31 December 2002

after work i am going to one of my favorite cafes with some of my favorite people. i haven't had lunch, just a small apple around noon, and am starving. i hope they have guacamole which is absolutely the best! and tonight to celebrate the closure of a palindrome year (next one is 2112), i'm going to sara and jose's house which always proves to be an excellent place for amazing food.

since everyone seems to be keen on these top ten lists at the end of the year, here's a list of some of my favorite food times of 2002, most recent because, well, my memory ain't that sharp:

-chicken tacos on isla mujeres
-any and all potlucks at 4050
-lunch with dad, dinner with mom
-that sushi place on west randolph
-raw food in new york with courtney
-fish tacos at a shell station
-ethiopian diamond after yoga
-soup made by roommates
-shots at jackhammer
-jelly belly factory

and we'll end it at 11 because thats also a palindrome. it has, in reflection, been a good year for food. and i appreciate all who have dined and cooked with me.

30 December 2002

i continue to live off leftovers and went so far, last night, as to serve leftovers to a friend over for dinner at my house. she enjoyed the noyes street cafe noodles while i dined on the remaining "korean stone bowl rice" (i.e. bi bim bop) from Joy Yee's. for lunch today, lard nar from star of siam. maybe tonight i'll eat leftover noodle curry from thai spice. who needs to cook? not me!

27 December 2002

have just eaten the remaining half of the manny's reuben and even now its so so good. sigh.

my roommate made a "breakfast lasagna" containing ham, apples, cheddar cheese, raisins and pasta. it frightens me terribly. what is this need to combine sweet and savory? why can't people just leave the raisins out of the couscous? the nuts out of the brownies? why? why? ok, so i haven't tried it yet and i'm sure its actually quite tasty, right, but it still confuses me.

in other news, i made fantastic latkes for a friend's christmas dinner on wednesday. they were golden and cripsy and, oy, all the bubbes out there in the world would have been proud of me! i suspect that spending all day with Jewish grandmothers somehow helped put me in the right frame of mind. oy, and you should try my brisket! and kugel. in fact, it occurs to me that i have the potential to be a seriously great Jewish mother--i can cook the right foods, i buy good gifts, i'm a bit overprotective and neurotic and, well, what else do i need? nothing. well, one thing. hmmm....maybe i should've agreed to meet that nice yeshiva boy who lives across the street from one of the Jewish grandmothers. ummm.....uhhh....nah. but, oh those latkes were tasty, as was the rest of the dinner. i love potlucks. especially potlucks with lots of wine. and white elephant games in which i win a box of homemade peppermint truffles (thank you leah!).

24 December 2002

lunch today sealed my fate as a non-vegetarian. try as i might, i find myself in these dining situations and i just can't say no to meat. meat. meat. its a drug and i know its bad for everyone involved, from me to the factory workers to the cows, but put a foot high ruben in front of me and what can i do? i melt. any discipline, health concern or political consciousness vanishes as the smell of corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut wafts around me. sigh. i mean, i hardly ever eat the stuff--only for special occasions but, oh, its so bad! and so good!

cindy is in town and so today i took her to Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli, a quintessential Jewish (although not remotely kosher) deli just south of the Loop. its the kind of place where its nice that the people at the table next to you are smoking because it adds to the atmosphere. a huge diner, packed throughout most of the days with people from all walks of life. there are folks who eat there every day and people who make a special trip into the city just to go to manny's. it is truly a living legend and deserving of all the praise it gets.

entering the restaurant, cindy and i were instantly assailed with the overpowering aroma of grilled meat, fried starch, grease and onions. we got in line and made our way through the cafeteria-style self service counter, trying desperately to limit ourselves to a reasonable amount of food which is hard since every six inches you encounter a whole new set of lunch options that are just as appealing as what you've already seen (and ordered). we managed to stick to stuffed cabbage (the size of softball), a brick of baked noodles and cheese, a piece of cornbread, a foot high ruben, a potato pancake, two pickles and drinks (for cindy, a coke; for me, a chocolate phosphate). easily enough food to last the week. we got ourselves a table and dug in. everything was heavenly. the cabbage was so soft that you could cut it without a knife. the noodles perfectly merged kugel and mac&cheese. the ruben was an enormous mass of corned beef goodness, the pancakes fluffy and the pickles were crispy enough that you could actually convince yourself that a bite of one helped to cut the grease of the rest of the meal. and we did a fantastic job, eating all but 1/2 a ruben (breakfast tomorrow!).

i'm a little concerned, though, since i'm supposed to have dinner in chinatown in a few hours...its unclear how i'll be able to fit any more food into my stomach. but, my gawd, was it worth every bite.

