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adoxograph

eG Foodblog: adoxography - transiting Venus and Taylorville driveby

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The warrior-shaman, stripped to the waist, held aloft a stone stained with blood. His skin glistened in the sunlight as he peered down at the girl tied to the rock in front of him.

"It is your turn." he intoned "and there had better be meat."

"Come on, what if I just promise to be different? I'll do stuff no one else has!" The tattered remains of a black tennis shoe fell from her foot with a thud.

"There must be blood!" His teeth looked sharp, and he spit as he glowered.

"Um, what about salad? A nice green salad?" She squirmed.

"Salad's for wimps. You're not a wimp are you? I hate wimps."

"Hey, look! Transit of Venus!" She pointed towards the sun.

The warrior turned, shielding his eyes. "What? Where?" When he turned back to the stone, the girl was gone. "Bah.... she'll be back. She'd better bring meat."

A voice called out from down the mountain. "Fine, fine - if nothing else there will be fish!."

The warrior rolled his eyes. "I totally knew it. Wimp."

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I think we're in for yet another good one here....

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Now that I've scared almost everyone away... :) A few particulars before I begin in earnest tomorrow:

I'm currently residing in Elk Grove Village, IL - which, surprisingly, has elk, and less surprisingly, is one of the many suburbs outside of Chicago. I started this lifetime as a stolid New Englander, which explains why I don't understand the salad folks around here put on their hot dogs. I've been in the Chicago area for almost five years and am starting to believe that maybe I've almost scratched the surface of all the good food this city has to offer. I work downtown at the Adler Planetarium (no, I am not an astronomer, but I can play one on TV). My 30 mile commute takes me through 2 of the 10 worst traffic jams in the U.S., so I spend a great deal of time considering what to eat for my next meal.

This week is going to be, well, interesting. Tomorrow, I'll be spending the day with a German Planetarium group who have a musical planetarium show they'll be doing - the Man in the Moon singing in German to a heavy drumbeat.

I'm intrigued.

Tuesday, Venus will be crossing the sun for the first time in about 120 years, so I'll be getting to work before 5 am, and, crazy person that I am, I promised them fresh cinnamon rolls. And that's just the next 48 hours.

See you tomorrow morning!

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Photos! I need photos!

Er...that is, photos of Venus' crossing and maybe some of the food thrown in. :laugh:

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Tuesday, Venus will be crossing the sun for the first time in about 120 years, so I'll be getting to work before 5 am, and, crazy person that I am, I promised them fresh cinnamon rolls. And that's just the next 48 hours.

Thank you so much for the information about venus crossing the sun. Lets see. about 120 years back would be somewhere in the 1880s. :smile:

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First off, happy birthday to his purpleness, Prince. I will eat a cherry today in his honor.

Now, I should know better than to follow someone like nessa - definitely puts the pressure on, but I will say that yes, there will be pictures, and yes, I'll get pictures of, if nothing else, the Transit event (And you were correct, bleu, the last Transit of Venus was in 1882). This is real world Chicago astronomy, after all, which means a decided possiblity of clouds, rain, fog, etc, etc. The joke around here is you can see <insert phenomena here> everywhere else in the city but at the Planetarium. I'll do my best.

OK, food!

The only morning food consumers in my house are the cats, known as Fat Cat and Rat Cat. At the vet's we call them Callie and Chloe, but since I didn't name either one, I feel no real compulsion to use those names. They are on Atkins. Seriously, the best diet to get Fats less fat was high protien, less carbs, so now they are eating more canned food.

Me, I make myself a cup of tea to drink in the car. This morning I burst into wakefulness at about 5:30 with a muttered obscenity. My alarm goes off at 7:04. I tried to pretend I was sleeping, but the cats weren't buying it. After a few flying leaps on and off the bed, I got up, so the boy might continue his slumber. He doesn't have to get up until after I leave. Since I had extra time, I made Masala Chai for myself. I've been playing around with mixing the spices and tea myself and today's was very tasty - assam tea, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger and plenty of cardamom. I made myself wait until Mannheim - the spot on the Eisenhower express where traffic stops each day - to start drinking it, and by the time I got to work I was wishing I had made an extra cup. Speaking of work, this is where I work:

i8028.jpg

I should go and do some work, but I will say that anyone in the Chicago area should come down to the Museum Campus this week - it's Free Week here, at the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.

