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Trifecta Saturday: Market to Market Ride, North Market Harvest Festival and Slow Food Dinner

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 4, 2009

Nothing to do in Columbus? In my experience, the opposite is true, there are so many things to do that the choices are sometimes overwhelming. The only option is to jump in and do everything.

Saturday (October 3rd) marked the beginning of the first Local Foods Week sponsored by Locals Matters with support from many of the usual suspects – Hills Market, North Market, Jeni’s, Pattycake, Alana’s, Tip Top and more. Take a look at the link in the last sentence and recall what I was saying about choices.

The kick off event was the Market to Market Ride. Over 300 people rode their bikes on the Olentangy Bike trail on the path from Hills Market to North Market or vice versa or both. Along the trail there were stops to learn about the Worthington Farmers Market, Pattycake Bakery and more.

The ten dollar registration fee provided breakfast at either market and gift bags of goodies valued up to $50. I did the Hills to North Market leg.

Pancake slinger supreme Kate from Hills Market

Pancake slinger supreme Kate from Hills Market

After a hearty breakfast and some free samples at the market, I began my journey down the trail accompanied by friends and a large contingent from Bike the Cbus/Columbus Rides.

The total one way ride time is about 1 1/2 hours, it could be an hour if your ride with focus and the trail is not too crowded. The ride is fairly flat and there was a lot to see along the way – high school sports in action, several parks, the OSU campus, wetlands, Victorian Village and downtown.

My arrival time at North Market was at 11:56 am. I received a text luring me upstairs to the Dispatch Kitchen. I was drafted on the spot to judge the pumpkin bread competition at noon. I had some reservations since I was already slated to judge the pumpkin pie and apple pie contests. However, I have been considering changing the name of this blog to CMH Glutton and when the North Market’s Mary Martineau asks me to do something I say yes because I fear her displeasure.

I was joined by my protege, Roland, in his second outing as judge for the North Market. Judging may seem to be the the best gig ever, and it is, but it is not all fun and games. The burden of responsibility can be overwhelming when trying the pick the best _______. Judging involves sampling a lot of food, weighing the merits of taste, presentation and cooking technique. There is the danger of unknown ingredients and food allergies. The greatest hazard is the dreaded taste off.

Roland - Slow Food Board Member, Eater Extraordinaire and Pierogi King of Columbus

Roland - Slow Food Board Member, Eater Extraordinaire and Pierogi King of Columbus

In the pumpkin bread competition there were nine entries and a tie for second place. The result – taste off. This involves sampling tied up entries a second time.

There was a quick break so I had time to go to Jeni’s ice cream to pick up a gift bag and a free scoop of Jeni’s ice cream for completing the market ride. I hoped that some ice cream and a chili sample might sooth my palate for the competitions to come. I hoped in vain. Strangely, when it comes to food management I do not always choose wisely. Something about the word free shuts down my good sense.

In the pumpkin pie competition, I was given a respite, with only four pies to sample. However….. there was a taste off.

Moving on to apple pie, we now had too many judges, so Mary let Roland and I decide who would bow out. Roland said something about a pregnant woman to take care of and something about needing to get ready for dinner. I thought I heard “beep, beep”. In the same instant, he created a road runner style cloud of dust as he abandoned me. In my post bike ride, stuffed stomach state of confusion the only phrase I could get out was “OK, I’ll stay and judge”.

There were twelve apple pies to sample. At this point it was no surprise when there was another taste off. Mary blames me since I was the only judge for all competitions. If that was the case then I paid the price for my crime. I rolled my bike and myself to the bus stop for the journey home.

After a quick shower, I had enough time to walk CMH Toby before packing up the car for a journey to Johnstown for the Slow Food Locavore Dinner.

You can read more about this dinner in a future Slow Food Blog post. I have written for and about Slow Food before but for those that missed it here is the sound bite explanation: Slow Food is an organized response to fast food. Slow food promotes and supports eating food that is local, fresh and fair (the producers are paid a living wage). In the Columbus chapter of this international organization, we like to add in fun to the Slow Food mantra with great eating events and tours. Slow Food members include the usual suspects – Hungry Woolf, Taco Drew and Roland among others.

The dinner was al fresco at the Otter Creek Winery, where we dined among the vines. John Dornback from Basi Italia was back for second year as our chef for the evening (with plenty of support from other Slow Food members).

Johnny D in action.....

Johnny D in action.....

Ohio pheasant cooking on a grill borrowed from Jim Budros

Ohio pheasant cooking on a grill borrowed from Jim Budros

Ohios native fruit the Paw Paw in ice cream form, specially made by Jenis ice cream

Ohio's native fruit the Paw Paw in ice cream form, specially made by Jeni's ice cream

I had considered camping after the dinner but thought better of it and returned home with some table scraps for CMH Tobias. No dog eats better this side of the Mississippi.

What a day. More of these big days are to come with the continuation of Local Foods Week, a Night of 1001 Tacos, Cupcake Camp, Pizza Grand Prix IV and much more.

3 Responses to “Trifecta Saturday: Market to Market Ride, North Market Harvest Festival and Slow Food Dinner”

  1. Jill said

    Thanks for the recap! And the pictures! It’s nice to see what was going on outside of the store. (Some of us were standing in the same spot for 8 hours while you were riding across the city.)

  2. Thanks for the fab write up Monsieur Gourmand. I’m sorry you fear my displeasure and yet fairly excited about the newfound power I wield. Mwahahahaha!
    Thanks, as always, for gorging yourself on behalf of the North Market.

  3. Bear said

    Glad to be part III of the trifecta. You took it like a champ.

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