Aug 3rd, 2010
The Sixth Annual Great Hot Dog Cook-Off took place last Saturday, and what a competition we had! The little cook-off that began in Kara Masi's backyard has blossomed into a full-blown block party in front of Kelso Brewery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. As always, this event was a charity fundraiser for City Harvest, who received all of the proceeds from the 300 ticket sales. Kelso has been sponsoring the cook-off since the very first year, and last year held it inside (and on the streets outside) the brewery. This year, a deejay, announcer, ice cream sponsor (Adirondack) and hot dog (Hummel) sponsor were added. And there were twenty wildly different hot dogs on display from the contestants -- including mine, a green curry mayo-slathered cucumber dog.
The Green Curry Cucumber Dog (and a recap of the Great Hot Dog Cook-Off ’10)
May 17th, 2010
In the epilogue of The Art of Eating In
, I bemoaned my oversight of home gardening as one of the restaurant-free food subcultures that I explored in its chapters. Thinking that my outdoor space-free residence would eliminate the option, I'd left out the very preface to cooking: growing the stuff. Fortunately, there have been many sage leaders in doing just that, even in the tiniest urban crevices they can find, and their voices are getting some much-deserved attention. Last month, Just Food paid a lively tribute to the pioneering food advocate, Joan Gussow, who at one point during the ceremonies quipped that she'd originally wanted to title her classic memoir, This Organic Life,
"Eating My Lawn." So since writing the book, I've been inspired to close the gap between agriculture and what's on my plate, both in theory and actual, trowel-wielding practice. This time, I am so not alone in my quest.
Reason For Not Eating Out #42: Because You Can Grow Your Own Food
Oct 13th, 2009
On Friday, as I sat in the converted shipping container outside of Roberta's Pizza that's home to Heritage Radio Network preparing for the first Cheap Date episode with my guests Keith and Rachel, we were interrupted by a series of loud, clanking noises coming from the roof above. "Can they stop farming now?" I think I muttered. But really, it was music to my ears. There is more than a tree growing in Brooklyn, or for that matter, cities all over: a bonafide agricultural movement. And it was happening above our heads on the rooftop garden of Roberta's Pizza that day, as well as at farms, community gardens and backyards throughout the city. Tonight, Roberta's Pizza is holding a celebration of all that, as well as what more can come. You're welcome to come join the party, the dialogue, the movement -- and with your contribution to a new rooftop farm next spring, one of the most delicious feasts I have ever heard of.
Support Urban Farming at Roberta’s Pizza Tonight
Aug 31st, 2009
So, you're wondering what to do this Labor Day. Bumming around town? Hitting the beach? Picnicking in the park? Wherever the venue, I've got the perfect activity for it. It's a sleepy day for businesses anyway, so why not do as Slow Food USA is urging and Eat-In? That's right, it's a national call of not eating out... everywhere!
Join Slow Food’s Time For Lunch Campaign and Eat In
Jul 23rd, 2009
It's the kind of cook-off that was my dream come true: the emphasis? Local food. The dish's requirements? Nothing, aside from being local. The judges? Three established food writers whom I admire. The fundraiser's cause? Slow Food NYC. The location? The sandy Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, where I'd spread out my toes shoeless on several occasions. So maybe not everything turned out to be really dreamlike: it was raining all day, at some points more furiously than others. But I couldn't have had a better time, as it was, after all, a feast of local food fun. And to top it off, my Grill-Off dish took second place.
Savory Corn Pudding, part of my Local Grill-Off entry
Jul 13th, 2009
I'm finally getting some color this summer. Each week, my CSA share has given me bunches and bunches of greens: lettuces, bok choy, Russian kale, snap peas, tat soy, fresh herbs and the occasional candy colored radish or berry-red beet. I was thinking I might turn into the Green Giant consuming it all. But this weekend, I took a retreat to North Fork to visit my friends at Garden of Eve (again), and teach a homemade vegetable dumpling-making class. It was a lovely two hours and with ten pupils, we made three types of dumplings: Chinese-style vegetarian dumplings with napa cabbage, firm spiced tofu, scallions and kale; shredded zucchini with feta, parsley and chive dumplings served with Balsamic vinegar; and sundried tomato, minced broccoli and basil dumplings with fresh breadcrumbs, egg, and a bit of leftover feta, served with lemon aioli. All batches were eaten up. But left to the wayside were some ingredients that Melissa had picked from the fields for my class, and never got used. Well, not until the next day, after taking them home.
Breadcrumb Crusted Zucchini with Rainbow Chard
May 27th, 2009
A rustic scarecrow looms before the skyline of Manhattan's midtown skyscrapers. Under its watch lie more than 30 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But its real scarecrows, the overseers of this rooftop farming project, are Ben Flanner and Annie Novak. I asked if they'd had any problems with pest.
"Lately, we've just begun getting some bugs. Both good and bad bugs. But even if they're the bad ones, bugs are a good thing, because it means that they're beginning to recognize that there's an ecosystem here," Novak replied.
The bugs are taking notice, and hopefully the general public soon will, too. Similar in mission to the NY Sunworks Science Barge project, in which the nonprofit forged a viable ecosystem on a raft on the Hudson, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is further proof that agriculture can thrive in the unlikeliest of places.
A Rooftop Farm for the Future