TRADITIONS OF HAITI
Here in New England, the foods of Haiti don’t always get much attention. A distinct mix of French, African, Arabic and Native American elements, Haitian cuisine combines a rich array of fruit, grains and lots of meat. You can try some traditional Haitian dishes at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, when St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Belfast hosts a Haitian dinner and art show, to raise money for an elementary school in the Haitian town of Limonade. On the menu will be griot de porc, a classic Haitian dish featuring pork marinated in Seville orange juice with thyme, shallots, peppers, onions and garlic and then fried. The meal also includes Haitian-style rice and beans (a spicy concoction involving cloves and a habanero pepper that the cook must be careful not to puncture), a tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad, and coconut custard. Tickets for the meal are $8, and include an art show featuring work by Haitian artists, including this painting (left) by the artist Bottex. For more details, or to make a reservation for the meal, call 338-4605.
Thanks to the success of the film “Julie & Julia,” the spotlight shines on all things Julia Child right now. What better time to offer eastern Maine residents a chance to jump right into Child’s world with a series of classes designed around some of her signature recipes? Beginning Oct. 7, and running for six weeks each consecutive Wednesday, chef Mark Janicki, head of Eastern Maine Community College’s culinary arts program, will host “Wednesday Nights with Mark and Julia” at Pairings in Winterport, the teaching kitchen at Winterport Winery on Route 1. After graduating from cooking school, Janicki had the opportunity to meet Child, and had many opportunities to talk with her personally about food, wine and their shared passion for both. Child published many books over her long, colorful career, and Janicki’s class will touch on recipes from her classic “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” as well as other, lesser-known selections. Each class is $55 and runs from 6 to 9 p.m. To register, call 223-0990; space is limited.
ROSH HASHANA FOODS
The Jewish High Holidays start this weekend when Rosh Hashana begins at sunset on Friday, Sept. 18. Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009 (or the year 5770, in the Jewish calendar). During Rosh Hashana, a large, festive meal is eaten — one that traditionally includes honey, apples, other fruits and challah bread. What are some of the foods you’ve traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll report some of the results next week.