Friday, May 29, 2015

Hot Off The Press: Carol & John's Comic Book Shop Raffles Autographed Copy of Chuck Palahniuk's 'Fight Club'

David Mack's cover of Fight Club 2, Issue One
Tyler Durden lives! The antagonist of the cult phenomenon Fight Club makes a return this month in the first of an eight-part miniseries written by Chuck Palahniuk. As part of a promotion for Fight Club 2, Issue One ($3.99), Carol & John's Comic Book Shop is throwing a contest that runs until end-of-day Sunday, May 31 — for every copy purchased of the new issue, guests will receive a raffle ticket toward winning an autographed, leather-bound, limited edition printing of the original Fight Club.

Dudas met Palahniuk last year in Portland, Oregon during an annual ComicsPRO meeting where he announced that the first 150 people who contacted him regarding the release of Fight Club 2, Issue One, would receive a copy of the book with a personal signature. When Palahniuk reached out to Dudas a couple of months later and asked who he should make the autograph for, Dudas suggested making it out to Cleveland.

Palahniuk's signed copy of Fight Club is addressed to Cleveland — ''Where Comics are Alive and Thriving!'
Dudas also received three decapitated arms signed by Palahniuk as backup prizes for the raffle. "He kind of knows when to push the envelope," says Dudas.

Set 10 years after the original book ended, Fight Club 2, Issue One, picks up with the narrator who's heavily medicated and living a mundane life as he's now married to Marla – the mother of his child and former unstrung bombshell from the original story. But when Marla messes with his medication, things begin to unravel. "Reading the comic will take you back to the first movie, and it'll make you rethink your perception of the film," says Dudas.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Photo courtesy Ann's Raspberry Farm in Fredericktown

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association kicks off its 35th annual statewide public tour and workshop series starting June 3. We caught up with communications coordinator Lauren Ketcham about the series, why the OEFFA cares and why you ought to as well.

Q: I'm not a farmer. Am I still invited on these tours?
A: It's a unique opportunity for growers to go out to the farm, learn about sustainable agriculture, pick up production and marketing tips, ask questions of a fellow grower so they can improve their own farms and businesses. But just as importantly, the tours are geared toward nongrowers, folks that just want to strengthen their knowledge about local foods and how food gets from the field to the dinner table. [OEFFA] members are farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, consumers. So part of our mission is bringing those groups together.

Q: What can I expect to see?
A: We really try to make sure that we’re offering diversity in our farm tour series, both in terms of geographic location so that we’re offering something for everybody around the state and in terms of what you’d see on the farm tours so that the diversity of Ohio agriculture is represented: There are livestock farms, there are grain farms, dairy operations, fruit and vegetable production, so that the whole gamut is covered.

Q: I keep hearing this word "sustainable." What does it really mean?
A: Unlike organic, which is a highly defined term and regulated by the national organic program, so it means very specific things, there are a lot of other terms like sustainable, ecological, natural, that are used and are not as firmly defined. When people talk about sustainable agriculture, they’re meaning an emphasis on soil health, so really building up the soil through the use of cover crops and crop rotation. Typically it means people aren’t using chemical-intensive agriculture, so they’re not using hazardous synthetic pesticides, herbicides.

Q: I like to shop at farm stands and farmers markets. Any advice for choosing sustainable foods?
A: I think one good question right off the bat to ask is, 'Did you grow this?' Some farmers markets are producer-only markets, where farmers can’t sell products that they didn’t personally grow. But other farmers markets – West Side Market is an example of this – that is not the case. Somebody can go to an auction or purchase crops wholesale, take those to market, mark those up and resell them. So I think that’s an important distinction for consumers to understand. Am I getting produce that is being resold from a wholesaler, in which case they may not be able to tell you much about the story behind that food? Whereas if you’re talking with the farmer who grew the food, harvested it the day before, brought it to market, they can tell you a whole lot about the story of that food and how they made it to market. It’s not always obvious to a person looking at a farm stand which one they’re looking at.

Q: There's a series in the schedule specifically geared toward women. Why?

A: This is the first year that I know of that we’re offering this specifically in the tour series, these Women Grow Ohio tours. It’s going to featured 17 different women-operated farms, gardens and homesteads in Athens, Fairfield, Franklin, Lorain, Muskingum and Perry counties. This came about at the request of our members. We’re a grassroots organization. We respond to the needs of our members, and we’re happy and excited to include it in the tour series. The goal is that we’re going to be able to showcase how women are transforming agriculture in Ohio and what issues women farmers are facing, showcasing some of the work that they’re doing and their role on the farm. The one that’s going to be taking place in Lorain County is going to be at Aggie’s Rest Farm, and the farmer there is named Cheryl Billman. This is a homestead that has been in their family since the 1940s, and they’re emphasis is on permaculture and on energy efficiency and renewable energy with the goal of being as off the grid and petroleum free as they can.

Want to learn more? Check out the Farm Tour 2015 Schedule of Events or sign up for a seat at The Farmers' Table hosted by Maplestar Farms in Chagrin Falls Sunday, August 30. Tickets are $125 and proceeds support the OEFFA. Dinner includes appetizers, beverages and a four-course food and wine pairing prepared by the chefs of Driftwood Restaurant Group.

Photo of Twin Parks Organic Farm tour in West Salem courtesy Colleen Calahan

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer Must-Eat: Spring Pea Tortellini

Lockkeepers Spring Pea Tortellini

Just in time for fresh peas from the farmers market, Lockkeepers executive chef Alberto Leandri shares his recipe for this fast and elegant Spring Pea Tortellini.


For the tortellini:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons pea puree
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 egg mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water
Fresh pasta

For the sauce:
1 leek, julienned
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parmiggiano
4 oz bacon
1/3-cup panko breadcrumbs


In a bowl, mix the ricotta, peas, parmiggiano, 1 egg, salt and pepper.

Roll out fresh pasta dough by hand or using a machine, or using premade fresh pasta sheets, cut the dough into 3- or 4-inch squares with a square cookie cutter. Place 1/4 teaspoon filling into the center of each square. Brush egg wash on the bottom half of the square and fold over diagonally to seal. Fold the two bottom corners around your finger, then turn down the top edge to form a tortellini.

In a 350 degree oven, cook the bacon until crispy (about 15 minutes) and let cool. When completely cool, process in a food processor with panko bread crumbs until the blend is fine.

Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes while making the sauce.

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with leek, season to taste, then add chicken stock, tomatoes and butter and boil for a few minutes. Drain the cooked tortellini and add them to the sauce. Add parmiggiano. Serve topped with bacon crumbs.

Lockkeepers, 8001 Rockside Rd, Valley View, 216-524-9404,