Glazée is owned and operated by Michael Woody, a former Californian who worked at Baskin-Robbins in his youth and launched his own ice cream palace last year in a Cool Springs strip near Home Depot. Carrington writes:
The simple storefront wears a tasteful but nondescript palette of designer browns — none of the bright-pink-and-green frills of the recent frozen yogurt boom. Apart from a few stuffed animals and toys on hand to occupy younger patrons while their parents sip coffee at the cafe tables, there's not much in the place. Nor is there much in the ice cream — and therein lies the beauty of Glazée.
Cream. Half-and-half. Sugar. Those are the straightforward inputs that make up Woody's understated and indulgent repertoire — along with a few elegantly simple embellishments and the delicious delivery system of made-to-order cones fresh off the waffle iron. "There's no big secret to making ice cream," Woody confesses, as he ticks off the ingredient trifecta.
But he's quick to add that a commercial mixer gives a guy like him a distinct advantage over home crankers, whose recipes often emerge "gummy," "icy" or "crumbly," to use the vernacular of frozen dairy treats. The difference, he explains, is that a commercial mixer turns on its side, like a clothes dryer, folding air into the mixture with every revolution. Meanwhile, most home machines spin vertically, like a blender, and consequently can't achieve the same creaminess.
(It's funny how Nashville is in the midst of a fine Ohio ice cream invasion. Jeni's, the artisan brand with the haute cuisine flavors, opened its East Nashville shop today.)
Graeter's touts its "French pot method," preparing the ice cream in small 2-gallon batches. “Our secret recipe of fresh cream and egg custard is gently swirled along the chilled sides of a slowly spinning French pot freezer,” the company says. “A blade softly scrapes the sides of the pot, folding the ice cream into itself.”
The gentle folding keeps air out of the ice cream and makes it dense and rich, they say, claiming that a pint of Graeter’s weighs nearly a pound, almost twice as much as some other brands.
Unlike some other brands found on the supermarket shelves, Graeter's uses sugar, not corn syrup. Scanning the ingredients' lists, I noticed an absence of phony flavors. The strawberry, for example, has an intense berry flavor that comes from strawberries alone.
And some of Graeter's varieties are quite unique, like the black-raspberry-dark-chocolate-chunk. Graeter's can be found in Nashville-area Krogers and The Fresh Market in Brentwood. For a little more detail, check out what I wrote a couple weeks' ago in my Food Biz column in The City Paper and online at Nashville Post.
On Saturday, meet the new executive chef of Watermark. Matt Bolus brings a pretty high profile with him and his tweets from the Watermark kitchen are always informative. Meet the man, have a drink on the house and some light hors d'oeuvres, then stay for dinner if you fancy. 5 to 6 p.m. at Watermark. (Go here to watch a Watermark video introducing Matt, much of it filmed at the Scene's Iron Fork event.)
The actual berry-picking at Boyd Mill begins Friday, July 1. Hours are 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays or by appointment. Come early because they pick out quickly. Pick your own for $18/gallon (containers provided) or buy pre-picked for $25/gal (order ahead). There's also blackberry jam for $5 a jar.
It's flea market weekend, where you can usually find a country ham — cook a country ham and you heat up the kitchen just once for about 10 days of lunches and dinners. Brenda, the nice butcher at the Belmont Bi-Rite is a genius at cutting them, too.
Down at the Nashville Farmers' Market, Sunday is Swing Dancing day, featuring the Dean Martinis, 1-4 p.m. Free and family-friendly, it'll be rollicking inside the Market House for air-conditioned comfort. So get some dancing with your cucumber and tomato shopping — why not?
And finally, here's a fun contest from Roland Foods, whose quirky product mix runs from olive juice to coconut milk to tea and toothpicks—I keep a running mental list that I'm someday going to turn into a bingo game. Choose your favorite product, then shoot a video of your and friends making something wonderful with it. You could win a Roland gift basket — who knows which of their hundreds of intriguing goodies will be in it. Details and entry form on the contest Facebook page.
What's the news in your corner of the food kingdom? Weekly Open Thread is your place to share the fun.
I spent quite a while this week driving all over town searching for the Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka that I told you about last year that my girlfriend has developed a slightly unhealthy attachment to. And if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, so you can imagine my delight to discover a cache of the precious elixir at Midtown Wine and Spirits.
So to thank them, guess who gets to lead off this week's Wandering Wino column. That's right, don't anybody panic, but now people are actually DRINKING WINE IN LIQUOR STORES!!
If you need a little more time to plan your calendar, there's always tomorrow, Saturday, June 25, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Midtown, when they'll be pouring more Argentinian treats from La Madrid. This winery concentrates on single-vineyard varietals using indigenous yeasts. This process creates some phenomenal wines, which provide an excellent expression of their terroir. Midtown will be sampling La Madrid's Torrontes, Single Vineyard Bonarda, Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Single Vineyard Malbec and Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Thanks to the new tasting regulations, you no longer have to be invited or RSVP to a tasting, and these events are free of charge to anyone over the age of 21. It's getting almost civilized around these here parts.
