Food for Thought
 The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter
   July, 2009
Welcome to the July issue of "Food for Thought."   We're so glad you've chosen to receive our newsletter. While you will find the most current information about our chapter in this newsletter, be sure to visit our website.  There you will find a list of local restaurants and markets that exemplify the Slow Food philosophy.  You will also find opportunities to become more active in our chapter.
In This Issue
Our Next Events
Website Re-Desgin
Our Last Event
Farm School
Volunteers Needed
National SF Initiative
Culinary Tour
Recommended Recipe
What is Slow Food?

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

For more information, visit their website.

Join Our Mailing List!
How are we doing?

We welcome additions to and comments about this newsletter. Please send us an email

Do you have a Slow Food story or recipe to share?  If so, e-mail it to

July 18th, 20th and 23rd  
 July 18th, 3-6 pm
Special Membership Meeting & Potluck 
Alice WatersA general meeting of members will be held on Saturday, July 18th from 3-6 pm at Monkey Business Café (see address below).  During the meeting, the Steering Committee will seek member input regarding events, programs and initiatives so that activities planned may be of interest and importance to Slow Food OC members.  We will also discuss our business plan.  Please attend this important meeting as it is your opportunity to express your opinions and shape Slow Food OC.
After the business meeting, Lauren Ingo will discuss the on-going collaboration between Hart Community Homes (specifically Monkey Business Café) and Slow Food OC.  Hart Community Homes is a non-profit organization that assists in job training for foster care boys between the ages of 13 and 18.  The boys work at the Café to gain work experience and life skills.  Lauren has ideas on how Slow Food OC can contribute to Hart Community Homes' mission, which includes construction of a kitchen garden at Monkey Business Café.  As mentioned in the June Issue of "Food for Thought," Fred Tarnay, a master gardener and Slow Food member, has designed a plan for the garden.  We need volunteers to aid in the execution of this project. If you have any interest, please attend the July 18th meeting or contact Steve Widmayer at: 
A potluck will follow the meeting and Monkey Business Café presentation.  Please BYOB and a dish to share.  Fountain drinks will be provided.  Ovens and microwaves will be available to re-heat dishes.
Please RSVP to Roger McErlane (click on Roger's name to send an e-mail RSVP).
Monkey Business Cafe
301 East Amerige Ave
Fullerton CA 92382
 July 20th, 6 pm
Vietnamese Cooking & Market Tour
Tour Vietnam Without Your Passport --this Slow Food OC culinary tour will take you on a journey to a Vietnamese market in Westminster  where you will learn more about the produce, live seafood, and cookware that embodies Vietnamese cooking from Xanh Bistro chef, Haley Nguyen.  Event schedule: 
  • 6:00 pm: Meet in front of the market and tour the market (address follows) 
  • 7:00 pm: Go to Xanh Bistro for cooking class
  • 8:15 pm: Eat dinner. Dinner includes: lotus roots salad with Asian celery, mint & cucumber, kabocha squash soup with coconut milk, braised tofu with tomato and pineapple, grilled eggplant with purple parilla & scallion and vegan soy cheese cake.
  • Cost: $75.00 per class (includes market tour, cooking class, dinner, tax & gratuity but does not include alcoholic beverages). Purchase Tickets Online

Market Address (where class meets)
Thuan Phat/Westminster Super Store
15440 Beach Blvd.
Westminster CA 92683
Corner of Beach & McFadden

Non-vegetarian vietnamese cooking classPhoto from the July 13th cooking class taken by Curt Gibbs.  To see more photos, click here.  Also read about the event in a blog entitled, "Just Spotted." 
July 23, 7:30 pm 
Free Screening of Julie & Julia
Julie and Julia movieColumbia Pictures has invited Slow Food OC to a free screening of Julie & Julia at the AMC 30 at The Block in Orange on Thursday, July 23rd at 7:30 pm.  Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) are featured in writer-director Nora Ephron's adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell's Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. Based on two true stories, Julie & Julia intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends...until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.  To RSVP for this event, e-mail by July 22.  Even with RSVP, seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Slow Food OC Website Re-Design
Webmaster Stacey Blaschke has been busy adding new content to the Slow Food OC website.  On the website, you can view the events calendar, download past newsletters, and find local restaurants and markets that exemplify Slow Food principles.  Through the website you can also contact committee members.  Thank you Stacey for all your hard work!

