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Archive for November, 2009

I grew up reading Maira Kalman’s books– colorful accounts of the wacky and willy characters who live in this city. I met her once at an opening for one of her shows and was shocked (as you would be if you know her work) to see her dressed all in plain white. As a life-long fan, nothing makes me happier that she’s now using her unique story-telling technique to tell it like it is in her monthly blog And the Pursuit of Happiness on the New York Time website. She’s written wonderful pieces on immigration, President Obama’s inauguration, and this month she recounts a visit the other coast to see Alice Waters and the Edible School Yard. It’s so good you’ll want to read it again, and then maybe once more, just for good measure.

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Bounced out of bed this morning with the glee of a child on Christmas: I had oysters to buy, and the Greenmarket was calling. Call me crazy, but I love Union Square the day before Thanksgiving. Some people seemed stressed out with shopping lists, last-minute turkeys to acquire, and unwieldy bundles of dried hydrangeas, but I was beaming like a fool. My friend Sarah thinks it’s strange that I like to spend so much time around produce– I don’t think so, though. I come from farmer stock and being around vegetables seems like the only way to be. View some pics from the scene: Thanksgiving eve

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11/23/09-11/30/09

Dear Local Gourmands,

There was the year we improvised Thanksgiving in a 17th Century house in Italy (roast chicken and mashed potatoes, no cranberries), the amalgam of pakoras and, strangely, nachos that decked the potluck table when I was on study abroad in India one November, and then there was a feast day celebrated in Dakar, Senegal in a flat by the beach when all would have gone as planned had we not run out of gas for the stove. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so it was with great pleasure that I took in Jane Kramer’s piece in the Food Issue of the New Yorker last week, Pilgrim’s Progress, in which she describes decades of turkeys roasted overseas, around the world, and in any season she may have felt like putting on a party. She even mentions an inspired out-of-season Thanksgiving at Mary McCarthy’s house in Castine, Maine, which just so happens to be the tiny town where I grew up, and spent many Thanksgivings already snowed in. Any way (and anywhere) you cut the pie, I hope you have seconds and thirds, and enjoy some more for breakfast the next day.

Jeanne

Monday, November 30, 7-8:30pm
Fermentation Presentation
Beer Table
427 7th Ave., Park Slope
Tickets, $35

I love it when brewers and bakers and pickle guys talk about bacteria “waking up” and taking action. Every time you will catch a twinkle in their eye– a fascination that’s contagious to anyone who either likes to hear a well-told story or enjoys all homespun kitchen-based projects. To this end, Beer Table invites Shane Welch from Sixpoint Craft Ales to discuss one of his favorite topics: fermentation.

Tuesday, December 1, 8, & 15, 6-9pm
Cooking East to West
Center for Family Life
345 43rd Street, Brooklyn
Reservations, $150:
call 718-788-3500, or e-mail jbonilla@cflsp.org

The craftswomen of Émigré Gourmet and chef instructors from Kingsborough Community College lead a three-part cooking class which will explore and demonstrate cuisines along the famous spice route. Under their guidance, cook your way from Southeast Asia, to the Middle East, to Latin America and the Caribbean, incorporating plenty of spice along the way.

Thursday, December 3, 6:30
Culinary Historians of New York:
“Joyful Traditions: How the Dutch St. Nicholas Celebration Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Holiday Treats”
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum
417 East 61st Street
Tickets, $40
Food historian Peter Rose unravels American Christmas as we know it, tracing threads of tradition back to the settlement of New Amsterdam and its premiere winter feast, the Dutch celebration of St. Nicholas’s Day, on December 6.

“Drawing on literature, religion, the fine arts, and especially foodways, Rose will reveal how St. Nicholas came to America and how he morphed into Santa Claus in the mid-nineteenth century to adapt to changing cultural dynamics. The program will include a tasting of traditional Dutch holiday foods, including a 17th-century holiday bread called “Duivekater,” marzipan-filled puff pastry “letters,” spiced “speculaas” cookies, and “olie-koecken,” forerunners of the doughnut, served with spiced “Bishop’s wine.”

Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4
Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns

Registration is now open for this year’s Young Farmer’s Conference at Stone Barns.

Thursday, December 10, 6:30-10pm
Brooklyn Food Coalition Winter Party
388 Atlantic Ave. btwn Hoyt and Bond Sts.
Requested donation, $5-$50 (no one will be turned away)

The Brooklyn Food Coalition celebrates its first six months of action in the food democracy movement by toasting author Jan Poppendieck’s groundbreaking book, Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. Festivities wouldn’t be complete for this food-centric crew without a locally sourced dinner and cash bar. Join in!

