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Plan: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago Aug 8-10


Alex
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Heartland Gathering Bread Class

Santo_Grace lives very close to Karen and has offered to pick up lunch at Smoque BBQ (link here). Please contact Santo_Grace directly with your order and bring cash to class to pay for your meal. Santo_Grace will arrive at 11:30 am at Karen's house with your order, so you can eat your meal before the class starts at noon.

Also, feel free to bring your lunch and eat during the class if Smoque BBQ doesn't appeal to you. While I can't stop the class for people to make a lunch run (we have a LOT to cover), I have no problem if people want to munch away during the class.

So are people expected to arrive by 11:30 rather than 12? I was planning on having lunch at Smoque with my +1, so I could take her part of the way (don't want her to get lost, doncha know), but if workshop participants are expected to have lunch together, there's not much point in my heading out there for lunch.

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This tour will start off at 9 a.m. from Niles. Plan to arrive early if you'd like coffee or a morning nosh before we leave. If you think you will have trouble getting to Niles, please send me a PM as soon as possible and let me know where you will coming from.

Has a meeting place been determined? We're leaving in a few days, and I need to print out directions and stuff before we leave so my +1 can arrive at Niles without too many problems. It's easiest to just print out CTA info so she can have visuals. :smile:

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So are people expected to arrive by 11:30 rather than 12?  I was planning on having lunch at Smoque with my +1, so I could take her part of the way (don't want her to get lost, doncha know), but if workshop participants are expected to have lunch together, there's not much point in my heading out there for lunch.

Santo_Grace offered to stop by Smoque BBQ and pick up lunch for any of the participants who wanted it. She was then going to arrive at Karen M's by 11:30 so that those who ordered lunch would have a chance to eat it before the class started.

That being said, if you were already planning on eating at Smoque BBQ (or anywhere else) on your own (with your +1), continue with your plans and then arrive at the class at noon.

Sorry if that was confusing.

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The Bongo Room, one of my favorite breakfast spots, has a second newer restaurant in the South Loop.  They open at 8am.

Bongo Room, at Roosevelt and Wabash, is my favorite breakfast place downtown, too, but it's a good mile and a half from the Hyatt, maybe more.  They have creative pancakes and sauces, and you can mix and match the sauces, get partial portions to try different things, etc.  (I think they open at 9 on weekdays, and as previously mentioned at 8 on weekends; for places that don't have websites, hours posted on Metromix are generally accurate.)

Oops! I got it backwards, sorry! :blush: Bongo Room (both locations) opens at 9:00 on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). During the week, they open earlier; depending on whom you believe, they open at 8:00 (Metromix) or 8:30 (Menupages).
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Heartland Gathering Bread Class

Friday, August 8th

Noon - 5 PM

Another adjustment in attendance based on PMs.

Updated list of the students I have signed up:

edsel

karen m

Amy Viny

Jean Blanchard (*)

santo_grace

torakris

LuckyGirl (*) +2 (*)

prasantrin's +1

(*) = probable/maybe

6 definites / 4 maybes

Let me know if there are any errors in that list.

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Santo_Grace offered to stop by Smoque BBQ and pick up lunch for any of the participants who wanted it. She was then going to arrive at Karen M's by 11:30 so that those who ordered lunch would have a chance to eat it before the class started.

That being said, if you were already planning on eating at Smoque BBQ (or anywhere else) on your own (with your +1), continue with your plans and then arrive at the class at noon.

Sorry if that was confusing.

Thanks! I'll check with what my +1 feels most comfortable with, and if she decides she can head forth on her own and have lunch with y'all, I'll contact Santo_Grace.

I'm leaving on Tuesday and am getting excited! As an aside, our internet service went down on Saturday, so if anyone wants to contact me, I won't be able to reply until we get into MSP on Tuesday. Unless our service miraculously fixes itself, that is...

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It's official: the Maxwell Street Market Tour with David Hammond will begin at 10 am sharp on Sunday August 10. We will all meet outside the White Palace Grill, which is located at 1159 S Canal Street. I've added this location to the eGS Heartland Gathering Map - 2008

I hope everyone who is participating in the other events over the weekend will join us for this truly distinctive and delicious Chicago experience.

