Monday, December 18, 2017

Manifest: Holiday Edition

Thanks to everyone who came out for Manifest: Holiday Edition at the Bakery on Sunday.  We raised over $600 through your generous donations to El Futuro.

Big ups to: Dave Henderson and the Henderson Family Singers for providing the musical entertainment; George and Lily and the Lil' Farm for bartering firewood and veggies; Alex Ruch for baking the beautiful hearth breads; Mel Benson for the fantastic photos; volunteers Courtney, Heather, Finn, Grace, and Mel - we definitely couldn't have done it without you!

Keep a look out for our next dinner coming in February?!

The manifests and menu are reprinted below for you to enjoy.

Peruvian Chicken and Potatoes


Mixed baby taters

Courtney, Chris, and Heather

Finn, Grace, and Jordan

Chris and Courtney
Blueberry Pie with Crumble
Dulce de Leche Tart
Chris and Ari

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Menu 17 December 2017
A Benefit for El Futuro

Manifest New England IPA


Pan Forte Bites
Ninth Street Bakery Country Loaves and Sprouted Wheat Loaves
Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce
Crispy Brisket Lardons
Stems and Seeds: Broccoli Green Stems. Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Demerara Sugar
Quick-Pickled Dandelion and Spicy Radish
Baby Potatoes Roasted in Chicken Schmaltz
Greens Salad with Ginger Turmeric Dressing and Toasted Almonds
Whole Sweet Potatoes Rescoldo


Blueberry Pie with Crumble
Dulce de Leche Tart

The 10 Commandments of Manifest

1.     Communal tables
2.     Prix Fixe: A Planned, Rather than Selected, Variety.
3.     Priced So All Can Afford to Eat
4.     Health, Freshness, and Real Foods
5.     Facilitate Culinary Creativity via (Ingredient) Deconstruction
6.     Less Waste
7.     No servers, No Tipping
8.     No Cult of the Chef
9.     Use the Venue for Performance
10. Good Hospitality is Not a Service to Rendered but a Gift to be Shared

Produce: Li’l Farm
Chickens: Cornish Cross from Fern Creek Farm

Bless this food. Bless us all.

* * * * *

ButcherBaker, Candlestick Maker


 Have you seen the development going on near 147?  And have you seen the development happening on 15-501?  And have you seen the skyscraper behind us going up and the development on Main Street near the Federal?

Durham feels under a siege of cranes.

How did we get here?

I’ve been thinking about urban form and sustainability for about ten years, and have been watching the Triangle grow and mutate since I arrived in 2003 as a fresh-faced grad student at UNC.

My theory is that the growth we see now is based on a template.  A development template.

This is the same template brings you Starbucks on opposing streetcorners and Best Buys and Barnes & Nobles.  That template brings you cookie-cutter condo developments and Toll Brothers McMansions and country clubs using land for people who tacitly prize golf over equity and equality.

The template is who we are.  We have made unbelievable progress in the areas of health science and technology while with the other hand we bemoan the homogeneity and the gaudiness of the template.

The fact remains, the template feels spiritually vacuous.

And the template leaves out large swathes of our society.

And the template is racist, sexist, and classist.

But the template is not going anywhere.  It is not as if we are going to tunnel through time, celebrate an impeachment of Donald Trump, then fast forward to a functional state where everone has health insurance, maternity and paternity leave, the gender wage gap is closed, and there are enough good jobs for everyone of every income class and educational attainment.

So I would like to propose a new template, to get us out of this rut of cynicism, skepticism, and negativity.  The new template is one that is good for butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, and everyone in between.

A new society demands a new template.  You deserve it.  We deserve it.  Your kids and grandkids deserve it.

Here are the template's characteristics:
1. It needs to be able to start small, but grow as needed and benefit from economies of scale.

2. It needs to be able to nurture creativity.

3. It needs to be able to deliver leisure because we can’t all be working all of the time.

4. It needs to be flexible enough to accommodate supply and demand.

5. It needs to guarantee a basic level of goods and services to all citizens.

6. It needs to guarantee a market for goods produced.

7. It needs to include a profit motive for producers.

8. It needs to reward people who want to work hard.


9. It needs to be as sustainable and self-sufficient as possible.

To the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker, I propose something that is not going to sound really sexy, but maybe it is.  It is a quota system

This means each person has to make X number of loaves of bread, candlesticks, etc., for consumption by town citizens before the remainder is exported or sold to visitors for individual profit.  By the town being the largest purchaser of the indigenously-produced goods, we ensure a market for the small maker.   And in return we provide self-sufficiency to the town.   Furthermore, the town engages in contracts in order to ensure a viable price for the goods it exports.  By aggregating both the buying power and the purchasing power of the town for the sake of the maker, maybe we subvert Amazon.  Maybe we subvert the corporations that are so many layers deep from CEO to the bottom, we have made the corporation mighty in its ability to make us faceless.  In the fight to be rich, we’ve torn asunder the fabric that held our communities together – the makers.  In a city that was once rich with makers, and perhaps more importantly, workers who made and processed products such as textiles with their hands, now what is left Downtown is Ninth Street Bakery, this regional vintage Bakery, the last of a small group of businesses where things are made by hand and distributed locally to the community.  In the assembled group today is another maker, Ann Cowperthwaite, owner of Eidolon Designs.  I hope she can shed some light on what it means to her to be a maker in this moment of 2017 on the cusp of a New Year.  Thank you.

