Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Cooking Continues (and in under 30 Minutes)

Check out the Bandersnatch the next time you're on campus during the academic year and get your own pizza bagel!
For me, one of the quintessential college dishes is the pizza bagel, and it just so happens to be a specialty at The Bandersnatch, a late night, coffee shop open mic night-esque spot on campus open from 9pm-2am Monday-Sunday. Building off of yesterday's post, I felt the need to continue to cook up the veggie burgers and use up my homemade hamburger buns before they sat around too long and needed to be thrown away. Luckily I was able to save them all, and use up quite a bit of the lettuce I also bought at the farmers market, this weekend, preparing my own version of pizza bread and spicy lettuce wraps.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Healthy Start to the Memorial Day Weekend

Did you know May is National Burger Month? With Memorial Day just around the corner, I imagine that whether or not such foodie devotion is exhibited as much as the link above, grills and pans will be cooking up a storm this weekend if they haven't already started. And while I am a self-proclaimed meat-atarian, I couldn't seem to pass up the prospect of an organic, local, and vegan veggie burger. Indeed, another gastronomic reason to celebrate is the start of the farmers market season here in Granville (which runs from May-October, with today marking the season's second week), and I definitely purchased some great finds earlier this morning to apply in the kitchen this afternoon.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

An "A" for Admissions: A Participatory Cooking Class

For at least the past week, another dinner had been occupying my mind alongside our dinner for Institutional Advancement. This time around, it was a celebratory dinner of many occasions to wrap up the academic year for the Admissions office. Sarah was kind enough to lend her home for the gathering and in working with her and Mollie, we settled on a Franco-Italian, participatory cooking experience for this evening. Steeped in a sociocultural history I'm fairly familiar with, the bowls and plates were many and held components of French and Italian culinary history that were eventually brought together with an efficient team of helpers and learners. On the proposed menu, I planned for: Prosciutto e melone with a balsamic mint reduction; Inspired salade lyonnaise; Dunderi with pesto al'Amalfitana; and Linguinetouille.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cooking with the CCCE, Cooking with Love

Towards the end of the first semester, our Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCCE) donated a dinner for the annual Denison Operating Working Staff (DOWS) auction, the proceeds of which went to help local families in need. Yesterday, the much-anticipated dinner took place and with our summer intern, Bernardo, on board, we pulled off a 5-item, 4-course menu, built around the theme of representing different forms of love: roasted green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef; chicken Marbella served over rice and with a side of green beans; brie en croûte with caramelized onions and roasted garlic, baked in puff pastry; chocolate mocha zucchini cake frosted with a homemade buttercream frosting; and whole wheat red velvet cupcakes with a homemade cream cheese frosting.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

33 Hours in Three of Indiana's Cities

With an early morning start to the weekend, I made my way to South Bend for my third graduation in three weeks. This time around, the focus was on Notre Dame's commencement exercises for the graduate programs of the colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering, and Sciences. And after two years of coursework, Lauren was up to receive her Master of Arts in Romance Languages and Literature degree; it was exciting (I'm sure there's a more justifiable word to use instead) to see her complete this part of her academic journey (the next one of which kicks off in the fall at Emory). In many respects, commencements are events that reenergise me and the work I currently do in higher ed-- I'd like to think we strive to ensure the best experiences for our students. However, as a graduate ceremony, this one was particularly interesting as it reinvigorated my own motivations for graduate study in the future. In any case, following the conferral of degrees and a light reception, I joined Lauren and her parents at Legends of Notre Dame (where we were extremely luck to find an empty table with many families on campus this weekend), before continuing my short visit to Indiana and my next stop at Valparaiso.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Graduation Season (and Seasoning Chicken Calzone)

Well, the collegiate graduation season is certainly upon us and soon, too, will high schoolers be on the move to this chapter in their lives. Last weekend (and as shall be the main focus of this post), the timing worked out perfectly for me to be able to attend my alma mater's Baccalaureate and Commencement activities, without conflicting with the Baccalaureate and Commencement activities of Denison's which took place this weekend. And already the time has brought me to gear up for my drive to Indiana next weekend for Notre Dame's graduate Commencement exercises! But until then, I will be posting like crazy (or at least aiming to) so that I can catch up on missing items that have occurred between my conference trip to New Orleans and today's graduation. [I do want to note that five concurrent posts are in the works at the time of me writing this one; unfortunately I haven't figure out how to control time to make the frequency of my posts any more logical.] Speaking of graduation, it's rather strange to think that it was only two years ago since I graduated from Albion, but who knows, perhaps another graduation ceremony or two are still in my future. In any case, before I continue, I do want to congratulate once again the class of 2012 in its entirety for successfully completing the requirements needed to graduate! And what better way (okay, I can think of a few alternatives) to celebrate than with chicken calzone?! [Extra credit for originality?]

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Dinner of Dialogue to End a Great Semester

When it comes to dining, the act of sharing in its many forms can oftentimes go unnoticed as an additional diner, an agent in the dining experience that aids in the facilitation and promotion of a memorable meal. As we wrap up a busy moment of the academic year, our Listening for a Change group made it a point to do our best in sharing what limited time we had with each other for each other. Granted not everyone could make it--but they were certainly with us in spirit--and it is in this light that I want to offer the a prompt to digest: in the dialogue of food and memory, who and what is being shared? Any time we reflect and recall, analysis thoroughly and build upon, or listen and change, we're sharing in a communal experience rooted in conversation with our self and position in relationship to others. At the risk of trying to sound too theoretical for my own good, I'll stop the analogizing there and simply present here a colourful dinner of humble ingredients and humble people that gathered around the table one last time to celebrate in dialogue of everything we've accomplished this past academic year, including getting to know more about each other as people and not simply as faculty, staff or student.