=R=

Activities for Sunday August 10 . . .

Several people have asked about Sunday's activities and we have a plan so exciting that I'm not sure I'll be able to wait for it.  We will visit the Maxwell Street Market, one of Chicago's truly distinctive culinary and cultural treasures.  Even better, we'll have none other than David Hammond to lead us.  Mr. Hammond is an expert not only about the Maxwell Street market and its history but also about Mexican regional cuisine.  His 6-part "Beyond the Burrito" series, which appeared in The Reader, Chicago's alternative newspaper, is a fantastic resource on the regional cuisines of Mexico -- and where prime examples of these cuisines can be found throughout Chicagoland.  Having Mr. Hammond at the helm should make the experience particularly enjoyable and informative, as he will provide context for much of what we'll see and taste on our tour.

We will begin at about 10 am by meeting at predetermined spot near the market.  These details have not yet been finalized.  The tour should take about 3 hours and will consist of plenty of walking.  It's a rain or shine event and admission is free.  As such, there's no need to sign up and payment is not required.  You'll have all sorts of opportunities to buy food and beverages (and tube socks) from the local vendors during the tour.  No set meal will be provided but the eating opportunities will be vast, excellent and varied.

While it is a few of years old, Hammond and some friends assembled a video record of the Maxwell Street Market, which can be viewed by clicking here:  Gorilla Gourmet: Maxwell Street Mexican.

Additionally, the aforementioned pieces (and more), penned by Mr. Hammond, on Mexico's regional cuisine can be found be following these links:

Mexican Regional Cuisine Index:  http://dchammond.com/index.php?id=6

Two Takes on Yucatecan Cuisine = http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stor...aurants/070316/

This should be a great, inexpensive way to wrap up our diverse weekend of eating and cooking.

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Sorry we missed you all by a couple of weeks (we didn't set the wedding date!). When we went to Blackbird for lunch - this is the dessert we had:

sour cherry soup with guanaja chocolate ice cream, creme fraiche and espelette

It was fabulous and I recommend it highly if it is available.

And for those of you from out of town - don't miss the Koons exhibit at MOCA (even if you don't have time to dine at the Cafe). Robyn

Edited by robyn (log)
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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details.  Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long.  Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

Damn, I was just reading this and thinking - I hope Randi is paying attention to all this - so I can just follow!

And I was thinking..... I'm sure Kerry is good with directions. Maybe we can just follow Alex and Rona.....

I, too, am freaking out about these directions. Maybe we can all shell out a couple extra bucks and squeeze into a taxi? I am really bad about directions and especially bad with trains. I also have an irrational fear of buses but if I am with others it may be OK.

Is there anything to do around Union Station for a couple hours Friday morning? I am arriving at 5am and since the bread class isn't starting until noon I have quite a bit of time to kill.Anyone else going from this area to the bread class?

When I am in Chicago like I was a couple of weeks ago - I am a tourist too. Unfortunately - there is no Chicago Fish Market to help you kill time at 5 am :smile: . The Field Museum (museum of natural history and the like) opens at 9 am. It's a world class museum. Apart from Sue the dinosaur - a perennial favorite - and many other displays - there is an interesting special exhibit there now called Nature Unleashed. Deals with things like tropical storms (typhoons) - earthquakes and the like. Museum admission isn't cheap - but you can print a $5 off coupon from the Field Museum website (or have your hotel concierge do it for you). You might have to make a specific time reservation to see Nature Unleashed (check the Field Museum website - shows the status in terms of available tickets).

You might have an early breakfast - take a walk in Millenium Park before it gets hot - and then grab a taxi and go to the Field Museum (it's about 5-10 minutes from the park in a cab - but a very long walk). Check out the Mark di Suvero sculptures in the park. There are also quite a few fabulous "art in public places" sculptures in the area of the park (large scale sculptures). Get a map and plan a walk to see them.

If you feel like walking a bit less - I very much recommend the architecture boat tour - I've taken it before - earliest leaves at 9 am I think. Here is the website. Reservations are essential.

