Yellow Squash Mustard Pickles

Many people, myself included fell in love with the yellow squash mustard pickles from last weekend’s Flying J dinner.  Zach and Mary Briggs are Slow Food Columbus members who lovingly made and generously donated the pickles for the event even though they weren’t able to attend the dinner themselves.

They gave me permission to share the recipe on Hungrywoolf, so for those of you who want to make some of your own to hoard for the winter or for anyone who has more squash than they can eat, here it is.

The recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com

1/4 c salt
2 1/2 lb young squash cut (they say rounds)
2 small onions sliced thin

2 1/4 c white sugar
2 c white vinegar
2 t mustard seed
1 t ground turmeric
1 t celery seed

In a large pan (one you will cook in), combine squash, onions, and salt. Mix well and let stand for 2 hours to release liquids.

When time is almost up, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery salt in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring to a boil.

Drain the salty liquid from the squash and onion mixture. Pour the spice brine over the vegetables, and let stand for 2 more hours.

Bring to a boil once again. Ladle into 1 pint sterile jars, filling with the liquid to within 1/4 inch of the top. Make sure rim is clean. Seal with lids and rings. Process for 10 minutes in a simmering water bath to seal completely.

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Filed under canning, recipes, slow food

“Shake the Hand that Feeds you”

Slow Food Columbus’ third annual open air dinner was held at the Flying J Farm near Johnstown Ohio. Our run of good luck with the weather had come to an end, but such is the risk of any outdoor event and we ploughed on regardless. Contingency plans were put into action and our smiling host farmer Dick Jensen made quick work of moving chairs and tables to the barn.

Farm to fork is one of the tenets of Skillet’s ingredient driven approach and we were honored that the Caskey family closed their restaurant for the weekend to be a part of the dinner. They not only cheerfully braved the inclement weather but pulled off cooking in three locations – at the grill, in their mobile trailer and over the campfire.

The grilled cheese sandwiches were superlative and people are still talking about them. Brioche with Lucky Penny goat’s cheese, truffle oil and lightly dressed arugula. I’m not sure you can totally relive the magic without standing in a muddy field in the rain, but I know several people who’ve gone to Skillet for lunch this week to try.

The rest of the feast was spread out in the barn: burgers made with Flying J beef and topped with Blue Jacket dairy goats cheese, Flying J brisket, home-made pickles, arugula, ratatouille, tomatoes, panzanella, cabbage slaw, tomato marmalade and ciabatta rolls.

The beans made a grand entrance, delivered straight from the fire by farmer Dick. You can’t get more farm to table than that.

Dessert was freshly churned ice cream made with Snowville Creamery cream, and hand-churned by Warren Taylor and anyone else who wanted (or was coerced) to take a turn, from age 3 upwards. The ice cream was topped with Jeni’s delicious Ohio stone fruit compote (plums, peaches, apricots, and cherries).

The dinner was a wonderful embodiment of Slow Food’s mission of conviviality, bringing people together over food. Celebrating farm fresh ingredients, our passionate chefs and farmers and sharing a wonderful meal with old and new friends. We are still a relatively young chapter but it’s wonderful that we are already building our traditions – our annual open air dinner, camping and breakfast around a campfire, and the now required pawpaw liqueur.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the event such a success: Dick Jensen – Flying J Farm, The Caskeys – Skillet Rustic. Urban.Food., Warren Taylor – Snowville Creamery, Angel King – Blue Jacket Dairy, Abbe Turner Lucky Penny Farm Creamery, Mike Laughlin Northridge Organic Farm, Colleen Braumoeller – The Greener Grocer, Jeni Britton Bauer – Jeni’s Ice CreamsVino 100Ely Brothers Photography, The Molesky Family, Zach & Mary Briggs and all of the many volunteers who mucked in and helped set up, clean up, make breakfast, move chairs and churn ice cream.

There are more photos of the event here.

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Filed under slow food, special events

Grown in Ohio Potluck

Last Sunday’s Grown in Ohio potluck for the Goodale Park Music Series was a big success. Three tables were packed with food showcasing the bounty of the Ohio harvest. From colorful beets to delicious peach desserts it was a tempting spread.

Hungrywoolf was the host blog and I wanted to focus on fruits and vegetables that were at the peak of their season. I owe a big thank you to Wayward Seed Farm for generously donating some of their wonderful produce for the event. This is especially generous given the challenging season that they and many farmers have faced this year. Wayward Seed provided the corn, zucchini, cantaloupes and peaches and I was pleased to be able to share their beautiful produce with so many people.

I used the corn and zucchini to make a big summery salad that screamed ‘grown in Ohio’ and supplemented the Wayward Seed produce with a few extra ingredients from Somerset Farm Herbs and Rhoads’ Farm (at the North Market Farmers’ Market).

The salad ingredients were:
corn (uncooked)
green beans (blanched)
sungold and cherry tomatoes
Zucchini and baby summer squash – chopped
Basil

The dressing was olive oil, more basil, chive blossom vinegar and salt.

There was so much good food to try (including salty caramel brownies, peach salsa and a gorgeous ratatouille) but my highlight was probably the peach pancake topped with fresh peaches and cooked to order under a shady tree. Thanks to Alex, Jill and Lauren for organizing the potlucks and to everyone who brought delicious food to share.

Here are some more photos from last weekend. But don’t worry if you missed last weekend’s fun, there are still two more concerts and potlucks in the series. This weekend is also the North Market Farmer’s festival so it’s another great chance to celebrate in our wonderful local produce.

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Filed under Ohio, salads, special events, Vegetarian

Goodale Park Music Series – Potluck

The Goodale Park Music Series is one of my favorite things about summer in Columbus. It’s a recipe for relaxing Sunday: great music, friends, running into people you know, sitting under a shady tree, people watching and enjoying a picnic lunch.

This summer the Goodale Park Music Series also features a community potluck. Each week is hosted by a local food blog and has a theme to reflect the music. This week the band is Columbus favorite The Spikedrivers and Hungrywoolf is the food blog sponsoring the potluck. Our theme is grown in Ohio.  It’s a perfect time for us to bask in the glory of Ohio’s bountiful harvest and to be grateful for our farmers and our gardens. I’m sure the farmers’ markets will be bursting with color and flavor over the next few days providing lots of inspiration.

I will be making some fruit and vegetable dishes with produce from Wayward Seed farm. At the moment it looks like it will be a corn and zucchini salad and a bowl of fruit salad or sliced peaches.

I hope you will be able to join us at the potluck (and if you do, please come and say hi.) Bring a dish to share, your own drinks and a plate and fork.

Potluck starts around noon. The Music starts at 12.30pm. Here is the Facebook event page.

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Filed under Columbus, Ohio, special events

Second Anniversary

This week marked hungrywoolf’s second anniversary and  as with the first anniversary, it seems an appropriate point for some reflection and thank yous. The most common reaction of people that I mentioned this milestone to was ‘really, it’s only been two years?’ and while it does seem like a lot has happened in the last two years, I did check to make sure.

The continued popularity of Taco Trucks Columbus has been a source of great pleasure. I never tire of seeing people’s reactions when they taste their first gringa, and I love that we encourage people,who otherwise would not, to try the taco trucks. I also still love finding new trucks, like Las Catrachas. As well as being successful in its own right, taco trucks columbus also spawned our new blogs alt.eats.columbus and (soon to be launched) streeteatscolumbus as well as being a huge spur to our new business – Columbus Food Adventures, which launched this month.

Alt.eats.Columbus, sprung both from our taco truck research and our desire to share great food experiences. Just as we had brought some attention to Mexican street food, we wanted to encourage people to try some of the other lesser-known ethnic cuisines and to support some of the small businesses that are turning out amazing food in the strip malls of Columbus. During the course of our alt.eats research I developed a deep affection for ethnic grocery stores with kitchens hidden behind their aisles of exotic goodies. Luc’s, Arirang, Mecca, Apna, Michoacana (Sawmill), Salam – it was amazing how many of these gems we found.

I have been thrilled with the new wave of street food in Columbus, in particular I have a soft spot Foodie Cart with their innovative Japanese Crepes and I want to commend the ECDI for their help getting many of these businesses started. With the growth in both the number and variety of street food, we felt that these mobile vendors deserved their own reference site and so we are working to put StreetEatsColumbus together.

Freed from my job I finally found time to explore more of Ohio over the last year and we have made a couple of trips each to Cleveland and Cincinnati as well as a winery tour of the Ohio River Valley and some other day trips (many involving food). I also took my first trip to Chicago, mainly for research on food tours.

This year has included many wonderful food events (some as guest and some as volunteer) and highlights of the year include our Slow Food open air dinners (Otter Creek and Girasole), Bacon camp and Asparafest at Wildgoose, Field to Table at Franklin Park, Off-the-Menu at Nida’s, the North Market Apron Gala, market to market rides, The Hill’s Market’s oscar dinner, the Veggie U fundraiser, many cooking classes at the North Market and the Night of 100o tacos.

Over the winter I was involved in several fun/interesting/crazy cooking projects including pig’s head torchons, octopus confit and making my own haggis. My favorite recipes over the last year have been: apricot and almond tart, spring quiche, David Chang’s fantastic salad, lavosh crackers, kiwi and elderflower pavlova and corn chowder.

Thank yous go to many friends (and my family) who have been willing accomplices over the last year. I am grateful to everyone who has come on trips and tours, participated in cooking experiments, offered encouragement, provided (often) crazy ideas, eaten beyond comfort, tried weird and wonderful foods, proof read, taste tested, organized amazing events and many other kindnesses. Thank you also to everyone who has read or commented on hungrywoolf, taco trucks columbus and alt.eats, linked, liked or followed me.

