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Locavore CAFÉ-teria

The seasonally anticipated Upstate Locavores Potluck took a new turn last week, at least for me, from being a rallying event for the once-more-disparite locavore community to becoming a showplace for locavore cuisine. With (or without) the CAFÉ challenge to increase the local ingredient content of a dish to 3 or more, we got many artfully prepared delicacies made ENTIRELY with (many more than 3) local ingredients, even all CAFÉ-sourced ingredients!

I suggest that we continue or supplement these Locavore events as occasions to share experiments and recipes and as opportunities to demonstrate how to use what is local in season! That would be reason enough for the event. No program or special guests would be necessary. Just a culinary event. Let me know what you think.

Back to the program of last week, allow me to say a few words of appreciation for Ellie Taylor, tireless healthy and local food activist, for all she has done to get people inter-activated. Ellie (with her co-creator Catherine Molbley – a story for another day) has instigated events that are not only delicious and social, but also educational.

Last week’s Potluck was no exception, and I liked the way it pushed the limits of what might be considered food by including a broader range of farm-raised products. We might also use these Potlucks as opportunities to share with each other what we are doing with non-food parts of crops, seed swaps, etc.

Let’s applaud for those CAFÉ growers who participated in the gift displays and presentations:

Bill’s Goat Hill (though, sadly, they couldn’t attend) [honey, candles, paperwhites, etc.]
Crescent Moon Farms [artisan cheeses, soaps]
Goats on the Hill Farm and Dairy *[artisan fudges]
*Loose Stone Farm
Quilt n Nut [plump pecans]
Wild Earth Gardens [amazing personal care, medicinal items and the magic honey]
Whoever I forgot

Many thanks also to my co-manager, Elian, as well as her parents, Carol and Darrell Yardley of Yardley Farms (deserving many stories of their own), Emily Havener, and anyone else involved in the production at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Clemson.

As was announced Friday, the Yardley’s were awarded the CAFÉ-challenge prize. Congratulations to them. I feel that almost every dish deserved a prize and I wish I had taken more care to document the event. Perhaps we can post the recipes on our website.

One locaculianary effort that I feel deseves honorable mention was that put forth by *Jason Myers and Maria Mayorga *for two delectable demonstrations of dishes containing Briarwood Farms rabbit.

Look forward to more holiday sharing ideas and events on your CAFÉ calendar.

Eat well, shop well (open til noon), and stay well! Lance