Archive for May 2009

Summer is Ice Cream

Just got an ice cream maker. I've made lemon buttermilk ice cream and rum raisin. It's a fun, long process to make and I feel like Mama Edie from Pink Flamingo with all the eggs I've been buying. Maybe, when it actually gets warm in Chicago I'll want to eat it.

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I Love Fashion

Just saw these little numbers at H&M today.
They reminded me of "Men on Film." Which made me smile instantly. Can't wait to see someone around town awesome enough to wear one... or two (because they're small enough...heehee).

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Incredibly Fine Wine To Enjoy With Swine

Delicious smokey flavors, velvety textures, gripping tannins, barnyard funk, bright fruit and perfect acidity.

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This Little Piggy Went To Market...

I have been thinking a lot about pig lately. At one time, I was a vegetarian. Now, I eat it all, especially pork...cured meats, pork loin, pork shoulder, pork chop, pork belly, ham, sausage, and of course, bacon!

I watched a pig being butchered at a restaurant training today. He came from a local, sustainable farm in Illinois, was fattened with grain raised on the farm, and lived a good, albeit short life. I have eaten plenty of meat in my life since my vegetarian days without giving much thought to where it came from, why it was the color and texture it was, and why it was cooked a certain way. As the realness of this dead pig in front of me set in, these questions suddenly became very important. I have always heard that hunters have more respect for the life of the animals they kill and the meat those animals provide them, as opposed to the average person buying meat in a grocery store. I never really understood that respect of life, until I saw this pig before me. I think it must take a lot to look an animal that you are about to kill, in the eye. You have a certain responsibility to do right by that animal, and give its death meaning by making sure you are sacrificing it for a good cause. It gave it's life to put food on your table.

As we butchered this pig together as a team, I felt a certain pride to learn that we would be using virtually all of its parts for the restaurant menu. I never realized what a versatile animal pig is. As the saying goes, "everything but the oink". I had wondered if at the end of all of this I would turn back into a vegetarian. Nah. But, I do vow to always clean my plate!

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Chicago I Love You

You're no Paris, but still you have something. Like a stark reality. Which is good, I guess. There's no lost in reverie in Chicago. No dancing sugar plum fairies. Only the need to go forward, build up. Wait... this is starting to sound like a bad thing.

At Art Chicago the photographer Michael Wolf stood out to me. He did a whole series on Chicago titled the "Transparent City".

Maybe his work helps sums it up... we're not pretty but we're interesting.

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Bad Idea

The Korova Milk Bar from "A Clockwork Orange"

Something about A Clockwork Orange has always attracted me. We used to own the movie on Beta Max and I would occasionally ask my dad to watch it. Of course, I didn't see it until high school and even then probably wasn't ready. But it sticks with me. When a friend of mine was talking about a milk stout called Moloko, I immediate though of the Korova Milk Bar from ACO and how I always wanted to go there.

When I was in college in Iowa, I joked about the idea of opening a bar called the Milk Barn, inspired from Korova, and I still think about it now and again. I never worked out how it would work, but it would be in an old barn with milk-based drinks and instead of the women as tables, maybe farm animals? Yeah, bad idea, but I guess I like the theme of the sick and sweet that A Clockwork Orange seems to evoke so perfectly.

Here's a cocktail I would serve there:

Absinthe Suissesse

Absinthe Suissesse

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) absinthe
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orgeat syrup*
  • 1 egg white** or 2 tablespoons pasteurized liquid egg whites (optional)
  • 1 dash orange flower water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice


In cocktail shaker, combine absinthe, orgeat syrup, egg white, orange flower water, and heavy cream or half-and-half. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled highball glass with or without ice from the shaker and serve

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