Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apple Galette with Candied Lemon

Candied Lemon (1 c sugar, 1 c water, 2 thinly sliced lemons, boiled then simmered for 25 min.)
Galette Dough
2 pounds apples
1/3 c currants
2 T sweet sherry
1/4 c toasted slivered almonds
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 T butter, melted

-roll dough into large circle 1/8 inch thick, set it on the back of a cookie sheet or pan without sides.
-preheat oven 400 degrees
- thinly slice half of the apples, mix with currants, sherry, almonds, 4t. of the sugar and the cinnamon.
-finely chop the rest of the apples and toss them with f t. sugar
-mound them in the center of the dough, in a 7 inch circle
-arrange sliced apples over the top, add the juice from the bowl
-tuck in the lemon slices
-fold edges of dough over the fruit, pleating it, partially covering the apples
-brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar
-bake about 45 min

Monday, September 29, 2008

Prime of your life

Trivia: What is the sum of the first five prime numbers?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beginning of the end

Today I was driving along a highway in Illinois when I was stopped by the military. I found out that a small town was destroyed and everyone had seemingly disappeared. I then went to a lab run by the Department of Agriculture. While I was there I met the lab's director, Dr. Ed Wainwright. Ed told me that strange things have been happening ever since he discovered that a bunch of grasshoppers managed to get into a silo containing a batch of radioactive wheat. We soon discovered that the grasshoppers have grown to monstrous proportions and not only are devaouring the local vegitation, but have developed a taste for human flesh as well. Now the grasshoppers are marching towards Chicago and the military is threatening to destroy the city with the atom bomb. Can another solution to stop the monsters be found before it is too late?

(Today's blog post stolen directly from here)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pennycandystore Beyond the El
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The Pennycandystore beyond the El
is where I first
fell in love
with unreality
Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among
the licorice sticks
and tootsie rolls
and Oh Boy Gum

Outside the leaves were falling as they died

A wind had blown away the sun

A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room

Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!

Friday, September 26, 2008


We took the day off today and went down to the beloved Pilsen neighborhood to hang out. The neighborhood was named by Czechoslovakian immigrants in the late 1800s. One Bohemian resident opened a restaurant called “At the City of Plzen” in honor of the city Pilsen in West Bohemia (now Czech Republic), and that was it-- residents began to refer to the neighborhood as Pilsen. In the 1950s the neighborhood began its transformation into a Mexican and artistic community. It is now known for authentic Mexican food, buildings covered in murals, and an artists "colony" now becoming known as the Chicago Arts District.
Eric and I hit the National Museum of Mexican Art; I was hoping to hit the Day of the Dead exhibit (which, of course, starts tomorrow) but the permanent art stands on its own.
I also snagged a burrito as big as my head at an awesome eatery called Taqueria El Milagro.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


LK pointed this out today. So I snapped a photo to serve as blogfodder.

The City of Neighborhoods

Eric and I are setting upon a goal. We hope to visit/eat in/ have fun in each of the many Chicago neighborhoods within the next year or two. We've lived here over six years and have probably only been through half of them. Which is a shame. We've made a list based on this map and will begin crossing them off one by one. We will start anew, visiting even the neighborhoods we've been to. I will try to report here on my blog. Since I have already blogged about Lincoln Square,
Albany Park, and of course Rogers Park I will go ahead and cross those off. Three down, one hundred and twenty some to go.

Update: It is hard to choose a map to follow as none of them really jive with the next but this one seems more accurate, so I will be using it. Thanks, Tom!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cocaine Bust

(Steph, girl, you have a knack for sending me stuff I can't resist posting.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sewing Machine

About this time last year, inspired by the craftiness of Renegade Craft Fair and all things DIY, I asked for a sewing machine, and come the holidays, Eric's family granted me my wish. I'm ashamed to say that I've only just opened the box but I'm PROUD to say that I can now thread the thing up and sew things together that were once separate. All I can say for now is watch out for Christmas. You people are going to get things that have seen my needle. Some of it ain't pretty, but it will all be warm.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hip bone's connected to the leg bone

Trivia: How many bones are in the the human body? (Give or take five percent.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steph's top five (as of 9/15)

