How does a potluck themed dinner sound with like-minded food enthusiasts, a diverse group of friends and strangers who are passionate about good, clean and fair food for all? And what if I told you that the ingredients for each dish is locally sourced or perhaps in someone’s own backyard? If I have piqued your interest, these communal dinners on the East End of Long Island are called Snail Suppers and are organized by Slow Food East End. This local chapter of Slow Food USA created these dinners to help fund ($15 members, $20 non-members) their Edible School Garden program while celebrating food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community. “We currently have 27 schools on the East End that have applied for and received funding to develop a school garden program,” says Linda Slezak, events chair of Slow Food East End. The money provides the schools with garden equipment as well as a master gardener to teach and oversee the gardens and greenhouses year round.
Snail Suppers are themed and each dish tells a story about our food and beverage producers and the home cooks on the East End. I think it is one of the most affordable and charitable ways to enjoy a locally inspired meal among interesting company.
Mardi Gras was the theme for March’s Snail Supper. More than 30 people showed up, so there was plenty of Fat Tuesday to go around: cranberry-horseradish chutney with yam biscuits, shrimp risotto, muffin popovers with a spicy cHarrisa meatball, chicken with preserved lemons, Kings Cake, egg salad made with Browder’s Birds eggs, Mecox Bay London broil muffuletta sandwich made with homemade sourdough bread and jalapeño cheddar corn muffins with pork sausage — to mention a few.
There is something to be said for slowing down and discovering the simple pleasures of a shared meal amongst folks who care about what we put on our plates. If you are interested in attending or hosting a Snail Supper, be sure to make your reservations at a cheetah’s pace—these dinners book fast.
Visit out east foodie for the full blog post and recipe(s).