Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Lunch and a Talk about Cooking and Local Foods

I recently became the chairperson of the Luncheon Club
of the University Club of Indiana University.

That means that I am responsible for getting speakers
for the six luncheons the luncheon club has throughout 
the year.
I also have to help plan the menu.

Fortunately, my predecessors were very helpful
and I was able to find a wonderful co-chair.
In addition, our club manager has been delightful
to work with.

I could not have done any of this without these 
fine people.

Our first luncheon was held yesterday and it 
was mostly a success.
The only glitch was a miscommunication 
about the number of vegetarian entrees that were needed.

That slowed up service,
but eventually all did get fed.

 On the menu was a Bitika Salad of 
iceberg and Romaine lettuces with blue cheese,
bacon, chopped cauliflower and
garlic sweet and sour dressing.

 The choice of entrees were Cornish hen with bread stuffing
or quesadilla with pepperjack cheese with 
sauteed red onions and peppers,
salsa, sour cream and asparagus.

Obviously I had to have the quesadilla as 
I am allergic to chicken and Cornish hens are
a type of chicken.

 Dessert was a cheese cake with cherry sauce.

The food was delicious as always.

Our speaker was Lynn Schwartzberg,
a food writer for the local newspaper.
She also teaches cooking classes.

Lynn is a big supporter of the local food movement
and believes in cooking from scratch at all times.

She says that she is often told,
"I don't have time to cook."
She replies, "What you are really saying
Is that you are choosing to not use your time to cook."

Lynn also points out that our sense of taste is
our least appreciated sense and that 
we often don't eat to gratify our souls.

"Food is supposed to be transformative,"
she stated, after lamenting that if one goes to
a fast food restaurant to eat, one has not
done that.

Lynn then presented a power point presentation,
showcasing several local restaurants
that are part of the local food movement.
These restaurants make a concerted effort
to source local foods.
This ensures that the food is fresh,
the carbon footprint is smaller
and that the source is known.

Lynn also pointed out that it is just as easy and quick
to make foods from scratch as it is to make them 
from a box or a package and that 
you know what you are getting if you make it yourself.

She took questions from the audience and it was 
clear that both the speaker and the audience enjoyed 
the experience.

This was one lunch that made me hungry!
So get in the kitchen and cook
and if you do go out to eat,
support your local restaurants that source local foods.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chinese Fortunes

Whenever I eat out at my favorite
Chinese restaurant, Sunny Palace,
the server always leaves a wrapped 
fortune cookie with my bill.

As is my habit, 
I break open the cookie,
eat half of it and read the fortune
before tucking it into my purse 
and paying the bill.

I have quite a collection of these
little gems at home.
I thought I would share them with you.

But first, 
a history lesson on the humble fortune cookie.

The first fortune cookie was made in Kyoto, Japan
in the 1800s, but they were larger and 
the fortune was baked into the batter.

From there, it is believed that Japanese
immigrants brought the tradition of the 
fortune cookie over to the United States
and the first fortune cookies as we know them 
were made in San Fransisco in the 1890s or early 1900s.

So fortune cookies are not to be found in China,
but only in America.

And now you know.

I have divided the fortunes into four categories:
Life's Lessons
Odd (you'll understand in a bit).

People always know what they are saying, just never listen.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Follow that restless urge to find yourself.

Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life.

Love is like war; easy to begin but hard to stop.

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.

Failure is the tuition you pay for success.
(I should be very successful by now!)
To remember is to understand.

Your deeds speak so much louder than another's words.

Recognition is the greatest motivator.

Use your natural versatility to keep from being bored.


Your present plans are going to succeed.

Versatility is one of your outstanding traits.

Life's Lessons

Life is about making some things happen,
not waiting for something to happen.

Try not to stand on your own side during an argument.

Nothing is a waste of time if you learn something from it.

The one who snores will always fall asleep first.
 (Isn't that the truth?)


Well, why not?
Admit it - you're intrigued.
(Someone was having fun with this one.)

Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
 (Plan to be spontaneous.
How does that work?
Does not compute.) 

Don't panic.
(This one is my favorite fortune.
It makes me want to look over my shoulder.
Why, what's back there?
Why shouldn't I be panicking?)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Football Season!

Football season has arrived!
And that means that it's tailgate time.

Our tailgate is set up across from the student
tailgate field.

Built-in entertainment.

Week one and note the location of the tent next door.

Our neighbor was nice and got security
to move the port-a-potties moved that had been
set up right in front of our tailgate buddy's tent over night.

We gave him food to thank him.

This is a prime location.

The Big Ten Network was here for the first home game.


The band payed tribute to local business man
and philanthropist Bill Cook,
who passed away recently.

Sadly, IU lost despite being up by 8 points with
1:35 to go in the game.

Week two and it's another game and another tailgate.

The food is spread out; ready for the tailgaters.

Week two and our neighbors and we are much
more cozy.

They don't go into the game.
Instead, they have a TV and a satellite dish
and watch the game out here.

We start out with breakfast this time.

One of our group made breakfast burritos.
Egg, turkey sausage and salsa wrapped in a tortilla.

We brought maple sausages wrapped in crescent rolls.
Cut each crescent roll in half and wrap the breakfast
Bake according to roll directions.
Serve with syrup if desired.

Yet another member of our group brought a lovely 
fruit and cheese tray.

I made sliders for lunch.


Our neighbors brought over some onion rings
that they had deep-fried.
In turn we shared some of our food with them.

The students were partying hard.

We have a sweet set-up here.

The Marching Hundred goes by.

These two have it figured out.

Shadow patterns on the ceiling.

Game time.

I like the fancy new computer video
that welcomes the team.

More fireworks.

This week IU played South Carolina State.
South Carolina State has a band that is comprised 
of about 380 students.

They travel with all those band members.

It was also Band Day
and various high school bands were invited to play
with the IU band.
Oddly enough, the local bands were not there
as they were busy elsewhere.

And the Hoosiers win their first game of the season.

Trash everywhere.

Local church groups work with IU to pick up the trash.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Out with the Old, in with the New - Times Two

On Saturday morning as we were getting ready
for our tailgate before the IU football game,
the Foodie Daughter alerted me to a serious problem.
It seemed that the temperature inside the refrigerator
was a balmy 60 degrees.

Definitely not good news.

And the decision of whether or not to get
a new fridge had been taken out of our hands.

At least we would once again have a working
ice and water dispensor.

That might take some getting used to.

But, as Saturday was tailgate day and game day,
there was no shopping to be done that day.

So the Foodie Daughter and I headed out
to the stores on Sunday to purchase a new fridge.

Now, you know how some stores claim to have
next day delivery for appliances?
Apparently, that does not apply for refrigerators.

You know, that one appliance that you 
absolutely need right now if your old one dies?

Go figure.

So, it was off to store number two to try our luck.

Even there, the best we could do was a Wednesday

We put our heads together and decided
1) to purchase the refrigerator that we liked
2) to purchase a mini-fridge to keep our foods cold
until our new fridge arrived.

Fortunately for us the freezer was still 
holding well below 32 degrees, 
so it was only the refrigerated foods that we had to worry about.

We finally found a decently priced mini-fridge
at our local Kroger grocery store.

Minx is not pleased by the new intruder.

He is not pleased at all.

And finally today the new, real fridge arrived.

This is a behemoth.  

The delivery men had to lift the fridge over the island
in order to get it into the kitchen.  
At 29.6 cubic feet, this is one of the largest fridges
on the market.

This is a Samsung side-by-side refigerator.
We did our homework beforehand and had decided
upon Samsung.
Only the model changed once we learned what was
actually available in the stores and what was on sale.

Of course, the salesperson
tried to sell us the model with the LCD screen with APPS.
Why yes, I've always wanted to Tweet from my fridge - not!

Minx is not pleased.

Once again something new has invaded his space.

Meow - hiss.