18 October 2010

Mind the Food Gap - Urban Nutrition Initiative Dinner

Today at Commons there was a dinner from 6 to 7:30pm hosted by the Urban Nutrition Initiative, which is a community service group that teaches high school kids how to plant gardens and how to cook and do nutritional planning. This week, actually, is Food Week. Initially I wasn't even going to go, but I figured that I might as well go after my Nutrition midterm [which I did not do well on. I definitely didn't get above a 95% which really irks me because this stuff is really easy...] and I wondered if I'd be late, since I had to get my camera from my dorm. The really stupid thing is that I came into my dorm, left my school bag in my room, then went back out. As I approached Commons, I realised that I'd forgotten to bring my camera. By then, it was 6:10 so I figured I might just blog without pictures. However, downstairs in Commons, no one was serving food or anything... so I went back to my dorm and rushed back out and back to Commons. By then, they'd started discussing stuff about food justice. I think it's a really broad topic that one could write a book about, or devote a blog to. Either way, it was a light discussion for my table since we didn't have a table leader from the group to talk to us.
This event seemed pretty legit since they gave us 3 different sized forks and a spoon. They also emphasised the fact that the produce was local; the first course was "Roasted Red Pepper & Brie Cheese Soup", which was really delicious, actually. It was really tangy, great with the bread crust [but the bread by itself was pretty plain].
The "Spinach Salad with Local Feta, Red Onion and Warm Shallot Vinaigrette" was amazing. I seriously loved the vinaigrette!!!! I could drink that stuff [okay, I can't.]
The feta cheese chunks were really huge though, and different from the feta cheese I had eaten at this Greek restaurant back in high school.
Everyone else had "Hendricks [sic. no apostrophe] Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce, Sage Whipped Potato and Sautéed Broccoli Rabe". Since I'm a vegetarian, they gave me some butternut risotto. I tell you, this is NOT risotto. It's bulgur with butternut squash and cranberries. It is not a risotto. Risottos are sticky and creamy and made with arborio rice or other short-grain sticky rice. It was alright. The vegetable side was way too buttery. I guess it's personal preference, but I've grown up eating either steamed vegetables or vegetables cooked in light oil. I'm not used to the butter-drenched vegetables thing. Nor am I used to spreading a tablespoon of butter on bread, either...
However, the lighting was great so my pictures turned out nice. Actually, the guy next to me took pictures of his food too!
"Warm Bread Pudding with Maple Crème Anglaise" was pretty intense...the plate was cold and the pudding was sort of lukewarm. The bread pudding was nicely textured, and there were a lot of raisins. Overall, it was really sugar saturated. The maple glaze did not have any maple flavour. The thing that confuses me is that they said that this was grown locally, so I wonder whether Philly has a maple tree farm? I doubt it...but I could be wrong.

Interesting. I think I want to join this group to teach nutrition to kids.

1 comment:

  1. I feel dumb for not attending this event, the food looks so good!