Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Chuck

What to do on a clear, crisp post-Halloween Saturday in Cincinnati? I donned my long-johns and headed to Stanbery Park for the Pumpkin Chuck.

Here's how it works. You can bring your own leftover jack-o-lantern.

Or you can buy a pumpkin there.

And for a modest donation that benefits the park, you get to launch your pumpkin in one of these puppies.
These aren't just catapults, kids. They're the far superior trebuchets, according to a conversation I overheard at the Chuck where some guys were discussing this in great detail.

Or you could just look at it with the wide-eyed glee of all the kids who got to watch their pumpkins shot into the sky.

And then splat down the hill, turning into compost.

Despite the chill, there was a good crowd for this neighborhood festival. And even a pumpkin queen.

Local public radio station WNKU broadcast from the event (loved DJ The Real Mary Peale's seasonal playlist), and I was happy to see the food vendors who chose to participate, including Jean-Paul's Paradiso, Luckman's Coffee (huge line for hot drinks from them!), and Fireside Pizza (who I managed to catch at the food truck location at 5th and Race a couple of weeks ago - I hear they plan to be there more often as their regular trips to farmers market and festivals like these wind down for the season).

But the food I really came here for was from Tom + Chee, a favorite of mine since they started last winter on Fountain Square next to the ice rink. I've missed them since they were ousted from Fountain Square for the installation of the rink this year, but can't wait until they have their Court Street brick-and-mortar location up and running. I'll have more to post about them, but for now, here are photos of their Pepperoni + Chee sandwich and cheesy pumpkin soup I warmed up with today after the Chuck.

Stay warm, all, and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who Knew? Nominated for a Best Blog in Maryland Award

A lot of surprises have come my way since I started this blog last January. But this may be the most unexpected yet: My "other" blog - All Top Chef - has been nominated by the Baltimore Sun for its Mobbie Awards, in two categories - foodie and pop culture.

ATC is a national blog run by a team of bloggers. It's headed by Baltimore-based The Minx (which explains the Maryland connection), whose "other" blog (among several), Minx Eats, has also been nominated. And Blogging Project Runway founder Laura Kluvo contributes podcast interviews with each week's eliminated Top Chef (or Top Chef: Just Desserts) contestant. I'm just the new kid on the block, putting together weekly (or so) news, etc. posts and wrangling the ATC emailbox. I was honored and excited to be invited to join the ATC team, even if it has proven to be a lot more work than I anticipated and taken time away from my own blog. While I can take no credit whatsoever for these noms, it's still a kick, and I'm grateful to be in the company of these fine folks.

Online voting for the Mobbies ends Nov. 12, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

Updated: You'll find a little shout-out on ATC to one of my new local favorites, Fork Heart Knife, here.