The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 23, 1991 · Page 29
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 29

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 23, 1991
Page 29
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The Cincinnati enquirer WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1991 SECTION D Readers' exchangeD-2 One and only cookD-3 0 Produce pointersD-3 What's for dinner?D-6 Toni Cashnelli Foodstuff Halloween EDITOR: TONI CASHNELLI, 369-1997 P ., . , , r. .., , , .ii . , . i ... r-..- .i ... .i . ,.im ii i, in, , ""fT n l '"' . J ! " 1 If)' "- 7 "'C0 j J y , m- f i a-.. -it i "'- -) . lrv ALU w:. j t f The Cincinnati EnquirerMichael E. Keating . ' :J i Jester Sam Cooper practices his'routine before the banquet. , r s0r- vc0h MitsLiAUl i gives jaws a workout , Bet you can't eat just one. Nothing says Halloween like peanut butter kisses, the taffy-textured candies with a burst of peanut butter in the middle. None of this ooey-gooey stuff for me; I like the ones that give my jaws a workout. Ask people to name their favorite brand, and they're stumped; kisses are a no-name product. Every autumn, we grab a bag of orange-and-black-wrapped candies with nary a glance at the label. That's a'pjty, according to Walter Marshall, vice president of marketing and special projects for the Howard Stark Candy Co., a division of Necco in Watertown, Mass. "Other peanut butter kisses are lighter in texture, and you get a more oily or waxy taste," Marshall says. "We like to think ours are better. We put in more peanut butter and more molasses. We process our own peanuts; we don't buy peanut butter. We probably spend a little more money to make ours." Stark markets the same item twist-wrapped in yellow paper the rest of the year, "but 99 of them are sold at Halloween." (Locally they're available at Murray Bros, stores and Kmart.) Marshall's main competition, he says, comes from Falcon in Philadelphia and Melster Candies in Cambridge, Wis. "We're the big threelike car producers." Their products are basically created equal; sugar, molasses and corn syrup are cooked, then pulled like taffy and stuffed with peanut butter. And that's all Marshall is willing to reveal. "The formulas are secret. The basic ' thing that makes ours a little bit ' different is the way we do it:" ' Even the most mature among us have trouble remembering life without peanut butter kisses. "They go way back," Marshall says, almost as far back as Necco's No. 1 golden oldie, Mary Jane candy, first marketed in the late 1800s. ' 'They both have peanut butter and molasses; it's a can't-miss kind of thing. Peanut butter is a favorite flavor for kids. Like motherhood, it's kind of hard to fight it." STELLAR COOK: So how does it feel to be in the same league with Elizabeth Taylor? "I'm laughing about it. It's fun," says Janet Johnson of Mason, Ohio. The November Ladies ' Home Journal features a cover story about Liz, her lust for life and her new perfume, lohnson shows up on Page 213 of the The Cincinnati EnquirerMichael E. Keating I i J 1 H ) The Cincinnati EnquirerMichael E. Keating Minstrel Sari Ganulin entertains the crowd. ftJ;;':-4 'nap Raushanah Lewis dines medieval-style. Ki dsiget an ed ucation in medieval mealtime BY TONI CASHNELLI The Cincinnati Enquirer must ; at any medieval banquet will include music, ing and jesters. "I'm gonna be 7 this year. I'm and lesters. I m gonna I iucrclinc n days of old when knights were bold, nobody used napkins at the dinner table, and most people ate their plates. Life in medieval times was rough. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," 8-year-old Sam reminds the fruit-and-cheese patrol. "No eating until the feast." Eight-year-old Raushanah Lewis and 7'2-year-oId Todd Mombach light into blocks of cheddar and havarti with dull-edged knives. "I do this every day for my babies," says Todd, dicing the cheese into bite-size chunks. The babies, it turns out, are his 2-year-old twin brother and sister. "When you're done, I want you guys to put it on this tray and arrange it pretty," Alex instructs. "I usually help my mom whenever she has friends over," says 8V2-year-old Tess Warner, neatly tucking bits of brie around the edge of a black plastic tray. Leanna Folden, 7, has temporarily deserted a work station to give her hands a good scrubbing. "I had to wash the chicken off. It was yucky." The table in the rear is a vegetable-pie production line. Kids roll and slice puff pastry, add a dollop of filling, fold and pinch edges together and paint the ' tops of little square pies with egg wash. "The stuffing doesn't look good, but the dough looks good," Michael says. one of the minstrels, says ban Oanulin, wno totea her violin from home. "I think a good song to play would be, 'Long, Long Ago.' " After scouring library books for recipes, Alex has decided "they didn't eat very many exciting things back then." . "I was reading that the lords let peasants hunt for boars and peacocks," offers Michael Habig, 8V2. "They always ate with their hands," he adds. Dining in those days was much more communal. "People who were traveling would share knives," Alex says. Instead of napkins, people passed towels at the end of a