Fall is in the air! Actually, it’s not in the air; in SW Ohio, we reached almost 90 degrees F today. I’m ready for 65 degree days, a touch of fog first thing in the morning, and temps that make you want to cook a pot of veggie soup all day long!
This is a tough month/year right now. Last September, I lost the Best Dog in World (a phrase I am now using when talking about Woody, thanks to Barbara at A Writer Afoot) . This year, we lost Patterson, the Best Cat in the World. One thing I have come to believe is that the first animal we adopted as adults is likely to carry the most meaning with it, the most emotion, the strongest bond. Why is this? I think it’s because it’s likely the first time we, as adults, accepted the responsibility to care for another living being. It’s something of a rite of passage into adulthood. So Woody was my dog; he was the dog God meant for me to have, the dog I would need when I was alone in other ways, the dog that would mean that I still wouldn’t be lonely. I think Patterson was that for my wife (but the cat, not the dog, that did all that for her).
Patterson was supposedly a Himalayan, but I’m not sure; he was pure Bacon Cat. Yeah, not a breed, but all I had to do was open a bacon package, and he was there telling me, very vocally, that he was glad I was fixing bacon for him, could I have it NOW(?). He loved bacon.
We miss him, a lot.
As a bit of a distraction from that, my wife and I are going to go out of town this coming weekend. We’re taking another trip to one of my favorite cities, Pittsburgh. This time, however, we’re staying out in Cranberry Township, but we’ll be heading into the Strip District, going to Vincent’s and the Dirty O, and maybe Primanti Brothers this time. I’ll try to get some shots of the Strip District to share; it’s a great place to go for foodies… You’ll see… No strippers at all, just shops and food!
Two things, among others, that I always look forward to in Ohio in October are apples and fall colors. We’re getting neither this year, though. A drought has been going on, and the fall color isn’t expected to be anything much at all, and an April freeze has taken out almost half of Ohio’s apple crop this year. The orchard I where I like to get my apples has zero, yeah, I said nada, apples this year. They’re bringing in foreign apples from Indiana and Michigan. (The photo of the tree was actually taken in their drive on the way out a couple of years ago).
The weekend of the 13th and 14th, however, is the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, the largest festival in Ohio. Our town of less than 2500 people (Waynesville, OH) will host well over 300,000 guests for the weekend. Last year, an estimated 342,000 people attended. We sold pulled pork sandwiches last year, but, with everything else going on right now, we’re not going to do that this year. Instead, we’ll just enjoy the weekend and the festival.
The morning of the festival, I’ll be out with some friends shooting sporting clays. Not food related, no, but a lot of fun! A friend of mine has some new Citori shotguns that need to be broken in… What a friend I am to help out, huh?
The weekend of October 19-20, the Ohio Smoked Meat Festival will take place. We’re not competing this year, but my wife and I are going to see if judges are needed. This will be in Nelsonville, OH, which is a really pretty area, so it will be nice to get away and not have the stress of competing so we can just enjoy being out talking with teams and eating good barbecue!
Then the month will close with the annual McAdams Wine Party. We have to be careful as this thing is getting out of hand, with up to 22 people coming. I’m going to fix all the food, and our theme is French wines. Each couple coming will be two bottles of French wine, one red, one white. For food, I’m going to do some steak au poivre, loaves of bread, French cheeses, something vegetarian (and French), and… pan-seared, fresh foie gras on grilled brioche! I’ll be talking more about this, of course.
I’m also going to be doing a bit of research on foie gras. For any that don’t know, foie gras is goose or duck liver (I’ll be getting duck) from birds that have enlarged livers. Animal rights
terrorists people have been going after foie gras production and serving, stating that the farming practices are inhumane. Before serving my guests, I’m going to do some research and get some viewpoints from a producer.