Benicia Community Table
(formerly “What’s for Dinner?”)

 “What’s for Dinner?” changed its name! Benicia Community Gardens feels that “Benicia Community Table” will more accurately describe our intentions and will better reflect the spirit of shared meals and community gatherings. It has been a wonderful experience since our program launched 2011 – getting together monthly over excellent home-cooked potluck meals and a conversation about local sustainable food. Please rest assured – the essence of the program will stay the same. Our monthly meetings continue to provide a warm supportive community, excellent food, informative conversation, and an invitation to support CSA’s, buy locally, cook at home, choose wholesome nutritional food, and gather regularly around a table. The scope of our action is what’s changing – we’d like to help launch a food co-op in Benicia! 

We gather monthly to share good food and a conversation about how to create nutritious meals that are practical and nutrient dense, while using local, sustainable ingredients as much as possible. What’s for Dinner is a continuing program, and everyone is welcome.  Each week we pop open the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes (meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, diary, healthy pantry, etc) and brainstorm together with a professional chef on what we can do with our ingredients and how to plan the week/s ahead and how we can discuss and incorporate them as part of the next gathering’s conversation.  As part of our program and potluck each month, we highlight different food prep techniques and food groups.  The purpose of What’s for Dinner? is to promote the enjoyment of healthy food preparation and pleasures of eating local, sustainable food in Benicia, and sharing ideas for improving family nutrition. Our program continues to demonstrate how participants can gain knowledge and insights about planning meals and cooking (without recipes!) from our Benicia CSAs and farmer’s market.

If you are interested in learning more about the group and to join it, please email info@BeniciaCommunityGardens.org

All sessions are held at Benicia Heritage Presbyterian Church (1400 East Second Street), 6:00pm – 8 pm

Please bring a dish to share that is focused on a sustainable local produce, organic and/or pastured poultry, local seafood, or grass-fed organic local beef, and a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. You may bring an appetizer or main dish accompanied with a printed recipe card with all ingredients listed.

 Previous topics:

  • “Legumes – Poor Man’s Meat”
  • “Sustainable Fish and Seafood”
  • “Wonderful World of Grains”
  • “Staples of Humanity: Wheat, Rice, Corn”
  • “Local Sustainable Meat”
  • “Milk and Milk Products”
  • Sugar, honey & other sweeteners”
  • noname-3“Fermentation”

Books

2015 suggested reading:

“The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters

“Alice Waters helps us embrace the seasons’ bounty and make the best choices when selecting ingredients. … pristine produce, healthful grains, and responsibly raised meat, poultry, and seafood … and reminds us that the most gratifying dish is often the least complex”

Other good books:

“Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon
“Clearly something is very wrong…. We buy foods labeled lowfat, no cholesterol, reduced sodium, thinking they are good for us. Why,
then, are we so sick?”

“Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan
“The food industry has done a good job of persuading us that the 45 thousands different items in the supermarket – 17 thousand new ones every year – represent genuine variety rather than so many clever rearrangements of molecules extract from the same plant”

“Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast” by Becky Selengut
“It can be intimidating to shop for seafood. You wonder if it’s healthy for you, you worry about whether it’s overfished and whether it’s caught in ways that harm other species or the environment…From shellfish to finfish to littlefish, fifteen good fish are featured, and the accompanying seventy-five recipes will appeal to a wide range of home cooks”

“On the Future of Food” by Prince Charles
“This is the challenge facing us. We have to maintain a supply of healthy foot at affordable prices when there is mounting pressure on nearly every element affecting the process.”

  • 3rd Wednesday of the Month, 6-8pm
  • Benicia Presbyterian Church
  • 1400 East 2nd Street, Benicia

Benicia Community Table Schedule:

  • 1/20 - Shared Vision & Food Co-op
  • 2/17 - Fish, Meats, Chicken
  • 3/16 - From the Earth: Grains, Veggies
  • 4/20 - Clean Water, Healthy Beverages
  • 5/18 - Healthy Fats
  • 6/15 - Dairy, Eggs, Desserts

Upcoming Events

May
27
Sat
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
Jun
6
Tue
6:30 pm Sustainable Landscaping Class @ Vallejo Foley Community Center
Sustainable Landscaping Class @ Vallejo Foley Community Center
Jun 6 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Summer is a good time to start dreaming and planning about our garden renewal. This is the perfect class for homeowners who are thinking about replacing a lawn or who would like to make their[...]
Jun
24
Sat
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jun 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jun 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]