A couple of weeks ago we put up a short post about The Welcome Table, a free community meal in nearby Ellsworth, featuring sea vegetables in the offerings on June 18th.
Kara Ibarguen, who bakes our Kelp Krunch bars, coordinates The Welcome Table, and often brings Krunch bars to share there. This meal was the first to feature sea veggies, including New Potato Salad with dulse flakes, deviled eggs with Dulse with Garlic Sea Seasoning, and hummus with a variety of sea veggies sprinkled on top. Sea Seasonings shakers were also on hand for adding to foods. See our website for the New Potato Salad recipe (slightly modified for the meal–leaving out the pickles, pickle juice, and eggs).
Kara in the Krunch kitchen at Maine Coast
Seraphina Erhart, Maine Coast general manager, daughter of the company’s founders, and lifelong sea veggie eater, did a sea veggie demo, provided samples of dulse flakes with the New Potato Salad recipe, and chatted with guests and volunteers about sea veggies. According to Seraphina, one woman said, ‘I wasn’t too sure about this, but that was some good potato salad!’ For most guests, eating sea veggies was an entirely new experience, though some were familiar with using seaweeds for other things–from garden amendment to lobster bake packing material. One woman said her family used to harvest rockweed.
Deviled eggs with Dulse with Garlic were a hit!
The deviled eggs with Dulse with Garlic were a huge hit–getting even better reception than regular deviled eggs.
Seraphina says that with the small amount of promotion that Maine Coast Sea Vegetables does, focusing on local foods and local communities, and raising local awareness of sea veggies, are high priorities. So The Welcome Table was a perfect fit. Plus, wanting to support a “great community service.”
Seraphina and the sea veggie spread
Kara plans to keep using sea veggies in cooking for the weekly meal now, in soups, casseroles, spreads, etc. And Sea Seasonings will stay on hand to join the condiments on tables.
A “Community Transformation” grant from Healthy Acadia, in connection with the Hancock Community Agency helped make it possible to bring sea veggies to The Welcome Table. The grant’s focus is to help connect local people and communities with locally sourced, nutritious foods. Many volunteers also help make the meal possible, including a large pool from Maine People’s Alliance.
About forty meals were served on June 18th, and the numbers fluctuate week to week. The first meal was served on May 16, 2012, and they’ve been served every Wednesday since. The Welcome Table serves every Wednesday at the First Congregational Church in Ellsworth, from 3-6 pm.
Thank you to Kara and Seraphina for spreading the word about sea veggies, and helping local people enjoy delicious, nutritious foods!