Sunday, November 18, 2012

Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre Day 1

 After a 1 hour flight to New York, then a 9 hour flight to Milan, and a 2 hour bus ride to Turin let's just say I was a little exhausted, but I wasn't alone. Everyone on my flight and those that came in to Milan at the same time were all feeling the jet lag and fatigue, but there was no rest for the weary. I really can't complain though because I met this couple from Papua New Guinea and they said they had a flight that was 12 hours then 14 hours then another 2 hours. I can't event imagine that. They were so cute. Incredible slap happy and delirious from the flight, but so kind-hearted. I don't know if I would have been that happy after that long of a traveling day.

After our two hour bus ride to the Salone, checking in, receiving our information bags (they were made out of the large vinyl signs from the Terra Madre two years ago. Such a great idea!) and packets, and deliriously checking our luggage I met up with Greg Boulous, my regional director. We had met in the airport. He was on the same plane as I was and had been to Terra Madre before. Luckily, he had the inside scoop. After taking us to the Salone and seeing all the booths being set up, he directed us to this amazing Slow Food based grocery stored called Eataly to get an espresso and walk around a little.  I just recently found out that there is one of these in New York also.  It is incredible. I'll talk about that a little later. I took Les to this grocery store/restaurant also.

After buying a liter of wine, he told us about this beautiful park just outside of the huge Fiat building and Lingotto, the place were the Salone took place. So this is us taking a nap in the park trying to give ourselves some energy for the exciting opening ceremony that was coming. I thought, "perfect, now I'll have a place to go when I need nature and have some time to process all the things that I'm learning. This will be a great respite from the amount of people at the conference." Unfortunately I never made it back out to that park. It rained almost every day there, but to be honest I was so busy meeting amazing people and going to interesting workshops that I'm not sure I would have had the time to do that.
 I wish I was a better writer and could describe the energy at the opening ceremony. There were people from all over the world with this contagious passion for all things food and agriculture. It was so fascinating to see so many people dressed in their traditional dress. This picture doesn't really express that, but it was quite interesting.

I sat next to a student from Italy, Pietro. His parents own a dairy and they make cheese especially the Caciotta. You can see their products -  He said it was a large production and they actually sell their cheese to large stores in America like Costco. He was very passionate about the cheese, and you could tell the gleam of pride in his eye knowing that his family makes a great product. I'm not sure if I've ever heard of the cheese he was talking about, but I'll have to keep my eye out for it. Later in the week he became my tour guide-of-sorts for the gala dinner. He told me all about the products I was eating and became quite upset about the fact they they were serving a different brand of Caciotta. He told me that it's quite hard, expensive, and there are many regulations to make Caciotta but the brand that they were serving was actually made in the Czech Republic with an Italian brand on it. So it wasn't actually Caciotta. Very interesting! I'll tell you more about the Gala in a later post.

I also sat next to Yolanda who is an intern at the Rodale Institute. She was quite friendly, and I hung out with her a good amount. She is doing research on soil biology. I hope she can make it down to Gorman sometime. This was another person I wish I had more time to talk to. I think that was the story of the entire week.
During the opening ceremony we heard from some amazing people including: Vandana Shiva talking about seeds, Carmen Martinez from Mexico talking about water, Alice Waters (Chez Panisse and Edible Schoolyard) and Nikki Henderson (People's Grocery) talking about education, Yuko Sudo from Fukoshima talking about energy, Edward Mikiibu from Uganda (Coordinator of the 1000 Gardens in Africa), and Carlo Petrini (Founder of Slow Food). The picture is of the wonderful Terra Madre Orchestra that was a group of people from all over the world. It was absolutely beautiful with all different kinds of musical instruments from their countries. I wish you could have heard this.

Listening to all of the speakers was a different kind of experience because we had to have headsets that translated everything that was said. To be honest I wish I understood more languages because I'm sure the translators did a wonderful job, but I definitely feel like a lot of the inflection and passion was lost. You'd see the person speaking so passionately and the translator would just speak it back in a sort of hyper monotone voice. 

