Thursday, May 24, 2012

When in Rome...

Although it may seem like everyone is buzzing about it lately, the World Choir Games are definitely a point of interest for me. When I was a sophomore in high school at Winton Woods, I was lucky enough to travel to China in WWHS's Varsity Ensemble to sing at a Choral Prelude to the Beijing Olympics. It was an eye-opening, life-changing experience for all 46 students that went, and I can relate to the excitement the choral students all over the world that are able to travel to Cincinnati are feeling.
Like us, many of them are going to see things they have never seen before, hear genres of music they didn't know existed, and, most importantly, taste things they have never tasted before.
Real Chinese food is not like Chinese takeout in the states. Don't get me wrong, we had some fabulous meals (I especially enjoyed the ceremonious breaking of a duck's neck next to the dinner table), but my picky-eater-high-school-self was a little tired of white rice at every meal for 10 days. Surely the visitors during the choir games will taste food that they love, hate, and will never be able to duplicate. Which do you think will be which? For me, in China, I loved the meal comprised of 12 different kinds of pot stickers and dipping sauces, hated a few mystery meats, and will never break a duck's neck at my dinner table. I have a feeling there will be a lot of hamburger-lovers, a few Skyline-haters, and hopefully a lot of defining, unique culinary experiences during the choirs' stay in Cincinnati.

Written by Emily Cooper

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Potato Salad Blues

As advertised, I'm heading the blog posts for the summer. While I do love me some good, old-fashioned South Carolina cuisine, I'm always excited to return to Cincinnati and quench my Skyline, Dojo Gelato, and Tom & Chee cravings. Beyond just the great food I can go grab in this city, I look forward to all the things I can whip up in a "big girl kitchen" (the stove in my on-campus apartment last year took literally one hour to boil water). It is torturous to be subscribed to the Food Network magazine and not be able to make anything in it for five issues. So I'm catching up. And it doesn't hurt to have parents that can deliver whatever obscure fruits and vegetables I need on demand.

When I do cook at school, I am often inspired by the one and only blog that I actually read and subscribe to: Big Girls Small Kitchen. It is made for people like me, who really, really like food but don't have the space or funds to go all out every night. The blog itself is quite user-friendly; you can find recipes by course, ingredient, season (great for shopping fresh at Findlay), dietary restriction, and about a million other filters. I found a recipe on there today that got me thinking... which brings me to the topic for the week: potato salad.

Potato salad usually is not good. You go to a summer cookout and it has been sitting on the table for like six hours and you're like, "Dang, I wonder how long mayonnaise can stay out in 85 degree weather until it becomes toxic". I attribute my instinctive avoidance of the potato salad entirely to those kinds of cookouts. But it doesn't have to be like this.

The geniuses at BGSK have created a potato salad that is... wait for it... mayonnaise-free. It is definitely something you want to add to your summer potluck repertoire. The guests will thank you. Especially if the guest is me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

A sure sign of the approach of summer is the return of college students to their nests. Relief from exams, a scurrying to pack, and prolonged goodbyes to school friends are followed by sudden readjustment to life at home with the parents. From the student's perspective, it's nice to step away from the rigors of study and the pressures of deadlines. From the parent's perspective, it's great to have a chance to see firsthand the rewards of the college investment.
We picked Kid #2 up at the University of South Carolina this week. She has completed her second year as a Gamecock and is well on her way to a degree in business. She has jumped into college with both feet, and just trying to keep track of her extracurricular activities exhausts me. She is overflowing with new ideas and youthful enthusiasm, and we're planning to take advantage of her energy this summer. For the next three months, she'll be sharing some of my marketing and communications duties here at Daisy Mae's. Hopefully, she'll learn a few things that will benefit her as she continues her career path. More importantly, we look forward to engaging in some new processes and hearing her creative suggestions. Working alongside your parents may be a challenge, but it should prove worth it for everyone. After all, what fresh produce merchant wouldn't want some fresh ideas from time to time?