Donna and Dan.

Catfish & Waffles is about buying local, eating healthy, and living well in Philadelphia’s northwestern neighborhoods — Germantown, Mt. Airy, Roxborough, Manayunk, East Falls, and Chestnut Hill.

If that seems a tad geographically specific, you’re right, it is.  We believe that by concentrating on our corner of the world we can better understand and contribute to the growing conversation on sustainable living.

Within that context, we want to share our experiences on a number of topics. They will include recipes and strategies for coping with the abundance of locally grown food available at our CSA and co-op; eating within the current season; neighborhood restaurants, bars, and other establishments (especially if they support local buying); and the local culture, something of a catch-all that will include profiles of our neighbors, neighborhood events, and our own personal observations on all of the above.

Why “Catfish & Waffles”?

Catfish and Waffles was a famous local dish served in the inns that used to accomodate travellers in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley in the middle of the nineteenth century. We chose it for the title of our blog because we like the connection to local cuisine, and to the history of our neighborhood. We also like that “catfish and waffles” was someting akin to “soup to nuts.” In other words, it didn’t describe a particular dish, per se, but a rather large and varied meal. We hope to serve up something of the same.

And we are…

Donna Earnshaw. I had never heard of Community Supported Agriculture until about 5 years ago when a friend asked if I wanted to pick up her share at Pennypack Farm and Education Center while she was away.  After that, eating locally and seasonally become a huge part of the way I cook and the way I feed my family.  I got my own share at the CSA and started to really be mindful of where the food I purchased came from.  I also went back to school and received a degree in Nutrition, and now I am pursuing a second Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts at Drexel University. It’s been a journey, one that isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Dan Allen. I moved to the northwest section of Philadelphia over twenty years ago, after falling in love with the Wissahickon Valley. Donna and I live in the small neighborhood of Blue Bell Hill, on the edge of the park. My interest in local food took a quantum leap forward after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

I am also passionate about beer, and recently became a Certified Cicerone®. Although I have been fortunate enough to have experienced some of the world’s great beers, I am particularly proud of the world class beer being made in this region.