Wednesday, 28 September 2011

An 8-month-old Blog and Birthday #23

It dawned on me as I began to write this post that this food blog turned eight months old on the 22nd, with my Bloomington post. And speaking of a turning of age, the end of my 22nd year and the start of my 23rd occurred on Monday. My sister (Toni) had made the drive from Metro Detroit to visit me in Granville and quite naturally (though this point could be argued) food became a focal point of her visit and my birthday celebration.

On Saturday, the day of Toni's visit, we had dinner at Fujiyama, a Japanese steak house in Columbus. Served hibachi-style, the meal you order is essentially prepared in front of you, along with all the tricks, bells and whistles typically reserved for the younger audience. (In reality, it's oftentimes fun for the whole table, regardless of whether or not you know those at the same table with you.) In both cases (I got chicken and Toni got hibachi steak (NY strip steak)), we found the proteins to be drier than desired, though the accompaniments certainly made up for this.

On Sunday morning, prior to watching the 3D release of The Lion King, we went to Dublin (Ohio) to find the giant dancing rabbits and the field of giant corn ears. Of interesting anthropological/historical note, a series of plaques run parallel to the Orange osage trees and provide contextual information on agricultural practice in the region (farming, hybridization, and construction), as well as on the importance of corn more generally to Ohio and early inhabitants. While in Dublin, we also swung by La Herba Buena, the only Filipino store I am aware of in the Columbus area, and picked up some ingredients for a Filipino-themed food and culture program on campus. As a bonus, I found glasses I intend to use for serving up individual desserts. Unfortunately, I learned of the news that the store would be moving (location still to be determined); if you get a chance, check out the store-restaurant before it closes this weekend.

For my last cooking experience as a 22-year-old, I made stromboli with a homemade pizza dough (about 1 tbsp fast rise yeast dissolved in 1 c warm water and 1 tsp sugar, then mixed and kneaded with about 2-2.5 c all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt, left in an oil-coated bowl to rest for a few minutes), the filling of which was about one pound ground beef cooked with seasonings and topped with slices of Swiss cheese; this is all baked in a 350 °F oven for about 25-30 min. I also half-batched my s'more brownie recipe (make sure to follow the instructions and don't take shortcuts such as melting the butter... though edible, the texture just doesn't turn out correctly if you deviate much) and layered them into the glasses I bought at the Filipino store. For more photos from Saturday, click here.

On Monday, after having had received the very unfortunate and saddening news that my favourite Granville, and previously blogged, restaurant The Short Story Brasserie closed, Toni and I went to Sunflower's Restaurant (located within the Cherry Valley Lodge) for my birthday dinner. All told, we probably could have just stayed in and cooked, but why not give local eats a chance? Well, a chance is what we gave it and I think it's safe to say we received okay food (and service). One definite positive was the fiery chicken flatbread, the "fiery" part of which especially lived up to it's name. The house made chicken sausage is definitely spicy but is counterbalanced by the sweetness from the onions and tomatoes, while the ricotta cheese melds the flavours together. Meanwhile, the flatbread itself was a nice balance between crunch and stability as a vehicle for the rest of the dish.

In addition to the flatbread, I also ordered the Maine lobster cavatapi & cheese. While the cavatapi is a great pasta for this dish, there really wasn't much it could catch which is a shame given the functional design of this particular pasta. According to the menu, the dish includes brie, fontina, and ementhaler in a rich
sherry créme and Asiago crust; the sauce was definitely there but the cheeses seemed altogether absent or perhaps even too well-mixed and melted that they could not be picked out. While the asiago crust definitely worked, the lobster itself (though plentiful for a small individual portion) was a tad overcooked. As for Toni, she ordered the chicken orzo... and I'll leave it at that.

And finally, for dessert we went to Whit's Frozen Custard here in Granville and I got my go-to favourite: the grasshopper Whitser (vanilla frozen custard and mint blended with chocolate chunks).

Ah yes, and I would like to conclude this post with all the foodie-related gifts from mia famiglia. Who would have thought I would appreciate this genre of gift-giving? :) For my birthday-related photos, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment