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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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May 22, 2010

Huntington "Uncorked"!

Today was yet another good day for Huntington - a food and wine festival fundraiser for the Marshall University Artists Series.  And from the looks of the crowd that turned out, I'd say they are probably very happy with this first try at what will hopefully become an annual event.  From the first time I saw their artwork (above), I looked forward to it.  Whoever did the artwork did a fantastic job.  That's our Pullman Square fountain stretched out and with a rather pensive couple getting ready for a sip of wine.  Hopefully, they became happier after imbibing a little!  And before I get started on my report, many thanks to my neighbor who gave me a ticket to the event.

The event ran from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and I went down (it was just around the corner from me) right at 1:00 to get some pictures before it got too crowded.  These were taken on the street as the vendors (all local restaurants or growers, etc.) were setting up their booths.

The green canopy on the right is for the Frederick 21 restaurant people.  They were getting ready to grill steaks which they would serve in pitas with roasted peppers, and other goodies.

This is looking over to the Galleria (formerly the Huntington Arcade) which is where the ticketed wine-tasting, munchies and auctions took place.  The Galleria is really a lovely spot and hopefully as Huntington comes back to life, the now mostly empty shops will be filled again.

Huntington Prime is one of Huntington's newest restaurants.  Artisan breads baked on site, brick oven pizzas, and menu entrees featuring seasonal foods with emphasis on local providers whenever possible. (huntingtonprime.com)

This was the booth for the cultural diversity group - people who share an interest in acquainting others with the different ethnic groups found in Huntington - their foods, arts, and such.  This booth was serving Peruvian chicken (which I sampled - quite tasty), Indian pankora and vegetable fritters, and (Chris - you won't believe this!) Ethiopian "wraps".  I really wanted to try those but the woman there said they were quite spicy and my tolerance for spicy seems to be declining.

This is Celeste Nolan of Laurel Valley Farm who was offering her farm-made cheeses.  The three dishes on the left were cheddar "curds", each one seasoned differently - a spicy one, a tomato basil, and the third one which was my favorite and I can't for the life of me remember what it was seasoned with!  Then on the right were a Colby Jack, a baby Swiss type, and one other one.  I sampled the baby Swiss too and it was really delicious!  She told me that she thinks she will probably be selling her cheeses at the soon-to-be-opened Third & Ninth Deli Market.  She also told me that the cheddar curds I was sampling were grass on Monday - that's how fresh it was!  (website:  laurelvalleycreamery.com)

 And speaking of Third & Ninth Deli-Market, here's their booth with that basket of artisan breads!  I told the owner that when I read about the breads they will be selling, I just accepted the fact that I will pack on some pounds!  I bought a skinny little loaf of black pepper, parmesan bread which I'm eager to try.  She also had a couscous salad to sample, a very pretty fruit salad, some sandwiches and home-made brownies.  She's hopeful they will be able to open in June and I, for one, can't wait!  She's right across from Pullman Plaza and in addition to basic grocery needs, will have a gourmet deli with cheeses, lunch meats, etc., and prepared breakfast and lunch foods.  They also hope to feature locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables in season.  (thirdandninth.com)

This was the booth of Wonderful Restaurant that I didn't even know existed.  How did I manage to miss one?  They serve authentic Chinese food and had in the booth fried chicken wings, and fried chicken breasts that are first marinated and then coated with, I think, the Japanese panko bread crumbs because the crust was pretty phenomenal!  I will have to search them out and see what all is on the menu.

I got this photo before it got too crowded in the Galleria, and it gives an idea of what a neat space it is.  You can see a tiny bit of the all-glass arched ceiling and I especially love the carved and painted panels above each of the huge windows.  It's beautiful.  These tables were where the auction items were.  I didn't bid on any - most of the minimum bids were already out of my reach.  But they all got won by various bidders so that was good to see.  One of my neighbors bid on and won two full season tickets to the Marshall Artist Series for the price of what she usually pays for one, so she was happy.

All the tables down the right side were the wine tasting tables - they had over 40 different wines.  I did the best I could but I couldn't sample all 40. :)  There was a Spanish sparkling wine that I tried that I think I will try to find - it was delicious.  Lots of nice Chiantis and Cabernets.  Oh, and they even gave out complementary wine glasses (glass, not plastic).  And Kroger Food Store had a table with crackers, cheeses, cheese spreads, olives, and a few other things.  So I certainly didn't come away from there hungry.  It was nice too because you could take your wine outside when you were ready to buy something from one of the booths and sit down to enjoy it all.

So hats are definitely off to all the people who must have worked incredibly hard to bring this off.  I think they can definitely pat themselves on the back and I hope I'm right in thinking that it went well enough to make it an annual event.

And to the new restaurants, new shops, local food vendors and all - I offer my very best wishes for the success of your various ventures.  It's these people and others like them who will make Huntington a viable and lively city again.


vrmichie said...

WOW!! What a nifty, neat event. Cheese curds that were grass three days ago -- awesome! And I didn't realize that the 3rd&9th Deli had become a reality -- at least I think that's the one you were telling me might happen. That will be so nice for you. Makes me want to come for a visit and I will, I will -- someday. In the meantime I'm looking forward to your visit here. xoxo

January said...

That.sounds.AWESOME! Way to go Huntington! And very, very nice of your neighbor to be a sharer of tickets. I'm glad you got to get in early and chat up the vendors and get some good pictures. And won't your condo just be the hippest if the arcade gets back to life? All very good.

Christopher said...

How neat! That has the perfect makings of an annual, ever-growing event... Here's to Huntington, working on resurrecting its great old downtown!

thirdandninth.com said...

Mary Lynne, thanks for including us in your blog and sending the link! How sweet of you. We look forward to seeing you often at the Deli-Market. Hope you enjoyed the bread! Thanks again, Joe, Sallie and Sylvia - third & Ninth Deli-Market

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