Saturday, July 24, 2010

A study in green

From the Waverly Farmers' Market

Kirby cucumbers for pickles. String beans to be pickled too. JalapeƱos will be made into jelly (!). Pattypan and okra are just for dinner. Corn too.

Abundance even in a drought. We are fortunate.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Free Range: Shaheen

If you are a lover of Indian food (and I myself certainly am) you must visit Shaheen. Located in an ugly concrete building next to the Macy's in Security Square Mall, it will win no prizes for aesthetics, but the food, not to mention the lovely service, will quietly impress you. All meat is halal, you can bring your own alcohol (no corkage fee), and be sure to order the samosa chaat, a samosa made even better (if this is possible) by a fiery, chickpea-laden sauce. Open very late, this could be your go-to spot after a night at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Review is here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fruits of my labors

Labor seems such a grand word for planting two tomato plants and a handful of herbs, and truth be told, little work paid off only in little amounts this summer. It's just been too darn hot.

The small, yellow pear tomatoes are called, oddly enough, yellow pear tomatoes.

The larger ones bear the slightly more poetic name of Lemon Boy. They even taste slightly lemony--and I tasted and noted this before I went out to check their name. Scout's honor.

To be able to grow anything from a city rowhouse is a real treat, and while a half dozen fruit from $1 plant is still small tomat--I mean, potatoes--the harvest, however limited, still yields a small thrill and a little pasta.

What are you growing this summer?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I think it was the Fourth of July...

"We'll stay inside and drink a glass of champagne," said my British friend Norma, describing her post-church activities this morning. Not a bad plan for the 4th of July when temperatures threaten to hit 96 degrees.

I, on the other hand, will be attending a cookout at my parents' house. It will be not unlike the 4ths we had growing up, though today I eat my hamburger on a bun and will pass on the root beer and sparklers (unless the sparklers in question are champagne). We might make it home in time to catch the fireworks downtown from the parking lot of the Rotunda or we may just hear the booms and see a few flickers through the trees in the park across the street.

Because I'm lazy. I want fireworks to come to me, like they did when we lived in Chicago. On any given 4th (and 3rd and possibly 5th) of July, we could see fireworks displays from the beach, looking north over Lake Michigan towards Evanston or from our 6th floor apartment window looking north and west towards Skokie. One year when it seemed like fireworks were exploding in every direction (including on the beach below, care of my rock star neighbors, Ed and Roxie), I moved the old green armchair to face the window, propped my feet on the radiator, and listened to Pretzel Logic as we watched blue chrysanthemums burst and silvery fish swim in the sky. Come to think of it, it's a given that we'll be listening to some Steely Dan tonight too.

May your holiday sparkle in whatever way pleases you best. Shalom.