Alice Waters and Nikki Henderson talking about the importance of education in the food movement
Also Dario Fo, who is the Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in 1997, did a very strange performance. He spoke totally in a made up language that he created. He then proceed to do two reenactments. One was of a person who was so hungry that he started eating himself, and the other one of someone who ate so much that he was in extreme pain. I understand the point he was trying to make, but it was definitely a strange way of doing it. I guess if you wanted to get the point across to a multi-lingual crowd you might as well make up your own language.

I found out Turin is who pays for our lodging and food. That's incredible that a cit would pay for that many people to go to such a grand event. In fact I heard that 6 years ago they had a US delegation of around 800 people!  They said because of the economy they couldn't pay for as many people anymore. Wow, thank goodness I was so blessed to be selected to go this year.

After a very long and eventful day we packed into buses and headed to our hotels. To my sadness there was a mixup at the hotel, and I wasn't on the list for having a room as well as another woman, Jamie Milks. It turns out that I was scheduled to be in a room with Jamie Milks, and Aaron Newton but they thought that we were all men. I noticed on the list their mistake before we had even left for Italy and e-mailed Slow Food USA to tell them I was a female. They had said they were sorry about the confusion and would try and get that fixed. I didn't mind if I had to stay with two men, but it wouldn't have been very comfortable and I don't think Les would've been so happy. Unfortunately instead of changing the rooms around they by accident just took me off the list. Oops! Luckily there was a woman from Scotland whose roommate didn't show up so we stayed in her room. They said we'd have to talk with Slow Food USA directors about getting another room since her roommate was coming the next day. Let's just say the whole housing situation was a little frustrating.  I'll tell you in the next day's blog entry about what happened with housing the rest of the week. But luckily I had a bed to sleep in because I was exhausted.

Haha, but we didn't sleep too much because we were all interested in hearing each other stories. The woman from Scotland, Karen, is a crofter which I'd never heard of before and Jamie is a chef and works within all parts of the food system in Kansas City. I hung out with Jamie the most of anyone. I wish I had more time to talk with Karen about crofting. She had a very high opinion of crofting but after returning home and reading up on it, it seems like it's a controversial thing. You should read about it.

Carlo Petrini giving an inspirational speech - "Happy Versatility"
Thanks for your patience with me getting this up and I'm sorry for my wordiness. I'll write the next day soon with more pictures.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Salted Caramel Apple Pie - Deeper Roots Customer Appreciation Dinner

I thought that this was posted right before I left for Italy, but obviously it wasn't. So here is the post that I meant to post before I left for the Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre. I'm sorry I wasn't able to post while I was there. Please expect posts about the Salone in the very near future!

I'm getting ready to take off to Italy in a couple hours, but I thought I'd post a few tasty things that have been going on recently to give me some inspiration for the Salone del Gusto - Terra madre.

Last weekend Deeper Roots Coffee had a Customer Appreciation Dinner. At this event they asked their customers to bring a home-made apple pie and then we would have a bake off. I thoughts, what a great idea so I whipped out my favorite apple pie recipe - Salted Caramel Apple Pie. yumm.  Everyone brought such amazing pies. It was very hard to decide whose was best.

Courtney Robinson was the winner with her yummy apple pie with a crumble topping. Yum! Sorry I don't have the recipe for her pie, you'll just have to ask her to make it.

This is the recipe for my pie. I made it once for my family, but unfortunately I wasn't able to taste it because I was doing a "no sugar" detox type thing for Lent, but everyone said it was delicious. So I thought I would try it. I think it turned out beautiful. I'm really thankful that I learned how to make pie crusts when I worked at Flourish Bakery in Chicago.  So here it is.

Pie Crust 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/2 - 3/4 cup ice cold water

Fill a liquid measuring cup with water and several ice cubes, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.  Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and work together with a pastry blender.  Work until the mixture looks sandy and the butter is about the size of peas.  The mixture will look uneven, which is ok.

