Sharon Thompson's Tidbits: Sustainability conference will feature New York Times' food writer Mark Bittman,Sharon ThompsonFebruary 20, 2013 

Sharon Thompson


Well-known authors, community activists, farmers, sociologists and agricultural economists will gather in Kentucky from April 4 to 6 to discuss ideas presented in Wendell Berry's best-seller The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture.

The conference, "From Unsettling to Resettling: What Will It Take to Resettle America?," is sponsored by The Berry Center, a nonprofit organization established in 2011 to institutionalize the work of John M. Berry Jr., John M. Berry Sr. and Wendell Berry.

Professionals knowledgeable in addressing the issue of moving toward a more sustainable world will lead the conference at The Brown Hotel in Louisville and St. Catharine's College in Springfield.

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, will be the luncheon speaker April 5 at The Brown Hotel. His topic: "Food as a Cultural Product." On April 6, Bittman will participate in a panel discussion, "What Will It Take to Resettle America?" at St. Catharine's. Conference details are at Monthly magazine is seeking the best recipes in the Bluegrass for its fourth annual reader contest. Categories are appetizers, side dishes, main courses, grilling (sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Council), desserts, and recipes featuring locally grown or made products. Go to The submission deadline is March 8. Winners will be featured in the magazine's May issue.

Author's pies take prizes

Local cookbook author Barbara Harper-Bach won the Georgetown Blue Grass Bake-Off Pie Contest at Fava's Restaurant this month. It was the first in a series of monthly pie contests to be held through August at locations in and around Georgetown.

Harper-Bach won first place for her Kentucky sour mash blackberry pie and second place for peach cobbler pie. Here's her recipe for the blackberry pie.


Kentucky sour mash blackberry pie

8 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

1½ cups sugar

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 star anise pods

¼ cup sour mash bourbon

1 tablespoon butter, diced

2 (10-inch) homemade pie crusts

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons half-and-half

Combine blackberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, star anise and sour mash bourbon in a dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring until sugar is melted and mixture begins to thicken. Taste and correct seasonings if necessary. Remove star anise pods. Pour into 10-inch unbaked pie shell and top with second crust that has been vented in the middle with a few slashes around the top. Crimp edges. Combine egg yolk and half-and-half, and brush on crust. Bake in a preheated 350- degree oven for 1 hour.

Focus on French wines

Master sommelier Scott Harper will conduct a four-week French Wine Academy at Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville in March.

The class curriculum was created by the French Wine Society and endorsed by the National French Wine Office. Harper, corporate wine and beverage director at the Bristol, is a certified wine educator and a licensed French Wine Academy instructor. Participants will learn about the wine of Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Rhône and Burgundy, and taste wines from the major regions of France.

The four-week course is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 4 through 25. The Bristol is at 614 West Main Street. The is cost is $159 a person or $299 a couple by Monday; after that the cost increases by $10. Materials are included. Call (502) 582-1995 or go to

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog:

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