Category Archives: From the Earth

Greg Gapsis columns digs deep into all the wonderful food sources top area chefs use

Burgoo — A Kentucky Original

Many Derby visitors hope to dine on regional delights like country ham on beaten biscuits, Benedictine sandwiches, beef tenderloin served with Henry Bain’s sauce (if someone offers you a jar as a gift, take it with thanks and be sure to get the story behind it), and, of course, Derby Pie. If they are fortunate enough to attend an informal brunch out in the countryside, they might even be treated to burgoo. Continue reading Burgoo — A Kentucky Original

Garden of Gourds

Summer squash–zucchini and its relatives in the cucurbita family–strike me as the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables: they “don’t get no respect.” Backyard garden standards nearly as common as tomatoes, ubiquitous at farmers markets, summer squash are often the last items chosen, the go-to vegetable choice only when other options are used up, or unfamiliar.

Too often zucchini are ignored in the garden too. They’re such cute little things, as big as your finger, when they first form out of the blossom’s ovule, their showy flower still attached. Let them get a bit bigger before picking, we tell ourselves, and then a few days later, those little green fingers are the size of Fungo bats. Suddenly, the garden is awash in oversized squash, neighbors hide when you approach with more giveaways and the prospect of a dozen loaves of zucchini bread looms. Continue reading Garden of Gourds

Cooking With Ron: Bountiful Berries

To show you how old I am, I remember when fresh berries were markers of the seasons. Strawberries appeared only at the height of spring, in late May or early June, and heralded the coming of summer. Blueberries and blackberries were high summer fruit, and when they were gone, we knew fall was fast approaching.

Today, of course, fresh berries are available at the supermarket year-round, grown, when winter is upon us, in warmer climes. (Mexico is a prime producer of blackberries; California has industrialized the production of strawberries.) Continue reading Cooking With Ron: Bountiful Berries

F&D Recommends Jamaican Jerk Chicken at the Kentucky Reggae Festival (recipe included)

Certain foods bring more to the table than just their good taste. Some foods evoke a range of sensory connections that tie us to experiences and memories.

For me, when I eat the foods of the Caribbean, I see again the deep blue sky over the white sands that hug the blue-green waters, I hear the happy laughter of the people who have come to love living by that warm sea, who create rich art and music out of their long-established culture. Continue reading F&D Recommends Jamaican Jerk Chicken at the Kentucky Reggae Festival (recipe included)

Why Bison?

From ancient forests and savannahs of Kentucky comes a native food that helps define our local cuisine as naturally delicious.

There was a blip on the culinary radar a decade or so ago, when chefs became enamored of exotic meats, particularly ostrich, which was purported to be lean and crammed with protein. It tasted OK, but it was somewhat removed from its terroir, as it were. Even if the birds were raised in Southern Indiana, it didn’t feel like they belonged on our menus. Continue reading Why Bison?