or so, I’ve spent Thanksgiving bouncing around between different families and different countries, tasting side dishes that tell stories from the region of each guest and each table I have been invited to. This is why I love Thanksgiving– the stories come out in the food more than any other dinner on any other night of the year. The point of the celebration is to cook and eat and talk and eat some more– obviously, it’s my favorite holiday. But this year, rather than soak up the family dramas and dressing and traditions of others, I’m coming home to roost: this year I’ll throw my first Thanksgiving.
As I try to perfect the menu (you just can’t cook everything you’d like to, and then there’s the matter of arranging oven time, etc.) there’s inspiration flying at me from all directions. Ruth Reichl was on the Leonard Lopate show last week to talk about her favorite side dishes, the New York Times ran a great piece on the locavore’s Thanksgiving, and my friends at Eat Well Guide have partnered up with the Consumers Union to institute the Local Thanksgiving Challenge to encourage us to bring it all back to the local food we love. Swing by the Ft. Greene Greenmarket on Saturday for a lesson on how to make the perfect pie crust, and wherever you are, enjoy what will be the last Saturday at market for many farm stands before we officially pass into a winter of apples and potatoes.
Warm wishes and extra gravy,
Monday, November 17
Tickets go on sale for BAM’s
Eat, Drink, and Be Literary
Mark your 2009 calendar with dinner dates at BAM’s Eat, Drink and Be Literary series– tickets go on sale today. Each evening will begin with a seasonal menu and paired wines from Pine Ridge, followed by a reading with that night’s featured author. Visiting authors include Louise Erdrich, A.M. Homes, Art Spiegelman, and Ha Jin. Tickets are $50.
Tuesday, November 18, 7pm
Meet the farmer dinner at Applewood with
Ridge Shinn of Hardwick Beef
**Call 718.788.1810 or 718.788.1014 for reservations
Join us for another amazingly informative evening with Ridge Shinn of Hardwick Beef “Listening to Ridge speak about raising beef cattle and grass farming, the audience is captivated, regardless of the level of their interest on the subject previous to the lecture. He’s like the one college professor whose lecture you never wanted to miss.”
Wednesday, November 19, 8:30am-2:30pm
The Politics of Food—A Conference on New York’s Next Policy Challenge
Lerner Hall, Columbia University
Featured speakers Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, Father Miquel d’Escoto Brockman, President, United Nations General Assembly, and Maya Wiley, Esq., Director, Center for Social Inclusion will deliver remarks and draw together attendees of the conference that will address a host of policy issues related to food in New York City. Topics will mass energy, sustainability, affordability, public health, jobs, neighborhood preservation, and the pressures of globalization. For more information contact Office of the Manhattan Borough President by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-669-8300. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and Columbia University: The Earth Institute, Office of Environmental Stewardship and the School of International and Public Affairs.
Wednesday, November 19, 7:30pm
Just Food Benefit Concert with System Noise and friends at the Delancey
$10 at the door
The Brooklyn based band System Noise and friends will team up on November 19th to throw a harvest party benefiting local non-profit Just Food. Representatives from Just Food, the leading local non-profit supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and community gardens/farms, will be on hand with a diverse group of local musicians at The Delancey to raise awareness about the local agriculture movement.
Friday, November 20, 6:30pm
Casserole and Beer Tasting
The Brooklyn Kitchen
Emily Farris, Greenpoint resident and author of Casserole Crazy: Hot Stuff for your Oven, will demonstrate and sample out two of her delicious casseroles straight from the book. And to complement, Spuytin Duyvil Grocery in the Bedford MiniMall will sample out some crazy pumpkin beer that you are going to have to get for Thanksgiving! Join us at 6:30, and be sure to pick up a copy of Emily’s book for her to sign. Makes a great gift!
Saturday, November 22, 9:30am
Apple Pie Demonstration with Nick Morgenstern of the General Greene and
Albert Wilklow of Wilklow Farms
Ft. Greene Greenmarket
Acclaimed pastry chef and owner of General Greene, Nick Morgenstern, will join Albert Wilklow, a sixth generation farmer from Wilklow farms, to demonstrate the process of baking the perfect apple pie. Wilklow provides Morgenstern with Empire apples and fat back from the farm’s hogs which is then rendered and used as lard for the pie crust. Learn to let your pie dough rest the proper amount of time, observe the method, meet the farmer, and taste the result. Then, go home and get crackin’ on your own!
Saturday, November 22, 9am-3pm
Added Value Red Hook Farmer’s Market
The Red Hook Farm, Columbia and Beard Street
Last market of the season! Come get some while it’s good.
Saturday, November 22, 2pm-3pm
The Educated Eater
Greenmarket Series on Good Food and the Environment
Purchase $5 tickets here
Did you know that a chicken who lived in a tiny cage, pumped with anti-biotics and steroids, can be labeled natural? Greenmarket is
sponsoring an expert panel discussion / Q&A that asks what natural really means (not much!), whether uncertified organic or beyond organic are claims you can trust (that depends), and how to navigate the proliferation of terms from cage-free to grass-fed (and who controls the language). This first seminar in the Greenmarket Series on Good Food and the Environment is $5 and includes New York State wine and light Greenmarket snacks.
Saturday, November 22, 6:30-8:30pm
Under Pressure: An Evening with Thomas Keller with Michael Ruhlman, Thomas Keller
Astor Center Gallery
To celebrate his new cookbook, Under Pressure, Thomas Keller will meet up with his friend and co-author Michael Ruhlman for an intimate conversation about innovative techniques used in the kitchens of French Laundry and per se. Sous vide is the use of vacuum sealing and temperature controlled water baths for precision cooking. It can result in flavors and textures that transcend more conventional cooking techniques. Under Pressure is Keller’s visually striking collection of recipes and a review of the ways sous vide cooking can be applied and is essential for serious cooks. Guests at this event with one of America’s most important chefs will receive a personalized copy of his book ($75 cover price). Wines from per se and tastes from Bouchon Bakery will be served as part of the cocktail reception.
Sunday, November 23, 6pm
GradyWood Supper Club presents
the Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign
Please join us for a lively dinner presenting the Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaignan initiative of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Brooklyn’s Bounty. Dinner will be held Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 6 PM in Downtown Brooklyn, and will feature a delicious multi-course meal sourced largely from within Brooklyn and served by the GradyWood supper club team. Dinner will be accompanied by brief words from Borough President Marty Markowitz, Campaign organizers, and participating Brooklyn producers who will describe initiatives to develop sustainable food in Brooklyn. We look forward to sharing good food and good conversation with food policy advocates, urban planners, and Brooklyn residents! The cost of this dinner is sliding scale, with a recommended donation of $25 to cover the cost of food.
Reservations are necessary: to reserve a seat, please email email@example.com indicating the number in your party. We will confirm your reservation and send further details.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Tuesday, December 9, 7pm
Spread the Cheer With Beer (and wine and cheese)
529 Waverly Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
What better way to enjoy the festivities of the holiday season than exploring fine local beers, wine and cheese while doing good at the same time? Join a Brewmaster (Kelly from Kelso), a Cheesemonger (Ben from Bierkraft), and a Vinter (Alie from Brooklyn Oenology)as they lead you through a tasting of five beers and five wines paired with five cheeses. Tasting will be held at Kelso Brewery. Purchase tickets here.