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Filed under blogging, special events

No Reservations Columbus

michael kimura kihachi columbus

Columbus made a brief appearance in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations ‘Heartland’ episode this evening. The fly-by visit was great exposure for two of our local talents but caused much consternation in the twitter-facebook-CU sphere, mostly due to Michael Ruhlman’s comments about Applebee’s and his apparent surprise that good food was to be found in Columbus. (he should know better, he’s from Cleveland)

mike kimura sushi columbus

The two local talents featured were Chef Michael Kimura of Kihachi, and Gary Robinette “the MacGyver of Pizza” from Clever Crow.

kihachi columbus no reservations

Kihachi, far from being in the middle of nowhere, Mr Bourdain, is found very close to 270 and Sawmill, tucked in a strip mall at Federated Boulevard. Anyone who reads alt.eats, knows that I am a fan of obscure restaurants in strip malls and Kihachi is one of many that are worth seeking out. Kihachi is one of the most authentic Japanese restaurants in Columbus. It is also one of the best restaurants in Columbus and so it was no surprise that Bourdain gushed about the food. Coincidentally I went to Kihachi for dinner later on the very same evening that Bourdain was there. You can read about that dinner, and several previous Kihachi dinners on this blog. The photos in this post are from my most recent meal there, and one that I have thus far neglected to blog about. On that visit we ordered from the menu, choosing mostly from the exceptional daily specials.

clever crow, gary robinette, circus bar, pizza

Clever Crow, working out of the kitchen at the Circus Bar, had only been open a few weeks before Bourdain’s crew came to town, but it has received accolades from day one. It’s pizza but not as you know it, so put your pizza preconceptions aside before you try it. Its distinctions include the crispy yet thick cornmeal and 200-year-old sourdough base, the housemade sausage and pepperoni, the unusual and creative flavor combinations and the sheer weight of toppings. It amazes me how the crust manages to stay crisp and firm even when loaded down with cheese and sausage. Gary places an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients and offers weekly specials such as the Greek: Mozzarella, Roasted Red Pepper, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Feta and Fresh Rosemary.

My current favorite (pictured above) is the corn pizza with lots of cheese, sweetcorn, purple (yes, purple) potatoes and caramelized onions. You can order full or half pizzas or just a slice, or you can get two different halves in the same pan, which is what we usually do. Half a pizza is really filling. The only downside of this great-artisinal-made-to-order-thick-crusted pizza, is that it isn’t quick to make. Luckily it’s located in a bar, so take some friends and plan on drinking a couple of beers while you wait. This is definitely not fast food.

clever crow, pizza, circus bar, Columbus, no reservations

Contact:

Kihachi, Federated Boulevard,  2667 Federated Boulevard, (614) 764-9040 (closed Sunday)

Clever Crow, Circus Bar, 1227 N. High Street 614.421.2998 Tue-Sat 4-10pm

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Filed under Columbus, ethnic eats, Ohio, restaurants

Announcing Columbus Food Adventures

I haven’t been posting as much on Hungrywoolf in recent weeks as I would like, but I think I have a good reason. I’ve been working towards the launch of a new venture, my new business – Columbus Food Adventures. Starting July 27th I will be offering small group food tours of Columbus. We are starting with three itineraries: a Short North walking tour, a van based taco truck tour and a van based alt.eats tour. More itineraries will be added during the course of the year and we will also be offering private group tours.

Food tours are the culmination of so many of my interests and passions – travel, food and pride in the city that I now call my home. I first had the idea to offer food tours in Columbus over a year ago, when I was trying figure out what to do next. At first I wasn’t sure that the idea was viable but over the course of the last year the signs have kept pointing in this direction. We had a staggering turn out to our taco truck tour in April; research revealed a relative lack of tour options in Columbus; and national recognition of the Columbus food scene kept growing. In addition more and more people, from friends to journalists, started asking us to take them on tours. It was clear the demand was there.

Everyone I mentioned my idea to was so enthusiastic about the possibility of food tours in Columbus that the idea gradually took on a life of its own. Before I knew it I was signing company papers and shopping for a van. It’s already been a huge learning curve, but it’s very exciting.

I have had a wonderful response and support from business owners, tourism and restaurant organizations and I am thankful for our fantastic partner businesses. I can’t wait to show them off.

I hope that you will help us to celebrate the launch of Columbus Food Adventures at the North Market ‘s Dispatch Kitchen on July 22nd 6-9pm. Please leave a comment if you plan to attend.

The website is www.columbusfoodadventures.com and you can follow us on facebook or twitter.

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Filed under alteats, Columbus, Columbus Food Adventures, ethnic eats, Taco trucks, Websites