Enough PSAs! I have to meet the Germans!

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:cool:

Sounds as if I should stop in and say 'hello' at the Adler, when I go down to the Field to say 'boo' for free to my namesake, the T-rex Sue. Are you within public access, adoxograph, or are you one of those mysterious staff members nobody sees?

Do I recall correctly, if vaguely, that crazy things are supposed to happen during a transit of Venus? Can you elaborate on the folklore, if any?

:biggrin:

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Now, I should know better than to follow someone like nessa - definitely puts the pressure on, but I will say that yes, there will be pictures, and yes, I'll get pictures of, if nothing else, the Transit event (And you were correct, bleu, the last Transit of Venus was in 1882). This is real world Chicago astronomy, after all, which means a decided possiblity of clouds, rain, fog, etc, etc. The joke around here is you can see <insert phenomena here> everywhere else in the city but at the Planetarium. I'll do my best.

adoxograph, your blog is gonna rock. Already does, as far as I'm concerned. Chai has a special place in my heart :wub: . I always cringe to see one blog compared to another. I think that each one is so unique and so educational that they totally stand alone. I just love getting to view a slice of someone else's life! Blogging should be fun, not make you feel pressured. Granted its a hellova lotta work, so theres always the pressure to get stuff posted :raz: Thank GAWD you get to tag someone at the end of the week. Tee hee.

Anyway, since I just moved to Dallas from Chicago, it will be a wonderful way for me to pretend like I'm taking a vacation back up north. Especially as the dog days set in :hmmm:. I do so miss my view of the lake :sad: But I don't miss the commute!

I hope you have just a splendidly fun time this week!

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Unfortunately, not all the U.S. states will be able to view the transit of Venus. As a Californian who will be in the dark, so to speak, I am looking forward to viewing the transit via your blog.

Now on to the Germans and cinnamon rolls!

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Yes, sadly, not everyone will be able to view the transit - indeed here in Chicago we will only see the last hour of it. It begins at 5:13 am UT (that's GMT for those of you bound here on Earth), visible primarily in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Australia isn't going to see it at all. Transit ends at abot 11:25 UT, which is about 6:30 am Central.

We can call this a twice in a lifetime event, since it will happen again in June of 2012. As for folklore, the transit of Venus has little astrological impact, since it doesn't happen often enough. There was a French scientist, Le Gentil in 1761 who travelled halfway around the world and saw it, but couldn't figure out exactly where he was in the Pacific when he made his observations. He decided to wait the eight years for the next one. When he returned to France, he discovered he'd been declared dead, and all of his stuff had been sold.

Ah, the world before the Internet.

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I got home about 45 minutes ago and realized that 12 hours from now, I will have been at work for two hours. I love that.

That having been said, let's backtrack a bit. First, a bit of anti-nostalgia for anyone who has left the Chicago area: i8043.jpg total time in car today - about 2 hours. That's a good commute. :)

I had lunch with Zee Germans in Galileo's, the cafe in the Planetarium. Green salad with balsamic vinegrette, fresh fruit and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. I'll get more in detail with the food at Galileo's later in the week, but I think the best thing about it is the view - I'd even suggest my lunchtime view is better than nessa's :)i8044.jpg

Zee Germans were great fun. They have a musical planetarium show they are going to do for teachers of German in November. Imagine lasers, live musicians, and a "space shuttle" visit to the Man in the Moon. They said when they come back, they'll bring us wine and chocolate. Lunch was fun, especially when they asked "What is the best pizza in Chicago?" No decision was reached on that one.

I stopped by the Valli produce on the way home. I really, really don't understand how anyone shops at the big grocery stores. The Valli by me has great selections, and a good portion of their signs say things like "49 cents/pound". Plus, it's all so pretty: i8045.jpg

So now, dinner is in the works. We're having rainbow trout tonight. Can you tell?

i8042.jpg

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I love the picture of your cats: what exactly did you bribe them with to pose so beautifully?