I don't mean to diss anyone else's city - but public transportation in Chicago isn't like public transportation in Japan. As an older woman - I never hesitated taking a train/subway in Japan (although I did avoid the buses due to language problems) - but I will not take the El in Chicago. The taxis aren't cheap - but they aren't particularly expensive either. I would suggest "taxi-pooling" whenever possible - especially in the downtown area. When you are going out of the city - there are certain fixed rates - something like double the meter cost (because you have taken the taxi out of its normal operating zone). Check what the costs are - for example - to a place like Evanston. Inside the city - you are running on the meter.

Every taxi we had took credit cards - but we always asked before we took one (because some don't). The quality of the taxis we took varied - from the old broken down kind you almost always find in cities like Miami - where the driver never turns on the air conditioning - to a brand new Prius (the first Prius cab I had ever been in). If you don't like the looks of a cab - wait for the next one. We were told that there is a "cab rider's" bill of rights in Chicago. Like you have a right to have the driver turn on the air conditioning.

Regardless of a cab's condition - or its driver's willingness to turn on the air conditioning - we found the drivers were always courteous. They always explained why a 2 mile trip wound up being 3 or more miles (100% of seemingingly roundabout trips were due to construction detours - many roads all around the city are closed for repair during the short road repair season).

Also - the weather is *very* variable. The week we were there - the highs were in the 90's every day. Hotter than home here in Florida! On the other hand - it could be in the 70's or 80's - or maybe even the 60's. Check the weather report before you leave and pack accordingly.

Anyway - if you have any other questions about being a tourist in Chicago - let me know. Because when I am there - I am also a tourist (with considerably less jet lag than you will have coming from Japan). Robyn

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When you are going out of the city - there are certain fixed rates - something like double the meter cost (because you have taken the taxi out of its normal operating zone).  Check what the costs are - for example - to a place like Evanston.  Inside the city - you are running on the meter.

When you catch a taxi in the city of Chicago, it runs on straight meter rates anywhere inside the city, including both airports. It also runs on straight meter rates from the city (including both airports) to the following close-in suburbs:

Bedford Park Calumet Park Elmwood Park Hines VA Hospital Norridge River Grove

Burbank Cicero Evanston Hometown Oak Lawn Rosemont

Blue Island Des Plaines Evergreen Park Lincolnwood Oak Park Stickney

Burnham Dolton Forest View Merrionette Park Park Ridge Summit

Calumet City Elk Grove Village Harwood Hts. Niles Riverdale

Going from either airport to towns not listed above, it's one and a half times the meter rate; going from elsewhere in the city to towns not listed above, I think it's straight meter till you cross the city limits, and then it's double the meter for the remaining portion.

For those wishing to take cabs from the airport to destinations in the suburbs, American Taxi is a popular option. They offer flat rates from the airports to most suburbs, as noted on their website. You can call them when you are getting your baggage, and they will give you a cab number to look for when you get outside.

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I don't mean to diss anyone else's city - but public transportation in Chicago isn't like public transportation in Japan.  As an older woman - I never hesitated taking a train/subway in Japan (although I did avoid the buses due to language problems) - but I will not take the El in Chicago.

Chicago is a big city with big-city issues, so you need to be alert to safety, but that applies not only on public transit but on the streets and in and around restaurants. Taking taxis isn't necessarily safer than transit, because you need to stand around and try to flag them. If you need a cab late at night, stay inside and ask the establishment to phone for one for you.

Inside restaurants and bars, keep your purse where you can see it -- don't hang it on the back of your chair. Don't leave valuables in a jacket pocket and hang it on the back of your chair or in a coat rack. Don't flash a lot of bills.

The main difference I found between the subway in Tokyo and the L in Chicago is that Tokyo's transit system is more complex, more crowded, and its riders ruder about pushing and shoving.

Everyone's level of comfort is different, but as a middle-aged woman, I've never been bothered on the L. I am not these days a frequent rider, but I also don't know anyone personally who's had trouble. I would hesitate only to take the L alone late at night. There are some L stations in troubled neighborhoods, but most of them aren't tourist destinations.

Just make sure you know where you're going and stay aware of your surroundings.

LAZ

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Couldn't agree more about safety awareness. Not only in Chicago - but in many other large cities.

