Food & Drink All you can eat 

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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Hurricane relief

The San Antonio Food Bank is collecting food and money for Hurricane Katrina relief. Donations will benefit the Louisiana refugees the city is hosting and the more than 370 emergency-aid organizations it partners with in the Gulf states. You can support the Food Bank's efforts by giving on-line,, or mailing a check or delivering donated items to 4311 Director Drive, 78219. Needed items include:

Disposable serveware: plates, cups, utensils, napkins

Cleaning supplies

Bottled drinking water (No glass containers)

Single-serving snacks: Pop Tarts, cereal bars, etc.

Peanut butter

Heat & eat foods: chili, stew, canned pasta with sauce, canned vegetables, etc.

Lunchables or other single-serving foods that do not require refrigeration

Baby formula and diapers

Ensure in cans

You also can help out by eating a bowl of gumbo. Local chef and restaurateur Damien Watel has started the Big Easy Fund. Participating Texas restaurants will sell gumbo for $10 a bowl and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Hurricane Relief. "Gumbo is very representative of New Orleans," says Watel. "It is easy and inexpensive for any restaurant to make."

What does he put in his gumbo? "Everything, that's the point: the more leftovers, the better. That's how you make killer gumbo." His gumbo includes rice and roux, and after that it's anything goes, including black beans, salmon skin, calamari, andouille sausage, leeks ... As of press day, the list of participating restaurants included Bistro Vatel, Vatel's (Dallas), Biga on the Banks, Boudro's, Green Onion (New Braunfels), San Remo, Cappy's, and Fig Tree. "Just think," Vatel wrote us, "30 gumbos a day per restaurant @ $10 each with 300 restaurants participating = $90,000 a day. Imagine the money that could be raised in one week. Please help to spread the word."

Plant swap

Planet of the Tapes, 1111 S. St. Mary's, will host a plant sale the second Saturday of each month, beginning September 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Bring plants or cuttings from your garden to trade. Local growers will also be on hand selling fresh herbs, crepe myrtles, hibiscus, sago palms, plumaria, succulents, and more. For more information, call 212-9373.

Compost tea

On September 12, Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, 3310 N. New Braunfels, will present a free class on compost tea, noon-3:15 p.m. Classes include a plant sale, refreshments, and a hand-tool sharpening for a $2 donation to GVST. Bruce Deuley, author and host of Organic Matters on KAHL-1310AM radio, will discuss compost-tea recipes as well as its benefits and uses.

$5 suggested donation. For more information, call 522-9220.

- Compiled by Erica Alcorta



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