Wednesday, May 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Dan Neman


They cook, you enjoy

Making arroon is a blast.

First, you make a soft dough from flour, a bit of yeast and mahleb (crushed cherry seeds), and an enormous amount of butter. You roll the dough into small balls, flatten them into hand-sized circles, and then put sweetened nuts in the middle. You then fold the dough over into a half-moon, crimp it closed, and decorate one side with a special perforating tool.

Best of all, your hands stay soft from all that butter. But it can be a time-consuming effort, particularly when you are making hundreds of them at a time.

In other words, why not let someone else do the arroon-making for you? Someone such as, say, the Ladies Benevolent Society of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral?

As it happens, the women of the society (and occasional men) have been making plenty of arroon and other foods for the church’s 67th annual Lebanese Dinner, which will be next Sunday, Oct. 28, from noon to 7 p.m.

The dinner features traditional Lebanese food, and because it is traditional it does not change much over the years. The dinner will feature stuffed grape leaves, baked kibbee, green beans and meat over rice, meat pies (sfeeha), salad, and baklawa for dessert.

Served with coffee, tea, or milk (with a cash bar available), the dinner will cost $15 for adults, $8 for children.

But wait, as they used to say on TV, there’s more.

Raw kibbee will be available a la carte for $6, with damee for $1.50. And Lebanese pastries, including those arroon, will be sold for $1.25 apiece.

The church is at 3754 Woodley Rd. For more information, call 419-475-7054 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kobe, or not Kobe?

When the culinary arts students at Monroe County Community College open up their own restaurant for the purposes of training (and also feeding the hungry throngs), they don’t mess around.

The school’s Cuisine 1300 restaurant opens for lunch this semester on Oct. 29, and the items they will offer are nothing if not ambitious. The main courses, for instance, will be salmon, chicken roulade, pork tenderloin, hamburger, chicken pot pie, grouper, and a trio of sliders.

Pedestrian? you say. Run-of-the-mill?

Ah, but the hamburger is made from Kobe beef, with bacon, house-made sauerkraut, and gruyère cheese on marble rye. The grouper is crusted with pistachios and served with orange compound butter. The sliders are Greek-style lamb, salmon, and Kobe beef on brioches.

OK, to be perfectly accurate, neither the burger nor the sliders are going to be real Kobe beef. You can’t get true Kobe beef in this country — it is available only in Japan, Macau, and Hong Kong. And if it were available here, it would cost more than $100 a pound. You’d think the good folks at the Monroe County Community College culinary arts program would know that.

At any rate, the similarly impressive appetizers include wild rice bisque, pierogi (but they’re lobster pierogi), risotto cakes, vegetable pasta, spinach dip, and house salad. Two dishes will also be prepared tableside: orecchiette pasta with buffalo chicken, and Thai salad with steak and papaya. Add an assortment of desserts and beverages, and you have yourself a meal.

Despite the ambitions, the price for entrees range from $10 to $12, and each comes with a salad and accompaniments.

The seatings are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Reservations are required at 734-384-4231 from 9 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The student-run restaurant will be open through Dec. 12.

Klopsy, or not klopsy?

Have a yen for the sour soup called kwas?

How about klopsy, which are flattened meatballs? Or the sweet and sour cabbage called kapusta slodko kwasna?

If you do, there is a good chance you’re Polish. But whatever your background, if you’re looking for some down-home Polish cooking you will find it at the Polish Dozynki Harvest Dinner on Oct. 28. Celebrating the sister-city relationship between Toledo and Poznan, Poland, the dinner will be at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University; the doors open at noon and the program begins at 1 p.m. with dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and a raffle.

The rest of the dinner will include smoked and fresh sausage (kielbasa wedzona I swieza), city chicken (nadziewany kurczak), glazed baby carrots (marchewka na slodko), mashed potatoes (ziemniaki zmiezdzone), a relish tray, rolls and butter, Polish coffee cake, dessert, and coffee and tea.

All of this for just $30, but you have to act fast — reservations must be made by tomorrow. For reservations or more information, call 419-841-2909.

The buzz

The Maumee Valley Beekeepers have been as busy as, well, you know, and last week they came together to share and sample the honeyed fruit of their labors.

The association of like-minded apiarists (annual dues: $6) came together at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg for its annual honey tasting. Some two dozen beekeepers — less than half of the association’s membership — offered up jars of their honey to be judged by the members themselves.

Between samples, the members cleansed their palates with peanuts or a bite or two of a Ritz cracker. Judging honey is serious work.

This year’s overall winner for best honey was a new member, Ed Reynolds. The sweetest honey went to Bill Buri. Richard Hafner picked up the people’s choice award, while Susan Hilton won for the best varietal honey.

Meanwhile, some people there who were thinking about starting their own hives were wondering: To bee, or not to bee?

Items for Morsels should be submitted two weeks before an event to:

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