Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Eats, New Reads, SFIU, etc.

As Summer draws to a close I actually find myself pretty happy about it. For once I am really looking forward to Fall classes and all that the semester brings. I'll be taking an Anthro class centered on foodways, as well as a Caribbean Lit class in which the professor has graciously allowed me to write my papers about food themes in the books we read. I will also hopefully be working more hours at Jiffy Treet (the locally owned ice cream store that employs me), which is great because I really love working there.

Slow Food IU is *finally* an official organization at Indiana University, however we still have to charter with Slow Food USA. Plans are in the works to do that during the second week of classes. I'm thrilled that we are getting this off the ground after almost a year of planning and more than a little ball-dropping on the part of many people (myself included).

Yesterday I picked up Home Grown Indiana, the latest from my all-time favorite professor and author of the blog at My Plate or Yours, Christine Barbour. She wrote this guide to good eating in Indiana along with Scott Hutcheson, blogger at The Hungry Hoosier. The book is subtitled "A Food Lover's Guide to Good Eating in the Hoosier State," and profiles local farmers, restaurants, CSAs, and Co-ops in every region of Indiana. I've not started it yet, but I look forward to using it as a resource as I have recently made the decision to eat only at locally-owned and small or independent places for a while. I'm also going to try to do as much of my shopping as possible at non-corporate businesses. This should be an interesting experience as I am also taking an Anthro class this semester called "Corporations in Culture, Culture in Corporations." I'm not sure yet if the professor will take the class in a pro-corporation or anti-corporation direction, but nonetheless it should provide plenty of food for thought.

Recently I had the opportunity to dine at Boi Na Braza, a Churrascaria, or Brazilian steak house, in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am not sure if it is a chain or not (it only has two locations, one in Dallas and one in Cincy), but it was one of the higher-end restaurants I have ever gotten to experience, so the restaurant critic in me absolutely loved it. I'll spare you my full review and just note that while the atmosphere was very classy and fun for a pizza-eating college student to experience, I have eaten much better from some local restaurants here in Bloomington.

On September 6th I will be attending the "Healthy Food, Local Farms" conference in Louisville Kentucky. I think it is mostly for local farmers and producers in Kentucky, but the theme is "Politics of Food," which I have a great deal of interest in, and there will be some notable speakers, including Daniel Imhoff and Wendell Berry. A farmer friend suggested I attend, and since I am trying to soak up as much food culture as possible these days, it sounded like a good idea. My mom is going to attend the conference as well, which I am really excited about because she is starting to get into some Slow Food stuff and I am hoping she can maybe help spread the Slow word around her part of Indiana, where there isn't much knowledge of the movement or its ideals.

I guess that's about all I have to say for this installment of my adventures in food. I think I am going to make bagels this afternoon (which is quite a labor-intensive undertaking), so I need to head to Bloomingfoods and pick up my ingredients.

Best wishes of good food and fellowship to you all until the next adventure.

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