June 23, 2015

A Step in the Right Direction 


Junior League of Des Moines recently started a two-year project to build and sustain a recovery house for survivors of human trafficking. The organization is providing volunteers and funding to develop a large garden and chicken coop. Proceeds from the garden will be used to establish funds for each survivor as she prepares for independent living. To donate to the cause, click here, shop at the Bargain Basket thrift shop or attend the Junior League's annual Gift Mart Nov. 19-21.


Another local nonprofit organization, Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT), is also combating the problem. Established and led by 18-year-old Lexi O'Connor of Ankeny, TAHT is focused on raising awareness among youths, peer to peer. Click here to see a sneak peek of our story on Lexi in the July/August issue of dsm.


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Vom Fass carries a large section of vinegars perfect for summer refreshment
Summer Refreshment from Vom Fass 
By Wini Moranville

Anyone who has ever appreciated a glass of lemonade, a Campari and soda or a citrusy sauvignon blanc on a hot summer day understands just how refreshing those sour and bitter flavors can be as the temperature climbs.


That's why in summer, I always lay in a supply of vinegars from Vom Fass, the vinegar, olive oil, wine and spirits emporium in the Shops at Roosevelt (833 42nd St.; 244-5020). 


A few ideas:

  • Waldburg Balsam Blueberry: Add a couple of teaspoons to lemonade to make a fruity and refreshing blueberry lemonade. Or, simply add a few drizzles to club soda and serve with a lemon slice.
  • Calamansi Balsam Vinegar: Add a dash of this exotic citrus-fruit vinegar to your gin and tonic instead of the usual lemon or lime slice.
  • Maletti Aceto Balsamico di ModenaMake a quick sundae of fresh berries, vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of this top-shelf balsamic vinegar for a creamy, sweet-tart dessert.  

In the coming weeks, Vom Fass will offer some tasting and learning opportunities, including an Italian Ice Cream Social (July 3), a Spanish Wine Tasting (July 11) and a Brunch and Bubbles Tasting (July 18). Find out more on the Vom Fass Des Moines website.


P.S.: Find more ways to use specialty oils and vinegars in the article "Lovin' Spoonfuls" in dsm magazine.

fyi: Mark Your Calendar

  • Don't forget to attend the unveiling party for the July/August issue of dsm today, 5-7 p.m. (short program at 6 p.m.), at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. We look forward to seeing you there!
  • More than 50 films will be screened throughout the three days of the Interrobang Film Festival June 26-28 in the Des Moines Central Library's south wing as part of the Des Moines Arts Festival and the new Art Week Des Moines. Screening times vary; click here to read about each of the films and the filmmakers, and here to see the full schedule.
  • Des Moines Metro Opera's Gold Rush Gala will start at 4:30 p.m. on June 27 at the Blank Performing Arts Center (513 N. D St., Indianola). Tickets are $125 for the cocktail hour and Western-style dinner; for an additional $46-$82, guests can attend the 7:30 performance of "The Girl of the Golden West" and stay for the Outlaw's Afterparty featuring the Aaron Woods Band. Order tickets online or at 961-6221. Guests are encouraged to dress in Old West attire.
  • Artist Michael Wilson will exhibit paintings of wildlife and turn-of-the-century rural scenes at "Spirit of Place," now through June 30 at the J.N. "Ding" Darling Art Gallery of the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the refuge's hours, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5:00 p.m.

P.S. You Heard It Here First


Serkan Usta, a native of Turkey, is the artistic director of Ballet Des Moines.
The Iowa International Center has announced the recipients of the 2015 Passport to Prosperity Awards. The awards recognize immigrants and refugees who make Iowa a better place to live through their contributions to the community.


Congratulations to Mone Aye, a refugee of Burma, a bilingual community outreach worker with the Des Moines Public Schools, and board chair and co-founder of EMBARC; Alejandra Vidal-Soler Graham, an immigrant from Argentina and the founder and owner of South American Bee Inc.; Nu Huynh, a refugee of Vietnam and the executive director of the Iowa Asian Alliance; Serkan Usta, an immigrant from Turkey, the artistic director of Ballet Des Moines and co-owner of the School of Classical Ballet and Dance; and San Wong, an immigrant from Singapore and director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights. 

To find out more about this year's honorees, click here.

Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.
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Summer camp has started
and camper Blake has a transformational story to
share. Check out Blake's journey at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside.


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