Slow Down With Slow Food

Maple Glazed Turkey Dinner

After what is an undoubtedly a hectic few days, it’s time to slow things down for a post-Thanksgiving potluck with Slow Food East End.

On Sunday, December 1, from 4 to 7 PM, Slow Food East End will be holding a community potluck at Orient Inn — and everyone is invited. Hosted by Joan Turturro and Howard Leshaw, guests are encouraged to create a dish made from Thanksgiving leftovers, but you can whip up something entirely new. It can be an appetizer, main course, side dish, or dessert, but must be made with purely local ingredients from the garden or a local farm stand or market. Each dish should serve six to eight people, and be accompanied with serving utensils and a favorite beverage.

Pennie Schwartz, chapter leader of Slow Food East End, has been engaged in healthy lifestyle practices for over 30 years.

“I love to eat and I love to explore cultures by their food. I love spice and texture,” she said. “I also do believe food is a family bonding experience and the vehicle by which our bodies can stay healthy — if done right.”

The open invite to East Enders allows for a melting pot of cultures to potentially come together. It may be a United States tradition, but flavors from all over the world are welcome. Penny Rudder will begin an open dialogue. She will discuss her work with the Slow Food East End’s pilot program, Chefs to School.

The group will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Slow Food International, which began in 1989 in Italy by Carlo Petrini. Over the course of three decades, the focus on local food cultures has taken root in over 160 countries and more than 150 local chapters in the United States, totaling more than 6000 members.

“I determined years ago, when I took over the family holiday, that everybody wanted the traditional food made by my mother-in-law, who was an excellent cook,” Schwartz said. “And now, my son has taken over the holiday, and he does the same — all with our own individual twist.”

Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $15 per person, or $20 for non-members, the fees of which are donated to Slow Food East End to support local programs. The reservation deadline is Wednesday, November 27.

Orient Inn is located at 25500 Main Road in Orient. Learn more at

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