23 December 2002

or, uh, maybe i'll just eat all of my leftovers today.

ugh, i think i'm gonna barf.

This is officially the Week of Leftovers. I am currently eating leftover mushroom basil risotto from Printers Row. Tomorrow i'll be dining on leftover pancake sandwich (eggs and soy sausage) from Victory's Banner. Wednesday perhaps the leftovers from Thai Spice for lunch. Thursday is leftover linguini from Noyes Street Cafe. And by Friday, perhaps I'll have new leftovers from a meal soon-to-come. Really, at the rate i'm going, i may never have to cook again. Ever.

09 December 2002

oh but the sushi was so good. we ordered far too much and actually managed to eat most of it. you know, got to fatten up for the winter! its critical in a city that gets so cold especially if the only winter jacket you own is hideously ugly and so you find yourself trudging thru the snow in 9 degree weather wearing a thin corduroy jacket.

on saturday night, we all celebrated the upcoming marriage of inez and kathy with a huge potluck at some friends' house. note: if you're going to get married, throw a potluck...especially if you're friends are all brilliant cooks like mine. we had: spanakopita, braided beet,sweetpotato and pumpernickel bread, rice lentil salad, wheatberry salad, burdock root, chicken flautas that just about made me cry they were so good, salsa verde, hummus, baba ganoush, beet garlic arugula salad (that was my contribution), green chili chowder, butternut squash soup, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and definitely much more. i got so full so fast but had to keep eating because it was all so good. oh, and booze. lots of booze. and more flautas. i must have eaten about ten of them.

and now the almost married couple is off to mexico to the village the boy grew up in. they're starting an organice farm down there, in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by waterfalls. doesn't sound too bad, does it? i can't wait to visit!

and yesterday i had coffee cake and really atrocious decaf while working coat check at a lecture. from there i made my way to a festival of lights party just in time for the candle lighting ceremony. ate rice balls, cornbread, chili and cookies (all vegan) and then met up with some old friends to eat a heap of thai food (very not vegan...especially the beef curry. but wow was it good!). all in all, this past weekend the food was real good.

06 December 2002

you know you've got it good when you can find, within a four block radius of your house: thai, ethiopian, indo-pack, a german butcher, a 24-hour diner, a hot dog place and who knows what else.

last night i ate at ethiopian diamond which never disappoints. i can never rememeber the names of the different dishes but suffice to say, i love that yellow chickpea stuff and ohmy but the spinach stuff is good and, golly, i can't get enough of the bread. mmm, and the tea is fantastic even if you accidentally dump two heaping tablespoons worth of sugar in to your cup. and on friday nights you get to listen to the renaissance man of music, singing and playing the trumpet, the french horn, the harp, the drums, the keyboard, the clarinet and who knows what else (not at the same time). not bad for the local scene.

tonight is sushi with mom and friend. and then lots of ice cream. i also have to roast beets and garlic at some point.

04 December 2002

yesterday i failed to drink enough water. really, now, when will i learn? so after work and before my doctors appointment, with a half an hour to waste, i dragged myself to Big Chicks and ordered a cranberry juice and a glass of water. the juice tasted like concentrated sugar and lime. the water tasted like it came out of a rusty toilet. gross. i couldn't swing it. so i went to the doctor still parched and with a steadily growing headache. finally got home at 10pm at which point i forced two cups of water and one bowl of veggie broth with egg noodles into my gut. barf.

today: lots of water! lots and lots of water! also, mint lentils for breakfast.

03 December 2002

once upon a time i kept a foodblog but then things happened and i stopped writing. but you are witnessing my valiant attempt to revive the blog.

to summarize the past month:
mexico: chicken tacos
thanksgiving: homemade cranberry sauce, jello, leftover cranberry stuffing
chanukah: pink latkes
last night's dinner: leftover turkey and stuffing
today's lunch: chicken sandwich, tomato soup, chips

lovely. food.