Saturday, May 26, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Dan Neman


Farewell to Ski's

Sad news today for all lovers of Polish food.

After five years of business and untold thousands of kielbasas, acres of galabki, and enough of their famous sauerkraut balls to fill the Grand Canyon (well, almost), Ski’s Restaurant is calling it quits.

If you have a hankering for one last order of noodles and cabbage, you’d better get there fast: The restaurant is closing Sunday — today — according to a notice sent to its patrons by owners Jim and Gayle Sparagowski.

But all is not lost. Gayle Sparagowski will continue to do catering. According to the notice, "To those of you who have already booked us to cater a future event, please be assured that we will honor our commitments."

As we have said in this space before, running a restaurant is a tough, tough business.

"Both of us cherish the relationships we have made over these last five years and are going to miss seeing many of you," they wrote. "We never realized that owning and operating a restaurant would bring us so close to so many people."

Juice of the grain

Virtually every culture on Earth makes and drinks beer, excepting only those that abstain from alcohol. In parts of Africa, it is made from fermented saliva. (For those reading this over breakfast: Sorry. But you have to admit it’s interesting).

On Thursday, you can learn how to make your own beer — and with perfectly reasonable, non-gross ingredients, such as water, barley, yeast, and hops.

This week, the Muskrat Mashers homebrew club will discuss the basics of making your own brew and offer encouraging advice. You can learn what equipment you need, how to choose a recipe, and how to bottle or keg your beer.

The meeting will be Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at the Harbor Inn and Ale, 13993 Laplaisance Rd., in Monroe.

Juice of the grape

If wine is more your thing, you will have plenty of opportunities to sample a large cross-section of varieties (and varietals), and you can try out a few beers as well.

The Walt Churchill Market in Monclova Township has wine tastings every Saturday from noon-5 p.m. This week, they will feature "cult classics, steady favorites, and special discounts." On Feb. 18, the wines will come from Elderton Estates in Australia and Qupe Vineyards in America. Wines from the Northern Rhone Valley will be offered for tastings on Feb. 25.

Each of these flights of tastings will cost in the neighborhood of $10-$20, depending on the wines, and individual glasses will also be available.

On Feb. 15 from 6-8:30 p.m., the market will host a special event: single-vineyard Gigondas by Chateau Saint-Cosme; the two wines to be sampled received scores of 94 and 96 from Wine Spectator. This event will cost $35 and is limited to 12 people. Advance payment is required.

For more information, call 419-794-4000.

Meanwhile, Thursday from 5-7 p.m., The Andersons in Maumee will feature tastings of a Rodney Strong Chardonnay, a Nalle Pinot Noir, a Selby Merlot, and a Hobo Cabernet Sauvignon for $1.50 or $2 a glass. And beer lovers can try the Valentine picks on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.: Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser (from Michigan), Kasteel Rouge Raspberry Lambic (from Belgium), He-Brew Pomegranate (from New York), and Buffalo Bill’s Blueberry Stout (from California). These samples range from 25-75 cents.

Do yourself a favor and skip the He-Brew.

February demos

If it is the beginning of the month (and it is, sort of), that means Williams-Sonoma is releasing its schedule of cooking demonstrations for the month.

Today and tomorrow, obviously with some football game in mind, they will be showing how to cook chili con carne. On Feb. 11 and 12, the demonstration will be about winter vegetables — how to select and prepare them. Knife skills, which are perhaps more important than you know, will be the subject of the demonstrations on Feb. 19 and 20. And on Feb. 26 and 27, you can learn how to make fresh, fast, and easy pasta dishes.

The demonstrations are at 10 a.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Mondays. They are also free and, perhaps as a result, seating is limited. The store is in the Westfield Franklin Park mall. Call 419-475-6368 for information and registration.

Roberta Acosta: Fresh Chef

The immense and hard-working staff at the Morsels column have never had a chance to see chef Roberta Acosta giving one of her monthly food demonstrations at the Fresh Market store at 3315 W. Central Ave. Maybe this will be our month.

On Saturday, Chef Acosta will be making shrimp Veracruz and a butternut squash, apple, pancetta, and sage tortellini soup. Sounds impressive.

The free demonstrations are from 1-4 p.m., and they will be repeated throughout the afternoon so you can come at any time and stay to see the whole thing.

Linck bread stuffing

And finally, Susan Meier writes to ask if anyone knows the recipe for the bread stuffing that used to be served with roast beef at the Linck Inn. Though the restaurant has been closed for years, apparently that stuffing was so good that Ms. Meier still remembers and craves it. No doubt, so do many others.

The Linck Inn was in the Commercial Building in Maumee, which is now home to the Dégagé Jazz Club and other restaurants. If you know the recipe for the bread stuffing, please send it to or call 419-724-6155.

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks before an event to

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