Tonight was a very special evening for me. I attended my first Slow Food Event, a dinner party that involved making (and eating) homemade pizza! Just hearing what the evening would entail was enough to entice me to be there! I have never met a pizza that I did not like.
Slow Food International started as a concept all the way back in the late eighties. It was a movement to contrast the rising tide of processed and chemically laden food that was weaving its way into our entire world culture. And subsequently removing the whole local natural foods which had sustained us for generations before. in 1989 the international group was founded as a non profit and has gained momentum ever since. There are now chapters in 150 countries. The goals of the organization as a whole are to preserve food culture unique to each area, and support the growers and producers of small scale sustainable goods. All while rekindling the joy of partaking in pleasurable eating experiences.
Olympia, being the savvy city that it is of course has a healthy chapter, with what can only be described as a warm group of welcoming souls who know how to put on a sweet spread. (check out Olympia Slow Food) I have been a little too out of the loop, and have not been to a scene like this in far far too long. And what a treat it was! Tonight’s event was a trip to The Hains House Bed and Breakfast in Maytown, WA, a quaint little farm house in a picturesque setting perfect for hosting guests and groups. The owner Pat is a talented bread maker, and not too long ago she acquired a wood fired outdoor oven that she actually uses to teach bread making classes with!
For our event this evening we were instructed to bring favorite pizza toppings and salad stuff, too. The toppings were laid out on the prep table and readied for us to create our masterpieces. Dough had been prepared in advance and each of us was given an opportunity to prep our dough on wooden boards with handles and load with whatever we chose.
And then a few at a time our pizzas went into the oven, and came out perfectly cooked! I have not tasted pizza so great in a while. And this being the first of real summer for western WA things like basil and tomatoes are just now coming into season. It was hard to decide what to put on my pie, but so many people brought other pieces around to sample that I ended up getting a little bit of everything.
What is incredible about a bit of good food and a bit of good wine is that it produces good talk and good company. As we sipped and we smiled and we shared stories about our selves, each other, and as you can imagine our experiences with food, joy was felt all around. There is something amazing that transpires in a group like this. I am sure there is a word for it but it slips my mind. At any rate this is heaven for me. A beautiful setting, a beautiful spread, beautiful company…………as human beings there is little more in our world that is worth longing for.