Our Last Event: June 28th Canning Workshop and Potluck  

On June 28, twelve Slow Food enthusiasts gathered in the Irvine home of Richard and Diane Stein to learn the art of jamming fruit.  Diane had collected and frozen a variety of fruit from local farmers markets.  She said that at the end of a market day, farmers will sell less-than-perfect fruit at a significantly reduced cost.  This slightly blemished fruit is perfect for jamming.  We followed the directions that come with Pomona Pectin and made low-sugar cherry, peach, plum, kumquat, and pluot jams.  
As the jams set, the jammers shared a delicious potluck dinner.  Dishes included vegetarian chili, grilled panzanella salad, fava beans, arugula salad, tomato and goat cheese tart and homemade whole wheat bread.  Chocolate chip cookie bars and a homemade peach pie topped off dessert.  All attendees left with a happy belly and a jar of each jam.
 June 2009 Canning WorkshopJune 2009 Canning Workshop
Left: Diane Stein explains the canning process and assigns attendees to stations.  Right: Peter Westenhofer and Roger McErlane examine the jams to see if the lids sealed properly.
Slow Food OC Outreach Chair Attends Farm School, Teaches Cheesemaking and More! 
Heather Stoltzfus, Slow Food Orange County's Outreach Chair and home cheesemaker, has been busy with foodie activities in the last two months.  First she visited Quillisascut Farm in Rice, Washington for a five-day 'Intro to Farming' course.  Says Heather, "Fifteen students took part in daily farm life, from planting potatoes to making goat cheese to plucking chickens.  Rick and Loralea Misterly, the owners of the farm, sell their cheese at local stores and as a cheesemaker myself, I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with fresh goat milk and see firsthand Loralea's laid-back approach to her daily cheesemaking work. The highlight of every day was the meals cooked by a guest chef from the culinary arts program at the local university, who prepared fresh-off-the-farm cuisine including pizzas fired in their hand-built outdoor brick oven."  A couple of weeks later, Heather visited the Tassajara Zen Center in Northern California for a weekend of cooking with Annie Sommerville, the executive chef of Greens in San Francisco, and gardening with Wendy Johnson, the longtime head gardener of the Zen Center's farm in Marin County, Green Gulch.  It was an amazing opportunity to hear the stories and absorb the wisdom of these two incredible women, as well as eat fresh, seasonal food prepared exquisitely.  Last but not least, Heather won numerous prizes at this year's Orange County Fair:  first place for her homegrown plums, and second place for both her tomato sauce (from tomatoes and basil from her garden) and peach preserves.  
Heather is now teaching cheesemaking classes on a regular basis. If you are interested in learning home cheesemaking, email Heather at or visit Heather's website,, for upcoming class information.
Culinary Creationists Needed for October Simultaneous Suppers!
In October of 2008, Slow Food organized an event titled, "Simultaneous Suppers."  Three dinner parties were hosted simultaneously in the homes of three Slow Food members.   Each host, along with a small support team, developed their own menu based on Slow Food principles, using fresh, in-season foods that were locally sourced (when possible). 
Due to the tremendous success of this event, we would like to continue the tradition on Saturday, October 17, 2009.  We are looking for Slow Food volunteers to either host a dinner (for 6-10 people) or work on a food preparation team.  The host will be reimbursed for the cost of the food and wine so the only expense is your time and effort.  We would like to organize five Simultaneous Suppers this year!  We charge $60 per person (which is tax-deductible) for a complete dinner, including wine.  The money raised is used to support Slow Food OC and our charity, Hart Community Homes/Monkey Business Café.
If you are interested in hosting a dinner or working on a food preparation team, please contact Roger McErlane at by August 1, 2009.  Once we have a list of volunteers, we will schedule a meeting to plan menus, etc.  Last year menus were posted on the Slow Food OC website so interested individuals could select the location and menu of their choice.
School program photoSlow Food USA School Lunch Program: Volunteers Needed
Our national organization Slow Food USA has started a campaign called "Time for Lunch".  It is focused on improving the Child Nutrition Act, a federal law that governs the National School Lunch Program.  This program sets the standards for food eaten by millions of school children every day.  Slow Food's goal is to change the National School Lunch Program so that the schools have the resources to serve real, healthy food.  The need for nutritious school food has never been greater. Today, one in four children is overweight or obese, and one in three will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. For many children, school lunch is their only guaranteed meal of the day.
Slow Food OC is looking for a team of volunteers interested in running the campaign in Orange County.  Slow Food USA has prepared a Tool Kit that outlines the initiative's objectives.  Organizers will circulate a "Time for Lunch" petition throughout our community, discuss the issue of school lunches with local legislators and organize Eat-Ins (pot-luck) at several Orange County schools (the first Eat In is scheduled for 9/7/09).
If you are an interested parent, teacher, school administrator or citizen, please consider volunteering.  In order for the program to succeed, we need individuals who are knowledgeable of our schools' needs. Interested volunteers should contact Roger McErlane at
For more information, go to the Slow Food USA website

