It's time to take the Cook's Corner up a notch or two into the realm of true class.
The Wood County District Public Library has a pair of memorable events coming up two weeks from now, featuring Francine Segan, author of The Opera Lover's Cookbook:
¥ "Mozart and Dessert," Friday, May 16, 7:30 p.m.
A gala evening inspired by Francine Segan's Opera Lover's Cookbook, celebrates the Atrium grand piano's second anniversary. Selections from Mozart will be performed by: soprano Dr. Ann Corrigan, pianist Jiung Yoon, flutist Kara Nonnemacher and pianist Allison Bailey. Elegant dessert from Myles Baker Street will be served.
For Opera LoverÂ¹s
Segan, a New York-based food historian, discusses the fascinating role of food in opera using amusing film snippets and stills of memorable dining and toasting moments in opera.
Discover tantalizing trivia like the operatic origins of Melba Toast, why Rossini added special "sorbet arias" to his operas and why great composers such as Verdi encouraged gambling during performances.
The talk concludes with a humorous look back at the opera theater experience in the 19th century.
Cost is $20.
¥ Victorian Brunch, Saturday, May 17, at 10:30 a.m.
What better way to observe Bowling Green's 175th birthday than with a Victorian Brunch? Food historian Segan provides a peek at "Victorian and Gilded Age Entertainments."
"It was a fascinating time period when high society was at its peak," said Segan. "It was a time of calling cards, horse drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, lawn parties, formal dinners - a time when even picnics were served on fine china.
Discover the sorts of foods, elaborate etiquette, and enchanting entertainments enjoyed then. Segan's vivid descriptions of formal dinner parties, cotillions, and elegant picnics will transport you back in time.
Learn the 19th century meanings of giving a lady a tulip instead a rose; discover the most popular toasts of the 1890s; and when it was proper to remove your gloves or tip your hat.
Highlights of the talk include:
¥Trivia contest on the uses for dozens of unique but now-obsolete objects from the era
¥Tastings of popular 19th century tidbits
Cost for the brunch alone is $12.
Tickets for both events, when purchased together, are $30.
All Segan event tickets are on sale now at the library on North Main Street in Bowling Green. There is limited seating.
Proceeds benefit the Atrium Piano Maintenance Fund and the Friends of the Library.
Both events are being sponsored by The Friends of the Library, Myles Baker Street, Grounds for Thought and Myles Flowers.
For more information, call 419-352-5104.
Verdi's Fig Pasta recipe
-- Body: Serves 6
Dried figs simmered with wine and stock take on a delightful complex flavor with pleasing firmness. The silky sweet fig sauce is tossed with penne and then accented with crunchy pistachios. The sweetness is balanced with the piquant bite of pink peppercorn and the salty goodness of Parmesan.
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 shallots, sliced
1 cup white wine
16 to 18 dried Calimyrna figs, about 12 ounces, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound penne
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns
Heat the butter and oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until the butter melts. Sauté the shallots until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and figs and simmer until the wine is absorbed and the figs soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the stock and pink peppercorns and simmer, covered, for about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and let rest, covered, while you prepare the penne.
Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain and toss with the fig sauce.
Serve the penne topped with Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pistachio nuts and peppercorns.
© The Opera Lover's Cookbook (Stewart, Tabori Chang, 2006) by Francine Segan
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