25 April 2003

what I ate this morning by sue:

4 strawberries, tasty and sweet
a lemon square, powdered up and...lemony
3 trisquits, they were sitting on a table. i ate them.
2 mugs of ovaltine, because it reminds me of when i was little. imagine
lil' sue with an ovaltine mustache.
a peanut or two. just for shits and giggles.
leftover mashed potatoes, made by my roomie's mommie.
a partridge in a pear tree. okay, not really...

what eliz ate yesterday
matzah all day long and to break passover, indian food at hema's kitchen. paratha, rice, aloo braigan, sag paneer, samosa and dal all with kingfisher. passover zipped by this year and ending it with a seder on wednesday nice was pleasant. i made brisket. it was good. we ate matzah toffee, gefilte fish and overboiled eggs.

16 April 2003

photos from our librarian potluck! the chicago area underground librarians gathered for a mostly vegan potluck at the breakstone memorial and research center (wherever that is) a few weeks ago and finally the photos are up on the website. we are a sexy bunch, aren't we?

last night watched crossing delancey, about the burgeoning romance between a bookseller and a pickleman. helpful tipped from movie: if spending all day sticking hands in brine, eliminate nasty pickled smell by soaking in milk and vanilla. the guy got the girl (oops! there's the end of the story!) so it must work.

15 April 2003

lettuce boycott

last week i decided that lettuce should no longer be a part of any salad i make. think about it. what is lettuce but filler, creating volume with air and water? unless one uses nice, fresh, organic lettuce, preferably something with a bit of a kick and complexity, i find no real reason to include the leafy vegetable in my salads. it has little taste, minimal nutritional value and doesn't even look pretty. a tossed lettuce salad rarely comes together, with the lettuce surfacing at the top and other ingredients falling to the bottom, only to be retrieved thru rather insightly bowl scraping.

in fact, i suppose, in keeping with the current political climate, one could go as far to say that lettuce is unamerican! that's right! because, um, because to be an american is to appreciate the economy of precious resources, not to mention our unalienable right to access those resources. right? and lettuce denies us the resource of space and prohibits access to carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc. why, if you took all the space created by all the lettuce in all the salads in our fair country, you could probably build a shopping mall with a GAP, a Banana Republic, a Starbucks and a McDonalds and think of how that would bolster our economy in these difficult times! and without lettuce, think of how much more room you would have for non-lettuce vegetables in the salad, increasing the demand for such produce which, in turn, would help to support our farmers (and our pesticide manufacturers, and our distributers and our farm manufacturers and haliburton). go America! boycott lettuce!

14 April 2003

when i move to ann arbor, it will be hard to come to terms with the fact that zingermans will no longer be a vacation treat. once i live only half a mile away, i won't be able to justify splurging on $10 sandwiches, $2 pieces of chocolate, morning coffee and scone, fresh baked chocolate cherry bread, fancy cheese and olives and all the other tasty treats the store has to offer. 'tis a sad, sad thing, that day that approaches. can't really dine at seva on a regular basis, will have to limit lunches at zola's. gosh. all this moderation--how ever will i last?!

10 April 2003

a recipe

because that salad on sunday was so easy and tasty, i thought i'd throw it up online:

1 cucumber
1 jicama
2 red peppers
4 carrots
1 kohlrabi
2 cups chickpeas, cooked (or from a can)
2 cups fresh/buffalo mozzarella

1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c fresh mint, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

peel, seed and dice items as necessary. mix in a big bowl and add (previously combined) dressing ingredients. stir and serve.

piece of cake! oh, those dressing measurements might be off...i just kind of guessed.

earlier on last saturday, i found myself in greektown and finally stopped in at the Athens Grocery on halsted. they have, in their cooler case, big pans of olives and, after a few samples, i went with a small container of green cut olives, big, crunchy and sour. some with little stems still attached. i also got some good, thick greek yogurt, which, when mixed with honey becomes one of those foods to which i could almost commit to eating nothing but for the rest of my life (i feel the same way about good granny smith apples and greek salads). just next door to Athens Grocery is a bakery with a spinach pie so good that after finishing the first one, i had to go back and get a second. next time: dessert! greektown never ceases to amaze me, and i don't get there nearly as much as i should (last time i went, four months ago, hardly counted as i had an omelette at a diner). but its up the road 1.19 miles from my office and, what with only a few short months left in this city of ethnic enclaves, i better get my act together. greektown, devon (the center of the indian neighborhood a mile away from my house, if that), all those african restaurants around my apartment, cowboy shops on west lawrence, chinatown, little italy, so much and so little time!

