Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Pig Pickin’ in Support of Organics in Local 4H Programming

Here are some photos from today’s tasty pig pickin’ at Roots Community Kitchen in Santee. Thanks Henry for raising such a delicious pig as well as raising awareness among your fellow 4H members about organic animal husbandry! And a round of applause for all the chefs and local beverage purveyors for cooking up and complementing all those pork dishes!

Food and the City

“At some point, this industrial tack that we’ve been on, we’re going to fondly remember the end point of that and realize ‘you can’t eat that.’ And that little green square, as seen from the air, to me is the first space, the first move. As soon as we can get that back to green, that’s going to have a huge ripple effect. When we get it back green, it’s going to accelerate everything.” ~John Quigley, Environmental Activist and supporter of South Central Farmers

I have to admit that I am only half way through Jennifer Cockrall-King’s book, Food in the City. I have been stuffing it into my farming bag, on top of my pruners and gloves, next to my compost-stained notebook documenting volunteer To-Do tasks at the urban farm where I work. With this book in dirty hands, I actually wish the bus ride to and from downtown was longer! Cockrall-King has gathered information from many recent publications about the urban farming movement as well as documented her own visitations to city-bound plots across the northern hemisphere and synthesized her findings in this highly informative book.

Often optimistic but sometimes heartbreaking, she paints a green-tinted picture of the incredible potential of urban farming to change our food system, our politics, our lives. She also illustrates the challenges that have been faced, such as the plight of the South Central Farmers in Los Angeles: After the 1992 race riots the community built an amazing garden on public land. In 2007 the government quietly sold it off to a new owner who bulldozed the farm and has not “improved” it since the destruction five years ago. The land sits empty, a chain link fence preventing farmers from growing food for their families. It is stories like this that makes one shake their head in bewilderment among all of the otherwise inspiring examples of community cohesion and fortitude.

This mixture of hope and call to action engages the reader as Cockrall-King wanders through the farms and gardens of cities such as Detroit, LA, Chicago,London, and Toronto. My bus rides have been full of scribbled notes in the margins, sighing (South Central Farmers), and smiling (farms surviving and championed in urban centers across the globe) as I adventure with her, vicariously sampling peas and amaranth on my way to my own urban oasis and living classroom. This book is a journey into literal urban jungles well worth taking.

Join Slow Food Urban San Diego and the Food Justice Committee from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Price Building in City Heights room 640 to meet Jennifer Cockrall King, author of Food an the City: Urban Agriculture and The New Food Revolution. Following a discussion including local food advocacy and justice groups, the author will be available for book signing.

For more information about this event, click here.

Pumpkin Padron Bisque

In celebration of Food Day (Week), Alchemy’s Chef Ricardo Heredia made a guest appearance at the Seeds@City Urban Farm stand last Thursday to give a scrumptious cooking demonstration in true Autumn spirit. Scoops of roasted pumpkin, charred Padron peppers, and silky cream filled his bubbling cauldron (stockpot) luring hungry students with the mouthwatering aroma.

A simplified version of the bisque served at Alchemy, he charred the peppers with a blowtorch (“Every poor college kid should have one!” he quipped), threw organic canned pumpkin into his Vitamix, and blended the produce with a generous dollop of heavy cream. Topped with smoked paprika oil and pepitas, students and faculty at City College raved over the free samples and beelined towards the farm stand to buy up the Padrons.

Thanks Chef Ricardo for reaching out to the community! It’s people like you who make Food Day exciting, informative, and delicious!

Here’s his recipe:

Pumpkin-Padron Bisque

Yield 4 qts

  • 3 ea. charred med. *Padron peppers *
  • 4 ea. cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 ea. yellow onion
  • 2 lbs. cooked pumpkin
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • 1 quarts heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Method

Rough chop the onion and toss with olive oil cook in oven broiler along with the Padrons and garlic until charred and caramelized. Remove the seeds from the Padrons but leave the charred skin on. Puree all ingredients intermittently with one quart of the cream heated. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika oil.

Paprika Oil

  • 1 cup pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 4 cups rice oil ( or any oil of your choice)

Method

Put pimenton along with one cup of oil in a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat for two minutes stirring frequently until it begins to darken and give off a toasted aroma. Add remaining oil and cook on low heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let sit until cool approx. 1 hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

** Substitute your pepper of choice**

To make vegan omit the cream and sour cream and use vegetable stock