Meet Andrew and Betsy Fippinger, Slow Food members who live in New York City. As we all share meals with friends and families this holiday season, we wanted to hear from Andrew and Betsy about what sharing a meal means to them.
Q: What led you to become interested in Slow Food, and why do you support the organization?
A: We came to Slow Food in a way that we imagine many others have: we read Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Barbara Kingsolver, and realized (a) that there were gigantic problems in our [fast, industrial] food system and (b) that local foods taste better, are more interesting because more diverse, and therefore worth preserving. One thing that our engagement with Slow Food and the ideals of the food movement generally have taught us is to be humble about our eating habits. Sometimes we only cook for ourselves once or twice a week, but that’s still a step in the right direction.
Q: What does the notion of sharing a meal mean to you?
A: The most obvious is the table with family and friends, and just because that’s obvious does not undermine the incredible significance of such moments. Sharing a meal can also mean sharing what I cook with you. And finally, when we think of sharing, we think about the incredible network of people, animals, plants, and even minerals that go into a single meal.
Q: How does your notion of sharing a meal relate to the ideals of Slow Food?
A: We think that the relation between these ideas and the ideals of Slow Food should be pretty apparent. The notions of slowing down to share in a meal’s diversity, to discuss a meal or food in general, to share recipes and tricks, both new and old, are all ideals that Slow Food was founded on. Those are some of the ideals that Carlo Petrini, amongst others, was worried would be lost when a McDonalds opened in Rome.
Q: Could you provide a recipe that you will use in your house during this season?
A: Roasted root vegetables: this dish is a great way to experience the joys of Fall and Winter in colder climes. Take any root vegetables–an assortment is nice–chop them into cubes of approximately equal size. Season them with olive oil and salt (chopped thyme or sage can be a nice addition) and cook them in a 400 degree oven on a roasting pan. Depending on size, they should take 20-30 minutes. This is a great way to discover some vegetables you don’t normally eat: celery root, parsnip, and rutabaga, for instance. Who says this is a bad season for locavores?