Slow Food South Bay

December 2017 Newsletter:

- World Soil Day
- Holiday Potluck - Dec 7
- Food Lit Group
- Homemade applesauce
- Baking pumpkins
- Dehydrating persimmons
- Local seed libraries
- Featured SFSB member
Slow Food South Bay Dinner Event


December 5th
"A Nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Upcoming event:
Holiday Potluck

For leaders, members and friends
6 - 9pm

Join us in taking time to slow down and reflect on the season and progress of Slow Food. 

From the Slow Food Nation gathering in Denver, to our own local Grow a Row success this summer with the Petaluma Gold Rush bean, --it has been an exciting year for gardeners and foodies everywhere.  

On Thursday, December 7th, Slow Food South Bay is hosting a Holiday Potluck for members, fans and guests to honor these efforts and look forward to the coming year’s possibilities. 

Although this is an 'informal' event, holiday attire and general good cheer is encouraged.  Bring a friend and your special holiday dish, dessert, or treats from your garden to share. 

 RSVP below to get potluck details and directions. 

Arrive early! --for those who would love to create their meal with others, or those would like to assist (or receive assistance) in the kitchen, our hostess, Joni Sare, has graciously offered her spacious, 'teaching' kitchen as well as her warm home for the evening.  If you would like to practice your chef skills alongside Joni (last year's Silicon Valley Personal Chef of the Year) and others, then come early! 

Later in the evening there will be short presentations:
1) about Terra Madre biannual food festival in Italy by our local South Bay representatives
2) Luc and Martin, from Foot of the Bed Cellars, will pour and share their story of a new way with wine. 
3) Hillie will give an update on her "Grow a Row" project.
4) SFSB leaders will give a short preview of the year to come.
5) Anyone is welcome to introduce themselves to the group, their "Slow" connection.

Come meet some new friends and kindred spirits in the light of the season!

  • 4:00 pm:  Folks are welcome to come cook together, receive some culinary guidance. 
  • 6:00 pm:  Guests arrive, ...add your dish to the buffet table.  Singing at the piano with Scott.
  • 6:30 pm:  Dinner time.
  • 9:00 pm:  Goodbyes (possibly more singing at the piano with Scott)
Location - Cupertino, CA - for address, food suggestions, and parking information, please RSVP to host Joni Sare at   

Or call Joni at:

Looking for foodies and literature types?!
The Food Literature Group meets four or five times each year to discuss books relevant to Slow Food values and food as an expression of community and cultural heritage. Along with wonderful conversation, we also share a potluck dinner at the meeting or gather at a local restaurant that reflects the theme of chosen book.  We’ve even been seen picnicking at Stanford’s Rodin Sculpture Garden on a summer evening.

As an example, the food lit group met at a member’s home in Palo Alto to share a seasonal potluck repast and talk about our favorite passages in "The Kitchen and the Cook" by Nicholas Freeling. This memoir draws on Freeling’s experience as an apprentice cook in a large French hotel, and his subsequent work in the professional cooking field.

Last month the group read a memoir by Fuchsia Dunlop “A Sweet-sour Memoir of Eating in China: Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper.” The potluck was according to the theme, of course!

Here are some photos from that gathering:

The Food Literature Group is open to all current Slow Food South Bay chapter members. Please email us if you have an interest in joining this group or creating a new group at:, or visit our Literatur
e Group web page.
Scott's Backyard Farm and Food Column

December is the perfect month to do something SLOW.  December is one month when the days are the shortest and it's time to warm up your home with the heat of the stove and oven and the smells of home cooking!
At my family's Thanksgiving gathering this year, I cooked up some fresh applesauce from scratch and my sister said, "Wow.. you make your own applesauce?"   It is easy to forget just how simple and rewarding it is to make something like applesauce.  To help impress your family at a holiday gathering, try out this recipe to create a whole heartier and healthier side dish from basically any type of apple.  No added sugar needed.  I prefer to make my applesauce chunky and with the peel.  Use a blender to smooth it out and hide the peel if you have a fussy eater.