And I love where you work. It looks so....so.....extraterrestrial!

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I love the Adler Planetarium. I've been going there since I was a wee lad and I always have a great time there. I plan on taking my son there for his first visit, sometime this summer.

How was the rainbow trout? What did you get at Valli? Did you use the stuff you got there for tonight's dinner? I'm pretty sure, from previous threads, that you (and not Mr. Adoxograph) do most of the cooking, right? :wink::biggrin:

=R=

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That picture of your cats is hilarious! The one on the right looks has such a deprived, piteous expression on his/her face.

By the way, I had no idea what "adoxography" meant. A normal dictionary like www.m-w.com didn't have it, so I Googled. I was figuring it might be an astonomical term, but I was wrong.

Dictionary of Difficult Words definition:

adoxography

n. Literature, fine writing on trivial or base subject.

What a cool site! I'll bookmark that dictionary...

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No, no I didn't forget to mention dinner and its details. You see, I have a master plan. After dinner, I took a nap. Now, I am going to stay awake through the rest of the night, and my workday tomorrow. I'll be leaving work around 1 or 2 pm, and since I don't normally indulge in caffeine, I'll have a CUP OF REAL COFFEE if I need it.

You realize, of course, that this is simply my strange and perverse way of allowing myself a CUP OF REAL COFFEE which I know will make my natural, energetic personality even more entertaining and full of interesting word usements I'll structure, thus gaining more fans.

My trip to Valli was a simple stop in, less than 15 dollars, upkeep trip. Since there is just two of us eating most of the food, I tend to do many small upkeep outings. Grocery bags filled with - whole milk, a/p flour, phyllo sheets, baby white potatoes, apricots, the best dried tomatoes ever, lemons, a head of romaine and two garlic bulbs. I'm sure you'll see me make use of all of these things before the week is out.

For dinner, I decided to go pretty straight forward with stuff in pans. Did I mention it was 88 degrees here? Pan-fried trout, "hash browns" a la John Thorne and a salad of greens, fennel and parmesan with a simple lemon dressing.

The trout is caught by my friend's ex-husband. He's a big fishing geek, and was so excited to find someone equally excited to eat his catch that he cleans and freezes a portion for me the day he goes out. Free, fresh fish in the Midwest? Sold! All I'm doing to it is thawing, scaling, dredging in flour, and dropping it in a properly buttered pan.

i8050.jpg

The trout are each single serving size. Maybe I'll pull out the Coho he caught later this week.

i8051.jpg

Now the potatoes, I wouldn't call them hash browns. Hash browns to me, involve bigger chunks, onions, and should be served with breakfast. In one of John Thorne's books (Not Outlaw Cook. Maybe Serious Pig? I don't remember)they involve small cubes, a great deal of butter, and a long low cooking time that eventually gives them a breautiful brown color. I don't call them hash browns but they are damn tasty, and most of the cooking gets done while my trout thaw. When the trout are done, I put them in the pan on top of the potatoes, add lemon juice, tarragon, and a bit more butter to the pan I cooked the trout in, then pour it over the fish and potatoes.

The salad, like I said, is sliced fresh fennel, mixed greens, a bit of parmesan and topped with a bit of almond oil and fresh lemon juice. This is currently my favorite salad, adapted from one I saw in a video of a Julia Child special. Sarcasmo (Mr. Adoxograph sounds silly, and that's who he was when we first met online) doesn't like fennel. I regularly sneak stuff into his food that he doesn't like, because I am evil.

i8052.jpg

I also want to point out his dinner plate, the one in the back of the picture. He has a bone thing. I should get the grand supreme cool person award for even attempting to debone small trout for him. I wasn't completely successful, but since I only heard an "aw sweetie..." once, I did pretty well.

Washed it all down with a Newcastle, because fish and potatoes need beer.

When asked how was his meal Sarcasmo replied, "There was fennel in the salad, wasn't there? That part was assy, but the rest was good."

He ate the fennel though.

Currently, I am eating cherries in honor of his purpleness, and will start my cinnamon rolls. There will be more before this night is over, to be sure.