Thursday, December 10, 6-10pm
Small Planet Fund Annual Party and Auction
Private Soho loft
Tickets

Join Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé for the annual Small Planet Fund Party and Auction, a memorable affair whose proceeds benefit the Small Planet Fund grantees and New York’s local food hero, Just Food. Join the event’s illustrious host committee and mother-daughter Lappé duo (who champion the good, fair food movement on a local and international level through their writing, activism, and philanthropy) for an evening of stimulating conversation and an irresistible silent auction. Contact Carrie@eventsthatmatter.net for additional information.

Saturday, December 12, 8:45am-5pm
NYC Food and Climate Summit
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place

“Just Food, the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and New York University present “NYC Food and Climate Summit: Creating a Platform for Change,” a day-long feast of workshops, training and action planning to increase awareness and action around our food system’s role in climate problems and solutions. The Summit will bring together some 1,000 community gardeners, local farmers, educators, advocates, city government leaders and concerned citizens, and will create a Platform for Change to spark grassroots mobilizations and policy advocacy in 2010 and beyond. The Summit is timed to coincide with the global UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen.”

Sunday, December 13, 2pm
Culture in the Cucina: How Rome’s Jews are Cooking up the Past and Future
Park East Synagogue 164 E 68th St.
$5 admission

“Food writer, Leah Koenig, will discuss how certain traditional recipes – like Carciofi alla Guidia (deep fried artichokes) and Pizza Ebraica (a fruit cake-like dessert) – have attained iconic status in Italy’s oldest and largest Jewish center, Rome. She will also explore how today’s urban Jews relate to their culinary heritage. New Yorkers have their bagels, knish and egg creams. What dishes do Italian Jews turn to when they need a nosh, and how do these foods connect them to their past and their future?”

Tuesday, December 15, 7pm
Hungry Filmmakers
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave

Anthology Film Archives serves up these local food flicks on December 15:
WHAT’S “ORGANIC” ABOUT ORGANIC?: Shelley Rogers
BIG RIVER and TRUCK FARM: Curt Ellis & Ian Cheney
THE GREENHORNS: Severine von Tscarner Fleming
GROWN IN DETROIT: Manfred & Mascha Poppenk
FACES FROM THE NEW FARM: Liz Tylander, Kat Shiffler & Lara Sheets
[AS YET UNTITLED FILM ON CLIMATE CHANGE & FOOD SYSTEM]: Sara Grady
Author Anna Lappé will moderate a panel discussion with the film makers following the screening. At 9pm the party migrates to Jimmy’s No. 43 on E. 7th St. for post-movie snacks sourced from local purveyors Flying Pigs Farm, Schoolhouse Kitchen, Blue Isle Oyster Company, Hot Bread Kitchen, Violet Hill Farm, 3-Corner Field Farm, Rick’s Picks, Mama O’s Kimchee, and Dancing Ewe Farm. Tip at the tap for pints of Ommegang Beer from Cooperstown, NY.

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I heard through the grapevine you’ll be able to find locally grown cranberries at New Amsterdam Market on Sunday. One year we were in Italy for Thanksgiving. My mother tried to recreate the traditional family feast by roasting a chicken and mashing potatoes, but alas in Italy they do not believe in the glory that is cranberry relish. I was devastated. Luckily in New York we’ve got a bog close (enough) by. Be very thankful!

Here’s a link to another tradition– NPR’s annual report on Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish.

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Pie Day


Last year I wrote a story for Edible Brooklyn about the General Greene’s bitty apple pies made from apples and house-rendered lard sourced straight from Wilklow Orchards. This year chef Nicholas Morgenstern will once again wield his impressive technique in an apple pie demo at the Fort Green Greenmarket. Watch him whip out a perfect crust, then turn around and buy your own Empires and lard from Albert Wilklow at his farmstand this Saturday. If DIY doesn’t suit your fancy, you can cut to the chase and place your order for a Thanksgiving pie at the General Greene, 229 DeKalb Ave. $18 a piece, pick ’em up on Wednesday, November 23– the lard-laden crust is croissant-like and luxurious around baked apples that seem to go on forever.

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Above, my pa, Mark Hodesh, manning the counter at the Fleetwood Diner circa 1970-something

Out in Michigan my dad must have caught wind of Matt Timm’s Brooklyn Chili Takedown— the other day when I called to say hello he was deep into a pot of his famous Fleetwood chili. In this week’s newsletter I go on about some fiery family lore. Right now I’m making a shopping list to test his recipe. I’ll source my meat, beans, and tomatoes locally, and make my best guess to pare down the original recipe which yields four gallons.

