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Published: Sunday, 3/11/2012

MORSELS

Get fired up about War of 1812

BY DANIEL NEMAN
BLADE FOOD EDITOR

OK, so it's probably not the first war you think of when you think of American wars. Frankly, it probably ranks just above the Spanish-American War on your list of memorable wars.

But the War of 1812 is celebrating its bicentennial this year, and one of the major battles was fought in 1813 in Perrysburg, at Fort Meigs. So it is perhaps time we gave more attention to the war, and what better way to do so than to cook as the soldiers cooked 200 years ago?

On April 14, Fort Meigs volunteers Annette and Lynn Bristol will conduct a hearth-side cooking class, complete with cast-iron skillets and pots over an open wood fire. Food just tastes better that way, doesn't it? The participants will be guided through cooking a period-appropriate dish from scratch, which everyone will then get to eat.

All the recipes will be given to the participants in the form of a cookbook.

The cost is $30, $25 for members of the Ohio Historical Society. The class is limited to 12 people, so advance registration is required by April 7. For more information, call 419-874-4121.

Old country

Polish soup, Polish cabbage, Polish noodles -- and all of it homemade, of course.

That's not a bad lunch for just $4; you just know that everyone's ribs will be heartily stuck to. Meanwhile, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to preserve the Polish library.

The specifics are these: The Toledo Polish Genealogical Society is holding a fund-raiser Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Hedwig School, 2916 Lagrange St. Used books will be sold upstairs, with lunch served in the basement downstairs, along with a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and baked goods.

National (Blank) Month

Have you been eating extra nutritiously this month?

You should, because March is National Nutrition Month. For that matter, you should be eating a lot of peanuts because it is National Peanut Month and a lot of frozen food (National Frozen Food Month), reading or writing poetry (Poetry Month), supporting the Red Cross because it is Red Cross Month or making crafts because it is also National Craft Month.

Where were we? Oh yes, National Nutrition Month. The Northwood-based tomato producer Dei Fratelli's resident chef, Otto Hirzel, developed this healthful recipe for the month -- and also last month, which was American Heart Month.

It sounds so good, we thought we would share it:

Spicy Shrimp Cocktail with Tomato and Cilantro

2 cups tomato juice

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup bottled clam juice

1/2 cup sherry wine vinegar

20 large cilantro sprigs

2 serrano chilies or jalapeno chilies, cut in half

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Lime wedges

Combine tomato juice, tomatoes, clam juice, vinegar, cilantro sprigs, chilies, and Worcestershire sauce in medium saucepan. Boil until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1⅔ cups, about 30 minutes. Strain into medium bowl.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about 4 minutes, then cool. Add green onions, 2 tablespoons cilantro, lime juice, and sugar to sauce. Garnish with lime wedges.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Source: Dei Fratelli tomatoes

The cost of business

This item is for restaurant owners and people in the food industry.

Do you waste money by underestimating the cost of your ingredients or by mishandling measuring utensils?

If so, you might want to come to the Center for Innovative Food Technology and the Agricultural Incubator Foundation north of Bowling Green Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mark Kelnhofer, president of Return on Ingredients, will be there to discuss ways to accurately determine the cost of your recipes, the best methods for designing your menus, and the daily business practices you will need to keep better track of the money coming in and going out.

The talk is open to the public; the cost is $25, or $40 for two -- cash or check only, payable at the door. Reservations are required by calling Paula Ray at 419-535-6000, ext. 117, or through email at pray@ciftinnovation.org.

The AIF can be a little tricky to find. It is at 13737 Middleton Pike, which is State Rt. 582 -- the route has an exit on I-75 about five miles north of the Bowling Green exit. The building is about 2.2 miles west of the interstate on the south side of the road. If you don't have GPS, don't feel bad if you drive past it on your first attempt. Everyone does.

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



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