What's Happening at Slow Food Whidbey Island...
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 1 November 20, 2018
CONTESTS & RAFFLES
Newsletter Name Contest
And the winner is… (drum roll)
With the winning submission of
Congratulations Don. You are the winner of one of the Slow Food Whidbey Island aprons!
Raffle on Dec. 11th, 2018
Once again we will be having a raffle at our Holiday Party on December 11th at Comforts Winery. If you have some items tucked away that you would like to donate to Slow Food to be used in the raffle, please let Amy Tuthill know. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT’S HAPPENING ?
DON’T FORGET! Give What You Can Day on November 27, 2018
Slow Food USA is having one last “Give What You Can” day in 2018 on November 27th. Keep an eye out for the email reminder as the date comes closer.
Benefits of Membership in Slow Food Whidbey Island
Automatically makes you a member of Slow Food USA. Become part of an organization dedicated to Slow Food principles and bringing people back to the table.
Lower member price for admission to our
Attendance at the “Members Only” events.
Free Annual Membership-Appreciation party to thank members with food, wine & fun
Slow Food USA now offers their “Give What You Can Days” which allows people to join for whatever amount they can afford
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 2 November 20, 2018
Slow Food Whidbey Island Member-Appreciation Party – December 11, 2018
This year our “Member Appreciation” Party will be at Comforts winery on Tuesday, December 11, at 4:00 pm. The event will be free for our members and will include a Chili Dinner with Salad and dessert not to mention a wine ticket. Once again we will have our famous Raffle and Auction.
This is a MEMBERS ONLY event and is free to our members. If members have a significant other who is not a member, they can bring them as a guest for $10.00 but no other guests will be allowed due to room limit restraints. Comforts winery can only accommodate 90 people. Since we have 184 members, there will be a cut off when we reach the 90 total. Be sure to reserve early if you would like to attend. Send your RSVP to Kathy Floyd at email@example.com
COOKING CLASSES ON WHIDBEY
Join Liz Sherman from Sherman's Pioneer Farm Produce for an evening of cooking fun! Experience many of the different ways to use the family signature squash in your everyday cooking. You will taste and observe how to make breakfast smoothies, soups, main dishes, breads, pies, and much more. You will come away with recipes and squash for your use. All proceeds go to the Coupeville Farm to School program.
Who: The first 24 to sign up
Cost: $25.00 at the door (cash, check, or card)
Where: The Nordic Lodge, Jacobs Road, Coupeville
When: 6:00pm-8:00pm, December 5th, 2018
Call Liz to reserve your spot (360) 929-8080
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IN THE NEWS
Terre Madre 2018 Some of you may be familiar with Alice Waters. She is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and has written many cookbooks. What you may not know, is that Alice is the Vice President of Slow Food US. Alice attended Terre Madre this year and wrote the following note to share with Slow Food Members.
Richard McCarthy, SFUSA President, Alice Waters, SFUSA VP and Carl Petrini, founder of Slow Food Intern’l.
I am here in the city of Turin, Italy attending Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, where the wonderfully diverse Slow Food network gathers together to celebrate all things gastronomy. The Salone is the expression of everything that Slow Food stands for: inclusivity, discussion, color, and most of all, good food. We will be talking about the ways we can most dramatically address climate through food, agriculture, and education. Every day we make choices about what we eat. If we eat with intention, we support the people who take care of the land for the future.
I will be speaking at Terra Madre about how public education can support the farmers and the ranchers who are taking care of the land and of their workers. We have to come back to our senses, back to the land. This is the most important value of all. We can do that most efficiently by eating with determination, every bite we take. With hopefulness, Alice Waters
As members of Slow Food, we can work together to be the change we’d like to create.
This is the time of year when we think about giving back to the community. Slow Food Whidbey Island depends upon contributions from people like you to support our events. All your membership dollars go to support Slow Food USA so Slow Food Whidbey Island depends solely upon your generosity to keep our chapter going. You can donate to our 501-C3 organization, by sending your check to Slow Food Whidbey Island, PO Box 1545, Freeland, WA 98249.
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 4 November 20, 2018
In October we held our Sausage Making Demo class with George Petrich
George did an excellent job of demonstrating the techniques involved in sausage making. Everyone got to sample his results and take home recipes and suggestions from his demo. We had locally made mead tasting and attendees got to take home 3 types of unsprayed apples. We also had a raffle which raised $140 for Whidbey Island Grown. Thank you George for making this event such a success. Following are some pictures from the event.
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 5 November 20, 2018
Join the Slow Food Whidbey Island Events Committee!
Slow Food Whidbey Island has a very active Events Committee which helps plan for future events and classes. We have a lot of fun preparing for events by visiting potential venues, meeting the presenters, and making food for snacks at our classes. At one meeting we made nettle and blackberry teabags to hand out at a foraging event. Everyone on the committee looks forward to the monthly meetings and the camaraderie involved. We are always looking for new members. Please contact Mary Ann Stine at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us and meet the gang.
Issue 10 of Whidbey Life Magazine
Have you seen the latest Issue No. 10 of Whidbey Life Magazine? Editor Dianna Macleod must have had Slow Food Whidbey Island in mind when they put together this special edition dedicated to the holiday table. The whole magazine is dedicated to Whidbey Island growers and producers of wonderful food for the holidays.
