I have been trying to track down the roots to our fall festival where we create a Stone Salad the Sunday before Thanksgiving. From what I have gathered from a long-term member, this festival, began at the Washington Ethical Society, but it's exact origins are unknown. This founding NoVES member believes it began in the children's program at WES, and it probably began sometime in the late 1960s. That Society used to plan a United Nations Day event in October, but at some point that was dropped and a Stone Soup Festival took its place.
NoVES began as an off-shoot of WES almost 35 years ago and the founding members of the society brought the Stone Soup tradition with them. However, there was one big issue. NoVES didn't have a kitchen to prepare a soup! How could they make Stone Soup? The founding Leader of NoVES, Susan Bagot, wrote the continuation of the Stone Soup story where the soldiers went to the next village to make a Stone Soup, but found there was no wood to build a fire, so they decided to create a salad in a similar way to how they had created the soup. And voila! A new tradition was born!
It's a cute story and I love the creative twist. Not only that, it's a fantastic salad with tons of flavor with all the ingredients. There are some rules to Stone Salad so that everyone can enjoy eating the salad. The salad is assembled ingredient by ingredient, going alphabetically. And there was: Artichokes! Asparagus! Avocado! on down the alphabet to Water chestnuts! Yams (cooked)! and Zucchini!
The kids LOVE making this salad - waiting for the letter(s) of their ingredient(s) to be asked up to the bowls!
There are always helpers at the front that have bowls set aside for allergenic and special diet ingredients. There will be a bowl set aside with no cheese added to the salad. One for no wheat/bread added to the salad. And one for no nuts added to the salad. The salad is vegetarian, so we ask that no one contribute any meat.
While salads are great, it wouldn't be a full meal if we didn't have salad dressings on the side, breads, and desserts too! Oh, and some peanut butter for those eaters who don't want salad at all!
Lastly, Stone Salad is all about working together as a community to build something together. Let's work together so that all of our members who want to attend are able to get to NoVES to take part in the festival. If you need a ride or able to take someone to and from the festival, please contact Melissa Sinclair by November 17th so that she can make arrangements with everyone.