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vHIS EATS continued from page 9 So why do so many people skip vegetables, often referring to them with disdain as “rabbit food?” Steve thinks he may have the answer. “Fresh vegetables are awesome,” he said. “People who don’t like vegetables usually have had a bad experience early on, back when they were kids.” Next to the backyard grill, Steve showed off a horse trough converted into an herb garden. He planted a wide variety of herbs, including basil, oregano, cilantro, and lemon balm. Simon and Garfunkel fans would appreciate the presence of “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.” “This was planted two to three weeks ago,” Steve said, pointing to different herbs. “Some of these have really grown in a short time.” But veggies needn’t be shunted to the side. The Huffs sliced up large slices of beefsteak tomatoes, topped with large slices of mozzarella and basil. For good measure, Steve drizzled wine on some of the tomatoes. Tracy liked the versatility of the tomato-and-cheese combination. “It makes for a great appetizer or side dish with the main meal,” she said. “We’ve even had it for a quick meal, all by itself.” True to form, the Huffs like their just desserts. This night, even the dessert followed the veggie theme. Tracy had earlier shredded carrots for her carrot cake, popping the two separate layers into the grill. Never fear, the cake was separated from the seafood — there’s no fishy taste for this sweet treat! Tracy carefully placed one cake on top of another. She then rolled out the cream cheese frosting, slathering the icing all over and around the carrot cake. One bite and it melted in your mouth. You took in the whole experience — the sweet icing, the carrots and the nuts. To round off the meal, Steve offered drinks such as bourbon and Scotch. A lighter summertime drink featured pink lemonade with ice cubes containing aronia berries and pineapple mint. The ice cubes not only keep your drink cold but are good for you, Steve said. “The aronia berries are filled with antioxidants that are 1,000 times more powerful than blueberries,” Steve said. Anthony Bourdain These meals are usually filled with frivolity. However, there are serious moments. During this evening, we discussed the recent death of chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain. “I knew this subject would come up,” Steve said, showing sadness upon learning of Bourdain’s death. The 61-year-old host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” is believed to have committed suicide. For the Huffs, the great chefs provide not only entertainment but also an education. Besides Bourdain, Steve enjoys chefs Eric Ripert and Steve Raichlen along with the programs “Iron Chef ” and “The Chew.” Steve also admired the late Julia Child and her groundbreaking work as a chef, author and television personality. She reached out, offering fine cuisine to the everyday person. Bourdain also broke new ground with his work, Steve said. “As far as Anthony Bourdain, I followed him forever,” Steve said. “He was a super chef but also a statesman. I enjoyed seeing him travel all over the world, sharing the different cultures as well as different food. (Journalist) Anderson Cooper did a great 15-minute tribute to Anthony on CNN.” During the meal, we talked about Bourdain’s connection to Grand Forks Herald food columnist Marilyn Hagerty. I enjoyed the opportunity to interview Hagerty at the University of South Dakota when she accepted the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. Hagerty wrote a review of an Olive Garden restaurant in her hometown. Her earnest review went viral and was subjected to widespread ridicule. At first, Bourdain joined the chorus of critics. But he later stood up for Hagerty, noting she reflected the local food and culture that was often found in the American heartland. She shouldn’t be subjected to the culinary snobbery of others, he argued. In the end, Hagerty flew to New York to meet Bourdain. After his recent death, she spoke about how much it meant to her that somebody like Anthony Bourdain would support her and take the time to meet with her. Steve Huff noted that Bourdain recognized the value of all parts of the nation and the world. An appreciation of food isn’t limited to major cities, he added. “Anthony wasn’t just about food,” Steve said. “He was also about friendship. And he was about sharing good times and good food.” n

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