Next Slow Food Seattle Books Meeting: May 12

Kurt Timmermeister

Kurt Timmermeister

Join us on May 12 for the next Slow Food Seattle Books!

Our May book club selection is Kurt Timmermeister’s, Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land.

“An intimate look at the life and livelihood of a modern-day farmer, as told by a former urbanite. A bona-fide city dweller, Kurt Timmermeister never intended to run his own dairy farm. When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon

Island, he was looking for an affordable home a ferry ride away from the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he continued to serve his customers frozen chicken breasts and packaged pork, he became aware of the connection between what he ate and where it came from: a hive of bees provided honey; a young cow could give fresh milk; an apple orchard allowed him to make vinegar.

Growing a FarmerTold in Timmermeister’s plainspoken voice, Growing a Farmer details with honesty the initial stumbles and subsequent realities he had to face in his quest to establish a profitable farm for himself. Personal yet

practical, Growing a Farmer includes the specifics of making cheese, raising cows, and slaughtering pigs, and it will recast entirely the way we think about our relationship to the food we consume.”

Join us! This will be an active, open conversation and all are welcome – please come even if you haven’t had a chance to finish the book! We’ll be meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. Roy Street Coffee and Tea is located at 700 Broadway East. Limited free parking is available in the lot below.

Please post questions as you’re reading for Kurt in the comments here or on our Reading Discussion on Facebook. Kurt has generously agreed to answer them for us!

RSVP to books@slowfoodseattle.org RSVP on Facebook too!

Want to pick up a copy of Growing a Farmer? Here’s a list of local booksellers, also available via our Amazon store.

Kurt Timmermeister

Slow Food Seattle Albacore Canning Day with Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown.

In the spirit of Terra Madre Day, over fifty Slow Food Seattle members and community supporters came together on November 28th for a day-long fish canning workshop called – “Time to Tin a Tuna!” – taught by Jeremy Brown, a Bellingham-based commercial fisherman and longtime proponent of Slow Food.

Wild Pacific Albacore has been in the news for all the right reasons – topping the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Super Green List and on National Public Radio in a feature on the growth of micro-canneries in the Pacific Northwest.

Though you can find canned albacore tuna at your local food co-ops or fish markets in many communities, this was an opportunity to learn firsthand with someone well-versed in the process and safety considerations of using pressure cookers. At the end of the day, attendees left with both with the pride of supporting a local fisherman and a good stock of Wild Pacific Albacore to last through the long northwest winter. In past years, Jeremy had done these canning days in the coastal town of Port Townsend, Washington with Amy Grondin, a Slow Food Seattle board member and Port Townsend resident. This was the first time collaborating directly with Slow Food Seattle.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

We were at maximum capacity a matter of days after announcing the event. We were able to use a commercial kitchen space donated by Gourmondo, a local catering company and Jeremy arrived with everything we needed to preserve our own delicious and nutritious, locally caught albacore tuna to see us through until the 2011 albacore fishing season.

The fish was pre-cut into steaks and with the help of a rotating assembly line of volunteers – we cleaned, trimmed, chopped, packed and processed a thousand pounds of albacore in eight hours!

The recipe was an old Breton family recipe Jeremy picked up while in France many years back – simple and delicious for anyone with a pressure canner and access to some great local fish:

  • Pack tuna cut into about 2-inch chunks into jars along with a pinch of salt (we used kosher salt and 12-ounce jars).
  • The secret ingredient that adds just the right level of sweetness is a slice of carrot.
  • Add extra-virgin olive oil about half-way filling the jars, wipe the rims, cover with the lids and process.

Slow Food Seattle made the round-up on Terra Madre Day on the Slow Food USA blog!

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

 

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy breaking down tuna steaks.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy - both of cooklocal.com - breaking down tuna steaks.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Photos: Jennifer Johnson

Reflections on the Changing Seasons, Terra Madre and the Quillisascut Farm

By Amy Grondin

Walking my dog each morning through the fields near my home gives me a chance observe the changes that turning seasons bring. Today there was a definite nip in the air signaling for me that autumn was seriously taking hold and the summer that many say wasn’t had passed. If you are a farmer, you see the changes in your own fields as crops come in and out of season. For shoppers, the offerings displayed in Farmers Market stalls act as indicators of the changing seasons. Summer sweet berries give way to crisp apples, thin skinned summer squash are replaced by their hearty, thick fleshed winter cousins and delicate greens and shoots fall back for chard, kale and collards that cascade in green-purple waves on market tables, awaiting their turn in a sauté pan.

