Dear Local Gourmands,
The first pie I ever made was entered in the Blue Hill Fair’s annual blueberry pie contest. I didn’t taste it before it was placed on the table for the panel of judges to ponder the flakiness of the crust or the texture of the filling, I just watched from the sidelines, frozen with anxiety, part of me certain that I would win and be declared Maine’s pie prodigy (I was only 11), the other part of me certain someone would spit out my creation on the spot. Neither of these scenarios played out, but I have made few pies since– that same sense of anxiety seems to manifest itself in my crust every time I try to give this American classic another shot: the dough crumbles, tears, sticks, and fails again and again. I favor cobblers simply to sidestep my short comings in the pastry department. But on Labor Day, the last day of summer, I found myself longing for a jumble berry pie. With nothing else to do on a rare lazy afternoon, I cut up a stick of frozen butter and fed the cubes into a food processor with flour, salt, and sugar, blending the mix until it resembled cornmeal. The first batch was blended too long and had to be thrown out, but I persevered and tried again, and then a third time to make enough dough for a lattice crust. Maybe it was Mark Bittman’s soothing, steadfast instructions, or just the right room temperature, but my disk of dough rolled out beautifully, and I felt like I’d cracked the code. This time the panel of judges was just a group of friends who agreed that the balance of berries, juice, and butter smacked of summer itself.
Thursday, September 9, 7:30-10pm
Peconic Pearl Oysters
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th St.
Slow Food NYC welcomes Karen Rivara who runs the only commercial shellfish hatchery in the Peconic estuary. With 800 oysters in the house, the evening will take the form of a “shuck and talk” with Karen informing guests about her role as an oyster producer in the preservation of the Long Island Sound.
Sunday, September 12, 11am-4pm
New Amsterdam Market
South Street btwn Beekman Street and Peck Slip
Starting this Sunday, the thoughtfully curated New Amsterdam Market picks up a weekly rotation, which means we’ll be able to get our Bent Spoon ice cream fix that much more often.
Farm City: where are you growing?
This multi-sensory celebration of New York’s many urban farming initiatives includes a country fair in Brooklyn, film screenings, urban ag tours, and a “last supper” among many other happenings that draw attention to the intersection of art and lifestyle. See a full list of Farm City events here.
Sunday, September 12, 11am–5pm
Farm City Fair
The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen St.
“The fair is a wild, new take on the traditional county fair, a daylong celebration of art and food grown in Brooklyn! Festivities engage all the senses: hear live music performed by local Bang on a Can marching band Asphalt Orchestra; taste delicacies prepared by local chefs inspired by ingredients from Brooklyn farms; view specially commissioned work exploring the culture of agriculture by local artists; get a feel for materials needed to produce your own food in workshops by Brooklyn Food Coalition; participate in a blue ribbon competition hosted by GreenThumb; and browse a marketplace with some of Brooklyn’s small-batch artisanal food purveyors, curated by Greenpoint Food Market. Cap it off with The Food Experiments’ live cooking competition — Brooklyn Roots — featuring savory samples and refreshing drinks from Brooklyn Brewery, Six Points Brewery, Red Hook Wines, Brooklyn Oenology, Kings County Distillery, and others.”
Sunday, September 12, noon-3pm
Good Food Fest
Myrtle Ave. btwn Vanderbilt and Clinton Ave.
Bring a dish, meet your neighbors, swap recipes, and enter the Best Dish Contest at this Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhood food fest. Cooking, canning, and beekeeping demos, plus a 12-piece brass band to get the party going. Enter your best homemade dish and see how it shores up in the following categories: tastiest dish (it’s all about flavor), greenest dish (keep it local and organic), healthiest dish (nutritious and delicious), and biggest dish (most food to share with others).
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Tuesday, September 14, 6:30-9pm
Educated Eater: Regional Processing from Strawberry Fields to Strawberry Jam
The Brooklyn Kitchen
100 Frost St., Williamsburg
From strawberry fields to jars of jam, preserves, or even flash-frozen fruit to eat all winter, the transformation of local crops into value-added products offers a number of opportunities for regional farmers and small food entrepreneurs alike. Listen to this esteemed panel of Greenmarket participants and peers as they explore the possibilities that processing presents, upstate and down. The discussion will be followed by a jam making demo with Beth Linskey and Liz Beals of Greenmarket’s Beth’s Farm Kitchen. Each audience member will take home a jar of Beth’s locally sourced preserves.
Thursday, September 16, 6:30-8:30pm
Slow U: Breaking Bread with Three Women Who Know Their Dough
Join author Lynne Christy Anderson, author of Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens, as she, Hot Bread Kitchen’s Jessamyn Waldman, and Greenmarket’s June Russell, discuss transplanting traditional, old-country recipes to a new land. Tastes of Jessamyn’s bread will be served with New York State wines and American artisan and farmstead cheese.
