When I was in grad school at OSU, my friends and I agreed to go out at the end of each semester to celebrate surviving. And with statistics classes that led me to crying in the middle of a lecture – literally – survival wasn’t necessarily a given. At the end of our first semester, we went out to Rigsbys Kitchen in the Short North. It was absolutely amazing, and I think only 30% of that deliciousness can be accounted for by the fact that we had no papers to write for the next few weeks. Anyway, as a gluten free diner, I didn’t have the entire menu at my disposal. What I did have, however, was an amazing mushroom risotto. I’d had versions of mushroom risotto many times before but this one was different: it was a marsala mushroom risotto.
When I was in the fourth grade, I went on a trip to New Orleans. At nine years old, I really didn’t understand much of the allure of the city, but there was one thing I knew without a doubt: I was obsessed with the food. We ate beignets at Cafe du Monde, and crawfish etouffee at some little restaurant off of some little street. We went on a tour where they took us to a bakery for pralines. Everything was so flavorful and tasty, and as a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
So, we have reached the letter W in cooking around the world. Did you know that there are no countries that begin with W? When I first started this project, I didn’t. Anyway, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I could do Wales as a few people had suggested, but we just had the United Kingdom a few weeks ago. Or I could skip it, but that seemed sad. Nope, I decided to make W a wild card. We’d select whatever country we wanted! I left it up to Brendan to pick, and he settled on China. So, authentic Chinese food it was!
Cooking Around the World is officially winding down. We only have four countries left!! I have to say, though, we were absolutely thrilled with Venezuela. I hadn’t had a country from the Americas since Ecuador, and while I’d been enjoying my string of Middle Eastern cuisine, it was nice to have something completely different.
In honor of Groundhog Day, I thought I would post a nice spring-inspired recipe. Then that blasted little rodent predicted six more weeks of winter. You know what? Forget him. I’m ready for spring, and spring flavors, and I’ll start embracing that no matter what anybody has to say.
Have you guys seen The Lego Movie? If not, you need to change that. It’s fantastic. My mom and I were at Target looking to get it for my husband and brother-in-law-to-be. We found the Special Edition Blu-Ray on sale cheaper than the plain old DVD, and my mom exclaimed “The boys are going to love this!” The woman standing next to us smiled, and asked “Aw, how old are your sons?” “Twenty five,” my mom responded nonchalantly. The woman gave us a sort of sideways look, muttered something about that being nice and walked away.
“Where shall we have lunch?”
“I’m a tourist here. It’s your call.”
“You like horses?”
“I had something a little less gamey in mind…”
I’m currently obsessed with catching up on Royal Pains on Netflix. But when I pulled Kyrgyzstan for the letter K, I felt a bit like Evan in “A Man Called Grandpa.” Because, apparently, horse meat is a protein of choice in this former Soviet state. After some research, though, I was able to find some exceptions. I’m still not sure how authentic it is, but chicken was definitely more on my playing field. Not that I’m not adventurous, but even I have my limits.