For now, Courage.

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Rolls are on their first rise, and it's a pleasant 2:30 am, so I'm going to catch up on answering a few questions:

Ronnie and Lady T - Yes, please, come to the Planet-arium! If you ask for Kathy in Education at the box office, they should be able to drum me up if I'm around. I'm usually either on the floor doing something goofy and loud for a small crowd, doing something goofy and loud in the theaters for 250 screaming 9 year olds, or at my desk, located under Solidarity Drive, beneath the statue of Copernicus. It's great when people are skateboarding.

And yes, Ronnie, I do most of the cooking. Sarcasmo's beginning to try things like chili, which I think is terrific, now I just need to get him away from spice packets...

Foodie - I did nothing to pose them. They wanted me to know they were STARVING to DEATH. Those faces start about an hour before they get fed and continue until I give in.

And Pan gets the award for finding out what adoxography is. "Fine writing" may be a bit of hubris on my part, but I've always thought it was a great word for someone who spends most of their time writing about food, traffic... um, astronomy. :)

Back to my cinnamon rolls, with a bit of Futurama on the side. Current favorite Futurama quote, from Zap Branigan, "She's built like a steakhouse and rides like a bistro." I'll try and update one more time before I leave for work and the Transit!

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One more quick update before I head out for the Transit.

I love spices, and refuse to leave well enough alone, so I use a recipe for vetabrod, swedish coffee bread, for my cinnamon rolls. I love the cardamom in them. The recipe starts with melting butter in milk.

i8054.jpg

Really though, I just wanted to show my one Le Creuset. I got it at a thrift store, with its lid, for $25. Yay me!

The recipe calls for 7 or 8 cardamom seeds. Hah! I scoff at thy timid use of spices and use 7 pods.

i8053.jpg

The dough is wonderful to work with, warm, elastic and not at all sticky.

i8055.jpg

After a couple rises, I roll it out, slather it with butter and cinnamon sugar, and roll it up. In the bottom of the baking dish I do a layer of butter, brown sugar, honey and corn syrup for extra sticky goodness. This is what they looked like before they went in the oven.

i8056.jpg

Now, in an act of civil disobedience our apartment smells fan-fucking-tastic, with no nicer way to say it. Take that building management!

I should go to work before I get too fiesty.

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oh my, the rolls look wonderfull, any chance of you posting the recipe? it just so happens that I have some cardammon pods in the kitchen....

I love your lunchtime view, fantastic, lol, working at home has it's drawbacks, your lunchtime view is the same as your getting up in the morning and dinner time view.

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Ok, here's where the language gets a little blue....

HOLY FUCK! There were NINE HUNDRED PEOPLE here at five am to watch the Transit of Venus.

My cinnamon rolls went over very well.

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Oh, goody. I'm loving this.

Been to Chi once, for three days....loved it, can't wait to get back, so for now: vicarious thrills via Adoxograph.

Sarcasmo. :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

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There were NINE HUNDRED PEOPLE here at five am to watch the Transit of Venus.

whee!

I watched on television here, it was fantastic... I wish I could see the next one (8 years on, best seen from new zealand?)

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After reading this...

When he returned to France, he discovered he'd been declared dead, and all of his stuff had been sold.

... I decided I better get my ass out of bed this morning and tip my hat to the heavens, lest all hell break loose! Alas, we had a fog so thick you couldn't see across the street. I heard on NPR that around seven, the fog rolled out to sea and folks in town saw a little show through the swirling mists.

I am a cardamom freak. Among my many pepper grinders in current rotation, I have a 4:1 mix of tellicherry black and cardamom seed. I have a cardamom/sugar blend I use in coffee. It's always hand-grinded in my BBQ sauce. The stuff is awesome. I'm sure those rolls were well received! I have yet to tackle the baking world but if your recipe has cardamom, I guess I'll have to start! :rolleyes:

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I LOVE the blogs... one week in Lyon... a week in Dallas...now we even get Venus thrown in!!

I would be your eternal slave if I could have cinnamon roles like that every morning. I would be your eternal obese slave...but oh, so happy. :biggrin:

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