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Lady T

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  1. Lady T

    Steven Shaw

    I...am stunned. 45 years old?! My kindest thoughts to Ellen and PJ, and also to Momo. I imagine that Eternity's banquet hall is ringing with laughter right now, since the Fat Guy's arrival. Warm greetings also, to the old gang I recognize from 2003 and thereabouts; I hope it's all good for you folks.
  2. One of my go-to's, even sometimes in winter, is a good ratatouille: prep 3 cut-up organic tomatoes (peel and seed, if you're an ostomate as I now am), with S + P and herbs to taste (fresh basil and/or parsley in summer, dried oregano and/or parsley in winter) tossed together in one bowl; one small onion, finely chopped, and a clove or two of garlic, minced, and 1 each yellow and orange bell pepper, skinned, seeded, and cut up loosely into squares, in a second bowl with appropriate S + P. In the third bowl: one Japanese eggplant, skinned, seeded as/if necessary and cut up bite-size; 1 - 2 zucchini, skinned and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch coins. Season that to taste with S + P as well. Chuck about 1/4 cup decent (not salad/finishing quality) olive oil into a 10 - 12" skillet, along with 1/3 to 1/2 cup decent white wine (the one you intend to drink with dinner). Cook the onion/garlic/ pepper mixture until somewhat softened, then add the eggplant/zucchini bowl. Allow to cook down until soft, watching liquid levels and seasonings carefully. Finally: add tomatoes and herbs, and cook down until irresistible. Should end up as a somewhat tomatoey stew, with component vegetables still recognizable. Serve over good bread, as is, with a glass of good white. Or, even better: toss some of the mixture into a small casserole, top with a few bits of butter and far too much shredded Swiss cheese and Parmesan, and slip into oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Serves one person, at two meals, beautifully. A green salad can accompany, or follow.
  3. Lima beans. I've always hated 'em. I think I always will. Disgusting pasty greenish tasteless little rocks. GAHH.
  4. Lady T