Pour 1/2 cup of the ice water (no ice cubes) in the flour-butter mixture.  Use a rubber spatula, or your hands (I find it easier to use my hands at this point) to gather and mix the dough together.  Dip your fingers in the ice water and continue to work the dough until the mixture was fully come together.  Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Makes one, thick 10-inch pie

Salted Caramel
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel

Apple Filling & Seasoning
4 to 6 lemons
6 large apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg, beaten
granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the salted caramel:
Cook the sugar and water together over low heat, until just dissolved.  Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.  Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper (this will take a while).  Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove from the heat immediately and add the heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble rapidly and steam.  Whisk the mixture together well over low heat, and sprinkle in the sea salt.

To make the apple filling:
While the sugar mixture is boiling, begin to work on the apple filling.  Juice the lemons into a large bowl.  Peel, core and very thinly slice the apples.  Coat the sliced apples in the lemon juice - this will prevent the apples from browning and will add flavor.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and mix together.  Sprinkle this mixture over the apples, and use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.

To assemble:
Roll your pie crusts, cut your lattice and fit the bottom crust to the pie dish.  Layer 1/3 of the apples in the bottom on the crust, and move to adjust so that there are minimal gaps.  Pour 1/3 of the caramel mixture of the apples.  Add 1/3 of the apples and another 1/3 of the caramel for the second layer, then add the third layer of apples and all but a small bit of the remaining caramel.  Note: save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top of the lattice once it's assembled.

Patiently assemble the lattice crust on top and flute the edges of the crust.  Pour the last bit of caramel on top.  Brush the crust with beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with granulated (or turbinado) sugar and sea salt.

Place pie on a baking sheet (the caramel will bubble over during baking).  Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and make 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the pie is golden brown and apples are soft.

Remove pie from the oven and cool fully.  

Customer Appreciation Dinner

Here are some other photos from the appreciation dinner:
The dinner was prepared and cooked by Courtney Robinson, Les Stoneham and Ryan Doan.  Wow it was tasty.  Here is what we had:
  • Harvest Salad (fresh greens, pork belly strips (from Gorman Heritage Farm), sage goat cheese, figs, and pumpkin seeds with a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette)
  • Blue Corn Meal Corn Bread
  • 4 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese (Court's specialty)
  • Ryan's special grilled chicken (from Gorman Heritage Farm)
  • Tons of coffee, yum
  • Jasmine iced tea
  • Blank Slate -  India Amber Ale
It was a fabulous night. Thanks to all the customers that came out to be appreciated!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Wine & Coffee Tasting - International Congress

The Wine & Coffee Tasting - International Congress at Gorman Heritage Farm on September 30th went very well.

On a beautiful fall day at Gorman Heritage Farm people from around Cincinnati came to taste delicious wine, coffee, and local food. To start the afternoon off, Matt Anthony, Slow Food Cincinnati's Board President, spoke to the crowd about what Slow Food Cincinnati is up to these days and what the Slow Food Movement is about.

Then Remo Belluci (pictured above), Terra Madre delegate from the Abruzzo region of Italy, shared with us his experience at Terra Madre and why Terra Madre and the Salone del Gusto is such an important event. In fact, it is the largest food event in the world.

Later in the evening I then shared with the group my trip to the Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre and International Congress. I also discussed Slow Food's policy document "Central Role of Food" which we will be having a world debate over while at the Congress. If you would like to see my presentation, click here. 

We showcased the following wines:

Taste the different grapes:

- Quattro Mani - Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (from the region Remo grew up)
- Benziger Family - Cabernet Sauvignon

Taste the different terriors:

- Chardonnay - Valley Vineyards, Morrow, Ohio
- Chardonnay - Henke Winery, grapes from West Field, New York, vinted and bottled in Cincinnati, Ohio

 We provided the following local foods:

- local cheese (Kenny's Farm House, Middlefield Original Cheese, Blue Jacket Dairy)
- goat cheese with GHF honey and almonds 
- homemade Lavash
- homemade miso & parsley hummus
- homemade kale chips
- creamy pesto (basil from GHF)
- spicy arugula pesto (arugula from GHF made by Alan and Grace Wight)
- herb bread (made by Alan and Grace Wight)
-  farm fresh veggies (from GHF)
- dessert tray (from Servatii's )

You can view what coffees we featured in my previous blog post. 