Vietnam Tour
Tour of Vietnam, February 23 - March 5, 2010
Slow Food OC offers an extraordinary opportunity to savor the joy of Vietnam. Our tour guide will be Haley Nguyen, restauranteur and cooking instructor. The locations are chosen after careful scouting and given the utmost consideration to the principal themes of the trip. All accommodations are at first rate hotels/resorts and meals are skillfully chosen to represent the best the local cultures have to offer. Haley will offer select travelers a rare glimpse into the past of Vietnam thru history, poetry, music, dance, and of course food. Visitors will have their senses thrilled by all the sights and sounds of a society that has both survived and been recreated by a century of contact between an ancient civilization and the modern ways of the west. We'll visit museums, temples, and pagodas; experience an Imperial Banquet, and see the world-famous Water Puppet Show.  For more information visit our website.
Cost: Price per person: $3695

Recommended Recipe:  Watermelon Chiffon Pie
Slow Food OC Editor, Chrisi Hughey, has a passion for pie.  Here is the pie that she made for the 4th of July. 
Watermelon Chiffon Pie  (makes 10 servings)
Recipe taken from the cookbook Pie by Ken Haedrich
1 9 1/2" Graham Cracker Crumb Crust (refrigerated)
6 cups watermelon flesh (seeds are fine)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Combine the watermelon and granulated sugar in a very large bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash until the mixture is quite liquid.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  Drain the mixture through a strainer, reserving almost 2 3/4 cups of the watermelon juice.  Discard the pulp and seeds.
Put 1/4 cup of the juice in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it.  Set aside for 3 to 4 minutes to dissolve.  Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup of the juice in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave) to a near boil.   Whisk the hot juice into the dissolved gelatin.  Pour the remaining 2 cups watermelon juice into a large bowl and stir in the gelatin-watermelon juice mixture.  Stir in the lime (or lemon) juice.  Place mixture in the refrigerator.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a medium-size bowl until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.  Clean and dry the beaters.  Using a chilled medium-size bowl and chilled beaters, beat the heavy cream with the mixer until it holds soft peaks.  Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth and stiff but not grainy.  Refrigerate.
When the watermelon juice mixture starts to firm up, add about one-quarter of the whipped cream and beat with the electric mixer until smooth.  Add the beaten egg whites and remaining whipped cream and gently fold them in with a large rubber spatula.  If necessary, use a whisk-very briefly-to smooth the mixture and break up any large globs of whites or whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell, shaking the pan gently to settle the filling.  Cover with loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. If desired, garnish each slice with a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

Become a Member

We invite you to join the Slow Food movement!  Slow Food OC is working hard to preserve and protect local foods and food traditions.  Our convivium plans events and programs in places across OrangeCounty-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners, and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives. 

Click here for Benefits of Membership. Send us an email if you have any questions.