For me the coming of fall also finds me planning ahead for winter yet remembering the experiences and tastes of the past summer. One of the finest experiences, loaded with sun ripe flavor and hands on experience, was my week spent in early August at the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts in Rice, Washington for the Second Annual Slow Food Youth Workshop.

The first Slow Food Youth Workshop was proposed in October 2008 by Quillisascut Farm owner Lora Lea Misterly while attending the third Terra Madre gathering in Torino, Italy. Terra Madre is an international celebration of sustainable small scale food producers. It is hosted biannually by Slow Food International. At Terra Madre, religion, language barriers and debates are all set aside, not because the organizers ask that these differences be checked at the door, but because what is shared in common by the multicultural participants is so very powerful. All that attend Terra Madre are striving to preserve, foster and share their own unique way of producing sustainable food that is good, clean and fair.

During Terra Madre’s proceedings a challenge was issued by Slow Food USA Leader Josh Viertel for all in the room to bring Terra Madre home. Folks were asked to bottle up the energy and inspiration that was generated by the 5,000 people who were brought together from far reaching corners of the world. Once back home, how would each attending continue their work to produce good, clean and fair food while inspiring other to become a part of the sustainable food network?

The Slow Food Youth Workshop would be Lora Lea Misterly’s way to bring Terra Madre home. People between the ages of 18 and 29 would come to Quillisascut Farm for a week of learning first hand where their food comes from and how to embrace the seasonality of local goods. How lucky were Kim Bast and I to be standing next to Lora Lea at Terra Madre when she hatched the idea to host a workshop on her farm! While our status as youth had been officially dropped a while back, our role would be to assist at Quillisascut while learning with others through shared agricultural and culinary tasks.

Back home in Washington, with two Slow Food Youth Workshops completed, I happily report that a total of 22 Slow Food Youth representatives have visited the Quillisascut Farm. They have willingly taken on the duties of caring for goats and poultry, learned about organic gardening and had first lessons in making cheese with farm fresh goat milk. They have cooked meals together using the fruit, vegetables and meat raised on the farm, and have been overheard expressing their pleasure that the sustainably grown food they had followed from the field to the plate actually tasted better! Energized and relaxed at the same time by the rhythm of life on the farm, all shared increased awareness that our differences are our strengths and that respect, sustainable, biodiversity, community and enough are more than words – they are concepts to live a life by.

Much more than sustainable food was cultivated during the time spent on the Quillisascut Farm. And we have much to share! This past August four of the people attending the second annual Slow Food Youth Workshop were from Seattle. Two attending the workshop were sponsored by Slow Food Seattle – Andrew Heimburger from Seattle Culinary Academy and Erica Carre from FareStart – and two were sponsored by their workplaces – Ryan Stoy from Rainier Club and Anna Bazzi from TASTE at SAM.

 

These four exceptional individuals have agreed to work together with me to plan an event that will allow Slow Food Seattle members to meet them, hear their stories from the Quillisascut Farm and raise funds to send others from the Seattle area out to the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts in Rice, WA for the third annual Slow Food Youth Workshop in 2011! Stand by for updates and event details in November…But until then, please enjoy this recipe created by Chef Karen Jurgensen while teaching at the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts:

Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Kale and Chèvre Soup
The goat cheese adds a delicious tang to this comforting soup. The heavy cream binds the beans together and makes the soup thicker, so resist the urge to substitute whole milk or half-and-half. Because of the high fat content, this soup freezes well. Note: Canned beans are not a suitable substitute as the beans make their own stock and sauce.

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) Jacob’s Cattle beans or other white beans, rinse and soak overnight (3 parts water to 1 part beans, soaking water reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup tomato purée
  • 1 cup chopped preserved roasted red peppers (store-bought is fine)
  • 1 bunch black kale (or other kale), about 8 to 10 leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups (about three-quarter pound) soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Put the beans and soaking water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and skim foam from the beans. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the salt (the water should taste lightly of salt). Cook about 1 hour, until the beans are soft in texture and creamy in flavor.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the carrot, celery, yellow onion and garlic, until the mixture is soft but not brown. Stir in the tomato purée, red peppers and black kale. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes and add salt to taste.

