This column was on vacation last week when this item came in (we had a lovely time, thank you so much for asking), so we couldn't pass it along to you until now. What we are trying to say is, it's quite late for the information. But it's not too late, as long as you are reading this in the morning.
Randall Grahm, the owner and winemaker of Bonny Doon vineyard, will be in Toledo today for two big events. Mr. Grahm is in the Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame for his skill and innovation as a vintner, but he is also known for being a real character, even in the character-rich environment of the California wine world. He calls himself his vineyard's founder and president-for-life.
From noon to 3 p.m. today, he will be pouring and discussing some of his wines at the Walt Churchill's Market at 3320 Briarfield Blvd. Each sample will be individually priced.
Then at 6 p.m. today, he will swing by the still relatively new Registry Bistro restaurant at 144 N. Superior St. for the bistro's first winemaker dinner. Chef-owner Erika Rapp will make food to pair specifically with certain Bonny Doon wines. The cost is $60, plus tax and tip. For reservations, call 419-725-0444.
A little more about Bonny Doon: Its flagship wine, Le Cigare Volant, is now getting ready for its 25th bottling, so the vines are fairly mature (the Santa Cruz, Calif., vineyard was founded in 1979). The winery was among the first, if not the first, to grow Rhone varietals in this country. It is organic and biodynamic, and was one of the first to use materials other than cork to close their bottles.
If you do go to see Mr. Grahm, be prepared to hear the word "Doon" used in every possible pun, and some that aren't possible.
In the pink
Tired of wearing pink ribbons to show your support for breast-cancer awareness? Now you can actually do something about it -- breast-cancer awareness, we mean, not being tired of wearing the ribbons.
Breast-cancer survivor Kelli Andres and a friend came up with a clever way to raise money for her Race for the Cure team: with pink baked goods. They call it Confections for the Cure, and it isn't, as you might think, a bake sale. Rather, it is more of a bake-off.
Amateur bakers and other amateur dessert-makers make any kind of dessert they want to, as long as it has some element of the color pink in it. Then, they pay a $10 donation for their creations to be to be considered for a prize. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Tastiest Treat, Most Creative Use of Pink, and a People's Choice Award, which will be determined by people, yes, donating money for their favorite dessert.
The event will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Toledo Elks Lodge, 3520 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd.
Be sure to come hungry. Last year's entrants included pink-ribbon cookies, pink ice cream cake, pink cheesecake, and more, including a pink cookie pizza.
Every month, every single month (more or less), we have been writing about chef Roberta Acosta's cooking demonstrations at the Fresh Market, 3315 W. Central Ave. Last month, we happened to be in the store when she was giving a demonstration, so we took the opportunity to introduce ourselves to her. We told her that we were a column that announced her cooking demonstrations every single month.
"Oh, really?" she said. "I don't know anything about that."
Dissed. Dejected. Depressed. Is it possible for a column to have its feelings hurt? We left the store crying tears of ink and random letters.
Anyway, she is back again this week, cooking up a storm and breaking the hearts of columns everywhere (that means you, Dave Hackenberg's column). From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, she will be showing how to cook Pan-Seared Chicken with Mole-Style Sauce, which actually sounds pretty good. Drop in anytime; the demonstrations are ongoing.
There is a new wine shop in town, and it wants to make its mark right away. The Middle Grounds Market in the Oliver House, 27 Broadway St., is having its first winemaker wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Elizabeth Clark of Airlie Winery in Oregon is the featured vintner. She will be autographing bottles (always good for a Christmas present) while she pours wines.
The cost is $15, which includes appetizers.
Meanwhile, the Beer and Wine Cave continues its weekly beer and wine tastings this month (there is actually a connection of sorts between the two stores, but maybe it is best not to delve into it). Every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., the store offers six beers or six wines to try.
This Wednesday, the beers will all be from Ohio while the wines all come from Bordeaux. On Aug. 15, the beer will be from the Epic Brewery in Salt Lake City, while the wines come from Tortoise Creek Wines in California and the Languedoc district of France.
On Aug. 22, the wines will all be made in America but inspired by Belgian brews, and the wines will all be blends. The beers of Aug. 29 will be what the store calls "strange brews" (is anyone else singing the Cream song right now?) and the wines will be from Washington State.
The beer tastings are all $10, the wine tastings go for $15.
Wedding cake blues
According to Toledo: A History in Architecture: 1914 to Century's End by William D. Speck, Brauer's Deli "was well known for its corned beef, matzo [ball] soup, and cinnamon rolls."
At least to Jane Weiss, it was also known for its chocolate cake with slivered almonds on top -- that was her wedding cake. Now she is looking to make it again, and she wonders if any readers have the actual Brauer's recipe.
If you do, send it to the email address below. We'll print it, and Ms. Weiss, presumably, will be eternally grateful.
Items for Morsels should be submitted two weeks in advance of an event to firstname.lastname@example.org.