Apples, pork, booze with character and baked goods with substance... I love the autumn calm before the holiday storm, when food is comforting and uber-seasonal without being too over the top. Here are a few of my favorite November eating events that tread the perfect line between reasonable human behavior and coming wonderfully unhinged.
Will Bake for Food Bake Sale
Saturday, November 12; 11am-2pm
There are food bloggers like me—those who are pretty darn good cooks but mostly write about what other people cook—and then there are food bloggers like Jenny Miller (Rainy Day Gal) and Jenny Richards (Purple House Dirt)—the kind who seriously get down in the kitchen and then blog about it.
If I accidentally threw a bake sale on the same day as them and you were invited to both, I would have to tell you to go to theirs. Not because I don't love you, but because I just want what's best for you and your mouth. The Jennys and more than 45 of the city's great food bloggers will be converging on the University Heights Center, including Molly Wizenberg (Orangette), Scott Heimendinger (Seattle Food Geek), Karen Robertson (Cooking Gluten-Free), Jessie Oleson (Cakespy) and many great others for the purpose of raising money and collecting donations for the Emergency Feeding Program. Yum, and duh. willbakeforfood.com
Savage Street Cuisine pop-up dinner at Volunteer Park Cafe
Monday, November 14; 6pm
If you haven't heard more about Kalen Schramke and David Howe, just wait—I have a feeling you will. They've got a food truck in the works in the near future, and currently working under Thierry Rautureau at Rover's, they're certainly earning the chops. Between the two of them they've got a CIA degree, and apprenticeship at Lampreia with Scott Carsberg, as well as experience at Lark, Brasa and VPC.
Themes of their pop-up dinner series are a culinary around-the-world, with “The Dirty South” on this month's menu. Expect dishes like fried oysters with andouille sausage, mac n cheese fritters, a whole roast suckling pig and roasted chestnut cream, served family style, and that's just the beginning. Only $35 per person; reservations at Urban Spoon or on the VPC website. savagecuisine.com
Swig Well: Apple brandy and America: Hard drink for a young country
Saturday, November 19; 1:30-2:30pm
Last month, the fabulous folks at Rob Roy launched this here little cocktail education series, a “Drinking Academy” aimed at the casual cocktailer and serious boozehound alike in terms of their skill level and scope. The inaugural public class, last month's “Cocktails for Halloween,” had so much fun totally spooking it up with molecular mixology, dry ice and punch served from a pumpkin, the bar is set pretty high and I can't wait to see what else they come up with.
The next class, taught by local and national liquor guru Paul Clarke, will cover the very seasonally-appropriate world of apple brandy, from Calvados to apple jack, and will undoubtedly take students way beyond the realm of the puckered-up appletini. $75 per person; sign up at swigwell.com.
Skillet butcher's benefit dinner with Farmstead Meatsmith
Sunday, November 20; 5-9pm
In the first of Josh Henderson's Skillet collaboration with Vashon Island butchery Farmstead Meatsmith, they raised funds to produce the debut webisode of their instructional series on small-scale animal processing in what Meatsmith calls “a marriage of old-world alchemy and new-world magic.”
Coming up, they'll be hosting another marriage of theatrical butchering, eating and beer-swilling in the industrial warehouse space of fabulous Ballard newcomer Hilliard's Beer, where they'll be screening the result of said collaboration, titled “On The Anatomy of Thrift, highlighting how to use the lesser known cuts on the lovely pig." This, of course, will be sharing the spotlight with an actual pig being butchered, as Henderson says, “on stage under the lights,” whilst he and his crew grills and dishes up the pig over a six-course meal. This one, meat-lovers, is for you. $75; tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/208631 farmsteadmeatsmith.com