07 April 2003

saturday night: dinner at arun with the folks. see Chicago Chefs for pretty pictures of the food. arun is located in the middle of nowhere on kedzie, just west of lincoln square (nearby lutz's, it turns out, where i found sue picking up a birthday cake for her roommate!). i love these tucked away restaurants. even though its been featured in chicago magazine, on chicago tonight and in various other places and, therefore, is by no means a secret, there's still something about its unassuming location that makes me feel like i've hit upon a wonderful discovery. i arrived before my parents and waited in the small bar with a dirty martini (my new favorite drink!), sitting in front of the glass "bubble fall" wall that would have been maybe a little cooler if it weren't for the fact that it looks just like the front window of Pleasure Chest. tasting menu only and i requested a vegetarian meal. wowsers, was it fantastic and so much food i could barely stand up after dinner. so, where to begin? well, too many dishes to remember all of them, but they basically used mushrooms where meat would have been (my parents both got the regular tasting menus which offered an interesting comparison). all different kinds of mushrooms that i hadn't heard of and can't remember anymore but they were wonderful. some interesting takes on what i typically see on thai menus (lard nar sitting in one deep fried noodle with ends sealed together to form a little pot, topped with one spinach leaf, mushrooms and a pea pod), a cabbage eggplant green curry, a curry mushroom pot pie, an amazing papaya salad, sticky rice dessert and wonderful coconut sorbet. i'm so used to tasting menus that focus on french or that trendy fusion-whatever cuisine that it was really nice to have a tasting menu that featured a different culinary tradition. that i happen to love thai food certainly made it better. so i'd highly recommend Arun, and if you're going to splurge, its a good splurge.

the next night, sara came over to make dinner. as it happened, barb and don were both home. stephanie decided to stop by and introduce her out-of-town buddy to me before they headed out and stuck around rather than going to the movie they had planned to see. and what with ticky living all of two feet away from me, i decided to give her a call. so, what was going to be a little dinner with sara turned into a impromptu dinner party. we had bernie's sourdough bread, asparagus soup, artichoke dip, lettuce-less salad (chick peas, fresh mozzerella, kohlrabi, jicama, red peppers, carrots, lemon mint dressing) and for dessert chocolate covered strawberries and bananas. oh, and wine. lots of wine. given the fact that most people were meeting for the first time, it was an absolutely lovely evening. the dinner was fantastic, the company was divine and, best of all, by the time everyone left, the kitchen was sparklingly clean! like we hadn't just spent the past several hours cooking in it. i love having people over for dinner and particularly enjoyed the spontaneity of sunday night. a group of people sitting around that front table lends such a feeling of warmth to my already wonderful apartment. sigh. i'm going to miss chicago.

p.s. i love that i'm "used to tasting menus." how bourgeouis. eh. perhaps i should refer now to the two meals i've eaten at charlie trotters, the caviar staircase at tru and the divine meal my mother and i shared at le bernadine in new york. yes, just lovely. puh puh.

03 April 2003

last night: wonderful cake from Lutz's bakery in lincoln square. despite preconceived assumptions about chocolate versus strawberry cake, the strawberry cake won by a longshot. and, oh, i still have some left for tonight! cake was dinner at work. after work for dessert i had broth with egg noodles. and a bite of strawberry cake. so rich, so creamy! for lunch, leftover vegan lasagna and a bowl of columbia college veggie chilli smothered in cheese.

the vegan lasagna is from a lovely and successful librarian vegan potluck at which we had: aforementioned lasagna, mango carrot salsa, carrot ginger date salsa, chickpeas "au gratin," bread, vegan cookies and non-vegan coconut bars. 'twas a good and vegan thing.

a new restaurant in New York is called "Schnack" which is, in my opinion, "schnasty."