Saturday, December 13, 2008

Giving Thanks

I wanted to let you know about the amazing Thanksgiving I was fortunate to have this year. Maumee Valley Slow Food held a convivium at the home of a famous lawyer who raises his own food. He raised heritage turkeys this year for his and his family's use and thankfully, I was able to get one, too.

Hearing that heritage turkeys raised naturally tend to yield tougher meat, I took care to ensure a juicy product. While it seems corney, I use the Reynolds baking bag for my turkey. Once cleaned, I simply squeezed oranges, drizzled olive oil, and salted and peppered the bird. I then followed the directions with the baking bag. The bird was delicious, one of our 12 year old guests even remarked on how great it tasted! For me, the best compliment came from my 83 year old aunt who is too sick to come to the feast, had one of those frozen turkeys, and then tried the leftovers Friday. While she usually says she doesn't have a very strong sense of taste (or smell), she remarked she could really tell the difference!

The hand-written label on the jumbo zip-lock back where the turkey was stored read: "Slaughtered with love and reverence". In Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book, she describes how turkeys major purpose is for food. How we should respect our animals and enjoy and raise them for food. Also, I've read animals under stress release stress hormones especially while being butchered. Eating an animal that has been raised humanely and loved through the very end really does make a difference! Thank you Mr. Leizerman for making our meal respectable.

Other dishes served:

Corn casserole using corn sliced off the cob in the Summer frozen,

Green bean casserole using onions that had been sliced from onions obtained at the Toledo Farmers' Market in October and frozen,

Cranberries (fresh chopped cranberries with chopped dates, chopped walnuts, chopped apples and apple jelly)

Dressing made with three kinds of bread (sourdough, whole wheat challah, and rye), almonds, apples, mushrooms, onions, yellow pepper, sausage, and chicken stock.

Sweet potatoes with carrots, orange juice, brown sugar, butter and Craisins
Mashed potatoes with Manchego cheese

Mock liver - vegetable walnut pate (recipe from Molly Katzen's Moosewood cookbook)

and pumpkin and pecan pies brought by the neighbors.

Hope your day was just as memorable.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Home Made Egg Rolls

I actually made home made egg rolls last night for dinner! They were much better than any I've ever had at a restaurant. I bought the ingredients at The Andersons Market in Sylvania which is a great shopping experience. They always have the best samples and plenty of them. It is wonderful to be able to taste a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, dips, meats from House of Meats counter, Honeybaked Ham , and many snacks throughout the aisles. This store also has a great selection of beers and wines.
Here's the recipe I used, it is from the Nasoya egg roll wrapper package:
1 lb ground beef, pork, chicken or 1 pkg of firm tofu, crumbled
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1/4 lb bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 TBSP oyster sauce
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
Stir-fry meat or tofu and ginger in wide skillet over high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot and green onions; cook 2 minutes. Stir in oyster sauce. Let mixture cool. Use 2 tbsp filling for each egg roll. place filling diagonally on wrapper, fold corner over filling; roll snugly half-way to cover filling, fold up both sides snugly against filling; moisten edges of last flap, roll over flap to seal; lay flap-side down until read to cook. Deep-fry at 350 degrees a few at a time, turning occassionally, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.
I also added some minced garlic to the filling and I fried the egg rolls in about 1 inch of oil rather than deep fry. They were fabulous!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Toledo Area Bread

Toledo Area Bread
We are so very fortunate to have an amazing artisan bread bakery in the Toledo Area! Country Grains prepares fresh bread, using whole grains, in a large variety of flavors. Some of my favorites are Grains Galore (with flax and pumpkin seeds), Honey Whole Wheat, Dakota – I have a friend in Cleveland who requests this every time we get together! Other delicious breads include Raisin Walnut and Cinnamon, Garlic Cheese, Strawberry, Blueberry and Apricot - three fruits in one bread! The Challah bread compares to some I've had from great New York bakeries - now if we can only convince them to make bagels...

The store located at 6808 Sylvania Ave also carries organic milk at the lowest prices, farm-fresh eggs, and a deli full of meats, cheeses, salads and dips. Scrumptious cookies (including my favorite, cranberry coconut walnut) and muffins, and a myriad of other treats can be found there. Friendly staff greet you and make you feel like part of the family.

Oh, be sure to get the loyalty card – buy twelve loaves of bread and you get one free!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Manhattans in Toledo

I had the best grilled vegetable sandwich at Manhattans today. Eggplant, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, and onions all grilled with a mint pesto spread on the sandwich. Steaming hot vegetables with a cool mint dressing made my taste buds dance with delight! The hand cut chips that accompanied the sandwich were outstanding! Manhattans is located at 1516 Adams Street in Downtown Toledo. They consider themselves an Italian restaurant with a selection of creative pastas, sandwiches, pizzas and interesting-sounding salads. I understand they purchase local and/or organic wherever possible.

Other delicious vegetable sandwiches can be found at Penn Station East Coast Subs. You can select your favorite vegetables and they grill them up for you and serve them on a delicious bread. I've also had wonderful vegetable sandwiches at Panera. They have two delicious vegetable sandwiches: a hot one that is a grilled portabella mushroom with fresh mozzerella and a cold mediterranean sandwich - both are very enjoyable.

Let me know where else in Toledo you can get a vegetable sandwich!