The Fleetwood Diner


The little stove that brought the chili back

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11/16/09-11/22/09

Dear Local Gourmands,

In the early 1970’s my dad (still with a mop of hair, often with a thin cigarette dangling from his lip) owned a diner in downtown Ann Arbor called the Fleetwood. The 24-hour joint had no lock on the door, a line down the block more often than not, and drew the likes of Roberta Flack to the counter to take in a bowl of chili. I’ve heard stories about the Fleetwood my whole life (and I’ve run into people the world over who remember that diner as a celebrity character amidst the scene of hippie-happy renegade 1970’s Ann Arbor), though it was an operation that passed through my father’s hands long before my time. These days he runs a housewares and garden store across the street from the Fleetwood– he sells Le Creuset pots to home owners, but a piece of his heart will forever be true to short order cooking. Recently he acquired a Magic Chef 1930’s stove, and he’s been doing cooking demos for customers at his shop, Downtown Home and Garden. When I called to check in the other day he told me he was making a batch of Fleetwood chili for his customers. “I hadn’t made the recipe in 35 years,” he told me, but it re-surfaced as soon as he started to draw up his shopping list. His restaurant days get the better of him– he likes to shop in volume, and the ingredient list calls for #10 cans of beans– the recipe yields four gallons. “The only thing that was different,” he told me, “was that as I was stirring I kept looking over to my side expecting to see an ash tray.”

I wasn’t around to hang out at the Fleetwood’s counter when my dad was at the helm, but this week I’m gonna do my best to revive that famous bowl of chili (which cost $.17 to make and sold for $.50 with a side of oyster crackers). I’ll source my ingredients locally, and I’ll post pics (and a recipe) on the Local Gourmands blog. This Sunday Matt Timm’s hosts the fifth annual Brooklyn Chili Takedown. Whether it’s a taste of Ann Arbor’s past, or a spoonful of Brooklyn’s present, you’d do well to find an empty bowl, roll up your sleeves, and dig in.

Keeping you warm,
Jeanne

Through Friday, November 20
Housingworks’ Cookbook Sale
126 Crosby St.

It just so happens that the kick-off of the holiday cooking craze coincides with Independent Bookstore Week, and Housingworks is here to lure you into their indie lair of hardcovers and paperbacks with a spread of cookbooks you won’t be able to resist. And why should you? These pages are meant to be trucked home, spilt on, dog eared, and devoured. Feel free to buy more than you’ll ever be able to eat.

Wednesday, November 18, noon
Beard on Books: Gastropolis
James Beard House
167 W. 12th St
$20 donation suggested, free for students

This month’s installment of the brown bag lunch series, Beard on Books, features Gastropolis. Co-editors Jon Deutsch and Annie Hauk-Lawson speak along with Beard Foundation VP and Gastropolis contributor Mitchell Davis, bringing to life our city’s rich food history.

Thursday, November 19, 6:30-9pm
Jonathan Safran Foer reads from Eating Animals
Old First Reformed Church
7th Avenue and Carroll
Suggested donation, $10

Park Sloper Jonathan Safran Foer reads from his latest work, Eating Animals, in an event brought to you by the Community Bookstore. In his first non-fiction narrative, the acclaimed novelist explores the oh-so-personal decisions involved in choosing (wisely) what one cares to eat. Wine and cheese reception to follow– clearly a food category we all care deeply about.

Saturday, November 21, 1pm
Cheese 101
Stinky Bklyn
261 Smith St, Carroll Gardens
Tickets, $25

We know you love on cheese– that goes without question. Head over to Smith St. to learn how to talk the talk of the caves, the molds, and the rinds you adore. Stinky Brooklyn takes you on a tasting tour through the basics of elevated cheese appreciation. Learn about the history of cheese making, the differences in milk types, fromage styles, and cheesy lore.

Sunday, November 22, 11am-4pm
New Amsterdam Market
South Street Seaport

Our most cherished local purveyors and restaurants fill the stalls of the New Amsterdam Market with their artisanal cheese, cured meat, house-made sausages, lobster rolls, raw honey, pumpkin ice cream, challah, olive oil, pork sandwiches, Long Island oysters, ginger beer, pickles, caramels, and chocolate. Come for brunch, fill your basket for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 10am-4pm
Thanksgiving Market at Rooftop Farms
Eagle St., Greenpoint

For one last day the Rooftop Farms market sets up shop just in time to grace your feast day table with Brooklyn’s local produce.

Sunday, November 22, 4pm
The Brooklyn Chili Takedown
The Bell House
149 7th St
Tickets, $15

Back for more, the original Takedown– none other than the Chili Takedown– sweeps Brooklyn once again. Bring your empty bellies, your empty bowls, and get ready for the fiery goodness. Rachel Wharton of Edible Brooklyn and butchers from Marlow and Daughters will judge the borough’s best along with you, the people, who will vote in your faves for fabulous cash prizes.
__________________________________
Of note a few weeks down the road…

Monday, November 30, 7-8:30pm
Fermentation Presentation
Beer Table
427 7th Ave., Park Slope
Tickets, $35

I love it when brewers and bakers and pickle guys talk about bacteria “waking up” and taking action. Every time you will catch a twinkle in their eye– a fascination that’s contagious to anyone who either likes to hear a well-told story or enjoys all homespun kitchen-based projects. To this end, Beer Table invites Shane Welch from Sixpoint Craft Ales to discuss one of his favorite topics: fermentation.

Friday, December 3, 6:30
Culinary Historians of New York:
“Joyful Traditions: How the Dutch St. Nicholas Celebration Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Holiday Treats”
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum
417 East 61st Street
Tickets, $40

Food historian Peter Rose unravels American Christmas as we know it, tracing threads of tradition back to the settlement of New Amsterdam and its premiere winter feast, the Dutch celebration of St. Nicholas’s Day, on December 6. “Drawing on literature, religion, the fine arts, and especially foodways, Rose will reveal how St. Nicholas came to America and how he morphed into Santa Claus in the mid-nineteenth century to adapt to changing cultural dynamics. The program will include a tasting of traditional Dutch holiday foods, including a 17th-century holiday bread called “Duivekater,” marzipan-filled puff pastry “letters,” spiced “speculaas” cookies, and “olie-koecken,” forerunners of the doughnut, served with spiced “Bishop’s wine.”

Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4
Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns

Registration is now open for this year’s Young Farmer’s Conference at Stone Barns.

Thursday, December 10, 6:30-10pm
Brooklyn Food Coalition Winter Party
388 Atlantic Ave. btwn Hoyt and Bond Sts.
Requested donation, $5-$50 (no one will be turned away)

The Brooklyn Food Coalition celebrates its first six months of action in the food democracy movement by toasting author Jan Poppendieck’s groundbreaking book, Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. Festivities wouldn’t be complete for this food-centric crew without a locally sourced dinner and cash bar. Join in!

Thursday, December 10, 6-10pm
Small Planet Fund Annual Party and Auction
Private Soho loft
Tickets

Join Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé for the annual Small Planet Fund Party and Auction, a memorable affair whose proceeds benefit the Small Planet Fund grantees and New York’s local food hero, Just Food. Join the event’s illustrious host committee and mother-daughter Lappé duo (who champion the good, fair food movement on a local and international level through their writing, activism, and philanthropy) for an evening of stimulating conversation and an irresistible silent auction. Contact Carrie@eventsthatmatter.net for additional information.

Saturday, December 12, 8:45am-5pm
NYC Food and Climate Summit
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place

“Just Food, the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and New York University present “NYC Food and Climate Summit: Creating a Platform for Change,” a day-long feast of workshops, training and action planning to increase awareness and action around our food system’s role in climate problems and solutions. The Summit will bring together some 1,000 community gardeners, local farmers, educators, advocates, city government leaders and concerned citizens, and will create a Platform for Change to spark grassroots mobilizations and policy advocacy in 2010 and beyond. The Summit is timed to coincide with the global UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen.”

December 15, 7pm
Hungry Filmmakers
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave

Anthology Film Archives serves up these local food flicks on December 15:
WHAT’S “ORGANIC” ABOUT ORGANIC?: Shelley Rogers
BIG RIVER and TRUCK FARM: Curt Ellis & Ian Cheney
THE GREENHORNS: Severine von Tscarner Fleming
GROWN IN DETROIT: Manfred & Mascha Poppenk
FACES FROM THE NEW FARM: Liz Tylander, Kat Shiffler & Lara Sheets
[AS YET UNTITLED FILM ON CLIMATE CHANGE & FOOD SYSTEM]: Sara Grady
Author Anna Lappé will moderate a panel discussion with the film makers following the screening. At 9pm the party migrates to Jimmy’s No. 43 on E. 7th St. for post-movie snacks sourced from local purveyors Flying Pigs Farm, Schoolhouse Kitchen, Blue Isle Oyster Company, Hot Bread Kitchen, Violet Hill Farm, 3-Corner Field Farm, Rick’s Picks, Mama O’s Kimchee, and Dancing Ewe Farm. Tip at the tap for pints of Ommegang Beer from Cooperstown, NY.

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