Tonight we had a very, Very good Slow Food Greater Athens dinner at Harrys Pig Shop here in Athens. Except for the grapeseed oil and sherry vinegar on the salad, salt and black pepper, everything was either grown or raised within 20 miles of Athens or close, but most certainly Georgia born and raised.
I forgot to take home a menu so this is from memory:
It was wonderfully family style starting with red Turkish style peppers fried in olive oil with kosher salt, beautiful leafy greens salad with radishes and peppers, field peas cooked traditional Southern style, yellow and green beans with the “snap” still happening, purple and creamer mashed potatoes, braised pork shoulder with hot vinegar & Berkshire roast sliced and perfectly tender and juicy.
Following up a dinner at the Branded Butcher is no easy feat and the folks with Lee Epting Catering and Harry’s Pig Shop met the challenge head on. Things are becoming exciting for Slow Food Greater Athens and local foods as whole as we continue to promote, advertise, shop, dine, form friendships, salvage our heritage fruits, vegetables, grass fed beef, Berkshire and red hogs raised outside of the cesspools that are factory animal farms. The more you know the more you learn to avoid the bad stuff and gravitate to the foods that not only taste far superior but are far healthier for us and for the local economies. Want to support local economy? Support local, independent restaurants, local farms, ranches and the people who work them all.
The worst thing (I am prejudiced) Ivy League economists stated at the beginning of the Recession in 2007 was to slack off of dining out and to pinch pennies on food. OK, so what is completely wrong about that cynical approach to our home state, or any home state? It undercut and nearly crippled the second largest employer in the Nation and then gave Monsanto free reign to get guys like our Senators Broun, Issakson and Chambliss to cozy up to the factory farms while making it harder for true organic farms to operate. After that it influenced the poor health of our country. How? By foods that were lacking in actual nutritional value, to state it lightly. Bad food, bad health, bad brain and what do you get? A mess of back peddling and blame on everyone except the true culprits.
Food is as political as it gets. I just wish that a watermelon radish, French red hen, brook trout, butterbean or Cherokee purple tomato could speak. But that begs a pretty cool question, which is, “If a chicken spoke could we understand it?” Put Harry’s Pig Shop in your dining rotation here and you will be happy. Please, join Slow Food Greater Athens and help contribute a small part to what makes living here so absolutely sublime. When I talk to people from some of the American major food cities they openly tell me that they simply do not have the access to fast and fresh, organic and clean foods and meats as we do here. The only other place I have lived where it was comparable was Mendocino, CA. I am sure there are others, but for now, our Athens is at the top of the heap.
We dine at a different restaurant every month. The Chefs and restaurants have all been happy to work with us for our dinners, to serve family style, to show off and of course to keep it local. We are having a membership drive this month. Regularly check our Slow Food site for ongoing information for events Farmers Market at Bishop Park and Downtown at the Courthouse, a membership meet and greet at Farm 255 and to add even more good things we will be screening the movie “Greenhorns” at Cine in November. Greenhorns is coproduced by the folks at Farm 255 and is about farms across America, small farms, people doing the right thing for each other while still supporting local economies! Now, who can argue with that? Great food and keeping the money close to home is the stuff of a strong community. See you soon.
Mark these dates on your calender for Slow Food events:
Slow Food Harvest Fest, October 13th, 1 to 4 pm at Farm 255
This is our membership drive and there will be music by Adam Klein, New Belgium beer keg, snacks courtesy Farm 255, and just a nice day in October.
The 2nd Annual Harvest Feast is on October 14th, 4-7pm at The Hill which is a dinner benefit for Wholesome Wave.
So far The National, Farm 255, Branded Butcher, Gymnopedie, Harry’s Pig Shop, Athens Chefs Association and a couple of others yet to
be announced will be featuring their take on current cusines. The price is $60 and WINE is included.
Food Day in Georgia is October 24th and Slow Food will have a table that day at the Farmer’s Market Courthouse event. Food Day! What could be better than that other than Sweet Tea and Fried Chicken Day in Georgia?
Taste Your Market on October 27th, 8 to 12 pm, Farmer’s Market we will have a table cooking whatever is looking the best from our diligent and dedicated local farmers. Chef Walt Light and Chef H Lamar Thomas (me) will be cooking.
The movie “Greenhorns”, November 13, either at Cine or the Tate Center, early evening, $10 per person. There will be discussions concerning small farms, restaurants and what you can do to help things along for the cause of clean, fresh foods.