I almost forgot! Steph left me her top five list before she left last week and here it is:

1. "Picking up" Cece's doll house (Cece is Steph's two-year-old and Steph is known to really get into the placement of the furniture in the dollhouse when she is picking up after Cece. :))
2. Listening to Cece snore
3. The way (hubby) Carl's pillow smells
4. Totally vegging out w/ Jess and Eric (her trip was the first time away from Cece since she was born! I imagine I would have been a wreck if that had been me, but Steph was a champ.)
5. Waiting for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to come back on--and when it does it will become #1 on this list

P.S. Yes, that is a picture of me taking a picture of Steph and I when we were kids with Eric being a goof in the background (of the picture of the picture). Such a train wreck that I had to post it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First day of fall is nearing

My friend Mitch (and his friend Karl) just left...One thing we have in common is a love of ghost stories and freaking ourselves out so we just spent the past few hours looking at spooky things on Youtube. So in order to not leave me alone with creepy thoughts (Eric is at a bachelor party) he played this for me:

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's electric

One of my students read one of her stories aloud today. It was about her education in a one room schoolhouse in northern Minnesota. They had no electricity and the teacher would call them back from recess by playing a John Phillip Sousa song on her windup record player. It kind of blew my mind.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Egg Salad

I came home from Spanish class tonight and had an unnatural craving for egg salad. So I made this. (Funny-her photo makes you want to eat the stuff, mine makes you want to test it in a science lab.) But let me tell you. This egg salad now sits on my top ten things in all the world I like to eat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Dan and Elizabeth treated us to Superdog last night. Grilled cheese on rye and pickled tomatoes to die for. I found the below review on Tripadvisor and because it is so much like a poem, I will paste it here:

“be going there forever”

Feb 29, 2008
soooo goood a must to go to in chicago
been there forever
cool drive in
they bring the food to you in your car
wooper cheesies are the best!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trivia for the Sol

Trivia question #3:
How many Earth's could fit inside of the sun (if it were hollow)?

a.) 1,300
b.) 13,000
c.) 130,000
d.) 1,300,000

(Thanks, Allison, for the awesome quilt link.)

Monday, September 15, 2008


My uncle Dan and aunt Elizabeth are in town. It's been great to hang with them. We went to the Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio in Oak Park (which had a prairie style bathroom) and an awesome record store (which had an Elvis style bathroom) and then I got to accompany D and E to the Chicago Accordion Club meeting (at which Dan played the accordion). But the most important moment of the accordion meeting was when Dan said to me, "This should be good blogfodder." We all agree that he coined a word right then and there. I think I will use it often and widely.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Half Marathon

This a picture of Eric (running-on the right) and me (with umbrella) at the Chicago Half Marathon this morning. I am so very proud of my prom date. He beat last year's time (2:03) by ten minutes = (1:53). In the pouring rain.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


My dear friend Steph is here this weekend. (That's us after running around in the rain today.) I'll be brief for now, get her five favorite things tomorrow or the next day, but Steph and I met in Kansas City in Kindergarten. In fact, I think we only went to the same kindergarten for a month or two and then my family moved to another part of KC and then her family moved as well. (When I first met her, I walked past this little pixie of a girl on her front porch (we were also neighbors) and stopped to say hi. She had a big cardboard box in front of her with all these small compartments, like maybe it was for shipping glass tubes or something. I asked her what that was and she turned to me and said, "A bug hotel." We were fast friends from that moment on. And here we are twenty-five years later after only living in the same state for three months.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I found a burned cd in our place today. I have no idea where it came from, but it said LCD Soundsystem on it and I stuck it in and took a listen. It was a fantastic cd to put away the groceries to. It put a bounce in my step while I did the daily dog hair sweep.

I had to look them up and found this of many fun music videos involving LCD Soundsystem.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chilled Radish and Cucumber soup

I know what this looks like, but let's not go there. If you like radishes and cucumbers, you might like this:

1/2 lb trimmed radishes, quartered (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 lb seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled and chopped (2 cups)
2 cups well-shaken chilled buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Garnish: thin slices of cucumber and radish

Purée all ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What a day

Man alive, it's a gorgeous day in Chicago today. There is a little fall in the air, but summer is still hanging on through the top floor windowsill of the very tall building that is Chicago winter.

