Movable feast A group interested in sustainable food is on a national "Eat Well Guided Tour of America," and they'll visit Ann Arbor on Sept. 1, part of their 38-day cross-country quest to discover and celebrate the best local and sustainable food in the United States. The tour began in West Hollywood on Aug. 2, and is visiting sustainable restaurants, farmers, family farms and farmer's markets in more than 25 U.S. towns and cities before concluding at the Farm Aid concert in New York on Sept. 9. It's the brainchild of Sustainable Table, a group celebrating the sustainable food movement, educating consumers on food-related issues and building community through food. Projects include The Meatrix, award-winning, humorous animations on industrial agriculture, and the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainably raised products from farms, stores, restaurants and other outlets in the United States and Canada.
The tour's bio-fueled bus will pull into Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 1. Events will include lunch at Zingerman's Deli, followed by tours of the Ann Arbor farmer's market, the People's Food Co-op, Eve, Growing Hope community gardens and the Agrarian Adventure school garden project (time TBD).
At 7 p.m. local pie lovers will converge for a pie festival at the Ypsilanti Women's Literary Club (co-hosted by Slow Food Huron Valley and Growing Hope). Events are free and open to the public.
For more information, see www.sustainabletable.org/roadtrip.
Eat the Page
With home sales tanking, you need all the help you can get if you're trying unload your digs. And nothing makes a house smell better and more welcoming than the aroma of baking bread. Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor (Ten Speed Press, $35) will ease the task. Reinhart teaches baking at Johnson and Wales College and spends much of his time developing recipes and techniques for crafting artisanal breads. Beginning bakers might consider his Bread Baker's Apprentice before tackling his latest.
A Tasty Beverage
Good table wine, white or red, can be quaffed anytime. Whether a hot breeze blows through the open windows or snow gathers on the sill, Mouthes le Bihan Vieillefont is being drained somewhere nearby. It's a charmingly purple blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. These are grapes hand-picked from decades-old vines grown deep and just slightly southeast of Bordeaux in Côtes de Duras clay. The result is a glass of ripe liquid fruit with gentle tannins and a serene finish that's not entirely unlike chocolate-dipped twigs. It's a bargain at $16.
Baking stones, aka pizza stones, are the shortest step to crusty bread and pizza. By preheating the porous stone in a hot oven, you are providing a heated surface that will begin to crisp the bread as soon as it is put on the surface while drawing moisture from the dough, resulting in a crunchy exterior. Get the largest one that will fit in your oven. Once you see and taste the results, you'll want more bread and larger pizzas. An inexpensive alternative is unglazed quarry tile, available in most tile stores and home improvement outlets.
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