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Friday, August 29, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 9/18/2010

Library salutes Hispanic heritage

At a library, learning doesn’t always come from books. Sometimes it comes from food.

Saturday, the downtown branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a day of music, dance, and food.

Lina Barrera and Syndi Guerrero will demonstrate how to cook the traditional Hispanic dishes pozole (chicken, pork, and hominy soup with fresh vegetable garnishes and Mexican rice), ensalada de nopalitos (cactus-paddle salad, which is prepared like a condiment), and Mexican wedding cookies.

They will be at the Huntington Room beginning at noon. And of course, they will serve samples of everything they cook.

Admission is free. For more information, visit toledolibrary.org, or call 419-259-5207.

Pining for pie

How far would you go for a good pie? How about a great pie? How about one of the best pies in the country?

Achatz Handmade Pie Company in Armada, Mich., has just been named one of the 10 best pie companies in the United States by "Bon App tit" magazine.

The company has seven outlets in the northern suburbs of Detroit, and is planning to open a new place in Ann Arbor. Until then, the closest stores to The Blade’s readership area are in Beverly Hills, Mich., (17736 West 13 Mile Rd., 248-594-6111) and Troy, Mich. (1063 East Long Lake Rd., 248-457-1372).

Are the pies worth the trip? They offer 32 varieties, from banana cream to butterscotch, from pumpkin to pecan, from peanut butter cream to caramel nut apple. Their cherry pie and Michigan four-berry pie won top honors at the National Pie Championships.

As their name indicates, all of the pies are homemade — even the crust edges are fluted by hand. They are all natural and use local Michigan crops, including the wheat for their flour and their own blend of vegetable oils.

You can buy the pies at the stores (but be aware that the Achatz family are Seventh Day Adventists, so they are closed on Saturdays and open on Sundays) or you can order them online at achatzpies.com.

Auction time

A personally cooked traditional Lebanese dinner for eight and a mystery dinner party are going to be put on the auction block.

It is for a good cause, of course. The Save the Woods campaign is looking to purchase 20 acres of wooded land to expand Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve. The two dinners are part of a number of items — including vacations to resort towns, art works, and gift certificates — that will be auctioned off to support the campaign.

It’s all part of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Wine & Cheese Social to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Simpson Garden Park Building, at the corner of Wintergarden Road and Conneaut Avenue in Bowling Green.

The cooks for the dinner will be event chairman Larry Nader and his wife Gail, who will also be the hosts of the mystery dinner party. The menu for the Lebanese dinner will include hummus, tabouli, grape leaves, olives, feta cheese, and fava beans, with a main course of chicken in tahini sauce, kafta, rice, and a garbanzo bean salad. Dessert will be baklava.

The menu of the mystery dinner party is…a mystery.

Tickets for the wine and cheese social are $30 and may be purchased at 419-354-6297.

Soy news

Do you ever drive past field after field of soybeans and wonder where it all goes? You don’t eat any soybeans, you say — maybe just a little soy sauce at a Chinese meal now and then. But you certainly don’t know anyone who eats enough soy to explain all of those fields.

Well, think again. Soy products are found in 86 percent of all processed foods, and the average American consumes six pounds of soybean oil a year, according to Connie Cahill of the Ohio Soybean Council. Soybean oil, which is usually sold as “vegetable oil,” is the most consumed oil in the country by far.

And much of it is grown in Ohio, which has 26,000 soybean farmers.

Addressing a meeting of the Maumee Valley Chefs’ Association this week, Ms. Clark offered some good news on the health front. A new process of making soybean oil reduces the trans-fatty acids that cause so much trouble to so many peoples’ hearts.

The bad news is that there is not currently enough of this low-linolenic oil, as it is called, to be offered to consumers. So at the moment, it is only being sold to restaurants (including KFC and Taco Bell) and food companies (including Kellogg’s).

The good news is that the scientists are working on something called high-oleic oils, which will have even lower amounts of trans fats and saturated fats. Maybe someday we will even be able to buy it at the store.

Items for Morsels may be submitted two weeks in advance to food@theblade.com.



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