It is also a miserable state of affairs in terms of flying these days. Last year - when we flew EWR to Berlin - I found that someone handling my luggage had decided to steal my TSA lock by removing both the lock and the zipper pulls from the piece. So on our most recent trip - I used a cheaper piece of luggage - skipped the TSA lock - and found an expensive purse stolen from my checked bag somewhere between DTW and JAX (via ATL).

That said - we have never had any problems in Chicago (although we do stay along the reasonably well beaten tourist path during hours when normal people are mostly awake). Robyn

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I consider the L to be safer than houses, even for this middle-aged woman. You're surrounded by guards, cameras and fellow L riders. Pfui. Hop on.

As in any big citykeep an eye on your handbag. At 2:00 am a male escort is good. But focus on the food, Lake Michigan and the architecture. That's what most Chicagoans are doing.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Updated lists . . . (a few more people have dropped out, via pm)

Please note, these lists now reflect how many people have paid and are confirmed. They do not reflect those attendees shown here as 'probable' who have subsequently paid. To check your specific status, please view the 'Attendee Lists' at EventBrite.com (by following the sign-up links provided in the pm's I sent on July 9)

Less than 72 hours remain to purchase tickets to these events. Ticket sales will end at 11:55 pm ET on Tuesday August 5.

Thursday Dinner at Blackbird

=R= +3

Alchemist

newbie21

tammylc

jesteinf +1

edsel

prasantrin* +1*

Jean Blanchard +1

santo_grace +1

HOLLY_L

NancyH +1

nyokie6 +1

nsxtasy +1

Sam Iam +1

Elrushbo

stuart_s

daniellewiley +1

Amy Viny +1

white lotus +1

cat lancaster

ricain + 1

REB +1

DutchMuse + 1

-40- (38 definite, 2 probable)

8 spots remain for Thursday's dinner

31 paid and confirmed

Thursday Drinks at The Violet Hour

=R= +3

HeatherM

Alex

tammylc +1

jesteinf +1

edsel

tino27 +1

Lady T

prasantrin* +1*

Marmish* +1*

newbie21

Jean Blanchard +1

santo_grace +1

HOLLY_L

NancyH +1

nyokie6 +1

nsxtasy +1

Sam Iam +1

LuckyGirl +1

stuart_s*

daniellewiley +1

Amy Viny +1

Aaron Deacon

cat lancaster

ricain + 1

karen m

-43- (40 definite, 3 probable)

17 spots remain for Thursday's cocktail session :smile:

36 paid and confirmed

Updated list for the Friday night dinner at Lao Sze Chuan:

=R= +4

prasantrin +1

torakris

tammylc

CaliPoutine +1

Alex

Sam Iam +3

Fresser

NancyH +1

nsxtasy +1

jesteinf +1

tino27 +1

HeatherM

santo_grace +1

Kerry Beal

edsel

Cathy2

nyokie6 +1

stuart_s

HOLLY_L

white lotus +1

LuckyGirl +1

LAZ

daniellewiley +1

karen m

hsm

Amy Viny +1

Fat Guy

REB +1

DutchMuse +1

-51- (51 definite, 0 probable)

29 spots remain for Friday night's dinner at Lao Sze Chuan

45 paid and confirmed

Updated list for the Saturday dinner at Immanuel Lutheran Church:

=R= +4

NancyH +1

torakris

edsel

LuckyGirl +1

Alchemist

CaliPoutine

Alex +1

tammylc

nsxtasy +1

Kerry Beal

Marmish +1

prasantrin* +1*

tino27 +1

Sam Iam +3

nr706 +1

hsm

Jean Blanchard +1

newbie21

HOLLY_L

santo_grace +1

daniellewiley +1

Cathy2

nyokie6 +1

LAZ +1

maggiethecat +1

Elrushbo

white lotus +1

Fresser

cat lancaster

Lady T

Amy Viny +1

karen m +1

ricain + 1

elfin +1

Fat Guy

REB +1

-64- (62 definite, 2 probable)

26 spots remain for Saturday's group meal :smile:

46 paid and confirmed

Again, please take a look at the above lists -- and the lists at EventBrite.com -- and let me know if I have failed to record your status accurately.

Thanks! :smile:

=R=

Edited by ronnie_suburban (log)

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Update:

Ethnic shopping tour

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 (including lunch)

Niles ethnic grocers (list)

This tour will start off at 9 a.m. from Niles. Everyone on the list below should have received a PM from me with the meeting place and a link to further info, directions and a map.