When the beans have finished cooking, stir in the vegetable mixture, bay leaves, thyme and chili flakes. Cook for about 20 minutes, then add the heavy cream, goat cheese and black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes more, then season to taste with salt.

Variations: In summertime use fresh tomatoes, peppers, and thyme. For a lighter minestrone-style soup, leave out the heavy cream and goat cheese.

— Recipe excerpted from Chefs on the Farm: Recipes and Inspiration from the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts by Shannon Borg and Lora Lea Misterly with recipes from Karen Jurgensen and photography by Harley Soltes (Skipstone).



Eat Wild Salmon and Savor Bristol Bay

Seattle Restaurants and Markets Help Trout Unlimited Alaska to Protect Bristol Bay Salmon from Mine Threat

Save Bristol Bay, Salmon Factory of the World

Freshly caught wild salmon, direct from the pristine waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska, will arrive in restaurants and seafood cases in Portland and Seattle early next month as part of Trout Unlimited Alaska’s Savor Bristol Bay campaign.

By participating in Savor Bristol Bay week, businesses and consumers are supporting Trout Unlimited Alaska’s grassroots Save Bristol Bay campaign.

Savor Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay is not only rich with wild salmon, but it’s also where developers want to build a massive, open-pit copper and gold mine called Pebble in the headwaters of some of the most productive fish habitat left on the planet. The proposed mine threatens to pollute the waters of Bristol Bay and harm

what is the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. Trout Unlimited Alaska is working with a diverse coalition of food community members, Alaska Native leaders, commercial and sport fishermen and many others to gain permanent protection for Bristol Bay.

During the week of July 4 to 10, Slow Food Seattle supporters are encouraged to support Bristol Bay salmon by Voting with Their Forks at participating businesses. They can also purchase salmon from Seattle’s PCC Natural Markets and Seattle Fish Company.

Seattle’s Restaurants and Markets supporting Savor Bristol Bay week:

Chef Becky  Selengut (photo: Valentina Vitols)

Chef Becky Selengut (photo: Valentina Vitols)

If you are looking for a hands on approach to satisfying your seafood cravings, join Chef Becky Selengut at the Edmonds PCC on Wednesday, July 7th for her Bristol Bay Salmon Cooking class. Class menu includes: Quinoa cakes with wok-smoked king salmon and herbs; Bristol Bay salmon with watercress soup, chile oil and croutons; Slow cooked sockeye salmon with Columbia Valley red wine sauce and braised fennel. For details and to sign up for the class visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/112619

Red GoldWant to see the beauty of Bristol Bay for yourself but don’t have a float plane? Free screenings of the award-winning Bristol Bay documentary, Red Gold, will be held throughout the week. In Seattle, Roy Street Coffee & Tea will screen Red Gold at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6 and at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 8. Watch the film while nibbling on salmon snacks prepared by Seattle Chefs!

“We’re pleased to be a part of Savor Bristol Bay week. With West Coast wild salmon fisheries struggling the last few years, we want to do what we can to keep Bristol Bay sockeye plentiful and healthy so that we can keep offering sustainable wild salmon to our guests,” said Chef Kevin Davis, owner of Seattle-based Steelhead Diner and Blueacre Seafood.

Learn more about Savor Bristol Bay week and what you can do to get involved at www.savebristolbay.org

Trout UnlimitedFor more information contact:
Amy Grondin
ajgrondin@gmail.com
206.295.4931

Savor Bristol Bay Week in Seattle: July 4-10

Bristol Bay fishing boat

Photo: Nick Hall

It’s almost summer time and with summer comes fresh wild salmon to restaurants, seafood markets and backyard BBQ’s! In the Pacific Northwest we are savvy to the fact that not all salmon taste the same. Depending on their species, what the fish were feeding on and the river run that the salmon are a part of each fish will vary slightly and have its own unique taste profile. This gives many reasons to serve a variety of sustainably caught wild salmon from the waters of Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Slow Food Seattle is partnering with Trout Unlimited to celebrate our nation’s largest wild salmon fishery during Savor Bristol Bay Week: July 4-10.

