The next selection for the Slow Food Book Group is American Fried, Calvin Trillin’s first food book, which is now collected with the other two works in The Tummy Trilogy, and available in paperback. Trillin has long written humorously about his travels in search of good food, travels which usually take him far from the fancy restaurants, and more likely into ethnic, neighborhood joints. The book group will meet Thursday, February 18th, 6-8pm. The meeting is free and open to everyone. Usually 8 to 20 people participate in each. We talk about the book in question, which is chosen by the group from amongst books on food politics, farming, memoir, or literature. Conversation frequently moves to what we’re eating or cooking, or what’s going on with food in other ways.
So it’s January and Writer’s Night should be rolling around just about now, right? Well this year we’ve moved Writer’s Night to March, partially in an effort to give us all a break after the holidays, and also to be able to reach out to more writer who might be reluctant to travel in January. So save the date: Wednesday, March 10th, at Space Gallery as usual. So far, writer’s appearing include: Greg Marley, author of Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, John Bunker, author of The Apples of Palermo, Maine, and Max Watman, author of Chasing the White Dog, An American Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine, and more to be announced. We’re pleased that this year we’ll be discussing three topics we have yet to include in Writer’s Night: mushrooms, apples and craft distilling, all of which have lively proponents in Maine.This new date will also mean that Writer’s Night is overlapping with Maine Restaurant Week, and will follow right on the heels of Judith Jones’ appearance for the Portland Museum of Art. Stay tuned for more info about Writer’s Night!
On Saturday November 14th from 1:00 to 3:00 at Rabelais Books 86 Middle Street, and in association with Slow Food Portland, Novella Carpenter, the author of Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer will give a brief talk on her experiences farming in inner-city Oakland, California.
At Ghost Town Farm on her small plot in Oakland, Carpenter raises vegetables and herbs as well as bees, chickens, ducks, geese and even pigs. She has taken a deserted, desolate lot and turned it into an Eden. Her book Farm City tells of the journey of transformation, and the trials and tribulations along the way. She blogs about her exploits at www.novellacarpenter.com.
Carpenter will be joined by members of Cultivating Community to discuss the challenges of farming here in Portland. Cultivating Community farms at the Boyd Street farm.
After the talk Carpenter will sign copies of her book which will be available for sale. For more information go to www.RabelaisBooks.com.
The Maine Bean Suppah project invites you to eat like a real Maine local! This Saturday, October 24th, there are three more Bean Suppahs around southern Maine, located in Gorham, Casco and Windham. Please visit the beautiful website for details and read up on this great local food tradition. And stay tuned for more bean suppahs to come!
Open Creamery Day is scheduled for this Sunday, October 11, 11 – 3, at cheesemakers all around the state, sponsored by the Maine Cheese Guild.
As the hardwood foliage bursts in a blaze of colors on Columbus Day weekend, here is an opportunity to take in the spectacular sights and to taste some award winning cheese at the same time. Visit the creameries, meet the animals, and learn the stories behind Maine’s more than 150 artisan cheeses. Along the way you can also visit a farmers’ market, stop at an orchard, explore one of Maine’s premier breweries or winemakers, and drop in on one of the many artisan breadmakers our state has to offer. You’ll love the views, but you’ll remember the taste!
Check the Maine Cheese Guild’s website, www.mainecheeseguild.org, for a full listing of all participating creameries, as well as maps to each of them.
Sunday, September 13th, 2-9pm, join Rippling Waters Farm for the 5th Annual Soil to Supper Farm Dinner.Location: Rippling Waters Farm, 55 River Road, Steep Falls, Maine.Contact: 207-642-5161.A $10 donation is appreciated to help support Rippling Waters initiative to promote local food independence through education, service and action.Directions: Head 13 miles west of Gorham on Route 25, continue past Route 25 in Standish. Turn left onto River Road immediately before crossing the Saco River. Go 0.2 miles, 2nd farm on the right.
Activist chef Dan Barber had an op-ed in Sunday’s NYTimes about the current late blight incursion into New England. It’s an important piece, one that highlights the dangers of “tight coupling” or the overly consolidated distribution chain. The blight was likely spread through seedlings sold in big-box stores, which means they travelled far and with minimal supervision. For those looking to diagnose and treat the blight, there’s some excellent additional info on the MOFGA website.
Slow Food Portland is pleased to be a sponsor of Cultivating Community’s 2009 Boyd Street Bash.The Boyd Street Bash is coming this Sunday, July 19 from noon to 2 pm. A celebration of sustainable cities at our Boyd Street Urban Farm! There will be music, crafts, kids’ activities, a raspberry bake-off, yummy food, and an urban sustainability fair. Bring the family!Location: 40 Boyd Street, PortlandCultivating Community need volunteers to help with set-up (9:30-noon), during the event (noon-2) and for clean-up (2-3:30). Contact Hilary Burgin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
David Buchanan has an article in the current Slow Food USA newsletter about his efforts to reintroduce to New England the Marshall strawberry, one of the ten most endangered foods on the Slow Food Raft list. Until now the Marshall, once known as the finest eating strawberry in America, existed only in two locations in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to David, this little gem is growing again in New England, right here in Portland!
The Next Slow Food Book Group Selection is in!
The Making of a Chef, Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America by Michael Ruhlman
Ruhlman, author of Ratio, The Elements of Cooking and Charcuterie, among many others, has made his mark with knowledgeable and engaging food journalism. This is his classic tale of studying at the Culinary Institute of America. Ruhlman takes us along as he learns the whys and wherefores of a good stock, how not to slice your fingers when cutting up your mirepoix and slogs through long hours on his feet. For anyone interested in cooking school or who wonders what happens behind the scenes this is a great read. Ruhlman has worked with such notable chefs as Eric Ripert and Thomas Keller on their books. Originally published in 1997, this new edition includes a new introduction from Ruhlman. He has a very engaging, and informative, blog at www.blog.ruhlman.com.
We will meet to discuss the book on Monday July 20th at Rabelais, 86 Middle street, beginning at 6:00. Slow Food members get a 10% discount on the book.
The book group is open to any and all. We invite you to come out and talk food!