I went to two events at Hills Market this weekend. Saturday was Market Day and a chance to meet some of their local suppliers. These were mostly from Ohio although I did notice a few from neighboring states. Quite a few of my favorite local food producers were there including Blue Jacket Dairy, Snowville Creamery and Pistacia Vera.
We bought some of Willy’s famous salsa, which is from Bowling Green Ohio, and I won a gift basket of Buckeye Mustard and wing sauce in the prize drawing. One of the other things I tried that was really good was a lemon basil gelato from Madisono’s in Cincinnati. I would have bought some had I been going straight home.
There were lots of samples, free hot dogs and some demonstrations. I was sad to miss Jen from Snowville Creamery demonstrating how to make homemade ricotta.
Sunday was another Restaurant Widow Sunday Supper, her first one at The Hills. I have been to a couple of other events at Hills and am getting used to sitting down to dinner while shoppers can be seen perusing vegetables in the background. At first I found it unnerving to eat dinner in a grocery store aisle (they set up a long table in the wine section) but now I find it quirky and amusing.
I always enjoy Lisa’s dinners and last night was no exception. It was a beautiful spring evening and it was lovely to be able to have drinks on the patio. Lisa whetted our appetites with some puff pastry squares topped with either tapenade, pesto or olives. This was accompanied by a couple of glasses of a very pleasant Cava. Sadly I don’t recall what it was.
The first course was a parmesan and duck soup with mushrooms and ohio snow peas. It was well matched by an Barbadillo Amontillado sherry. The Splendid Table (on NPR) had a feature on snow peas and sugar snap peas the previous day, so it was fun to see how Lisa used them in the soup. The soup also had Lebanese couscous. I fell in love with the baby mushrooms (and yes – I know you shouldn’t play with your food).
The second course was a beautiful plates of beet carpaccio with Blue Jacket Dairy Silver Lake goat cheese and walnuts. I am a sucker for beets and the carpaccio was a mixture of golden, candy stripe and red varieties. This was served with a white wine the details of which escape me except that I think it came from the Alps – which country I have no idea.
The main course was leg of lamb roasted with garlic and served with pan gravy, roasted potatoes and asparagus. Lisa apologized for over cooking the lamb. The main course was served family style which seemed a convivial idea until the potatoes almost ran out! The wine pairing was Luzon Verde, an organic red that I think I have bought at Wholefoods in the past and was better than I remembered.
Next was a plates of Ohio Cheeses served with Lisa’s fabulous homemade cherry jelly and interestingly paired with a Brachetto di Acqui, a fruity sparkling red, which luckily is only 5% because it tastes like a delicious soda. Not much comment on the cheese as there wasn’t much left by the time it reached me and nothing new or very exciting (Blue Jacket Curds, a bland unnamed farmhouse cheese and two Goudas).
Incase we hadn’t consumed enough food, there was a choice of cherry or strawberry rhubarb pie and some Pistacia Vera Macarons for dessert.
One of the highlights was the goodie bag with some palm sugar and three different colorful salts to try: Himalayan (pink), Alder smoked (brown) and Hawaiian (red). Lisa is a salt fiend and she is doing a salt tasting at a Wild Goose Creative Too Many Cooks and I am looking forward to learning more about them and experimenting with the samples.
It was also fun to see some friends and acquaintances and as always to meet some fellow food enthusiasts.