Bristol Bay Salmon

Photo: Nick Hall

Bristol Bay’s salmon and story are coming back to the Northwest during the peak of the fishing season. Each day more chefs from our Slow Food Seattle Restaurants are saying “Yes” to featuring Bristol Bay salmon on their menus during Savor Bristol Bay Week. In the July Slow Food newsletter we’ll provide a list of places you can go to Vote with Your Fork” for Bristol Bay.

We are planning a number of events in the Seattle area so you can be a part of the celebration. Four events are planned for the Savor Bristol Bay week:

  • Tuesday, July 6 & Thursday, July 8 – Two free screenings of the award winning documentary RED GOLD at Roy Street Coffee, both showings will be at 7:30pm.
  • Wednesday, July 7 – Wild Salmon cooking class and dinner with Chef Becky Selengut at Edmonds PCC, 6:30pm to 9pm. Come Savor Bristol Bay and learn new ways to prepare Bristol Bay salmon at home as well as information about Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery and the things that make it so unique. (Tickets here; RSVP details on Facebook). On the menu: Quinoa cakes with wok-smoked king salmon and herbs; Bristol Bay salmon with watercress soup, chile oil and croutons; Slow cooked sockeye salmon with Columbia Valley red wine sauce and braised fennel.

Until July brings us the opening of Bristol Bay salmon season, you can learn more about this amazing place and wild salmon fishery from Trout Unlimited’s online sources:

  • WhyWild is part of Trout Unlimited’s Pacific Salmon Program with the purpose to educate and engage the salmon marketplace in Trout Unlimited’s wild salmon and steelhead conservation efforts from California through Alaska. From fish facts to what wine to serve when you “eat it to save it” you can find it all things wild salmon on this website!
  • Save Bristol Bay – This Trout Unlimited website will give you an overview of Bristol Bay – the place, the people, the environment and the issues – all presented with beautiful images that inspire and move you to learn more about the incredible Bristol Bay watershed and how to preserve it for future generation of both people and animals.

    Savor Bristol Bay
    BB Regional Seafood Development Association

    Trout Unlimited

Join the conversation: Ben Hewitt author of “The Town That Food Saved”

The Town That Food SavedJoin Slow Food Seattle for our first foray towards an ongoing book club. We’ll be doing a combination of partnerships with Kim Ricketts Book Events and connecting with the incredible resources of our local authors. If you’d like to be involved, drop us a line or come to the event this coming Tuesday.

This is the first event in a series on food, sustainability and community called “Edible Conversations” and will take place on June 8th at 7pm at Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom. Jill Lightner, the editor of Edible Seattle will interview Ben Hewitt about his life as a farmer, and the way a group of farmers and entrepreneurs banded together to create a comprehensive food system and revive the dying economy of Hardwick, Vermont.

Like many rural communities in America, Hardwick, Vermont was build on a industry that had packed up and left long ago, and the town had suffered from a depressed economy for over a century. With an unemployment rate of 40% and in the middle of a crippling recession, a small group of young farmers and community leaders embarked on a quest to create a comprehensive, functional and vibrant food system, bring jobs to their region and create new ways for them to make a living off their farmlands. As Ben tells the story of his one town’s transformation, there will be lessons for all of us who believe that a healthy, local agricultural system can be the basis of community strength, economic vitality and food security.

Joining Jill and Ben will be local chefs, Sequim farmer Kia Kozun of Nash’s Organic Produce, Chris Curtis, the Director of Seattle’s Neighborhood Farmer’s Markets and Mary Embleton, Director of the Cascade Harvest Coalition.

Brown Paper Tickets

contact us for SFS supporter promo code

**Slow Food Seattle supporters receive a significant discount – contact us for the promo code or sign up for our mailing list to receive directly.**

(Tickets here; RSVP details on Facebook)

The $25/person price includes appetizers and Theo chocolate confections; a cash bar will be available as well. Copies of The Town That Food Saved will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Ben Hewitt

Kim Ricketts Book EventsEdible Seattle