Virginia B. Wood explains why Texas Folklife Resources' new exhibit "The Welcoming Table" is worth a visit and updates readers on local culinary news.

The Welcoming Table

Considering that we're serious students of food as a defining element of culture and ethnic heritage, we heartily recommend the fascinating new photo exhibit at the Texas Folklife Resources gallery (1317 S. Congress, 441-9255). "The Welcoming Table" is an exhibition of photographs by Ella Grant documenting food traditions in four Texas ethnic communities: Czech, Konkani, Mexican-American and Swedish. Every day ethnic communities in Texas maintain their identity through their choices of foods and preparation methods. Even when other expressions of culture fade, a community's cuisine can continue to communicate its history and traditions. This exhibit documents the way four Texas families maintain their cultural identity through food with photos depicting a Czech-Texan family reunion, a Konkani weekday evening meal, a Christmas tamalada, and Swedish baking for Santa Lucia day. The show runs through mid-September. For gallery hours or other information, contact curator Dawn Orsak.


This was not your average reading and booksigning. A genial crowd packed the event room at BookPeople to hear Austin author Karen Stolz read from her new novel, World of Pies (Hyperion, $18.95) last week. The enjoyable reading was made even more so by numerous visits to the foyer, where a groaning board was loaded with pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, and salads, the recipes for which appear at the end of each chapter in the book. Stolz signed books until almost flight time and then embarked on a short and very nontradtional Southern book tour. Her first stop is a store called Beauty and the Book in Jefferson, where she'll have her hair done by the owner and judge a pie contest before reading and signing books ... There's more summer snow. No sooner had we run the "Second Helpings" listings of snowcone stands in the June 9 issue ( 2000-06-09/food_second_all.html) than we sighted another one. Tropical Sno-Hawaiian Shave Ice is located in the Randall's parking lot at the corner of Mesa and Spicewood Springs. They scoop up shaved-ice delights in a rainbow of flavors from noon until the early evening every day... The Austin chapter of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs will hold a sparkling-wine tasting with expert commentary by Kim Cook of Glazer's on Monday, June 26 from 4-5:30pm at Ella's Restaurant & Bar (#1 Jefferson Sq., 458-2148). The fee is $5 for members and students or $10 for nonmembers. Call WCR toll free to register at 877/927-7787... Dallas cookbook author/dietitian Barbara Gollman, author of The Phytopia Cookbook: A World of Plant-Centered Cuisine, teaches a class on fresh and healthy summer eating at Central Market (4001 N. Lamar, 458-3068) this Saturday, June 24 at 10am... The folks at the Manchaca Fire Hall (1310 FM 1626, off Manchaca) invite you to join them for a Spaghetti Dinner on Tuesday, June 27 from 6-8pm. Proceeds from the dinner will go to pay the medical expenses of young Trinity Marie Felder. Dine at the fire hall with live musical entertainment and a silent auction or stop by and pick up dinner for the family. For more information, call Jean Felder, 689-8326.

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Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 18, 2015

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