On Nov.4, 2007, Slow Food Seacoast brings back a popular event for its second year — The 100-Mile Thanksgiving Potluck! All are invited to accept the challenge of sharing a potluck fest of Turkey Day traditions in which all dishes feature ingredients grown within 100 miles of Portsmouth, NH.
The public is invited to a 100-Mile Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at the Portsmouth Pearl , 45 Pearl Street, Portsmouth, NH, from 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Slow Food Seacoast will serve up two locally raised roasted turkeys, and attendees are invited to bring potluck contributions featuring food grown or raised within a few hours of the Seacoast. Come witness the abundance and enjoy the taste of home. Conversation and celebration are on the program. Taste locally raised domestic and heritage-breed turkeys side-by-side and savor the autumn flavors of home-cooked dishes from soups to desserts. Seacoast Eat Local will present information about its upcoming Holiday Farmers’ Markets. The evening will include a live musical performance by Cynthia Chatis, who will share songs celebrating the harvest season.
All ages are welcome to join in the feast. Guests are asked to contribute a potluck dish to serve at least 10 portions, and to bring their own place settings and beverages (no alcoholic beverages at this event, please). Admission is free, but Slow Food Seacoast will be accepting voluntary suggested donations of $5 per person, $4 of which will be donated to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry and $1 to Slow Food Seacoast. Seacoast Family Food Pantry is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the state, initially chartered in 1816, and serves over 300 families and individuals from Portsmouth and surrounding communities.
The Portsmouth Pearl, a restored 1868 Church with a distinguished history as the earliest African-American church structure in New Hampshire. The Pearl’s century and more of positive social change provide the ideal venue for friends to meet, eat, and discuss ways to find and grow good, clean, and fair food right here in our home region.
For the next Slow Food Seacoast potluck and meeting, on Sunday, March 4th, we’ll be exploring flavors of the Emerald Isle. This theme was chosen in honor of the approaching St. Patrick’s Day, as well as the strong influence of Irish culture brought to New England over its entire history.
For many, the phrase ‘Irish food’ conjures a bad reputation for blandness and monotony. Certainly, for many decades, the potato monoculture, poverty, and privation determined much of the national diet, a fact which contributed to the idea that Irish food was not rich or varied.
Here in the United States, many of us are familiar with the supposed classic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage – but that’s really an Irish-American dish, a variant on a traditional bacon and cabbage mixture. It seems that immigrants to the United States could not find the fatty, salt-cured, thick-sliced bacon of the old country, and substituted the corned beef found at Jewish butcher shops in East Coast cities. This new combination became the basis for the New England boiled dinner.
But Irish food is not all potatoes and cabbage. There are some wonderful things to be found if one looks more deeply into the culture and its food history.
To allay any fears of a table full of soda bread and Guinness (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), here’s a look at some Irish food history and recipe sites, which may inspire you to explore a food culture shaped by history and economics, grassy dairylands, rocky soil, the produce of a cool moist climate, and abundant fish from the oceans.
Wikipedia gives an overview of Irish Cuisine from its earliest history (venison stew and mead) to the arrival of the potato in the 1600s to the ‘New Irish Cuisine’ of the 20th century, based on seafoods and cheeses.
Irish Culture & Customs has an exceptionally long list of recipes and a collection of articles on specific food topics.
DoChara’s History of Food in Ireland does a similar overview in greater depth, and also offers a small collection of recipes.
Ireland’s Eye offers a set of traditional recipes featuring ham, oats, jams, and other classic ingredients.
FoodIreland has some excellent recipes for baked goods and meat dishes, many featuring brand-name ingredients commercially available in Ireland.With all this variety, we should have plenty to explore. Please plan to come — and bring friends. Slainte!
Cultures across the world have long been fascinated with the idea that food can not only help us express love, but might even be able to act on our systems to get us in the mood for romance. Science lends only some very small support to the idea, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the rich, flavorful, and luxurious foods considered to be aphrodisiacs. Tonight’s Slow Food meeting features a “Foods of Love” potluck, in honor of the month of St. Valentine. For some of the most commonly identified aphrodisiac foods, consult Amy Reiley’s website Eat Something Sexy. You can sign up for an Aphrodisiac of the Month e-mail from Ms. Reiley! Thanks to Jim for letting us know of this fun resource.