Last week I wrote a little bit about a lot, but it turns out one column wasn't enough to impart all the information I had at my disposal, so here is an addendum.
‘Fit for a king'
Chef Roland Mesnier, who served as executive pastry chef at the White House for 25 years, will speak of his experience at creating desserts “fit for a king” at Oklahoma City Town Hall at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 21 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15 St.
Mesnier grew up with eight siblings in Bonnay, France, and began his culinary career at age 14 as an apprentice. He was hired by first lady Rosalynn Carter in 1979 and was responsible for creating thousands of desserts for presidents, their families and state dinners through the George W. Bush administration.
Tickets are $15, available by calling 826-9689 or going online to okctownhall.com. Students are admitted free of charge.
Blogger pens book
Congratulations to local food blogger Katie Johnstonbaugh, whose first book, “Food Lovers' Guide to Oklahoma,” is now available. Johnstonbaugh keeps a blog called Dishin and Dishes online at dishinanddishes.com and does television spots on KAUT-43's “Rise and Shine Oklahoma” morning program.
Published by Globe Pequot Press, the 285 pages are filled with statewide dining information, including places to eat, back stories, chef spotlights and recipes, brewery spotlights and even a nice bit to yours truly. Johnstonbaugh has compiled an exhaustive tome filled with great info.
You can keep up with Johnstonbaugh at 7 a.m. Wednesdays on “Rise and Shine Oklahoma,” and you can pick up a copy of the book at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History gift shop in Norman; The Best of Books in Edmond; Brace Books in Ponca City; Miami Book Co. in Miami, OK; and at Full Circle Bookstore, Barnes and Noble stores, Sam's Clubs and Hastings Music & Video stores. It's also available online and by special order at most bookstores.
Myriad Garden dinner
Chef Ryan Parrott will cater a special Valentine's feast made from locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted cocktails, overlooking the beautiful Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Cocktail hour is 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, with assorted cheeses. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. with mixed greens with green goddess vinaigrette, and farmers market vegetables. Next is sweet potato ravioli with sage brown butter. Main course is a choice of free-range roaster chicken filled with goat cheese with mashed potatoes and sauteed broccoli raab or handmade pasta primavera with rigatoni from chef Chris Becker's Della Terra Pasta company. Dessert is an orange chiffon cake. Special wine pairings will be included for $65 for Myriad Botanical Gardens members and $75 for nonmembers.
Parrott's dinner marks the beginning of a schedule of quarterly chef dinners at the Myriad Gardens. Space is limited. Call 445-7080 for reservations.
Food with soul
The annual Soul Food Festival returns Friday at Grace Living Center, 1921 NE 21, in celebration of Black History Month.
Food is served from noon to 3 p.m. at the home with a menu including fried chicken, catfish, pork chops, oxtail, ribs, meatloaf, pigs feet, dressing, greens, breads and homemade desserts.
Margaret Wright, dietary manager of the home for 35 years, and head cook Hazel Goode lead the effort, coordinating the menu and efforts of so many. The Rev. Howard Hodge lends a large smoker upon which they slow-cook 1,400 pounds of meat.
E and E Blues Express will provide music. The meal is free and dine-in only. Donations are accepted for those willing to help the home's residents with special needs and activities.
If you can't make it out Friday, you can try these recipes from Wright and her staff at home.
Most importantly, they are easy to make.
The Grace NE 21st Street Meat Loaf
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup chopped bell
½ cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup Ro-Tel
½ cup tomato sauce
• Mix all together and shape in loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. Drain and cover with warmed tomato sauce or brown gravy.
Grace NE 21st Street Country Fried Chicken
8 pieces of chicken
½ cup garlic powder
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon onion
2 cups flour
• Wash chicken and pat dry.
• Mix eggs, garlic powder, seasoning salt, pepper and onion powder in bowl.
• Dip chicken in mixture and dredge in flour.
• Deep fry over medium-high heat, turning over often, until golden brown and chicken has an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 10 to 15 minutes.