Plan to arrive early if you'd like coffee or a morning nosh before we leave. If you think you will have trouble getting to Niles, please send me a PM as soon as possible and let me know where you will coming from.

Ethnic lunch will cost about $13 each, including a beverage, tax and tip. It will be easiest if everyone brings cash. If I can shoehorn it in, we may also have a mid-morning snack that will cost about $2 each.

Drivers, if I have wrongly estimated the number of available seats in your car, please let me know. The number in brackets is car seats including the driver.

LAZ+1 [6]

tammylc* [4]

Jean Blanchard+1* (**[2])

LuckyGirl+2*(**[3])

torakris

white lotus+1

Fresser* [4]

Fat Guy

tino27's Chris

NancyH

edsel* [4]

prasantrin's guest

nyokie6+1

Total: 14 + 5 probable

*Additional drivers [total car seats: 23]

(**)probable

LAZ

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Heartland Gathering Bread Class

Friday, August 8th

Noon - 5 PM

Another adjustment in attendance based on PMs.

Updated list of the students I have signed up:

edsel

karen m

Amy Viny

Jean Blanchard (*)

santo_grace

LuckyGirl (*) +2 (*)

prasantrin's +1

(*) = probable/maybe

5 definites / 4 maybes

Let me know if there are any more adjustments in this list.

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I remember that somewhere upthread someone (Ronnie?) mentioned the possibility of bringing small appliances or other equipment that the church kitchen might not have. I'll be in need of one or two large strainers or colanders (medium to fine mesh), and one or, preferably, two, blenders. Would a Chicagoland someone be able to bring any of these? Thanks!

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I remember that somewhere upthread someone (Ronnie?) mentioned the possibility of bringing small appliances or other equipment that the church kitchen might not have. I'll be in need of one or two large strainers or colanders (medium to fine mesh), and one or, preferably, two, blenders. Would a Chicagoland someone be able to bring any of these? Thanks!

I was planning to bring my (Heartland-made :smile: ) Vita-Mix with both the wet and dry blade containers.

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Is anybody else staying in Evanston or nearby? I'm going to be at the Best Western University Plaza. I can probably get everywhere by public transportation if necessary but if anybody is staying in or around Evanston with a car (or lives around there) I'd surely appreciate a lift in a couple of instances. I guess please PM me if you meet that description.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Ronnie - can you remind us - what equipment/supplies are available at the Church?

I remember that somewhere upthread someone (Ronnie?) mentioned the possibility of bringing small appliances or other equipment that the church kitchen might not have. I'll be in need of one or two large strainers or colanders (medium to fine mesh), and one or, preferably, two, blenders. Would a Chicagoland someone be able to bring any of these? Thanks!

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Ronnie - can you remind us - what equipment/supplies are available at the Church? 
I remember that somewhere upthread someone (Ronnie?) mentioned the possibility of bringing small appliances or other equipment that the church kitchen might not have. I'll be in need of one or two large strainers or colanders (medium to fine mesh), and one or, preferably, two, blenders. Would a Chicagoland someone be able to bring any of these? Thanks!

I will have to check again but I know for sure that there is a 6-burner cooktop, 2 ovens, a microwave, commercial dishwasher, 2-iron waffle station, some plates/tableware, some serving pieces, cutting boards and some utensils. Can't remember if there is a mixer or blender but I will find out. I will try to get a more detailed list together in the next day or so. And if any locals can bring equipment to the church on Saturday, it will most certainly be appreciated and come in handy.

Also, I want to remind those who do know and inform those who do not know that the church is not air conditioned. Right now, the forecast for next Saturday is 79 F and partly sunny, so while that could obviously change, hopefully the weather won't be an issue. In any event, prepare to dress accordingly.

None of the venues we considered had air conditioned kitchens and the few that had air conditioned dining rooms were much smaller than it appeared we would need. Unfortunately, from the 86 people who originally indicated they would attend on Saturday, we're currently down to 46 (paid and confirmed) and will probably end up at around 50. Had I known our group was going to be this much smaller than originally expected, we might have considered other options. Oh well, such is life. :wink:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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