Pickles, meat pies, lemon grass, and poppy seed cake . . .

A week for foodies approaches. On Thursday, September 8 at 7pm, the Lowell Folklife Series invites you to come hear museum director Beryl Rosenthal talk about New York Jewish pickle traditions. Then watch a portrayal of the legendary pickle man in a screening of the romantic drama, Crossing Delancey, starring Amy Irving. The event is free and is co-sponsored by Lowell National Historical Park and the Lowell Film Collaborative.

Then on Saturday, September 10, join our bus tour of some of Greater Lowell’s ethnic markets. We will meet at the Park’s visitor center (246 Market Street, Lowell) at 2pm and travel by bus to three local ethnic markets: Cotes Market, Pailin Supermarket, and the Fill’n’Chill in Billerica.

You will have the chance to meet with proprietors, hear family stories and local history, and buy specialty foods.

Back at the Park Visitor Center, we will be treated to a talk by author Jane Ziegelman. Her book,  97 Orchard Street, is an exploration of immigrant food traditions in New York’s Lower East Side, and will be available for purchase.  Although the tour and book talk are free, space on the bus is limited. Please make reservations by calling 978-970-5000.

Traditional Arts Fellowships Available

  

Cape Breton fiddler Joseph Cormier, rhythm tap dancer, James Godbolt, a.k.a. Jimmy Slyde, wooden boat builder Harold A. Burnham, Malian balaphon player Balla Kouyaté, and Irish step dancer Kieran Jordan  . . . these are just some of the individuals who have been awarded MCC Artist Fellowships in the Traditional Arts since 1999.  All were recognized for their artistic excellence within art forms that are deeply rooted in tradtional and ethnic culture.

These fellowships are awarded biennually.  The postmark deadline to apply is October 7, 2012. Guidelines are available online.

 

Scenes from a folk festival

The Lowell Folk Festival is best known for its spectacular array of traditional music and ethnic food. Perhaps less well known is the Folk Craft & Foodways demonstrations that take place every year in the shade of Lucy Larcom Park. From watching fishing flys being tied and seeing how Abenaki baskets are woven, to handling newly constructed Puerto Rican musical instruments, it’s an area that encourages a special kind of hands-on interaction that kids especially enjoy.

Folks that stopped by the letterpress printing tent got the chance to set metal type in a composing stick and then pull an impression (i.e., print) their own name on a table top  press.

Samnang Khoeun explained the carving and casting ofan element of Cambodian ornamental design known as kbach.

Just across from the craft demonstrations was the large Foodways tent. Here, people had a chance to watch cooking demonstrations and sample noodle and pasta dishes from five different cultural cuisines.

The demonstrations started at noon with Jewish noodle kugel. Hannah Hammond Hagman and her mother Lynn Hammond, shared a recipe which has been handed down in their family for four generations.

Ronnie Mouth shared her mother’s recipe for cold Cambodian noodle salad.

Other dishes that were presented over the weekend included Italian pasta and peas by Regina Sibilia Sullivan, Polish pierogi by Dottie Flanagan and Carol Matyka, and Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn noodle soup by Millie Rahn. In addition to the welcome shade of the tent, the crowd seemed to enjoy hearing stories about  family traditions, cooking tips, recipes. . .

. . . and those delicious samples!

All photos by Maggie Holtzberg