    Dinner! 2012

    The A/C's working, so I ventured to turn on the oven for a cod fillet baked in white wine with S/P and butter and parsley, along with some good asparagus I found at Whole Paycheck (steamed, S/P, butter, more parsley) and some truly nice boiled red potatoes. Cava to drink and homemade butter cookies for dessert. Mighty full, mighty happy, waiting to see just how much rain/thunder/lightning we get in the next little while.
  5. Haven't hit Oceanique for a year or so -- but it was still in top form when I did. A few additions to the list: Happy Platter, on Main just east of the Purple Line tracks, retains its truly odd charm as well as its blessedly cheap prices. The Stained Glass is still good as far as the wine list goes, and the service is nicely solicitous as of last summer -- but the food is still overpriced. Chef's Station, directly underneath the Davis Metra stop, is still one of my go-to places when I feel as if the Universe has mistreated me: excellent wine, food, and service. Pricey, but worth it. Want some more?
  6. Chris -- Just caught up with the blog. Lord of Hosts, but those chocolates are mindblowingly beautiful! What fun this will be, to watch you make magic this week!
  7. Add artichokes to the pile of vegetables which can cause...interesting...effects in the washroom, at least for some people. I'm pleased to see a discussion of this effect; one of my favorite dishes on this earth is a platter of penne pasta tossed with a sauce of mushrooms, asparagus, and garlic -- cooked in olive oil with white wine and herbs, and finished with shredded Parmegian. I never fix that dish if I'm going to be in social contact with anybody in the next 48 hours, though.
  8. My late father was a bartender and wine steward, and he never saw a problem with bringing me and my mom into the local bar/liquor store (whose owner he knew well) for an hour or so in the evening on an occasional weekend night. He and Mom got to relax with friends for a bit, and I got to have orange juice or a soft drink -- with a Maraschino cherry! -- and be cooed at (in early years, when I actually was sort of cute) by various other customers. The bar's owner swore I was good for business, but I think he was just buttering-up my pa, who knew some mighty fine sources for good wine... Thanks for calling a fun memory to mind!
  9. Now *you,* I understand. At 3:42 Chicago time, I'm doing 'leftover' soup, with no sense of deprivation whatever: mushrooms, asparagus, new red potatoes, diced Roma tomatoes, the last of the most recent roast chicken (cut up), wilted-down spinach and salad greens, plus cooked penne rigate and chicken stock. The appetizer was hummus on good buttered toast, and the wine is a perfectly nice American non-oaked Chard. Still deciding what to do for dessert. I dare to suggest, however, Alex, that the Almighty and Eternal has more mercy for us who cherish his culinary gifts than Rev. Whatsisname ever did, or will. You might just find yourself at the heavenly feast yet; save a l'il room.
  10. I bought one of those classic quarter-pound-stick Tupperware butter holders from a friend who has since died. I won't discard it -- dented as it is from dishwasher heat over the years! -- in the name of her memory; I simply make sure that I leave it out overnight for the stick to soften if I'm going to need to butter something up for breakfast in the morning. It lives in the fridge otherwise (its sisters waiting to be used do their waiting in the freezer). It's one of those silly things that brings old memories forward into the present, and gives me the illusion that my friend still participates, even a peripheral little bit, in my meals and my life.
  11. I like that idea. I'll try it next time out, which will be soon: Easter's coming. Thanks!
  12. I hear you, Derek. I do, however, bring my favorite butcher a bottle of wine with a festive bow around its neck at the winter holidays. I don't see a need to slip him any cash -- not at the prices he charges for the services he provides! -- but I refuse to leave his efforts unacknowledged. If nothing else, it keeps things cordial when I want him to bone out an oxtail for me...
  13. Don't think you've done anything that needs forgiving, Maestro. Wine, for me, is driven by food and mood, more or less (but not always!) in that order. If what I'm eating indicates it -- say, a nicely grilled steak or a deep-flavored beef stew -- the first beverage I'm going to open is going to be a big honkin' red. It might be one of those Zins mgaretz likes, it might be one of the newer high-alcohol Cabs, it might be a more polite Montepulciano. I might wonder about your tastebuds if you wanted a glass of some huge, hulking Chilean red with a dainty cream-sauced bonne-femme sole preparation, but that's not what you're describing, I don't think. Go in peace; Bacchus loves you. And the next time I'm in NYC, perhaps we can open a fruit bomb together (or even set up a tasting).
  14. One of the best-received appetizers I take to others' homes -- to this day! -- consists of a big block of Philly cream cheese with a half bottle or so of bottled shrimp-cocktail sauce poured over it. Add Ritz crackers and a serving/spreading knife, and stand back. I've never ever had leftovers to take home for myself...[sniffle]
  15. Cookbooks. Oh, Lord...on shelves, in the kitchen (and dining room and living room and bedroom), you name it, they're everywhere. And if I don't always use the recipes therein, I still read 'em as entertainment and as fantasy material, imagining how it might be to cook and eat in someone else's kitchen, living that part of someone else's life. It's some of the best fun a body can have without actually leaving home
  16. Wow. Just...wow. I see what you meant about the appetizer courses(s) at the Gathering: I'd easily make the same error I made last year, and fill up on the yummy cheeses and such before the main courses were served. I'm with you, Maggie: as soon as I have a job, I'll start saving up for next year.
  17. My late father called it "Egg in the Hole" and he buttered both sides of the thick-cut bread before he cut the hole (with a knife around the circumference of a juice glass) and it hit the pan. Eggs for the hole(s) were cracked into a teacup as the pan was heating, and were slipped one by one into each hole just after the toast began Side Two. 'Holes' were mostly cooked alongside, but sometimes got thrown out. Go figure. Definite confirmation for the use of bacon fat. Hot sauce is good; good pico de gallo salsa can be even better. Has anyone ever encountered a variation with good patty sausage? We did this at home at the holidays sometimes.
  18. Hot cereal (currently at my place: shortgrain brown rice) plus peach yogurt plus fresh strawberries. Finest kind.
  19. Sunday's roast chicken is Monday's sliced chicken (with herbed mayonnaise, and on homemade honey wheat bread this week) sandwich, and Tuesday's chicken quesadilla, and Wednesday's or Thursday's cold chicken leg to gnaw on with a salad. I've been very glad that Chicago's early summer has been cooler than normal; I get to have some more home-reasted chicken without turning on the A/C. And the bones are in the freezer so I can have good chicken stock, down the road. Yum.
  20. A reminder of what I bet you already know, friend: Cooking with friends is one of the most happy and comforting and reinforcing things you can do. The yummy leftovers can be a tremendous assist for the coming week, but the payoff is the admiring remarks -- not only from your buddies, but from your office colleagues though the week as they smell the aromas coming from the microwave -- as you rack up enough good meals to see you past Friday. I suggest that you set up a potluck at your home for a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks from now: doesn't need to be for more than one or two people if that's what's comfortable for you. Make sure that you specify that each person needs to bring a dish that not only will be yummy that night but will produce leftovers that can be parcelled out among the rest of the attendees for enjoyment sometime during the rest of the week. Between the laughter on that afternoon and the delicious results stretching into the future, you may find that you don't feel as alone as once you did. It is worth it. Keep slugging.
  21. Nope. Not having it. If this woman can't stand to put "joy" and "food" together in the same sentence in a positive way, I'm not letting her arguments anywhere near me. I'm not going to follow anywhere she thinks she's leading. And as long as my physician keeps telling me that my blood pressure, cholesterol/lipids, and sugar count stay well within norms AND I can sustain the berserk schedule of the working vocal musician in the Chicago metro area AND fulfill a standard-issue office schedule, I'm not buying her spiel. And I agree with the opinion above: I hope her kids get some comfort and guidance before they get completely internally warped, to the detriment of their health (both physical and psychological).
  22. O Lord. Tonight's dinner is homemade mushroom soup, with three kinds of mushrooms, and shallots, and unsalted butter, and herbs, and and and. One of the reasons to make this soup is to have an excuse to add cream, and/or a homemade crouton, and/or the odd steamed (or sauteed) green vegetable. One takes the ensemble to work, refrigerates it until noontime, stirs and heats it up suitably, and waits for the aroma to make the colleagues moan in envy.
  23. I'm still finding dandelion greens (pre-flower) young enough to use in salads, but the season's nearly over by me. I ain't telling where my favorite raspberry and blackberry brambles are. Some damnfool government agency'll mow them down if I do, I'm convinced. My fave mulberry bushes are all on private property which belongs to people who are only too happy to have me show up with a bedsheet, take the fruit away, and come back with jam.
  24. If I make it at home, with my own choice of three cheeses and my own white sauce and herbs and nicely cooked penne rigate, the first serving is as a main, with a cooked green and/or a green salad. The leftovers go into a fridge-to-oven baking dish with a chunk or two or three of good baked ham and a splash of white wine, and extra shredded cheese and herbs go on top. That will be a main dish in a day or two or three. Baked apples make a wonderful dessert, with cinnamon/sugar and raisins inside. These are winter meals all the way, though, and I'm not thinking in these directions with the lilacs in bloom now...
  25. Awww, c'mon, Alex. You *know* nobody listens to aldermen (and Daley least of all!).
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