Special thanks to: All the people who volunteered at the event, Gorman Heritage Farm, Party Source, Valley Vineyard, Henke Winery, and Slow Food Cincinnati

Monday, September 24, 2012

Preparing for Wine and Coffee Tasting

Adam cupping some of their coffees
As it is getting closer to our Wine & Coffee Tasting - International Congress Open House, we are tasting and cupping coffees at Deeper Roots Coffee (DRC) to ensure that you will get a great variety and experience. Thanks to DRC's suggestions and willingness to help, we've figured out our coffee tasting plan:

The Taste of Guatemala
La Armonia Hermosa - Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala
Slow Food Presidia Coffee - Huehuetenango, Guatemala

The Taste of Different Coffee Processing, Ethiopia
Amaro Gayo Washed, Ethiopia
Amaro Gayo Natural, Ethiopia

You might be wondering, "What does "washed" and "natural" mean?"

Washed - A process where the coffee cherry is de-pulped
and the beans are then washed before 
                they are sun-dried.
Natural - A process where the coffee cherry is sun-dried with the pulp still on the coffee beans.

We hope to see you at the tasting. It's going to be fun!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mushroom Agnolotti with Corn and Tomato Pan Sauce

 In the midst of summer what do you have a lot of?  We have a lot of sweet corn and tomatoes so this recipe is fabulous if you have an excess of both!

Mushroom Agnolotti with Corn and Tomato Pan Sauce
(adapted from Better Homes and Garden - Sept. 2012 issue)

2 ears sweet corn on the cob (came from Gorman Heritage Farm)
18 oz. wild mushroom agnolotti or ravioli (we amazingly had one package of this in our freezer but we added another package of three cheese tortellini)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (Egyptian walking onion from our garden)
2 cloves of garlic minced (from our garden)
2-3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped (orange paste, ponderosa beefsteak, and Opalka paste from our garden)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp chives, chopped (from our garden)

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Shave corn off the ears with a serrated knife and reserve. Add the cobs (to release corn starches and add richness. Les was also making a salsa verde sauce so he boil some tomatillos in the water before I put the past in. You definitely don't need to do this!) and agnolotti to water. Boil for about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for pan sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until fragrant, about two minutes. 
  3. Add corn kernels and garlic to skillet; cook until bright and crisp and tender, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and toss until they begin to release some juices, about 2 minutes more.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup liquid. discard cobs. Add pasta back to the pot with the reserved cooking water, corn mixture, and butter. Gently toss over low heat to melt butter. (The original recipe put arugula in at this time which would be very tasty but arugula isn't in season right now - way too hot for that). Sprinkle in chopped chives and serve. 

Makes about 4 servings

Friday, August 31, 2012


Sunday September 30th: 1-3pm

Indulge your senses with an afternoon of wine and coffee tasting and good discussion. We will be featuring wines and coffees that hold true to Slow Food's values of "good, clean, and fair." Coffee will be provided by Deeper Roots Coffee, desserts provided by Servatii's Pastry Shop and light hors d'oeuvres will also be served to cleanse the palate.

During the afternoon you will hear from Slow Food Board Members with Remo Bellucci about the Slow Food Movement and his experience at the past three Terra Madres

. I will also present on my upcoming trip as one of this region's US delegates to the International Congress and Terra Madre - Salone del Gusto in Italy in October. I will not only be representing the Farm and Slow Food Cincinnati, but our entire region and country and I want to hear from you about what you think the international food community should know about Cincinnati. I hope to see you there!

Suggested Donation: $10 (all proceeds will go to fund my trip to represent Gorman Heritage Farm, Slow Food Cincinnati, and this region at the International Congress)

For more information about my trip and how to get involved please visit:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Great discussions on food brought up at Whole Foods Mason

I was given the great opportunity to talk to some great customers and employees of the Mason Whole Foods during their Wine Tasting event this past weekend about Slow Food and my trip to the International Congress. I was able to engage in some great discussions with people who are interested in Slow Food's values and our local food system.

