Sunday, February 28, 2010

fascination with fork(s)

On my 23rd birthday (June 2008), a close friend and I embraced my love for all things cutlery, and dined at Old City's Fork. Then, I recently completed my time as an food-tern for Philadelphia City Paper, where I'd pass the alluring eatery on my way to the train too many times to note, and couldn't help but gush over their large-sized fork displayed on their entrance way. (Also during that time, I had wrote the What's Cooking column, and my oh my, Fork tended to have an impressive handful of programs and edible events.)

Around then, during which the above and below pictures are from June 5th of that year, I was just shaping into the food-obsessed fiend that y'all know today. And, I also have to say, that my beer-love was soon to unravel (before, I was a proclaimed wino). Below, I am sipping on my first likable IPA, the 60 Minute from Dogfish Head.
Dining at Fork on your birthday is a perfectly pleasuresome too, for the fact they serenade you with a free glass of bubbly and a dessert of your choice. I opted for the banana bread pudding with a delicate caramel sauce (seen below).

BUT, the point of this post, fast-forward two years to February 2010, and there I am, back in Fork finally attending one of their foodie frenzies that I wrote so vividly about in CP.

This one, part of their Thursday evening programs, was focused on the making of mozzarella cheese. And, as exciting as any cheesy course could be for this adoring lady, this one in particular was not what I anticipated, but more so, a bit simpler than I had assumed.

However, in all fairness, preparing mozzarella in an hour or less from complete scratch is impossible, so the teachings from Fork's Executive Chef Terence Feury were as informative as they could be. (Although, if anyone knows where to purchase mozzarella cheese curd, do tell!)

Below is a photographic recap of our mozz making experience:

Feury suggested that we all slip on disposable gloves to protect our lady fingers from the heat of the boiling water and also, to assist in the smoothness of the cheese.

Here, B and I give cheese making a chance, standing aside the chef.
The process went as follows: Fork's Feury chopped up a cube of mozzarella cheese curd (available for purchase at Fork, Etc.) until it appeared almost crumble-like. Then, dividing it in separate bowls for all of the attending public, he individually poured a ladle of boiling water over the solidified cheese.
Each guest was asked to work the water with the dairy lumps until they formed beautifully into a round ball. The frenzied fun of its making then began, as we all took our balls from the warm water and worked it into a gorgeous cheese ball.

After the smooth-shaped ball was near-perfection, we all placed the mozzarella in a bowl of brine, which Feury suggests adding salt or other seasonings to, in order to enhance the flavor of your cheesy creation.

I have to admit, I never made mozzarella before, so the overall experience at Fork was a great bookmark in my life novel. Coming up, they will offer other Thursday programs like ones with topics of home brewing, pizza making and simple soup recipes. I care to attend another soon, and, by the way, they are FREE!

To conclude this fork-fiend's post, I felt the need to share that I also love silverware so dearly that in the fall of 2008, I was inked with the first tattoo, crossbones of a knife and a fork. Since, I have followed a theme of food-adoring tattoos, but the below, was my first and although the picture is terrible, I do love it. (The knife is a fish knife, for I obsess over seafood, especially snazzy sushi.)