Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008 Dallas Annual Meeting Synopsis

Hello to all Dallas Slow Foods Members,

I promise this is not a long winded type-a-thon and wanted to start off by introducing myself. My name is Shane Stephens and my wife (Melissa) and I are new to the group but not really new to the cause. My parents basically raised me with the ideas of family and great local organic produce (who can get more local than your own garden). There were no organic or grass fed beef producers in Dallas 20 years ago or if there were there was little publicity. That is a bit about me!

I wanted to pick up where we left off at the meeting as I don't want our discussion and ideas to die. I will give a synopsis of the meeting for those who weren't able to make it.

1. Many of the members were very interested in community/school gardens. This brought about a myriad of questions that perhaps this blog entry will help to answer

2. A member suggested quarterly pot luck dinners. Who doesn't like eating in this group?

3. A member suggested starting information drives, speeches, etc. at local universities. This is where our future members lie!

4. A member suggested an information booth or coordination of efforts at the Dallas Farmers Market. (Just throwing out ideas here Farmers Market volunteers/ambassadors that spread the word of the market and Slow Foods)

5. Another member suggested annual/semi annual producer appreciation dinners featuring producer products.

These are some of the highlights and I know for certain that I have forgotten a good number of suggestions. I would strongly encourage our members to contribute both in what was discussed and also solutions to what we are trying to achieve.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Searching for "The Perfect Cappuccino"

Amy Ferraris, longtime Slow Food member in California, will be screening her documentary, The Perfect Cappuccino, a documentary about coffee, consumerism and being American, on Saturday, September 27, 2008, at 11am at the Thin Line Film Festival in Denton.
Have you ever had a perfect cappuccino? Not a latte. Or a frappuccino. But a perfect blend of espresso and milk in that unique, unforgettable texture that can only be described as velvety?
THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO is the story of one woman's obsession with a beverage. The film accompanies, Amy on a personally-narrated journey that traces the origins and social significance of the cappuccino.
Blending the voices of baristas, cultural critics, business leaders and coffee geeks everywhere, the film uses the cappuccino as a means to explore the strange intersections of individualism and mass culture in America.
Click here for the trailer

: The 2008 Thin Line Film Festival

: Fine Arts Theater, 115 N. Elm Street, Denton TX 76201

The film will also be screened as part of the
Dallas Video Festival, Nov. 6-9 in Dallas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

EatGreenDFW is Open For Business

EatGreenDFW officially opened its on-line farmers market this week offering products from North Texas ranchers and farmers along with other sustainable food and non-food products.

The site was originally focused on locally produced food but has grown to include an eclectic mix of products bound together by their connection to natural, sustainable food or their connection to Texas. A basic listing on the site is free and currently there are 24 producers listed.

The on-line farmers market offers products from twelve of them including meat and poultry from JuHa Ranch in Barry, Dominion Farms in Denison, P.O.P. Acres in Purdon, Sloans Creek Farm in Dodd City and JZJ Natural Beef in Troy; sun-dried tomatoes from Oak Grove Farms in Ennis; and natural pet treats from Ol’ Maggie Bakery in Plano.

Additionally the store offers wild Alaska Salmon from Fred’s Alaska Seafood; organic gardening supplies from Edens Organic Garden Center in Balch Springs; and books written by Texas authors and published by Dallas-based Atriad Press and Lone Star Productions. Soon to come: pickles and relishes from Dis & Dat Organic Farm in Purdon.

Full disclosure: Yours truly is part owner.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

GO TEXAN Statewide Dine Out Day: October 1 Restaurant Round-Up

Texas will host the first-ever, statewide dine-out day called the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up. It’s a celebration of Texas food and wine and kicks off Texas Wine Month in October. If your schedule allows, please eat out on Wednesday, October 1 and support this inaugural event. For a list of participating restaurants and to sign up to win some Texas-sized giveaways, go to www.GOTEXANRestaurantRoundUp.com.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Treasures from Slow Food Nation

Ghee, apricot jam, heirloom potatoes, pistachios and almonds, a Gravenstein apple, Massa organic brown rice, and a hunk of goat cheese — put them all together and what have you got? A suitcase that’s four pounds over the limit when Jacqueline and I flew back to Dallas with the treasures we bought at the Farmer’s Market at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco.

It was tempting to add to our loot by surreptitiously swiping fresh figs and zucchini flowers and melons from among the dozens of crops growing in the Slow Food Victory Garden. A sense of honor (plus tight security) dissuaded us from helping ourselves. Planted in the plaza directly in front of City Hall on July 1, by opening morning the Victory Garden’s fruits and vegetables were ready for generous distribution to the needy.

The Victory Garden and Farmers’ Market were at one end of town, in Civic Center Plaza. At the other end of town, on the bay between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, was the pavilion at Fort Mason where the Slow Food Tasting event was held. All four 3-hour tastings (Saturday and Sunday, afternoon and evening) were sold out weeks in advance.

An hour b
efore the doors opened the line of ticket-holders was several hundred people long and snaked two hundred yards down the waterfront, turned right, and continued well past Greens Restaurant, the 29-year-old temple of vegetarian delight. And the crowds continued to build.

For a few minutes immediately after the doors opened it was possible to get to a food stall without having to wait in an additional line. But the overflowing crowd soon resulted in masses of Slow Fooders trudging slowly forward in lockstep for a glass of red wine or a three-cheese sample plate, jostling each other in the slow, step-by-step-by-step procession. Curiously, samples at the booze bar were free (including the truly dangerous 140-proof absinthe that years ago was banned and vilified) while cheese, wine, olive oil, coffee and other ordinary staples were two ”Slow Food bucks” each — two bucks on top of a $65 ticket to stand in line to spend it. No bargain here. Perhaps three hours of sporadic noshing was sufficient to satisfy the hunger that builds up while waiting in a slow line for tiny samples, but we were ready for a real meal once the Tasting event was over.

Dick and Jacqueline Grote