At the wine-tasting, I was asking the question "What would you like to convey to the international food community about our local food system?"  Some of the discussions that happened through this question were:
  • The need to "Support more farmers. If they can sustain themselves we can have constant produce." What would it look like for a career as a farmer be as highly regarded as a doctor or lawyer?
  • Permaculture principles (below description is taken from wikipedia)
    • Permaculture is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering which develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.[1][2]
    • The core tenets of permaculture are:[3][4]
      • Take Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish. 
      • Take Care of the People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence. 
      • Share the Surplus: Healthy natural systems use outputs from each element to nourish others. We humans can do the same. By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.
  • Eating factory farmed meat uses up too much energy and natural resources. Should this be allowed? Is there another way to feed the world?
I'm interested in hearing from more people during my journey, and I welcome anyone who is reading this to give me your insights. Thanks to everyone who I met this weekend and please keep in touch. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Local Food Action Team Presentation

Thank you Green Umbrella Local Food Action Team for letting me present at your meeting today. It was great meeting everyone and seeing some familiar faces. It sounds like everyone is doing some really great things, and I look forward to hearing from you all. I was given the opportunity to  present about Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto and the International Congress that I was selected to be one of the US delegates for.

I asked attendees at the meeting the question, "What would you like to convey to the international food community about Cincinnati's food system?"
Here were some of the answers:

  • "Cincinnati has many opportunities for "growth" and expansion in local foods; several corporations are on-board with the movement. " - Jenny Even
  • "The need to educate children, specifically in urban areas about the importance of growing and eating healthy food. (Gabriel's Place)" - Donna Odom Lapasky
  • "Environmental sustainability in food production - ie Edible forestry and the inclusion of the arts in food production" - Melody Wolf

These are all great topics!  Please share any other topics, stories, traditions that you'd like to share.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tomato Time!

Jamie Stoneham picks her tomatoes
I'm so so excited that it is tomato time finally!  I just hate that squirrels like our tomatoes as much as we do.  Any suggestions on how to keep them from eating our tomatoes? My favorite summertime salad is definitely the Caprese Salad. Easy easy recipe!

Caprese Salad

Basil leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Slice up some basil (fresh from our garden), tomato (it was unfortunately half eaten by a squirrel. It probably should have stayed on the vine another day, but I didn't want more of it to be eaten), and fresh mozzarella (from Jungle Jim's - made in house). Then just sprinkle a little sea salt, olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar on top. Viola!  You have the best summer easy snack!

Whole Wheat Bread - one more hour of house work for Les!
 I also got the urge to bake some bread. Nothing better than fresh bed with cheese, tomatoes and basil. Yum!  This is a whole wheat bread - No Knead from Jim Lahey.  I recommend his book so much especially if you are busy and don't have time to knead. You just have to let it rise for about 18 hours.
Carrots and so much Red Russian Kale I don't know what to do with it!

We also have carrots ready and so so much kale. If you would like some kale please let me know and I'll be sure to pass it on!
Garden - June, 2012

Garden -  July 15, 2012 - I can't believe how much it has grown

Sunflowers are coming quick

Tomatoes - trying something new. Let's see how this method works.

Latte Tastiness from the Les-meister

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto and the Slow Food International Congress

I'm incredibly excited to be selected as one of the 200 US delegates to go to the International Congress and Terra Madre this year!  Whoo hoo! While I'm there I will be using this blog as a way for people in the US to see what I'm learning and experiencing. I will also be posting what people would like for me let the International food community to know about Cincinnati, it might be suggestions on how to fix the food system, food policy, traditions, stories, dreams, etc. So please let me know what you would like for me to relay about our food culture.

Here's a video that gives you a taste of what this conference is all about:

Thanks Slow Food for giving me this opportunity and all of those to helped and continue to help me get there!

To read posts specifically for Terra Madre bring your cursor to the right hand side of this webpage. It'll have a Categories section. Select Terra Madre and you will be able to see all of the posts pertaining to Terra Madre.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekend Cooking - Sole with Rhubarb sauce, Puffy pancakes with a port blueberry sauce, and grilled pork chops with homemade BBQ

This was one great weekend for cooking at the Stoneham residence. Our wonderful friend Laura Robinson of Dandelion sadly for us just moved to Boston. We will miss her tremendously! She was so sweet to allow Les and I raid her refrigerator and fridge the day before she left so she wouldn't have to throw out her condiments and frozen items.  Wow, it sure is a treat raiding a chef's kitchen! We came home with bags, and coolers, and bags of great items like: port, marsala, sherry, miso, anchovies, tomato paste, frozen basil, homemade cranberry sauce, truffle oil, nasturtium capers, bread, and the list goes on and on. Thank you, thank you Laura.

