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Published: 7/24/2011

MORSELS

When in doubt, throw that food out

BY DANIEL NEMAN
BLADE FOOD EDITOR

Ah, summer. The languid lounging by the pool. The briskly refreshing dip in the lake. The tortured convulsions of food poisoning.

Summer is the season of baseball, of picnics in the sun, and of food pathogens. The heat that warms and nurtures us is the same heat that causes food to go bad. Especially when there is a power outage.

The American Dietetic Association and ConAgra's Home Food Safety Program, therefore, have come up with tips for not getting sick when the power goes out.

Buried in their list is the most important tip: When in doubt, throw it out. When the power comes back on, check your refrigerator thermometer. If the temperature is 45 degrees or higher, play it safe and toss out perishables -- meat, poultry, fish, dairy, egg products, and any leftovers.

You don't have a thermometer in your refrigerator? That's another tip. Set a thermometer in the center of the middle shelf. And use it to make certain the fridge is below 40 degrees, just so you'll be ahead of the game if the power goes out. And keep your freezer at or below 0 degrees.

If you do have a power outage, do not open the refrigerator doors, unless it is necessary. If the power is out less than four hours, everything should be fine. And a full freezer will keep everything frozen for two days, if it isn't opened. A half-full freezer is good for one day.

If you do have to throw things out, make sure the refrigerator is back at 40 degrees before you restock it with perishables.

And just in case the power does go out, it's a good idea to have on hand healthy nonperishable foods, such as peanut butter, cans of beans and tuna, breads, and dried fruit.

Veggie wow

You've seen him on Top Chef. Now eat his hoisin and apple cider-marinated Duroc pork tenderloin, served with a peanut sauce.

Dave Martin, one of the most memorable chefs from the first season of Top Chef, is cooking up a big barbecue at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, on Saturday at 4 p.m. He's also throwing in a cooking demonstration as part of the bargain.

Granted, "bargain" is a relative term, especially when the event costs $70 apiece, plus tax, tip, and drinks. But then again, this barbecue is going to be expansive. Along with the pork, he will serve grilled, buttermilk-marinated free-range chicken with a roasted poblano barbecue sauce, smoky rubbed Angus Beef hanger steak with gorgonzola, and chimichurri-marinated Angus Beef skirt steak.

And those are just the entrees. We don't have the space (or the self-discipline) to list everything else that be available, but it includes all sorts of veggies, a couple of salads, some intriguing sides, and desserts of butterscotch pudding with nutmeg cashews and salted cream, and house-made creme fraiche ice cream sundaes with homemade hot fudge and caramel sauces.

For information and reservations, call 419-499-7500.

Oinkin' good time

For 17 years now they have been eating pig parts in Findlay.

The 17th annual Rib-Off on Broadway will be Aug. 5 from 5 p.m. to midnight on Broadway Street in downtown Findlay.

Eight local rib vendors (Big Moe's BBQ, Gracie's Deli, Jav's Ribs, Tavern at the Inn, Texas Roadhouse, The Whistle Stop, Waldo Pepper's, and Wally's Great American BBQ) will compete for a people's choice award and a judges' choice award. That means plenty of lip-smacking ribs to go around.

To vote for the people's choice award, you have to try the food from at least three of the competitors (the judges, of course, will be sampling them all). And if you're still hungry after all those ribs, you can always get some frankfurters from Jim's Hot Dogs or ice cream from Grandma's Homemade Ice Cream.

For those who want to tap their toes while picking bits of meat from between their teeth, music will be provided by Willful Blindness, of Findlay, and Nashville Crush, which is from Lima, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 12 years old and younger, and free for children in strollers. The event is a fund-raiser for the Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County.

For more information, visit artspartnership.com or call Amy Nostadt of the Arts Partnership at 419-422-3412 ext. 27.

Events may be submitted to Morsels up to two weeks before an event at food@theblade.com.



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