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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Try some scary foods this Friday

Friday the 13 is a day full of terror, suspense and bloodshed. At least that’s what the slasher film industry wants us to believe. 

If you really want to add fright to this Friday night, before settling into a movie with Jason and Freddy, spook a loved one with dinner of liver, roasted potatoes with marrow-naise and brussels sprouts. Overcoming a little food fear will not only make us braver eaters, but also, as Fergus Henderson explains in his book “The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating,” help us appreciate “a set of delights, textural and flavorsome, which lie beyond the fillet.” 

Cooking from an entire animal was nothing new to many people 50 years ago, but in our mass-produced society where meat remains faceless – to the point that beef, pork and chicken cuts all look the same in their Styrofoam plate wrapped in clear plastic – the idea of eating undesirable parts is not culturally encouraged. However, it’s more popular worldwide than people suspect.

Before I tried my first sweetbread (the thalamus gland of a calf), I had to overcome cold sweats and quite a few nerves. I internally debated between leaving the restaurant or swallowing the dish whole to get it over with. I felt panicked, stuck in a horror movie with crappy music that was either going to give me a moment of relief or kill me off as the stupid girl who ate something crazy. Being that I never turn down an adventure, I sliced a sliver from the chicken-nugget-looking protein, gave it a slow chew, thought it out and tucked in for more. It was silky in texture, savory-sweet in flavor and made with red wine. From that moment I’ve been a fan of offal, the cuts of meat that don’t usually show up at the grocery store.

If you’re not ready to dive into sweetbreads, beef tongue, headcheese or lamb heart, fear not. Consider merging the unknown with the known. Chef Michael Symon on chew.com has a great recipe for homemade mayo that incorporates the marrow from roasted beef bones. With oven-baked fries, it’s totally tasty. If the sight of bones on your dinner table doesn’t creep you out, try Fergus Henderson’s Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad, which can be found on bonappetit.com. In Henderson’s recipe the marrow functions as a creamy butter that when paired with the acidity of lemon, tartness of capers and brightness of parsley makes eating marrow the most natural thing in the world. Marrow bones can be found easily at Belleville Brothers Meat Market in downtown Bowling Green, and they are super cheap to buy. As is beef liver, which is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B and iron. Of course, that’s the next level, if you’re up for it.

For another challenge in turning-something-awful-into-something-awesome, try brussels sprouts. They are probably the most hated vegetable of them all, but with a little bit of bacon, lemon juice and salt, there’s no reason to be scared of these baby cabbages. Remove their stems, slice brussels spouts in half, peel away the outer-most leaves and then set aside. Get an oven-safe pan hot over medium heat, add bacon, cook until done, then remove bacon from the pan and drain it on a paper-towel lined plate. Add brussels sprouts, sliced-side-down, to the same pan and sear over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes until they start to brown. Add a sprinkle of salt and toss the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, giving the sprouts a little mix-up at the halfway point. When finished, add bacon pieces and a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice. (Vegetarians and vegans can substitute the bacon with EVOO and little bit of red chili flakes when seasoning.) The brussels sprouts should be slightly soft and crunchy, sweet and bitter – nothing like the mushy boiled ones that often prompt gag reflexes.

I can’t think of a better meal to pair with horror movies, especially on Friday the 13, than a little bit of awfully good offal and a so-good-it-should-be-feared vegetable.

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