I believe in the power of dinner to cure many modern ills. I know there are few expressions of love deeper than gathering family and friends for hand-made fare, for connection and conversation.
But at your Thanksgiving feast, how joyful could you be if one or two folks around the table weren’t allowed to eat anything but bread—no roast bird with gravy, no stuffing and no warm pecan pie à la mode?
Yet that’s exactly what happens every day. Hunger lives among us. We are surrounded by those who cannot afford enough, or healthful enough, food. It has been the case for years in our well-off region but the recession has morphed a problem into a crisis.
More than 40,000 residents in the area live at or below the poverty line, according to Community Food Share. Many more are on the brink, deciding whether to pay for heat or prescriptions or food. Most are families with small children. Many are seniors.
The invisible hungry and malnourished are your neighbors. You drive by them every day. There is aid available but it’s not enough. Ultimately, the dilemma we must solve isn’t food insecurity, it’s poverty. But for now, let’s make sure everyone can eat good, nutritious food, not just calories.
Here are ways you can help:
• Drop off bags of non-perishable food at grocery stores in Boulder, Louisville and Lafayette. Take your kids to the store, give them $10, and have them fill a bag.
• Have everyone in your class, at work, in church bring in all the pennies sitting in jars at home and donate them to a food bank.
• Volunteer for the annual food drive.
• Write a check in the largest amount you can afford. The vast majority of food distributed is bought, not donated.
• Instead of quickly forgotten gifts to friends and co-workers, donate money to a food program in their name.
• Visit communityfoodshare.org.
• Help in June and September when the spotlight isn’t on hunger but the need is still great. This isn’t about guilt, it’s about the meaning of “community.” Do what you can and I guarantee that the meal you say grace before on Nov. 26 will be the most nourishing you’ve ever eaten.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Italian-born chef Mario Petit is dishing everything from stuffed manicotti to authentic thin-crust pizza at the new Mamma Mia Trattoria, 9008 W. 88th Ave. in Westminster. …Sprouts Farmers Market is open at 2950 Baseline Road near CU’s Williams Village towers. …Ed Behlmann’s 7 West Pizzeria & Pub opened in the former Left Hand Tap House space at 526 Main St. in Longmont. …The semi-legendary Neopolitan’s Italian Restaurant is reborn in Nederland at 1 E. First St.
Radek Cerny’s L’Atelier is open for classy weekday lunch again serving roasted mussels, chicken BLT Panini and broiled salmon on creamy spinach. …Boulder Creek Winery took home a double gold medal for its 2006 Merlot from the American Wine Society and Denver’s Balistreri Vineyards won Best of Show at the Colorado Mountain Winefest for its 2008 Petite Sirah. …The new Top Restaurants diner survey from Zagat reveals that Denver diners (which includes the North Metro area) leave an average tip of 19.5 percent, among the highest in the nation. Boulder’s Frasca was among the five eateries rated tops for food. …Happy anniversary to Mike O’Shay’s Restaurant and Ale House in Longmont (28 years), Sushi Zanmai in Boulder (24 years), the Universal Product (bar) Code (35 years), and Jax Fish House (15 years). …In memoriam: Roni Sherb always reminded me of Christmas. For years she baked and sold marvelous holiday stolen, fruit-packed loaves coated in powdered sugar. She also operated Boulder Cheesecake. Roni passed away in September. The irrepressible Frank Finn also died in September. He and his late wife Barbara opened the landmark Gold Hill Inn in 1962, still operated by their sons Brian and Chris.
Sunflower Restaurant has closed at 1701 Pearl St., Boulder. The Scotch Corner Pub has closed at 1800 Broadway, Boulder. Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza has closed at 1100 US 287 in Broomfield.
Kevin Taylor Steak is scheduled to open in spring 2010 in the Aloft Hotel near the Broomfield Event Center.
The illustrious Boulder Farmers’ Market closed on Nov. 7 but it’s not really over until the Cornucopia of Local, an indoor/outdoor farmers’ market, 9am to 3pm Nov. 22 at the Boulder Outlook Hotel. For details and information, visit boulderfarmers.org. …Schedule your holiday tea time on the Mezzanine at the Hotel Boulderado. Reservations: 303.440.2880. …Make your reservations now for First Bite Boulder, which offers $26 fixed-price dinners Nov. 14–21 at dozens of restaurants including Arugula, Boulder Cork, Full Belly, Greenbriar Inn, Leaf, Q’s and Turley’s. Among the options is Mouco creamy Blu cheese gnocchi, Long Family Farm pork tenderloin with butternut squash, green beans, pear chutney, and toasted coconut semi freddo at Terroir Restaurant in Longmont. …If you’ve got an upcoming event, a quibble or question, let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE MENU
The best things I’ve tasted at North Metro area eateries in the past 30 days or so include: nearly perfect gnocchi with sweet butternut squash, toasted hazelnuts, baby arugula and salty shavings of grana padano cheese at Sugarbeet, 101 Pratt St., Longmont; invigorating Som Tum Salad with shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, chiles, long beans, lime juice, peanuts, cilantro, shrimp and rice noodles at Suki Thai Noodle House, 675 30th St., Boulder; earthy buckwheat pancakes with real butter and maple syrup and a couple of eggs done right sunnyside up at the Original Pancake House, 2600 Canyon Blvd., Boulder.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“I think the way to anybody’s heart is through their stomach. The way to my heart is through my stomach—with a really great bowl of spaghetti.” —Bravo’s Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
—Actress Sophia Loren