Archive for May, 2009

Bodega, I Owe You A Beer List

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I stopped into a bar called Bodega tonight on N High Street in Columbus, OH, and the beer list was tremendous with more than 50 on tap. Even better, all drafts are half-priced between 4 and 8 pm, so my Stone Ruination IPA (a great beer, available in bottles at Hough’s in Pittsburgh) only cost me $2.75.

There were others I wanyed to sample, of course, such as the BORIS the crusher imperial stout from hoppin frog brewery in Akron, but with only one tv in the joint and a Cavs game conflicting, there weren’t no way I was getting the Pens game on the wall, so I vacated for other environs.

But, I must confess to snatching a beer list for my reference. As a note included in the menu explains, the list is obsolete by the time it appears because they swap out their kegs with such frequency. All the same, though, I took the plastic case it goes in and I feel sorta bad about that. BuÞ I tipped the waitress well and hopefully I’ll be sending a little more business your way.

!odega is located at 1044 N High Street in Columbus and you should check it out if life guides you toward that city for a day or three.

Free Food (and Exercise) at FPLBC

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Not too many people realize that the Frick Park Lawn Bowls Club exists (for those of you who don’t know, the club is located in the 7300 block of Reynolds Street, off of Penn Avenue in Point Breeze).  And of the people who do know of the club’s existence, only a small fraction take advantage of it.  The club is trying to change that.

That’s why they’re bribing you with free food to go out and bowl a few ends.  On Saturday, May 23, from 1 - 4 pm, the club will host an open house.  The day will feature lessons, games, a raffle for door prizes, and a light buffet.  “We ask people to come in and bowl with us all the time,” shrugs past FPLBC president Hank Luba as he laughs.  “We’re hoping that if we say there’s free food, it might bring a few more people in the gates.”

The buffet will feature fresh fruit, artisan cheeses, locally-baked breads, Enrico’s biscotti, iced La Prima coffee, and more.  The raffle will feature a $25 gift certificate to Parma Sausage as one of the prizes.

All the club is asking is that you give bowling a chance.  “It’s a fun way to get outside,” says Luba.  “We’ve found that most people who try the game really enjoy it.  We just want more people to give it a shot.”  Those who enjoy the game are invited to return—hopefully as members.  “We’d love for even ten more people to join the club–but we’d love for it to be fifty!” grins Hank.

In order to help plan enough food for all who show up, please RSVP by email to Hank Luba if you plan to attend.

Full disclosure: I’m an active member of the Lawn Bowling club and I’m helping to plan the event.

Mongoose Meat?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I’m looking for mongoose cooking recipies, & cooking history, please let me know if you can find anything.

—Cobra’s Revenge

Dear Cobra Commander:

After a brief bit of research, I can understand why you’d want revenge on a mongoose.  Most of the references I’ve been able to find to the species is in terms of their skill at fighting cobras (e.g. Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi).

In terms of eating Mongeese, though, it was tough to find reliable sources.  As Mongeese live throughout Africa and Asia, I checked all cookbooks I could find that describe cuisine from those continents, and found zero reference to Mongoosophagy. The internets provided little additional information.  The first reference I came across to butchering/ eating mongoose was guidelines for some sort of a role-playing game; hence, I’m hesitant to describe it as a credible resource.

After a bit more digging, though, I came across a reference from the scholarly journal Mammalia.  In #73, published March 2009, there is an article titled “Mongoose species in southern Benin: Preliminary ecological survey and local community perceptions.” Among the more interesting purposes the article describes mongooses being used for is “the marsh mongoose… whose head [8% of interviewees recognized as being] used to consult the oracle.”

As far as food purposes go, 60% of interviewees recognized the mongoose as being edible, with some species “considered food delicacies because of their rarity,” though it is worth noting that “11% of interviewees did not appreciate the mongoose meat because of its unpleasant musky odor coming from their scent glands.”

Therefore, should you trap a mongoose and butcher it for meat purposes, I would recommend that you identify and remove said scent glands as quickly as possible upon dispensing with the animal so as to reduce their influence on the character of the meat.  From there, unfortunately, you are on your own as the article provided no culinary guidance in terms of whether the Beninese tend to roast or stew their mongoose.

I figure the safest bet would be to stew all but the tenderloins: it is safe to assume that the tenderloins will respond well to roasting as they are little-used muscles.  Otherwise, though, a meat that can be roasted will come out fine when braised, but a meat that should only be braised would be destroyed by the roasting process.

Hope this helps.  if you actually eat a mongoose, please write up the experience for me and i’d be glad to post it as a guest post on this site.

Maple Mint Julep

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

There’s no reason to limit your mint julep consumption to the first Saturday in May.  This drink is tasty no matter whether or not there’s an equestrian footrace afoot.  I’ve discovered a very simple variation on the drink that makes it even better than it was before: replace the simple syrup in a mint julep with pure maple syrup.  MMMM, MMMM!  Tasty.  I encourage all responsible adults over the age of 21 who enjoy whiskey to give it a try.

As a reference for all who don’t have the julep recipe memorized:

* 6-8 mint leaves
* 1 tablespoon cold water
* 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
* 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon (which should exclude Jim Beam from the possibilities; I recommend Eagle Rare, Knob Creek, or Maker’s Mark)
* ice

Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass.  Add the water and maple syrup and stir well.  Add the bourbon and top with ice.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint if desired.