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.
Monday, November 30, 7-8:30pm
427 7th Ave., Park Slope
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
call 718-788-3500, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.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, $40Food 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
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.
“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
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.