Columbus' very own Jan Kish has been recognized by Dessert Professional magazine as one of the Top Ten Cake Artists of North America 2013! Jan Kish of La Petite Fleur creates delicious masterpieces of every size and shape imaginable and we are so happy that she has been recognized for all her hard work. We want to share some of her thoughts about this honor, below.
Leah Wolf: What does it mean to you to win this award?
Jan Kish: Actually, it's not an award but rather a recognition of what I do with sugar and cake – fusing the two together to be not only appealing to the palate but also the eye. Since we eat with our eyes first, we want to follow through to be just as good taste-wise. To be recognized on such an international level is incredible! When they called I almost fell out of my chair, for I can think of many other individuals who should be on this list. It's a short list that covers a lot of territory and I was shocked and incredibly honored that my peers and then some would view my work in this light!
From breaking down apple differences to exploring lavender's uses, Deb Knapke has contributed a wide range of gardening and plant knowledge to our magazine. Owner of her aptly named consulting business, The Garden Sage, Deb is a whirlwind of gardening activity. In addition to tending her own gardens, Deb teaches for the Landscape Design and Management Program at Columbus State Community College, designs gardens, volunteers at Columbus area gardens and has co-authored five books. Read on to learn more about Deb, her favorite gardens to visit, and her great tips for beginning gardeners.—Leah Wolf
Leah Wolf: When did you first discover your love of gardening?
Debra Knapke: I've gardened my whole life, from weeding my dad's vegetable garden to buying tropicals for my college apartment to gardening now on 2/3 of an acre. Plants have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Not sure I "discovered" gardening as much as embraced it as an essential part of my life.
LW: What led you to combine writing and gardening?
DK: Opportunity. I started writing notes in a journal about my gardens in the mid 80's. When I was the Garden Chair and then the curator of Herb Garden at Inniswood Metro Gardens, I would contribute notes about the garden and its plants to the newsletter of the Central Ohio Unit of the Herb Society of America. Then I contributed to newsletters of other organizations. My next step was writing for Garden Gate Magazine and Fine Gardening and then co-authoring books with Lone Pine Publishing. My gardening informs my writing and my writing pushes me to explore more about gardens and their inhabitants.
In celebration of the completion of the first retrofit green roof on The Ohio State University campus, we wanted to share this time-lapse video of the project. For more information, check out the project's website.
Recipe from Who Wants Seconds: Sociable Suppers for Vegans, Omnivores and Everyone in Between, Prospect Park Books. For more information about the book and related events, visit the publisher's website.
There's a French term of endearment, "mon petite chou," which translates to "my little cabbage" and implies "my little darling." It's a funny expression. I don't think of the darlings in my life as cruciferous vegetables, but then again, we're not talking about just any vegetable. We're talking about cabbage, the star of the cabbage patch, the amazing heavyweight head.
It cannot be denied—cabbage is a compact powerhouse, the sturdiest of the brassica family. An average head of cabbage weighs between two and three pounds (that's easily fifteen servings) and keeps a ridiculously long time in the crisper. It can get bitter as it ages, and it takes on a radish-like spiciness, but even then, it remains delicious.
Cabbage is typically available year-round at the farmers' markets in one variety or another. I'm a big fan of Napa cabbage for salads, spring rolls, and noodle dishes. It's the best kind for making kimchi, and it's a crispy addition to an Asian chicken salad or Thai steak salad.
Its versatility is unmatched. Red cabbage makes a perfect pickle. Whether it's in a quick pickled cabbage (with a little salt, vinegar, and red onion) or in a fully fermented sauerkraut, red cabbage is a stupendous representation of a near-perfect food. For starters, it's red, and that helps fill the daily rainbow we're all supposed to be eating. All that redness means more vitamins and phytochemicals (we all need more phytochemicals). I recommend getting in there with your hands and massaging the shredded cabbage for a softer texture.
Pickled cabbage is nice to serve on the side at every meal for another amazing reason: Cabbage is a natural remedy for tummy troubles. They've actually been making cabbage pills since the 1920s to remedy ulcers with great success.