Posted by: slowfoodboone | May 3, 2008

Volunteer for the 2008 Farm Tour!

At our last event, we announced that Slow Food High Country – Boone is planning to help with the High Country Farm Tour during the first weekend of August. The farm tour used to be sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, but now Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) is going to organize the event. Each Slow Food convivia has been charged to be involved in an educational activity, so the officers thought this would be a great chance for our group to be active in the local food scene and to offer some assistance to BRWIA.

It is often the case that when we sit down to enjoy a meal, we give little thought to who grew the food, or how much work successful farming demands. The High Country Farm Tour is the best chance to see how and where local foods are grown, and to get to know the farmers who bring this bounty to our tables. For the Farm Tour this August to be a success, we need 1 or more volunteers at each participating farm, on each day. Volunteers help with parking and orienting visitors to the farm, freeing the farmers to spend time describing the sustainable techniques they employ, and conduct tours. Volunteer at a farm one day, then take the tour on the other day FREE!

For more information, contact Susan Boylan at susanboylan@skybest.com. Please indicate how you would like to be involved (organization/farm tour volunteer/both).

Posted by: slowfoodboone | April 8, 2008

April Event Photos

Slow Food Boone visits the sturgeon farm

A sturgeon

Slow Food Boone visits the goat farm

baby goats

Posted by: slowfoodboone | April 6, 2008

April Event Wrap-up

We had a great event today! We made a visit to a sturgeon farm, enjoyed a very tasty potluck, and then toured the Ripshin Goat Dairy. We’ll have pictures soon. But for now we have a two recipes for chevre from a couple of our members.

Chocolate Truffles

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (not unsweetened)

6 oz. fresh chevre (about ¾ cup)

2 T. confectioners’ sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. lemon extract

¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, for coating the truffles

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, being very careful not to let any of the steam from the water come in contact with the chocolate. Stir until smooth, remove bowl from the pan, let the chocolate cool slightly.

In a bowl whisk together the chevre, the confectioners’ sugar, the vanilla and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Whisk in the chocolate until combined well, and chill, covered, for at least one hour or until firm.

Form heaping teaspoons of the mixture into ball and roll in the cocoa powder. Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper for at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Truffles will keep in a airtight container, chilled, for 3 days…. Enjoy—these are delish…

Goat cheese-arugula ravioli with tomato-pancetta butter



Ravioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, minced [SEE NOTES]
8 ounces arugula, chopped (about 8 cups) [SEE NOTES]
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
1/2 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Nonstick vegetable oil spray [SEE NOTES]
42 (about) wonton wrappers (from one 12-ounce package)
2 large egg whites, whisked just until foamy [SEE NOTES]

Tomato-Pancetta butter
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta* or bacon, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
6 large plum tomatoes, quartered, seeds and membranes discarded, tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

For serving:
5 tablespoons butter, melted
12 fresh basil leaves
Fresh thyme sprigs

Make ravioli: Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 10 minutes. Add arugula; toss until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Transfer arugula mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper.

Line 2 baking sheets with heavy-duty foil; spray foil with nonstick spray. Place 4 wonton wrappers on work surface; cover remaining wrappers with plastic to prevent drying. Lightly brush entire surface of each wrapper with egg white. Spoon 1 generous teaspoon filling into center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers diagonally in half, forming triangles. Press edges firmly to seal. Arrange ravioli on prepared sheets. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made ahead. Cover with plastic and chill up to 1 day; or cover with plastic, then heavy-duty foil, and freeze up to 1 week. If frozen, do not thaw before cooking.)

Make tomato-pancetta butter: Cook chopped pancetta in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel; drain. Set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add butter to drippings in skillet; melt over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and thyme; sauté until tomatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Cook and serve ravioli: Place melted butter in large bowl. Cook half of ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes for fresh or 5 minutes for frozen. Using large strainer, transfer ravioli to colander and drain; place in bowl with butter and toss to coat. Cover to keep warm. Cook remaining ravioli in same pot of boiling water. Drain and add to bowl of buttered ravioli. Toss gently to coat. Divide ravioli among bowls. Rewarm tomato butter over medium heat. Add reserved pancetta and basil; sauté 1 minute. Spoon sauce over ravioli; garnish with thyme.
From Bon Appetit, March 2001; available online through epicurious.com