Basic Fresh Applesauce Recipe
  • Wash, core and cut into small chunks of 4-8 organic apples *or whatever quantity of applesauce you wish to make* 
    They should be organic if you plan to leave on the peel.
  • Put apple chunks in deep pot with 1/4 cup of water to keep the apples from initially burning on the bottom of the pot and place the lid on the pot.
  • Cook on medium heat and stir every few minutes and check for apples burning on the bottom of the pot.  Keep the lid on to prevent the water from evaporating away.
  • Once the cooked apples have turned mushy (about 15-20 minutes), you can mash  / blend them to your desired consistency with everything from a just fork to a blender or a potato masher.
  • Add cinnamon and other spices to taste.  Serve hot or cold.
  • If needed, add a pinch of salt to bring up the sweetness. 
Scott is our Board Chair for our Slow Food South Bay chapter and can be reached at
Meet a few of your Slow Food South Bay leadership team:
Jessica's Food as Medicine Column:

This time of year I love to use up all of those leftover pumpkins. I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and bake both halves for 1-1.5 hours until the flesh is easy to scoop out for recipes. My kids love to make pumpkin pies for gatherings with our friends and families. We skip the sugar cookies and make these nutrient-dense pies from scratch. With healthy ingredients I feel I can serve pie for breakfast as well as for dessert. Check out my recipe and the process on my blog.
Hillie's Seed Column:

As Treasurer of SFSB, my currency -- my passion -- is seeds.
Many Gardeners can find free seeds for their gardens at their local Seed Library conveniently located in their local public libraries. If their garden is successful, they can continue the circle by harvesting and returning a portion of seeds collected. Seed Libraries help build genetic diversity and adaption in a local seed stock that sustains local food security.
Local Seed Libraries can be found in the following local public libraries:
Menlo Park
East Palo Alto
Palo Alto
Mountain View
Santa Clara
San Jose Berryessa

If you don't have a seed library at your local library, you should ask for one. Everything you need to know can be found here,  
Perhaps you would like to join a community of seed savers from Redwood City to Gilroy in raising local seeds for our local seed libraries. Last year, the SFSB "Grow a Row" project raised 25lbs of a local Heirloom: Petaluma Gold Rush Bean. All the beans were distributed to your Local Seed Library. Look for these locally grown, local Heirloom seeds, the Petaluma Gold Rush Bean, at your Local Seed Library (in a Public Library near you)!

And Don't forget to bring some seeds back to the Seed Library!
Lets plan for National Seed Swap Day, Jan 27, 2018; fourth Saturday of every January! Contact for details or to join us. 

For more information on local seed libraries and on-going seed related events, check out my seed saving website at:
Joni's Cooking Column:

As one of our Slow Food South Bay leaders, I will share education, news, tips, and events focusing on FOOD, cooking, sourcing, etc.

It's Persimmon season - YUM! 
I just picked 6 unripe Hachiya Persimmons, sliced and dehydrated them. I'll serve'm at our Holiday Dinner Potluck, Dec 7th (see info, above). This type of persimmon is quite astringent when unripe, however, that is eliminate when dehydrating them. Click here to read/learn more

And, as usual, at the dinner table I will share info about the Chef's Alliance and the Ark of Taste.

Here's more about me and my cooking classes:
Featured SFSB member:
Barbie Aknin of Community Cuisine

Hi, I’m Barbie Aknin, owner of Community Cuisine. We’re a cooking school in Silicon Valley that brings people together in the kitchen to cook, to learn, and to celebrate.

  • We teach the art, technique and value of cooking.
  • We share culinary traditions from the past and present, drawing from the rich cultures of our community.
  • We connect the dots in our local food system by introducing the community to farmers, artisans, chefs, and others.
  • We incorporate professional cooking methodology that offers our students the tools they need to tackle any type of cuisine, menu, or diet.
  • We celebrate life together by throwing delicious parties!
Now that you’ve met me, I’d like to share with you what we’re up to in 2018.
Our theme for 2018 is “Eating the Seasons” with a focus on educating our community on the importance and value of cooking seasonally. To us, this means buying seasonal foods from local farmers, using cooking methods appropriate to the season, and most importantly, understanding how seasonal foods benefit our bodies more than “year around” choices.
We’re starting January off on with an all day workshop with Dr. Nishanga Bliss, professor of Chinese medicine at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, teacher at Hawthorn University and author of Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health and All-Day Energy. I’ve been following Dr. Bliss for years because of her commitment to eating seasonally and I’m so excited to have her in the south bay on January 13th!

Next, we’re hosting a quarterly Eating the Seasons Retreat January 19-21. This retreat will be held near Aptos at a gorgeous location and will be packed with field trips to local farms, menu planning, discussion, cooking classes, and fun. It will be a huge support for those that start every year with a plan to eat better but fall short. We’re committed to walking side by side with participants for the entire season.

To serve those that can’t afford a getaway, we’ll be hosting these classes back home in the form of one day events and shorter classes. Our goal is to support our community no matter what the income or time constraints.

Did I mention that we are taking a group to Julia Child's once summer home in the South of France in March? We've got lots planned for 2018!

I’d love for you to check out what we do and if you’d like, keep in touch by signing up for our newsletters here.

See you in the kitchen, 

Photo: Dave •
Copyright © 2017 SlowFoodSouthBay, All rights reserved.

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