Thursday, September 16
Let Us Eat Local
South St. Seaport Water Taxi Beach
Just Food’s annual benefit honors local food advocates journalist Mark Bittman, CSA farmer Cheryl Rogowski, urban farmer Yonnette Fleming. Enjoy food and drink by locally-minded city chefs, a special purple haze Sixpoint brew made with Red Jacket Orchards plums, and give a little to Just Food, who gives the city a lot by matching communities with CSAs from regional farms.
Saturday and Sunday, September 18 & 19, 10am-2pm; 2-6pm
Farm City Tour
Two tours per day: pickup at 10am and 2pm sharp at Atlantic Terminal (Flatbush at the corner of Atlantic). Tour ends at Old Stone House, 234 4th St, Park Slope
“The Farm City Tour charts an annotated journey through sites practicing innovative approaches to urban agriculture in Brooklyn. Using a 28 seat bus running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), the cleanest burning fuel, there will be opportunities at each stop for workshops and tastings. The tour will provide a view of diverse practices in urban farming such as beekeeping, composting, caring for laying hens, rainwater harvesting and more. The tour will end at Old Stone House in Brooklyn, one of the last surviving structures from the Borough’s agricultural past, where there will be a display of small scale and provocative urban farming projects, such as Truck Farm by filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis (King Corn); Nanofarming by Bryony Romer; and Seeding the City by Eve Mosher. Other sites on the tour may include Red Hook Community Farm; Carlton Brooklyn Bear Garden, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and others. At the final destination, guests will be served foods from the toured farms prepared by Communal Table along with an opportunity to make and jar of farm-fresh pickles as a souvenir.”
Thursday, September 23
The Art of Farming
1334 York Ave.
Sotheby’s hosts gallery talks, a cocktail hour, and a gala dinner in conjunction with an heirloom vegetable auction to raise funds for GrowNYC’s New Farmer Development Project and The Sylvia Center at Katchki Farm. This first-of-its-kind event will celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation. Beets are on the block, as are a number of other fine food and agricultural experiences.
Thursday, September 23, 6:30pm
Life Line of New York: How the High Line Fed New York City
Chelsea Market Passage
“Before it was transformed into a park, the High Line played a critical role in delivering food to New Yorkers. Listen to historian Patrick Ciccone tell the rich–and often overlooked–story of how food reached New Yorkers, and how the High Line connected the city to a nationwide network of food production and processing.”
Monday, September 26-Wednesday, October 6
Eat, Drink, Local Week
This state-wide promotion of New York’s local bounty is a collaboration of all Edible magazines in the Empire State, and involves partners from the entire food chain, including restaurants, wine shops and wineries, breweries and beer bars, farms and food artisans, and cultural institutions that celebrate food.
Saturday, October 2, 11:30am-4:30pm
A dozen chefs from some of New York City’s finest venues along with an impressive cast of food experts and personalities are expected to dazzle the crowd with their “whole hog know-how”. All participants will work with locally sourced ingredients, including whole pigs purchased directly from farms, such as Violet Hill Farm and The Piggery. The talent includes Sara Jenkins of Porchetta, Jacques Gautier from Palo Santo, “Chopped” champion Michael Jenkins from Butter Restaurant, along with other barbecue masters such as Hoppin’ John Taylor of Low Country cooking fame and Sam Barbieri with the award-winning Fuhgeddaboutit BBQ Team.
Sixpoint Craft Ales will have a limited-release Pilsner, a seasonal Pumpkin Saison, and the popular Signal, a lightly smoked pale for sale during the length of the event. A charitable donation will be made to the Food Systems Network NYC.
Saturday, October 2, 11am
Brooklyn by Bike: Explore the Old BK Water Supply System
Michael Miscione, the Manhattan Borough Historian, will lead a bicycle tour of the now-defunct water supply system that served the once-independent City of Brooklyn. The system, built in the 19th century, brought fresh water from Queens and Long Island into the city. It was largely abandoned after Brooklyn was consolidated into New York City in 1898, and its components — pipes, reservoirs, pumping stations, wells, etc. — were dismantled, built over or repurposed. But some remnants and ruins still exist, and can be seen if you know where to look.
Wednesday, October 6, 6-10pm
Taste of Greenmarket
135 W. 18th St.
Taste of Greenmarket, the city’s premiere tasting of local food with 30 of the city’s finest chefs and mixologists, features market-inspired dishes and seasonal cocktails in celebration of the season’s harvest. Mingle with the likes of Dan Barber, April Bloomfield, Michael Anthony, Julie Reiner and numerous other local food luminaries as the fête of the fall spotlights the incredible flavors and talent that comprise New York City’s “Greenmarket cuisine.” Proceeds support Greenmarket’s Youth Education Project which connects thousands of New York City schoolchildren in grades K-12 with Greenmarkets, farmers, and chefs each year.