Notes:
1. The recipe is overly fussy!
2. Making your own pasta would be better, but Marg considers that TOO SlowFood. Either with wontons or fresh pasta with flour-dusted and slightly dry surface, there’s no need either to use non-stick spray or aluminum foil. Just put accumulate the filled ravoli on a pan or tray, one layer deep, not piled one on another.
3. Shallots may be better, but onion works just fine for us.
4. Forget the egg whites, we’ve never had any problem gluing the pasta surface by just painting it with water.
5. Making triangle ravioli is fine (except the wontons are rectangular instead of square), but we fold them strait across to make a rectangular ravioli then use a biscuit cutter to cut off excess pasta and end up with semi-circular ravioli.
6. You want plenty of arugula, but measuring out 8 cups of it is a ridiculous waste of time.
7. Whenever a recipe calls for pancetta, we use the packaged trimmings from Dan’l Boone country ham and dice it finely. It’s convenient, less expensive, and has less fat.
8. Don’t wait until the ravioli have all been cooked before re-warming the sauce, unless the idea of room-temperature ravioli in medium-warm sauce is more appealing than a hot dish in front of you.
9. Arugula is a weed, fortunately. If anybody wants seeds, we should have them in abundance by July.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | April 1, 2008

April event update

We are getting ready for the next Slow Food Boone gathering this weekend! There is still space for a few more people. Please RSVP to Chelly at slowfoodboone@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

See the details in the post below. Remember, this will be a potluck.

Also, some folks are planning to stay for the string quartet at the Chapel of Rest in Collettsville. The quartet that was to play will not be coming. Instead, we’ll be treated to another string quartet – The Hausmann Quartet (they have a nice website, click the name to check it out). They’ll play Haydn, Schuman and Schnitke (a Russian composer), and there will be a reception afterwards for everyone. Tickets are $8 at the door for the concert.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | February 26, 2008

April Slow Food Event

We are excited to announce our next Slow Food event which will take
place on Sunday, April 6. We are going to visit Liza Plaster’s Ripshin
Goat Dairy which is located between Blowing Rock and Lenoir. The day
will include a potluck picnic lunch, a tour of the goat dairy, the
opportunity to taste and purchase the first batch of chevre for the
season, a tour of a fish farm that is gearing up to make cavier in the
next few years, and finally a concert by a the La Catrina Quartet, a Latino
string quartet, in a 100-year-old chapel. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

You can check out the La Catrina Quartet at their website (click here). Margie
Mansure and Amy Galloway are going to provide drinks, cups, utensils,
napkins, and plates. Please bring a potluck dish to share that will be
easy to transport. We are going to meet at the Watauga Co-Op Extension
to carpool and take vans. You are welcome to join us for all these
events or to meet up with us at any point. If you have questions you
can call Amy Galloway (297-7673) or Margie Mansure at the extension
(264-3061). Please RSVP to Chelly Richards via email
slowfoodboone@gmail.com. We plan to do this event rain or shine
unless the weather is really horrible.

Please email Chelly for directions.

Here is the timeline:
noon leave Boone
12:45 tour sturgeon farm (with Joe Doll)
1:15 arrive @ Ripshin Goat Dairy for potluck lunch (with Liza
Plaster)
2:00 tour of dairy
3:30 arrive at Chapel of Rest for concert by La Catrina ($8),
followed by a reception with the musicians

Posted by: slowfoodboone | January 22, 2008

As recommended by Mary Gray…

Here are some recipes (and eventually books) that Mary Gray recommended when we toured her garden and spoke with her at her home during the January event.

Mint Tea

1 Kg sugar
3 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 armful of mint (leaves and stems, but not roots)
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Steep all the mint all day long.
Drain and store liquid in a bottle. Use the liquid as concentrate by heating
and adding to water or seltzer.
 
Congee
 
Mary got this recipe from Holly Burman who used to practice acupuncture in Boone. Congee is a grain based, usually rice medicinal porridge served for centuries in
traditional Chinese homes. It is used to strengthen digestion, build energy
and enhance metabolism.
 
1 serving:
1/4 cup grain
1 & 1/4 cup water
Combine in a crock pot and cook on low overnight (or 8 hours). Adjust the
proportions of grain to water until you get the consistency of congee that
satisfies you most. For added flavor, you can add your favorite spices,
nuts, and fruits.
 
Here are some suggested combinations:
  • brown rice/barley, cinnamon, ginger
  • millet/buckwheat/rye, allspice, cinnamon stick
  • millet/quinoa, cinnamon, ginger
Posted by: slowfoodboone | December 20, 2007

January Slow Food Event

Update: The garden tour and potluck are still scheduled as planned for this weekend. High temps are predicted to be in the mid 20s so bring your warmest winter layers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark your calendars! The next Slow Food High Country gathering has been planned. This event is open to members and non-members.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

3:30 pm We will begin at Mary Gray’s home in Boone (email for address) for a garden tour. Ms. Gray is an enthusiastic speaker who has been experimenting with season extension in her garden. She’s writing a book on the subject.

5:00 pm Then, we’ll head to Maggie McFadden’s home in Boone (email for address) for a potluck.

You’re invited to attend all or part of this event. We’ll post a reminder and email any necessary details closer to the date.

Please RSVP to Slow Food Boone: slowfoodboone@gmail.com

If you’d like to be sure to receive updates and announcements about future events, please join our group email (link at top)!

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