Dear Local Gourmands,
This weekend I discovered some golden market treasures to tide me over during these weeks of endless sweet potatoes: in the middle of winter, on a day when I was bundled in two coats, Wilklow Orchards was selling frozen raspberries and Revolution Organics had portions of frozen heirloom tomatoes just waiting for this tomato-starved girl to scoop them up. Oh for the love of sweet, acidic, red fruit! A little taste of July in February makes my world go ’round.
May your cheeks be rosy and your apple cider piping hot,
Monday, February 2-Saturday, February 28
Pancake Month at Clinton Street Baking Company
The groundhog saw his shadow today which means six more weeks of winter, and if the news just makes you want to crawl back under the covers and hide, non-stop pancakes may be the only thing to lure you out into society. Clinton Street Baking Company has declared February Pancake Month, in celebration of which they are rolling out new combinations of crafty ‘cakes every few days. A stack of candied blood orange with bittersweet chocolate flapjacks will be well worth the effort it takes to bundle up and go out for breakfast.
Monday, February 2-Wednesday, February 11
Kumquat Cupcakery Valentines Day Orders for Just Food
This year Kumquat is very happy to announce that %10 of the proceeds of Valentine’s Day orders will be donated to Just Food NYC. “Just Food is a non-profit organization that works to develop a just and sustainable food system in the New York City region. We do this by fostering new marketing and food-growing opportunities that address the needs of regional, rural family farms, NYC community gardeners, and NYC communities.”
Tuesday, February 3, 7:30-9:30pm
Winter Dinner at Green Table
Slow Food New York
Cleaver Company in Chelsea Market
Click here to reserve tickets
Mary Cleaver is a New York City pioneer of sustainable cuisine. Her catering company, The Cleaver Co., and her Snail of Approval winning restaurant, The Green Table, are renowned for turning regionally produced, seasonal ingredients into extraordinary meals. She is a board member of Farm to Chef, a farmer/chef owned business delivering sustainably and humanely produced food from upstate New York to New York City Chefs. Mary invites you to join her and her staff for a meatless dinner, a model of slow, delicious, budget-stretching cuisine, celebrating our regional bounty of winter provender. You will get “hands-on” in The Cleaver Co. kitchen, helping prepare your dinner, and then sit down in The Green Table dining room for a family style meal of Winter Salad, Vegetable Gumbo, Corn Bread, Dessert, and wine and cider.
Wednesday, February 4, noon
Beard on Books with Joyce Goldstein
James Beard Foundation
Cookbook author and JBF Award winner Joyce Goldstein’s latest title, Mediterranean Fresh, offers a collection of authentic recipes for delicious salads, antipasti, and meze. Goldstein puts her own spin on classics like panzanella, but also includes surprises like tunisian cauliflower, artichoke, and potato salad and a Middle Eastern burger. With an entire chapter devoted to versatile sauces and dressings, there’s the freedom to mix and match mains and accessories. Nimble and casual in its approach, Mediterranean Fresh sends you on a choose-your-own-adventure in the kitchen.
Wednesday, February 4, 7pm
Writing in the Café
The Hungarian Pastry Shop, a cozy bakery café in Morningside Heights, is the site where Nathan Englander (The Ministry of Special Cases), Julie Otsuka (When the Emperor Was Divine), and Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances) met and became friends and where they write. Each of them will introduce a story of his or her own.
Sunday, February 8, 6pm
Lucky Dog Fundraiser at Applewood
$20 per person includes admission and hors d’oeuvres
full cash bar available
In an effort to save the family farm, friends are pulling together a fundraiser at Applewood on Sunday night to pool some money for Lucky Dog Farm, an honest-as-they-come vegetable farm in the Catskills whose rented land is suddenly up for sale. It’s the same story, told so many times– “some of the land the farm rents is up for sale. With flat land being scarce in the Catskills, odds are high that it will go for some sort of non-farm use. While the farm can’t afford to purchase the land, it turns out that a state grant would pay the landowner for the development rights to the land — creating an easement that would forever keep the land agricultural. But…. the grant only covers some of the cost to purchase the development rights…” so Applewood is hosting this fundraiser and auction to help rally the greenbacks in favor of, well, preserving a space to grow our dearly beloved greens.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Wednesday, February 11, 6:30-8:30pm
Slow U: Chocolates, Bean to Bar…Locally?
Slow Food NYC with Kathy Moskal
Kathy Moskal, the founder and owner of Vere (pronounced very) Chocolate, started making chocolate when a good friend, ill as a consequence of diabetes, craved chocolates. “The ‘diabetic’ kinds are awful,” Kathy says, “so, I decided to make my own.” Kathy’s chocolates are always dark, low in sugar, and high in taste and antioxidants. She acquires sustainably produced cocoa beans at the source in Ecuador. Her chocolate bars are made there, at the source, enabling money to stay in the local economy. Partially processed cocoa is shipped to her plant in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan where she produces artisanal chocolates. With comparatively few food miles logged on her chocolates, they are a small carbon footprint alternative for chocolate lovers. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Kathy will explain her philosophy, walk us through her production processes, and lead us through a tasting of her extraordinary chocolates.
Wednesday, February 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Gastronomica Forum: Feast for the Eyes
What happens when food and marketing collide? And what happens when an artist turns her critical gaze onto this collision? In the cheeky installation piece Genealogy of the Supermarket, artist Nina Katchadourian identifies relationships between mass-market brands, connecting characters (such as the Quaker Oats Man and Aunt Jemima) who stand in for common products from the grocery store. Each iconic face is treated to its own frame and all are laid out in a large family tree. In creating these relationships she raises questions about heritage, lineage and how ethnicity equates authenticity in the way we interact with both food and packaging; she also delights us with playful combinations and juxtaposition of some of our most “beloved” brands.
Saturday, February 21, 5-9pm
New Amsterdam Public fundraising event
“In this year 2009 New Amsterdam Market will begin meeting every month, thus laying the foundation for a permanent institution. By holding these markets in a civic venue, we seek to revive New York’s rich and storied legacy of public market halls, where the city established food policy while furthering economic development.” The project to return this public market space to its original purpose– an open place of commerce where New Yorkers flocked to buy food– is well underway. Find out more at www.newamsterdampublic.org, and stay tuned for information about this upcoming fundraiser.
Sunday, March 8, 10am-6pm
CSA in NYC Annual Conference
The Just Food Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in NYC Conference is an opportunity for CSA members from around the city and farmers to come together for a day of workshops and discussion. This year’s guest speaker is black-dirt farmer and MacArthur “Genius Award” Winner Cheryl Rogowski as our Keynote Speaker. Rogowski is, as cited by the MacArthur officials, “an entrepreneur who has revitalized the character of family farming as a commercial enterprise and as an engine of community development.” For more, visit THE BLACK DIRT BLOG, or tune in to her radio program on WTBQ.