Re:Create CT, the first holistic and green living event in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park, made an impact. Continue reading 'Holistic, Green Living Event Proves Popular'»
Pretty soon you’ll be able to get some bread with your roses at State House Square.
If that question elicited a groan and eye roll, wait. It’s not what you think.
After the Market at Hartford 21 closed its doors after only six months of operation back in 2011, any mention of another grocery has shown just how disappointed residents felt by that whole experience.
If interested parties gain support from the City of Hartford, it is possible that downtown Hartford could have what Steve Borla calls a full-service supermarket offering “culturally” and “demographically-appropriate foods.”
Borla, the Director of Consumer Credit and Policy Initiatives for the Hartford Community Loan Fund, says this supermarket would be for “Hartford residents,” 28,000 of whom live in a food desert, according to the Hartford Food System.
Right now, the Hartford Community Loan Fund and Hartford Food System are working with a yet-to-be-named large, regional supermarket chain which has experience selling healthy food in urban areas. The full-service supermarket aims to create 150-200 new jobs in Hartford; the store operator has been identified as someone who is committed to hiring city residents.
Besides job creation, having a centrally-located, 50,000 square foot supermarket would bring money back into Hartford. Data supplied by the HCLF and Hartford Food System shows that our residents spend approximately $40 million in supermarkets outside of the city. Developing a supermarket in the desired location would recapture 50-75% of what these organizations are calling “food-buying ‘leakage.’”
Where is this location? Continue reading 'A New Supermarket in Downtown?'»
Meatout is hoping 25,000 take the pledge to eat meat-free for one day, March 20th. To be more precise, the pledge is to be vegan for the first day of spring; this means being able to consume everything except for animals and what they produce, like milk and eggs.
If you are thinking of taking the pledge, you can sort of cheat by not doing the cooking yourself:
- Fire & Spice Vegan Restaurant (248 Sisson Avenue): If you think vegan food is salad, bland tofu, and scraps of bread, Fire & Spice will school you. They offer organic, Rastafarian food.
- The Lion’s Den Vegetarian Restaurant (3347 Main Street): Another “rastarant,” this one near Keney Park.
- Abyssinian Ethiopian/Eritrean Restaurant (533 Farmington Avenue): Flavorful vegetarian and vegan dishes, but meat is served on the premises. No pressure to use utensils.
If you would rather prepare your own food, here are a few recipes designed for people who actually enjoy eating: Continue reading 'Great American Meatout'»
The hand-wringing over access to fresh food in Hartford need not be. Besides the year-round farmers’ market on Broad Street, there are daily farmers’ markets running for about half the year in various neighborhoods. Another way to secure fresh, healthy food is to become a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share-holder.
CSA has existed in the United States for a few decades now and presents a way for farmers to be paid upfront, allowing them to spend more of their time growing food and less of it worrying about marketing.
It’s not without risk. If crops fail or are stolen, share-holders will not receive refunds, though farmers have ways to alleviate the loss, sometimes by extending the growing season.
Consumers experience advantages like being able to actually speak with the person who grew the food. In an age when labels do not tell the whole story — organic in what way? — there is value in being able to ask direct questions about the growing practices.
Pre-paying for an entire season’s produce — and in some cases, other goods — means walking away with edibles that a person might not have known existed, like kohlrabi and tatsoi. This opens the door for children, especially, to develop a taste for foods that are more sophisticated than what’s on kiddie menus. Being able to walk around the farm teaches about agriculture in a way that can not be taught in school.
Paying a large sum upfront may seem prohibitive, particularly for those in lower income brackets. The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association even says that “CSA is not about cheap food,” adding that “cheap food” is “usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind.” The organization says, “CSA is about each of us being responsible.”
But how does one be responsible when her pantry is more ramen than caviar? Continue reading 'Hungry? It’s CSA Time'»
The review site Yelp has compiled a Greater Hartford Bucket List for 2013, using suggestions submitted by its members. Over 60 of the 100 items listed are in Hartford proper. Here are just a few items to add to your to-do list:
- Annual Dragon Boat and Asian Festival
- ArtWalk Gallery opening at the Hartford Public Library
- Beat City Beauties Burlesque show
- Beef patties from Scott’s Jamaican Bakery
- Beer and Duckpin Bowling at Ducks on the Ave
- Bluegrass in the tavern at Firebox
- Chase down the NoRa Cupcake Truck
- Devour an Italian grinder at D&D Market
- Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour
- Latin American eats at El Mercado
- Night Fall performance in Pope Park
- See the two-headed calf in the Old State House
To see the full list, go to the Yelp site.
Finally some progress on the Sunberry’s Cafe. There is now a letter grade in the window of the Pratt Street restaurant.
“Take out the brains and boil the head, feet, and lights in salted water,” if you wish to prepare calf’s head in the style of Catharine Esther Beecher, the author of Miss Beecher’s Domestic-Receipt Book, published in the mid-19th century.
What are the lights? Lungs.
These types of ingredients, presented without much euphemism, seem to have vanished from the mainstream American culture of convenience we see today, where pig has become “pork” so that we can mentally distance ourselves from the source of our food. A look at the cookbooks currently on display in the Connecticut Historical Society, however, shows that New England cooking had been more honest during the early years of the United States. Continue reading 'Cooking by the Book: Amelia Simmons to Martha Stewart'»