meal. "They used their pinkie finger to spread salt. They shared goblets and mostly drank beer, so we're having root beer today." At 11 a.m., Alex and Vernon assign each of the children to one of four medieval work stations: fruit and cheese; chicken legs; vegetable pies; and cherry tarts. "No one's the boss. We're all in charge here," Alex same issue in a feature titled, "The Best he lucky few assigned to the dessert-making table are already licking their lips over open cans of cherry pie filling and plastic tubs of Cool Whip. In the Middle Ages, "Most of their Cooks in Town." ' Z "I know probably 100 good cooks," Cooper says. "I wouldn't think there were cars back then." That's not all, Sam. "They didn't have plates," caterer Kyra Alex says. At mealtime, you plopped your food on unleavened bread and used hunks of it to sop up the spills. For the past month, Sam has been studying the Middle Ages specifically, the Renaissance. Today, history comes to life for him and classmates at Sands Montessori, an alternative public school in the West End. They're all about to be transported to a medieval banquet hall populated by knights, jesters, minstrels and maidens, courtesy of Alex and their teacher, Rita Vernon. "This summer Kyra and I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival (near Waynesville)," Vernon says. "Kyra said, 'Gosh, what a great idea. How about if I do a banquet with your kids?' " Cooking in class is nothing new for Alex, co-owner with Susan McBride of The Production Line, a takeout restaurant in Oakley. In the past she has demonstrated chocolate-coated, peanut butter-stuffed apples and fruit salad in a grapefruit basket for Vernon's students. But this is different. Today she's orchestrating a feast and Vernon's first-, second- and third-graders are doing the cooking. Using a couple of portable convection ovens, "The peasants are going to prepare the food for the king," Alex says. "We're not peasants, we're servants," 8-year-old Jacqueline Wood corrects. "The peasants work on farms." In the absence of a suitable sovereign, the principal she says modestly. ''All my friends are good cooks. All my relatives are good cooks." ' Johnson was nominated for a spot in the story by Carol Tabone, her teacher at Lazarus Creative Kitchen Cooking School, and The Enquirer Janet Johnson desserts were fruit pies," Alex says. "So we're going to do tarts." The recipe, printed on a white poster board next to the table, reads: 1. Delicately place tart shells on table. 2. Fill shell with cherry pie filling. 3. Decorate with whipped cream. Despite the potential for slapstick disaster, the mess is minimal. "Yikes!" says 7-year-old Marcus Bethay, depositing a spoonful of filling on his wrists. "Whoa, 1 Peter!" yelps 8-year-old Annie Dick, holding open a plastic-tipped pastry bag while 6-year-old Peter Willig piles whipped topping inside. "I want that one," Marcus says, fingering a tart shrouded in a cloud of Cool Whip. During recess, Vernon directs parent-and-child volunteers to arrange desks into banquet alignment and set the tables. In place of plates, kids get pita bread. At 12:45, when the rest of the class comes trooping back, teacher dispenses the headgear. "We gave them four choices," she says. "They could be a knight, a jester, a maiden, or a serf. Nobody wanted to be a peasant. I was kind of hoping a girl would want to be a knight." No such luck. Outfitted in medieval finery handmade hats and tin-foil medallions children scoot up to the pint-size table. "I want you to understand that they didn't have (Please see FEAST, Page D-2) passed her name along to Journal editors. "Janet is the last of a dying breed a homemaker," Tabone says. "It disturbs me that there aren't more people really concerned about Jutting a good meal on the table," says ohnson, mother of two teen-agers and (Rita Swegman) and vice principal (Mary Martin) will occupy the head table. occupy the wife of a veterinarian. "I don't mean you w have to spend hours just having a tossed salad, a piece of meat and steamed vegetables. It's important that ith a little help from their parents, 1 he children made knight helmets and jester hats; the other day they made medallions," says Michele Schuster, mother of third-grader Catherine. someone in the family does that and you sit down and eat at least one meal together." a , ; - The Journal selected two of Johnson's The Cincinnati EnquirerMichael E. Keating "We're excited," says 8-year-old Manuel Carr. ( "We've been waiting for this for about two weeks," says Tess Warner, who, along with most of her classmates, insists on appending an extra "W onto her given age, 8. The entertainment poruonjof the program a fecipes for the story: Roast Brisket ot Beef (she picked it up from cooking , teacher Marge Haller at the Creative At the head table, Principal Rita Swegman and Vice Principal Mary Martin preside over the feast. Kitchen) and Tuna Steak with Tomatoes and Olives. IlirarMgfov FDA office helps consumers make smart food decisions Page D-2 Guilt-free recipes for soup take stock of fat, calories Page D-6 ;A make-ahead Halloween menu ; that's so easy, it's spooky j-i Page D-3 Patricia Leathern i

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