With all this great food and sadness with our friend leaving, Les and I got inspired to do some serious cooking. Les started the weekend hickory smoking some of Gorman Heritage Farm's pork spare ribs on a cast iron filled will carrots from GHF and potatoes and marinated with Laura's homemade BBQ sauce. I don't have her BBQ sauce recipe, but I'll try to get it. (that pictured to the left.)

Then, the next morning I made puffy pancakes with a port blueberry sauce, and freshly made whipped cream made with Snowville Creamery's Heavy Cream.

Port Blueberry Sauce
1 cup frozen blueberries (found in the freezer at GHF)
1/4 c Port wine (from Laura)
1/2 juice from a lemon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon (I didn't do this but after I tasted it I think this would have been a good addition)

  1. Heat saucepan on medium heat. Toss in blueberries, sugar and port wine.
  2. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add in cornstarch until evenly combined
  4. Heat for another 2 minutes.
  5. Take off heat and add in lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Puff Pancakes 
(from Best of Quick Cooking which I got from my grandma-in-law)
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place butter in a pie pan and place in a 425 degree oven for 4-5 minutes or until melted. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk. In another small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon; whisk in egg mixture until smooth. Pour into prepared pie plate. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until sides are crisp and golden brown. (I did this type of recipe again and I used a frying pan instead that has rounded sides. It worked a lot better). It'll puff really high on the edges so make sure you don't have it too close to the top of the oven. It'll fall quickly once you take it out of the oven. The next two photos are from another attempt of this at my parents house later. The filling this time was peaches and a cinnamon simple syrup with  berries adorning it. 

Then the next day for lunch we made...

Grilled sole with Rhubarb Fish Sauce 
(I got the idea for this recipe from Jason Neumann (experiential educator at Cincinnati Nature Center - I highly recommend this place!) who did a class on Rhubarb at GHF. I couldn't remember his recipe but tried to recreate it.)
1 lb of fresh sole (bought at Luken's at Findlay Market)
3 tbsp flour
pinch salt and pepper

1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb (from Gorman Heritage Farm)
2 tbsp honey (from Gorman Heritage Farm)
3 tbsp red raspberry vinegar (next time I'd try apple cider vinegar instead. It was a little too berry)
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
3/4 cup water
2 tsp flour

Mix together the flour, salt and pepper and lightly flour the sole. Heat cast iron on grill with a little oil (something that can get hot like safflower oil). Place sole in the cast iron pan. Once it starts to get slightly golden flip. Don't cook too long or it'll dry out.

Meanwhile make the rhubarb sauce. Place the vinegar, ginger, water, and honey in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Gradually add the flour to the liquid to thicken the sauce. Stir to combined. Once it is about to boil toss in chopped rhubarb. Let the rhubarb cook for about 3-5  minutes or until it's tender. smash some of the rhubarb but leave some chunks too. Then put in the lemon juice and serve over the fish. I put all of this on top of a bed of Isreali couscous. Yum yum. (I'd recommend for looks putting it on maybe a tri-color couscous because all of the colors kind of ran together. I mean remember the sense of sight determines a lot about how you taste something.)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lavender Scampi

After putting on an event at Gorman Heritage Farm like Savor the Season, what do you do the next day?  Get inspired to cook something of your own that savors the Spring season in Ohio!  Les and I went on our Sunday morning walks to Findlay Market this morning to gain some more inspiration.

Lavender Scampi with fresh homemade pasta was decided on after we indulged ourselves in pastries at Skirtz and Johnston, and Honey Lavender gelato and espresso at Dojo Gelato.

