Foraging for Food in Cincinnati

Last I left off Jessica and I were in Nondalton, Alaska finishing up our summer gig cooking at a lodge. One month later to the now, we're in the Amazon jungle. Between then and now we visited my folks in Ohio and went on a foodie binge to see what's cooking in Cincinnati. Here's the morning after we arrived to the city. The biggest physical change I noticed was how grey the scenery looked in comparison to the back woods of Alaska.

Within a couple days I picked up an interesting 'chef' job at the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest. Part of the duties entailed handing out free Werther's candy and dipping sliced apples into a fountain of caramel. It was a cool way for me to shocked back into the city life, but feeding peeps sugar stuff in a bright white chef suit in 85 degrees sunshine on the side of a city street did feel quite alien to me and know that's not the path I am to walk.

Fountain Square.

When I first arrived the streets were relatively quiet and clean, as were the port-a-potties.

When the festivities began everything changed, especially the port-a-potties.

This dude was the highlight of entertainment for me. One of the booths across the street from our Werther's booth shutdown early and he set up his amp and rocked out to Jimi Hendrix.

During the night the air was filled with the aromas of beer and bratwursts.

After the Oktoberfest weekend everyone's schedules returned to normal. Mom went to work, sisters went to school, Jess and I went to the dentist to get out check-ups then visited the Wildflower Cafe to eat some good local, sustainable cuisine. This was a smoked salmon salad on an artisan fried bread.

A yummy grilled cheese packed with veggies next to spicy collared greens.

Jess and I also visited a few parks, walked a few walks and visited the Loveland farmer's market where we bought some local herbs and honey. The following weekend after the Oktoberfest we drove to Middletown to see what my Nannie and Poppa were growing. Lots of fat tomatoes.

It was full moon time and the moon lilies were in bloom at night.

Sweet cherry tomatoes.

What's for din din? Smoked frog legs and rabbit.

Their garden is similar to a walk in the Garden of Eden, if not so.

Cast iron wind chime.

Jessy and Lucy.

I found Lucy when she was just a few months old, lost and crying underneath my Nannie's car about 16 years ago. She's not much of a people cat, but she really liked our company.

The wabbit.

She's asmokin'.

Once the lid was closed we took off and had a foodie day at Jungle's Jim in the 'adult oriented hot sauces' section.

We came home with our ingredients and pieced together dinner. Nannie's fresh avocado and tomato ensalada.

Grilled corn, smoked tators and smoked cayenne peppers.

Smoked frog legs. It's all smoked I tell ya. One thing I think would be best to do with smoking frog legs is to let the legs sit overnight in the fridge in a garlicky-dill brine.

Just smoked with the mesquite wood chips was amazing.

Woopie cushion time.

Dinner is served.

A couple days later Jess and I met with the editor for the Cincy magazine and told her about our adventures and shared massage techniques. We then hit up a couple Northside cafes and then did our final shopping and backing for our next big adventure to South America.

Vegan chili at the Northside. The one thing you have to try if you ever visit Cincinnati is chili from three different downtown restaurants, that way you will get a true taste of homegrown Nati recipes. With our bellies full and roots shared, time to fly. I'll post our Amazon pics before we had to the Andes sometime next week. Ciao.