One of my favorite weekly food traditions almost didn’t happen. The Short North Sunday Jazz series was destined to be another casualty of the recession. A girlfriend – a community organizer, one might call her – pulled together the resources to revive the series of Sunday concerts at Goodale Park and renamed it the Goodale Park Music Series.
These concerts, now featuring a variety of music (not just jazz), have a second draw: a community potluck. Like Maya’s picnics, but with live music, these gatherings have become a weekend must-do for me.
Because the concerts start at noon, I got up early to start the grill two Sundays ago. Smelling the coals in the early morning air made me feel like I was camping. My dish, Couscous with Grilled Vegetables, was designed to utilize my CSA and garden bounty.
I grilled up a beautiful sweet onion, fennel, zucchini, squash and tomatoes to toss into couscous with a basil dressing. The highlight of the dish was the dressing, one that one of the store’s chefs had come up with earlier last week. It was a wonderful way to use a tiny portion of the basil that keeps showing up on Wednesdays.
My couscous joined a traditional cucumber salad, samosas, Mexican chicken salad sandwiches, green beans, quinoa and half a dozen other summer dishes made by strangers and friends, alike. That, of course, was two weeks ago. Each week the selection changes, and each week, I’m in heaven as I try delicious food, meet new people and listen to the incredible lineup of musicians.
These events define my community, and I’m grateful that someone worked to preserve them.