Homemade Pasta


  • 9 local eggs (from Madison's at Findlay Market)
  • 27 ounces of flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  1. Put flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle of the flour. 
  2. Crack all eggs inside of hole in flour. Slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs with your hands. This is fun. You get quick messy.
  3. Add enough olive oil to make dough firm buy pliable.
  4. Turn out dough and kneed for 5-10 minutes until the dough is shiny (not just from the oil). 
  5. Wrap up in a reusable plastic bag and set aside for at least 30 - 1 hour. (you can also let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours.)
  6. Cut into 12 pieces and roll out using a Kitchen pasta attachment. 
  7. We used only 1 piece for the following recipe. So we put the rest on a pasta dryer that Les made for me. That can be saved dried for about a month (but it's definitely better completely fresh.)

Lavender Scampi

  • 1 lb raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 lb asparagus - from Gorman Heritage Farm
  • 1/2 cup olive oil reserve 2 tbsp for pan
  • 1 tbsp capers (can sub pickled nasturtium seeds)
  • 1 tbsp ground lavender flowers - From Gorman Heritage Farm
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon and peel + juice of half another lemon for topping
  • 2 cups white wine (look for something dry and mineral tasting) - bought at Market Vines
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • salt/pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic coarsely chopped - from Madison's (our sprouted already sadly)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped - from our garden
  1. Marinate shrimp in olive oil, lavender, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and honey for 1 hour. After 1 hour drain shrimp and set aside marinade
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive in bottom of pan. Place garlic and shrimp in the pan and cook evenly for 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to keep oil in the pan.
  3. Throw in asparagus and marinade and boil. Scrape any brown bits of the pan into the sauce. Once asparagus is tender, about 5-10 minutes, toss shrimp with chopped parsley back to the pan.
  4. While preparing the scampi bring water to boil with salt (the water should be quite salty - like the Mediterranean Sea). Toss fresh pasta into the water and boil for about 4 minutes. (this will be longer if you are using dry pasta)
  5. Strain pasta and top with the scampi. Garnish with a good amount of fresh lemon juice and a spring of parsley. We also added some delicious sourdough bread.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mahi Mahi Tacos with Mango Salsa and Sweet Chili Mayo

 After a great day of going to our great local market, Findlay Market, and weeding/prepping our garden, Les and I set up to make some deliciousness. We were happily surprised to find some gems in our garden that had overwintered like a purple carrot, walking onions, cilantro, parsley galore, and a purple potato!

As we were at the market and visited Luken's, the Mahi Mahi fish filets spoke to us and screamed, "We want to be made into tasty fish tacos", and we responded with a resounding, "Yes Sir!"

 Luckily we already had most of our ingredients. We will definitely make this recipe again!

Mahi Mahi Tacos

Fish Marinade Ingredients:
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt/pepper to taste
Fish Batter Ingredients:
  • 2 filets Mahi Mahi tuna
  • 1 cup flour + 1/4 cup flour for dusting
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 cup beer (we chose a pale ale form BBC - Bluegrass Brewing Company)
 Mango Salsa Ingredients:
  • 1 mango cubbed
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped (we had tons and tons growing from last fall! Yeah for reseeding)
  • 1 lime juiced
Sweet Chili Mayo Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili paste
  • 1 tsp honey
Flour Tortilla Recipe (Look at previous post) - I luckily had some frozen left over from the last time I made tortillas
  • 1 shredded purple carrot (amazing find in our garden that overwintered)
  • pinch of baby arugula to taste (we are growing this in our windowsill. One of my favorite things to garnish almost every dish!)
  • coconut oil and vegetable oil for frying

  • Cut filets into 1 inch strips.
  • Mix together marinade ingredients and cover fish with marinade for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • Remove fish from marinade and roll in 1/4 cup flour + paprika mixture. Set aside.
  • Combine ingredients for mango salsa. Set aside.
  • Stir together ingredients for sweet chili mayo.
  • Make flour tortillas and keep them in a warm spot or wrap them in a towel.
  • Heat enough oil in pan to cover fish half way.
  • Whisk together beer batter until thick consistency.
  • Test heat of oil with a drop of batter. It should bubble right away. Dip fish into batter and place carefully in hot oil.
  • Cook until golden, flipping when necessary.
  • Drain on paper towel or screen.
  • Assemble tacos in the handmade tortilla with shredded carrots and arugula and enjoy.