* * * * *
Ann Cowperthwaite

The Bridge Project
Notes for Manifest 12.17.2017
Personal Intro:

Thank you, Ari, for inviting me to participate tonight.  

Eidolon Designs, “Candlestick Makers”

Eidolon: Precision costume furniture and millwork for over 35 years--it has been quite a 20 year journey for me to step into working with my husband and 3 other extremely fine craftsmen; to constantly rise to the new challenges of every custom job that comes into our shop. 

But this work is not my “voice”.

I would like to open my door a bit, to share my approach to expression through sculpture.  Several years ago, my son introduced me to Krista Tippet, the creator of the radio talk show, On Being. This show is the home of the Civil Conversations Projects, a Peabody Award-winning public broadcast focused on opening up questions and conversations about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.  What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?

Krista Tippet’s begins every conversation in this way:

“Let me ask what experiences in your childhood home influenced your spiritual, ethical, moral development?”  Every time I hear her as this question, I am drawn in to think what my own response might be:

My father was killed in an airplane accident when I was 10 years old.  In his death, I suddenly knew that life was precarious, short, important.  In childhood’s ever-quest for all-things-good, I suddenly learned that life could hurt.  Gradually, as I grew in age and awareness, I came to believe that we had no choice in life but to be vigorous, to be open, to be risking, to be creative, to be responsive, to be kind.  This is the only way to move through hurt to gratitude.

I discovered my desire to become an artist in my sophomore year of college
Our very first assignment in this first sculpture class was to create a 3-dimensional piece using only found objects.  I gravitated instantly to a wagon wheel I had absconded years earlier from my grandfather’s Pennsylvania farm, the place and the man I dearly loved.  I also had a large steel ring I had I had found in the woods in New Hampshire, along with a thick, long rope.  Without describing the form to you now, I will describe the sensations I experienced creating this piece.  It spoke to me of movement, time, quietness, remembrance, safety, love, memory, experience, place, family.  It felt so real.

It was the theory of abstraction that allowed me to see art as something very basic to my life: the idea, that reductive thinking equaled (=) essence.   Addressing fundamental feelings through line, shape, form and materials is a way of ordering.  Art gave me the way to think about a particular aspect of feeling, that allowed me to be both reflective and responsive to life.  

Another part of this idea of  “order” related to my need for competent and clean construction. I have always strived to be “intentional”, meaning, if I was clear in my thinking, articulate in my translation to form, if my work was carefully crafted, it would be taken seriously, even if not “liked” or “understood”.

 The Bridge Project

 2 years ago, I was contacted by the director of a non-profit arts organization in Florida, and asked if I would consider designing a table using an authenticated slab of concrete from the Berlin Wall.  This organization had come into ownership of a collection of large, 7’ x 3’ slabs, and they were committed to realizing new potential for this historic concrete.

I was moved to try to respond---to make a table that spoke beyond the obvious representation and bleak history toward a new vision; one that spoke to a theme of dialog and the joy of reconciliation.  Through this sculpture I wanted to portray the transformation of a barrier into a bridge.  That such treatment of a fragment of the Berlin Wall could call forth and image of hope and evoke questions about the role of dialogue in breaking down barrios across culture, religion, and politics.

Just this week an email was sent out from the The Rev. Dr. Anthony Spearman, newly instated President of NC NAACP, announcing that Chief Justice Martin has accepted an invitation to meet. To quote Rev. Spearman, “We are delighted that this branch of government is willing to pull up a chair and sit across the table of civility.

What a phrase! The Table of Civility.  This is preciously what this piece is all about.

What is most recalled by this 29-year segment of history was it’s brutal and unrelenting repression of opportunity. What I want to recall, and my intent in designing this piece, is the moment-- -the transformative, poignant moment when dreams, again, bore possibility. This piece is a call to action (s); actions that refuse to repress, but rather usher in a vibrancy of spirit to the world we inhabit.
I invite you to visit the website to learn more about this piece, particularly the structural form representing the narrative.  I also invite any comments, constructive criticisms, or reflections.  I am just beginning to distribute this site to institutions, both public and private, that may have an interest in commissioning the work. 
I do believe that memory, no matter how bleak, can inform and transform human behavior for the good. Kindness does forge peace. Hope is brokered by compassion.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Looks amazing. What a wonderful event for your community. Wish we could be there.