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Food and Drink

For Rod ‘N’ Reel’s Chef Rudy, Thanksgiving is a piece of cake

From the first-time turkey roaster to the kitchen master, who among us can anticipate cooking the Thanksgiving dinner without a bit of a flutter?     Chef Rudy Volpe can.     The 54-year-old chef looks forward to serving 1,000 to 1,200 hungry eaters at Rod ‘N’ Reel’s Thanksgiving Day Buffet.     For a chef who’s worked 20-plus years in gaming, most recently at Maryland Live!, Rod ‘N’ Reel’s seven-hour buffet is, well, a piece of cake.

A rested bird and a sharp knife are essential

1. Carve out a proper amount of time to cook the turkey. When coordinating your schedule Thanksgiving morning, keep in mind that between taking the turkey out of the oven and carving it, you should allot about 20 minutes. This waiting period is not frivolous. It makes the handling of the hot turkey easier on your hands, and it gives the meat’s juices crucial time to redistribute. 2.  If your turkey is tied, remove the string. Then remove each leg and thigh from the body of the turkey, using your hands to separate and your knife to slice through the meat.

Kudos to Blondie’s Baking Company

We at Bay Weekly were thrilled to celebrate our 22nd birthday last Thursday with an open house in our Annapolis office. The centerpiece of this celebration each year is the cake.     As in recent years, we approached a local baker — this year Cindy Selby, owner and baker extraordinaire of Blondie’s in Prince Frederick. Selby was given creative license with little guidance (we suggested a Bay-oriented theme). What we got was not only beautiful but also delicious: two tiers of confectionary delight, which was enjoyed by all.

Bay Weekly’s annual Dining Guide will make you hungry. Its very words melt in your mouth: Angus burgers, Bananas Foster, Barramundi Caprese, BossMan’s BBQ, bulgogi, Caramel and Coconut cake, Gambas al Ajillo, Hungarian mushroom soup, Littleneck clams and tasso ham, Munster Cheese and Crab Soup, New York-style pizza, Pad Pik Khing, Rockfish Amalfitana, Shipwreck Shrimp, Tikka Masala, Vallarta. From sharp to sweet to savory, it’s all here.

Six new reasons to give thanks for too much turkey

The food on the Thanksgiving table is a bounty to share while celebrating family, friends and the joys of life. Preparing the feast is a labor of love among my family.     Yet after the frenzy of Thanksgiving cooking, it’s nice to find simple ways to use leftovers while retaining the flavors and special qualities of holiday meals. These recipes are designed to do just that: reinvent Thanksgiving leftovers in easy, flexible ways that are still delicious and satisfying.     Happy eating!

Whole Foods French wine & cheese tasting raises palates to new levels

Sometimes procrastination is good, but not that often. It was not good when I realized the Anne Arundel Community College cooking class I was planning to take had passed me by. I’d had a good experience at last year’s class, and I was looking forward to Dumplings from Around the World, which would make me a master of pot stickers, ravioli, pierogi, tamales and several other dumpling delights.     My education in dumplings would have to wait for another semester, but my thirst for more culinary knowledge would not.  

Recipes for humans and other fanciers

Jack-o-lanterns have withered, but pumpkins are not old news yet. November is the biggest month of the year for pumpkin consumption. Pie, ice cream, cheesecake, soup, muffins, bread and lattes all feature pumpkins this time of year. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, canned pumpkin sales soar. Ninety percent of canned pumpkin sales are made in the fourth quarter.     Canned pumpkin is good, but Libby and all the other canners get it the same place you can: in the shell.

Local coffee shops serve ­individual experiences

    If mocha is your mistress or black coffee is your morning muse, there is a place for you. Local coffee shops don’t skimp on quality and cater right to you.     Locally owned coffee shops offer freshness, friendliness and community.     Don’t get me wrong. Starbucks is my usual go-to for coffee. The chain is easy to find, I know what to expect and I have been a gold card member for two years.

Cool high-summer recipes from Maryland’s 2014 Buy Local Cookbook

    Heaven & earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation; were it fully manured and inhabited by industrious people.     Captain John Smith barely exaggerated. So good are the fish and flesh, fruit and vegetables of Chesapeake Country that they need no adornment. Or very little. Salt and pepper, oil and vinegar are complements enough. Add some fire, and you’ve got all you need.

Many local chefs and restaurants are on the bandwagon

     Farm-fresh fruit and vegetables plus fin and shellfish straight from the Bay abound in midsummer Maryland. Farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores all sell local produce.     But will you fare so well when you go out to eat?     Yes — if you know where to look.