Friday, June 22, 2018

Queen City Gems, Vol. 8: Your Weekend 'Foodie' Guide

The weather has cooled for now, and it's a good time to be in Springfield, Missouri. Here are a few things happening in my hometown that I'm digging right now.

1. Foodie Weekend Starts Tomorrow in the 417
If you're at all into food or drinks (I assume that's everyone), there's an event for you this weekend in Springfield. I'm most excited about Taste of SoMo, happening downtown on the square. Admission to this event is free, plus food sampling tickets are only $10 for 10! If you attend, make sure to stop by the local chef's panel at 2 p.m. inside the Queen City Wine Dive. I'll be moderating it, and I'm so excited to hear from some top chefs in our area! Taste of SoMo runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and there's more information about it here.

2. The Coffee Ethic's 'Cold Brew 101', and More
Here are the events for beverage enthusiasts, and a fun fact about this very blog you're reading. Home-brewed iced coffee was one of my very first blog posts waaaay back in October of 2013. Awww! That being said, I am a big fan of cold brew, and a big advocate for not putting ice in hot coffee and calling it "iced coffee". I'm sorry if that makes me coffee snobby! Anyway, if you've never tried making home-brewed iced coffee, or if you want to bump up your cold brew skills a notch, The Coffee Ethic is hosting a 'Cold Brew 101' class tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. It's a come and go event, so swing by, learn something, and then go forth and make better coffee. For the beer people, White River Brewing Co. is hosting Summer Fest 2018 tomorrow evening on C-Street, complete with chalk muralists, an appearance by 5 Pound Apparel, and more. Finally, if you're into Mexican food and rosé, Cherry Picker is hosting its 2nd annual Rosé Day on Sunday, with tacos and tamales from Tortilleria Perches, over 20 rosés from all over the world and two live bands. 

I'd typically include something else from another category at this point, but what can I say? It's a good weekend to eat in the Ozarks.

Know of something I should include in a Queen City Gems post? Email me, or message me on Instagram!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice Musings

It's here, people, the longest day of the year. There's a scientific explanation for how it all happens, but there's nothing calculable about the way it makes me feel. For all intents and purposes, today is the same as tomorrow — but today, we get three more seconds of sunlight than any other day of the year. It happens annually, like the clockwork of the sky, a giant sundial to remind us what season we're in and which is coming next.

When I was young, maybe 8 or 10 or so, my parents went on a trip, and I was staying with some family friends on the summer solstice. I must have mentioned a few times that it was the longest day of the year. They teased me, saying, "You don't want to spend this lengthy day with us? You'd rather be somewhere else, like CiCi's Pizza or Silver Dollar City?", but it wasn't about where else I wanted to be. I just wanted to make sure to soak up every minute of that day.

Maybe it's because I thrive in natural light, but I crave this day year-round. Yet when it arrives, the summer solstice gives me mixed feelings; it even did back then. It's one part bliss because my favorite season has officially arrived, complete with dripping, sticky popsicles and a nap on a warm towel after an hour in the pool. At the same time, it's one part bellyaches, knowing tomorrow won't be as long as today. It can't; the sun won't let it. In some ways, it reminds me to live in the moment. I can spend my whole year waiting for June 21, but 24 hours later, it will be June 22.

There's nothing I can do to make the summer solstice shorter. There's nothing I can do to make the winter solstice longer. All any of us can do, really, is sit back, smile, and be thankful for the sunshine we are allotted today. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How to Quick Pickle Radishes

Radishes aren’t my favorite veggie in the world, but they’re in season and I’m trying my best to incorporate more of them into my diet! On the other hand, I love pickles, pickle juice, Tommy Pickles and anything else that is in any way related to the juicy snack. I was talking to a chef friend of mine about pickling my radishes (hi, Daniel!), and he suggested I do a “quick pickle”. What comes next is my recipe, not his, because I assure you his would be more exotic and probably contain some crazy ingredient I’ve never heard of (but of course tastes delectable).

Pickled radishes are having a moment in the food scene right now, so if you haven't tried making them yet, now is a great time! I've had them recently in ramen bowls and on street tacos, but they can add an unexpected kick to many recipes if you're creative in the kitchen. Photos below and recipe at the bottom! xo.

- 1/2 lb radishes
- 8 oz. mason jar
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs salt

Start with one bunch of radishes (about half a pound) and thinly slice them. Place radishes in mason jar. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well and pour mixture over radishes — you may have a little more pickling juice than fits in the jar, and that's ok! Store in the fridge for 24 hours, and you're good to go. If you sneak a few before the 24 hours, I won't tell. 😉

This is a pretty basic pickling recipe, so you can use it with cucumbers, onions, carrots, or any veggie, really! For a more unexpected flavor, you can add ingredients like peppercorn, dill, etc. What would you add? Let me know!