One of the traditions of winter in northwest Ohio is the annual wild game dinners that some organizations hold. Some events are for members only, while others open their doors to the public. At the same time, keep your eyes open on restaurant menus for a game dish or two.
Much of the game is donated by hunters, reports Commander Larry Etts. Members who are hunters do the cooking. "You can sample everything," he says. "We try to get all the game we can get. It's a smorgasbord of wild game." For tickets, call the VFW at 419-666-7762.
The chef gets his elk supply from J.T. O'Neil's elk farm in Delta. It's also the source for elk steaks sold by Sautter's Market in Sylvania, which takes special orders; call 419-882-5622.
A six-course winter wine dinner featuring Perigord black truffles will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Hathaway House, 424 West Adrian St. in Blissfield. Black truffles grow in southwest France, underground as a tuber, according to chef Timothy Coonan.
The menu begins with an omelette truffle; warm salad with celery root, porcini mushrooms, and walnut-black truffle vinaigrette; wild salmon-filled savoy cabbage with white bordelaise sauce; taliatelle or wide ribbon pasta with black truffles; roasted chicken with black truffles, and black walnut cake with homemade black truffle gelato.
Cost is $75 per person. Call 517-486-2141 for reservations.
For cold winter mornings, get creative with toppings for toast, bagels, or English muffins.
Make Cinnamon Sugar Butter by combining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Or try the following Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter, in which 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated or dried nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine butter with pumpkin, sugar, and spices and mix well. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Yield: 9 tablespoons