The first article by Karen Achabel is called “Home Grown for the Holidays and features in words and pictures Kevin Dunham turkeys; the Long Family Farm beef; 3 Sisters Market full of local meats, vegetables and eggs; Sherman Pioneer Farm’s Sugar Hubbard Squash; Eckholm Farm honey; Kettles Edge Farm and Foxtail Farm vegetables and finally Penn Cove Shellfish mussels, clams and shellfish. Everything you need to make your perfect Whidbey Island Thanksgiving dinner! (Note: don’t forget to pick up some fresh bread from Oystercatcher to make that stuffing for the turkey. It can be found in many grocers and also at 3 Sisters Market).
If you don’t feel like making dessert but still want a local product, the next article is called “Home Made for the Holidays” by Kate Poss. This article talks about the producers of pies, including Whidbey Pies, Wild Crow Pies and The Kitchen Door Pies. This is followed by information about the Chocolate Flower Farm Garden Shed, Sweet Mona’s Chocolate Boutique and Cj&Y Decadent Desserts.
If this isn’t enough for you, other articles talk about some of the distilleries on the island in “Distilling the Essence” by Steve Kilisky and there’s even an article at the end of the magazine called “Mosses, Lichens and ‘Shrooms” by Larry Daloz.
Be sure to pick up a copy to make sure you have the best and most local Thanksgiving dinner of your life. The magazine can be found at many of the grocers and other businesses around the island.
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 6 November 20, 2018
Monica writes: What a great newsletter. Hints in the recipes really help a lot. I need to apply for membership. Monica
Our Thanks to Jim Hicken to supplying us with these instructions for drying pears. With the abundance of pears during this time of year, this is the perfect way to use some of that excess.
EXCERPT FROM WHIDBEY NIBBLES Sept. 2013, p. 10
UNCLEAN HANDS (FARM & GARDEN)
simple act of drying concentrates sugar and flavor, and can transform a middling fruit or vegetable into a treasured staple. Or drying can simply preserve a welcome taste of summer at low energy cost.
This year my garden’s pears are plentiful and sweet – an ideal candidate for drying.
Here is a primer on pear drying:
1. The variety. Common wisdom is to dry summer pears – Bartlett, Rescue or in my case, Ubileen, among others. I expect late pears dry well too, but the late pears store better, so there is less need to preserve them.
2. Ripening. Pears ripen from the inside out, so if you wait to harvest until the outside feels tender, the inside is full of brown rot. I picked the full size but rock hard pears August 10, refrigerated them 18 days and then set them on the counter for 3 days. When ready to eat, the background color will begin to turn from green to yellow. Pears can be slightly under-ripe when dried, as many of these were.
3. Pretreatment. Some books recommend pretreatment. Dipping in acidified water1 minimizes browning and consequent vitamin loss. One source suggests steam blanching (slices, 5 minutes; halves, 30 minutes), which would seem a surefire way to leach vitamins and flavor from the pears.
Note: I use no pretreatment – just wash the pears and trim off any bad patches.
4. Slicing. I use a mandoline to produce relatively
even slices, about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. The
primary skill involved in drying pears is learning
1 Vitamin C makes more sense than lemon juice here, because the flavor of pears is so delicate.
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 7 November 20, 2018
to use this machine efficiently and with minimal bloodshed. Here is the scoop:
a. Set aside the protective fruit or vegetable holder – you do not need it and it will slow you down and waste fruit. Instead use the pear’s stem as your fruit holder.
b. Start with 2-3 slices off one side of the pear. Hold the stem with left hand and push the pear down the mandoline slope with the right hand2. Remember to keep your fingertips and knuckles off the slope!
Between cuts, check the clearance between the edge of the cut and the flower end. Stop when you hit the seed structure, or when there is about 1/4 inch clearance between the cut edge and the flower remnant.
c. Next rotate the pear 180° on its axis and
take 2-3 slices off the opposite side. Stop
slicing as above described. The result:
d. Now rotate the pear on its axis 90°. Slice
as above described. Rotate 180°; slice.
You now have a squared off pear,as
shown at right.
e. To get the meat at the bottom and top either switch to a paring knife or do this:
To remove the bottom meat, lift the stem end of the pear further off the mandoline slide, leaving the bottom in contact with the slide. Using your stem-handle to guide the pear, make a slice or several from the bottom and running part way up the pear to the seed structure. Your slices will have a fat end and a skinny end.
When the bottom meat is gathered to your liking, harvest the top meat by placing the pear top down against mandoline slope and slightly bending the stem up. Then slice from the seed structure to near the stem. This presents the meat to the blade without presenting your fingers thereto. Go slow at first (and at last).
f. You will not get all the meat unless you use a
paring knife, but I freeze the cores for later
attention. When I’ve collected a bunch of cores,
I boil my stash of pear (and apple) cores with
water to just cover, strain and can the juice.
5. Drying. Pack your shelves closely; the pears will shrink. I dry starting at 130° and nudging up periodically to 150°. For slightly chewy “chips,” 24 hours is plenty.
2 Lefties – in case you haven’t figured it out by now – well, you know.
CONVIVIYUM Newsletter #4 Page 8 November 20, 2018
6. Conditioning. Conditioning means keeping the dried pears together in an airtight container for several days. This allows the pears to equalize their moisture content, plus the pears look pretty if you use a big glass container. It’s always a good idea to admire your work for a while.
After conditioning, I store my pears at room temperature in canning jars with a used lid tightly fastened to the jar with the screw band, or with the lid held down by a partial vacuum created by machine (Food Saver or equivalent), or by heating the jars in an oven, then topping and letting cool.
And as always, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram plus check out our website at http://www.slowfoodwhidbeyisland.org/