VINEA also has some cool tasting events going on this weekend.
This year's event, held in Austin, Texas, was no exception. There was a blow-torch-toasted homemade marshmallow topped by a walnut brittle and arugula, from the California Walnut Board. There was a brilliant and indescribable dessert of peach melba spiked with chipotle over ice cream that hit every taste sector in the mouth. There was a feral pig barbecued by third-generation barbecuers for the Texas Foodways gathering.
One beverage made a particular impression among the distinguished eats: Honest Tea's CocoaNova brewed cocoa is emphatically different, a complete surprise to your mouth, and once you get over the surprise, refreshing, pleasant and curious enough to try swig after swig.
The three flavors — cherry, mint and mocha — are brewed from ground organic, fairly traded cocoa beans and lightly sweetened with organic sugar. It's got the bite you like in a cold beverage, but no caffeine, just a hint of theobromine and 50 calories per bottle. The mint flavor is bracing, refreshing and satisfies a chocolate craving, while the cherry stands in for dessert.
Honest Tea seems committed to the product, having put several years into its development. Distribution is everything, though, and though Whole Foods carries it, generally speaking, my local Whole Foods does not, though I'm requesting it. Look for it where you are, and if you find it, absolutely buy it, and definitely inform the Bites universe.
Starting at 5 p.m., diners will enjoy wines from Nashville Wine & Spirits, musical entertainment by authentic paisanos Davide Facchini and Anita Camarella, and a meal prepared by Miel, The Hutton Hotel, Caffe Nonna and Dulce Desserts.
Served in the field featuring the ultimate in farm-to-table ingredients, the Tennessee Meets Tuscany Dinner will cost $125 per person including a tax-deductible portion. For more information or to buy tickets, call the TJ Martell Foundation at (615) 256-2002. A great meal, a lovely farm setting, wine and music and you're contributing to cancer research. How can you turn this one down?
Green Door Gourmet
7011 River Road Pike
CPK was ideal, though, for a passel of visiting aunts and uncles coming through town. And it led to a happy discovery: a short list of individual-size appetizers. Asparagus and arugula salad with lemon and Parmesan was sensational, the kind of thing I put together at home when there's fresh arugula from the garden and all the right ingredients on hand. For all the quality ingredients, the $4.99 price seems reasonable.
Another goody that I've never seen on a menu but often at parties is fresh corn guacamole, a mound of silky guacamole studded with red peppers, fresh corn kernels and black beans, accompanied by enough chips to make it a modest serving for two. I read the blogs and Twitter feeds of Bites friends enough to know it's the kind of dish people are making in home kitchens when the corn is fresh and the avocados are gorgeous.
Small, seasonal dishes, made with care seems like a promising trend away from giant plates of food, and one that we hopefully will see more frequently.
Previously, tastings had to take place in a restaurant or bar that had an on-site sale permit, and wine or liquor suppliers were forbidden to bring samples to an event. Instead, they had to sell their products to the retailer as an intermediary before tastings could be held. Tennessee becomes the 35th state to allow tastings in a liquor or wine store, and many of your favorite merchants are rushing to plan new tasting series.
And it's not limited to organized events. I remember several trips to Martin Wine Cellars in New Orleans where the proprietor opened bottles behind the counter for customers to sample. I can guarantee I went home with new wines — and more than I had planned to buy — thanks to the opportunity to try something unexpected.
The Kroger at Gallatin Pike and Eastland doesn't get much love from East Nashville residents, who complain that it's small, crowded and has a poor selection of goods compared to other grocery stores, including others in the Kroger chain.
Well, the store's footprint won't change anytime soon, but it will get a new amenity: a fuel center so shoppers can fill the tank and not just a grocery basket.
My colleague J.R. Lind reports on the Nashville Post site that Kroger has purchased acreage
adjoining the store for $675,000.
Initially, it appeared that the store might be expanding, but Kroger spokeswoman Melissa Eads said today the land will be used for a Kroger fuel center, something she says patrons have asked for.
Construction on the gas station will begin in September, and should be completed by the end of the year. Eads said Kroger has no plans to expand the grocery store at this time.
But why learn from the Internet when you can learn some secrets from the man himself? To kick off a new monthly series of culinary seminars he is calling "Hint of Myint: In the Kitchen with Arnold," Chef Arnold is presenting a Picnic Potluck class this Saturday, June 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Cha Chah. In addition to learning recipes for some impressive salads and side dishes for your summer picnic, attendees will also enjoy libations courtesy of The Wine Shoppe. Tuition is $45 per person to cover food, drink, recipes and a guaranteed fun time. To register, visit www.arnoldmyint.com.
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