Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mourning Moscow, and a Sweet Spot: Ghyslain in Louisville

I was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home to catch up on blogging about my recent travels and tastings. Then came Friday’s tornadoes, which tore through nearby parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, including the riverside village of Moscow, OH, which my best friend since 8th grade and frequent Culinary Smackdown compadre Cindie has called home for nearly 30 years. I was immensely relieved to hear her voice Friday night and know she, her family, and her dog are safe. But a good friend of theirs was not so lucky – she was killed when her house a couple blocks away collapsed on her. The storm took off the back half of Cindie’s roof, blew out a sliding glass door, and apparently sucked out some contents. A tree did some damage to one of their cars, and she said there is glass everywhere. That was just the preliminary report. Her house has now been “red tagged,” meaning deemed not safe to enter. Moscow is a gutsy little town that 15 years ago endured a major Ohio River flood. But this is even more devastating. Click here for a Cincinnati Enquirer article and video. You’ll find a few of my photos from happier days in Moscow at the bottom of this post. I will remember the lush green,  towering hundred-year-old trees, and care-free days in Moscow fondly. They’re pretty much all gone, at least for now.

While I wait to hear from Cindie with today’s update, I’m trying to distract myself with happier thoughts and bringing you a few photos of the goodies from Ghyslain, one of my recent stops in Louisville.
Located on East Market Street in the vibrant NULU District of Louisville, Ghyslain is a bustling French bistro (menu here) that also offers sweets that will make you swoon. The pastries and chocolates are true works of art.

If I hadn't been full from lunch across the street at Taco Punk, I would have tried Ghyslain's gelato. But I settled for bringing home a few candies and a pastry, which were every bit as delectable on the tongue as to the eye.

Ghyslain also has two locations in Richmond, Indiana, should you find yourself traveling in that direction, and you can mail order some of their chocolates – including a family of their turtle-shaped chocolate-caramel-nut turtles – via their website. The Louisville location has some patio seating, a great place to rendezvous with old friends – or meet new ones, as I was lucky to do when I happened to run into Joyce Pinson of Friends Drift Inn and her friend Rhoda, who I was scheduled to have dinner with at nearby Harvest. You can read Joyce's hilarious recap of our criss-crossing journeys and meet-up here.

Warm, sunny, food-filled days with friends are always a pleasure. And I have decades of memories of them at Cindie and Odie's. That's not apt to happen again in that particularly lovely spot on the Ohio River anytime soon.

Great memories of teaming up with Cindie and Odie at their house for our first effort at the Culinary Smackdown, Battle Lobsta.

We were tickled with our win for Battle Picnic Basket.

Cindie and I joined forces to bring the Culinary Smackdown back last summer. And had a blast taste-testing for Battle Bacon in her kitchen. Just 11 months ago we were hanging out on the deck after Easter dinner.

I am grateful to all my friends who have checked in on me and asked after Cindie this weekend. Also glad that, as far as I know, my KY blogger and farmer friends are OK. Please keep the folks impacted by these storms in your thoughts and prayers. There is a long road ahead.


Kate Donahue said...

Thanks hard to not feel stunned by the tornadoes that flew through Moscow..can't imagine how hard it must be for themand their friends right now. I am thankful that Cindie and Odie have you for a dear friend...Take good care of them and yourself for us all. Kate xo

Sharon Rudd said...

In honor of March Madness, the March Culinary Smackdown will be "Battle: Spherical Food." Details from our awesome February winner and this month's host, judge and theme-picker, Leah at Eat, Drink and Be Married here:

Sharon Rudd said...

Officially wore out tonight. Tomorrow is another day.

Jenny said...

Oh, Eggy, I'm so sorry for your Cindie and everyone impacted by the tornados. I read as much as I could and then I had to stop today. So much loss. :-(

I'm making a donaton to the Red Cross. It feels like nothing, but hopefully it will make me feel less helpless in this.


Sharon Rudd said...

Thanks, dearest Boxer. Every bit of support helps, and the Red Cross does a great job of helping out. A few more local places are pitching in as places to donate, too.

Dani said...

It's so sad. Those storms were so fierce. I'm glad that Cindie and her family came out of it safe.

Buzz Kill said...

Glad to hear all is well with your friend Cindie and her family. Sounds like an excuse to have her come visit you for the next smackdown. I like the look of some of those pastries too.

Sharon Rudd said...

Dani, you still have family in Southeastern OH, right? Hope they are safe.

Buzz, have you heard from your AL friend?

These storms cut a wide swath. It hits home when you have a personal connection and it hits a nearby area.

Glad to report Cindie's found a good temporary housing option for the next four (?) months and all the dogs get along. Latest report is that the entire second floor of their house will need to be removed and rebuilt. But they will not have to rebuild their entire house. She is an unemployed insurance adjuster who is bringing the full force of her many years of experience to addressing what needs to be done. I predict their house will be one of the first in Moscow to be reconstructed. But right now she is also very tired.

Thanks to all for caring about the people affected last Friday.

Roses said...

I am so sorry to hear of Cindie's and Moscow's experience.

I hope the paperwork gets passed and she and her family are once again at home.

chickory said...

oh dear - i have been in a blog lull and had no idea what had happened. I am so sorry about cindies friends and for her scare and damage -that same night in Georgia was very sketchy - i had the dogs leashed that eve in case we had to make a mad dash to the creek bed....the tornados passed below us and left behind lots of damage but i dont think anyone was killed.

I am sending you big love eggy. I hope cindies house gets restored in a timely fashion and that you gals can find some fun together in the meantime. glad the dogs are all good too.

Sharon Rudd said...

Thanks to all for your love and concern for me and Cindie. Don't want to worry you with my lack of posting - we're all moving on. Even though I feel a little selfish having indulged in some great dinners (this is Restaurant Week). Things are starting to fall into place for Cindie, even though she still has too much on her plate to take me up on my offer to come into the "city" for RW. I have lots of inspiring food stories to share too. Please stay tuned :)

xoxo, eggy

LaDivaCucina said...

Sorry I'm late to comment. I'm SO SORRY for Cindi's loss, her house but most of all her neighbor and friend. Tornadoes are so scary. I'm glad you are all right, Dear Eggy, thanks for keeping us all posted.

PS: The choccies look divine! oxox