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Tasting Notes

News from TasteWise Kids & Days of Taste Maryland
Issue 11, January/February 2018

Today's Special : What's New

Partnering with B. Willow at R. House For the Greater Goods Market

B. Willow hosts a monthly market at R. House that promotes small, local businesses offering handmade goods and crafts to benefit a local cause. TasteWise Kids will be the nonprofit partner of For the Greater Goods Market.

On Saturday, March 3rd from 11am-4pm, we will be featured at a booth to raise awareness of TasteWise Kids and opportunities to get involved with Days of Taste and our other activities.

Main Courses: Days of Taste® Program Update

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, chefs, farms, and supporters for a successful 2017! In Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Harford County, 

3,369 students participated in Days of Taste in spring and fall!

We are looking forward to another run this upcoming spring. We will need your help - as volunteers and donors - to meet the growing need. If you are interested in being part of our Days of Taste program, or would like further information about how to help, please contact us at

Dining Out : Upcoming Events

Chef’s Expressions Valentine’s Day Wine Supper benefits TasteWise Kids - February 14th

Enjoy a romantic evening of food and wine pairings while supporting TasteWise Kids! Chef’s Expressions is known for their regular wine suppers, where Jerry Edwards of Chef’s Expressions creates a gourmet multi-course meal inspired by unique wines to create a one of a kind dining experience.

TasteWise Kids will be the beneficiary of their Valentine’s Day Wine Supper, on Wednesday, February 14th at 6:30 pm. For our supporters, if you donate to TasteWise Kids ($25 minimum) with ticket purchase, your ticket will be reduced to a special price of $75.

Use promo code: DONORTW  Click here for more information and to buy tickets-don't miss out!

In the kitchen with...

Dana Slater, Producer of Origins: A Speaker Series

How are you involved with TasteWise Kids/Days of Taste?
I serve as a TasteWise Kids Board Member and also co-chair the Farm to Chef Maryland sponsorship committee. Initially, I became involved with TasteWise Kids by serving on the Farm to Chef Maryland committee. Farm to Chef Maryland is TWK’s largest annual fundraiser and brings together farms and chefs for an iron chef-like friendly culinary competition. Initially, I served on the judging committee and loved the process of inviting community members to participate as judges at our annual fundraiser. My wonderful co-chair Lena Denison and I have been leading the Farm to Chef sponsorship committee now for several years.  

What is your job and/or how are you involved in the food scene in Maryland? 
I produce a monthly speaker series in conjunction with Chef Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact Coffee, Parts & Labor, et al) and his team called ORIGINS, a speaker series. The series features farmers, fisherman, producers, food historians and focuses on the local food movement in the Chesapeake Foodshed. The series is recorded and uploaded as a podcast to Heritage Public Radio (Origins: A Speaker Series). There is a real “hunger” for learning about where our food comes from and we hope to educate as many people as we can about our wonderful local food scene. I am interested in teaching the next generation about the origins of “real” food and the Days of Taste Program does exactly that!

In your opinion, what makes Days of Taste and TasteWise Kids so special?
In my opinion, what makes Days of Taste and TasteWise Kids special is the connection between the chefs, the farmers and the kids. The Days of Taste curriculum exposes kids to professional chefs (some of the best in the area!) and working farmers in a very low-key fun way. Most of the kids we engage have never made their own salads much less their own salad dressing from scratch. I wish I had been exposed to the Days of Taste program when I was in 4th grade!

What is your favorite vegetable?
My favorite vegetable is asparagus, the 1st taste of spring!

If you could travel to any city in the world for a "food trip", where would you go?
If I could travel to any city, it would be Tokyo. I love sushi and sashimi and would love to visit Japan. Tokyo is the top city among culinary destinations in 30 countries covered by Michelin, followed by Paris.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home? 
Soups — They’re easy to assemble, lots of variety, can be very healthy and last for several days!  

When you ask the bartender for "the usual", what is it?
I love the resurgence of prohibition-era cocktails as well as the craft cocktail scene.  I am very impressed by the number of wonderful bars (and bartenders!) that have sprung up in Baltimore over the last few years.

Chew on This

By the early decades of the nineteenth century, Americans increasingly became more confident and skillful gardeners. The byproduct of these efforts often resulted in new and sometimes adventuresome recipes that could be found in ever-popular domestic manuals written for cooks with varying degrees of experience. For example, Mary Randolph wrote The Virginia House-Wife, or Methodical Cook in 1824. This notable cookbook and housekeeping guide is often considered the first regional and by some, the first Southern cookbook published in America. Mary had familial ties to both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and ran a boarding house in Richmond, VA. Here is her recipe for Winter Squash, a dish that sounds just as appealing to nineteenth-century cooks as it does to us on a cold winter’s day in 2018 Baltimore:

Winter Squash.

“The crooked neck of this squash is the best part. Cut it in slices an inch thick, take off the rind and boil them with salt in the water; drain them well before they are dished, and pour melted butter over—serve them up very hot.

The largest part, containing the seeds, must be sliced and pared, cut it in small pieces and stew it till soft, with just water enough to cover it, pass it through a sieve and stew it again, adding some butter, pepper, and salt; it must be dry but not burnt. It is excellent when stewed with pork chops.”

Thank you to Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History and Culinary History, Towson University, for contributing to this article.

Food for Thought

From The New York Times, November 22nd:

The Sweet Rewards of Bitter Food

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