Also, someone called me "doll" today. It was extra awesome because the dude was, like, a young college student, and said it all nonchalant while serving me coffee. (I thought you were only allowed to call someone "doll" if you fought in WWII.)

Loved it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Max Variations

I know he's the world's most documented dog, but we had a broker's open house today and I was stranded outside on the back pier for a while. Even though I brought work to do, I couldn't concentrate on it, and was bored stiff.

Monday, September 8, 2008

United States of America

Trivia question: What was the name of the (kinda weak) document that came before the Constitution (where the name US of A was first established)?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Certain Swirl
by Mary Ruefle

The classroom was dark, all the desks were empty,
and the sentence on the board was frightened to
find itself alone. The sentence wanted someone to
read it, the sentence thought it was a fine sentence, a
noble, thorough sentence, perhaps a sentence of
some importance, made of chalk dust, yes, but a sen-
tence that contained within itself a certain swirl not
unlike the nebulous heart of the unknown universe,
but if no one read it, how could it be sure? Perhaps it
was a dull sentence and that was why everyone had
left the room and turned out the lights. Night came,
and the moon with it. The sentence sat on the board
and shone. It was beautiful to look at, but no one
read it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Green Beans

Not long ago, during a week in Nebraska, on a sunny back porch, sat a mother, her son, and his caffeinated wife. A huge cottonwood let off little downy specs. A cat swatted for a fly, first trying to draw it near with its paw, then shooing it with the tail. Clay pots dotted the property, some with sturdy plants, others with tropical ones. Nebraskans are hard workers and tropical plants are hard work. It's a religious experience when they survive.

The mother and son pulled fresh green beans from a bag and started to rip the ends off. The caffeinated wife followed suit even though she was thinking about her kitchen shears. Every once in a while one of them would take a break and crunch down on a bean.

"I remember sitting out here as a kid, snapping beans and drinking pop," the son said.
"We didn't do it too often because snapping beans is kind of a pain," the mother responded.
The wife looked up. "Wait. Did the two of you just say snapping beans?"
The mother and son nodded.
"Snapping beans?"
More nodding.
"Shouln't we move to the front porch?"
"Isn't that what it's called?" asked the son.
"No way. Not really. I'm mean it's probably slang or something." The caffeinated wife tittered and shook her head. "Snapping. Beans."
The three continued to rip the ends and any brown spots from the green beans.
The wife was only quiet for four seconds, and then, "Is this going be written up in the Village Gazette? Right next the pinochle scores and the article about what they served for lunch after Lewis funeral?"
"We should get started on the corn," the mother urged.
The wife stuck another bean in her mouth and grabbed a few ears. She carefully tugged the husks away from the yellow kernels, starting with the silks and working down to the stock, which she broke off with great might. She sighed.
"I remember gathering around the table as a kid, and making corn husk dolls after dinner."

Tonight I left the shears aside and snapped each bean. I looked it up. What can I say? Snapping beans is a real thing. And they taste way better than sheared.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Found this in my inbox today...

All I can say is that I'm thinking about starting a modeling agency. Its slogan will be: "Real women make faces."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


How do they do this? It has to be more of a light show, right? I just keep watching and watching when really I should be working and working. Stupid Yahoo "news" feeds.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

This is Milwaukee.

These are the Mets fans who sat next to us at the Brewers game.

These are sausages racing.

And this is the cute little girl who had decorated her sunglasses with pipe cleaners.

Also, since I'll probably be about this blog for a while longer now, and in celebration of the new academic year (or something), I've decided to add in a trivia element. Somewhere around once a week I'll post a question. If you want to play along and you want to win, be the first to post the answer in the comments section. Let's see. I think that whoever reaches ten wins first will win a prize. How about: I'll owe you a drink the next time I see you, you know something like a chocolate malt, a wheat beer, Mr. Pibb, coffee. After that round, we'll start again. This will hopefully pass my time on blogger.com and will teach my 30-year-old brain new things.

First question (with props to trivia enthusiast Chris V.):
In baseball, what are the seven ways a batter can reach first base?