Archive for the 'Food' Category

Borgundian Stew

Monday, February 16th, 2009


This is Borgundian Stew, also known as cocktail wieners in barbecue sauce.  I like it a lot.

In college, my roommate Dan and I ended up eating it periodically — with a period of approximately 2 days.  It’s gross, I know, but in the pantheon of college grossness, it’s really not that bad.  

Given its humble origins, we decided to class  up the dish a bit by telling people it was a traditional concoction passed down through Dan’s family from the Borgundy region of Germany — hence the name “Borgundian Stew.”  The recipe is simple: slowly simmer one pound of Bors (cocktail wieners)  in Gundy (barbecue) sauce.   The dish is traditionally served twice a year: once during the annual Crotch Festival and then again in the Spring at Spnoofenfest.

Really I just wanted to post a photo of cocktail wieners.  

Hmm.  Borgundian Stew really deserves a Wikipedia entry, don’t cha think?

Everybody Out!

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I don’t know what I ate this weekend, but last night something in my body pulled the fire alarm and triggered a full-scale evacuation through all available exits.  

I feel much better now.

Frosting Is More Important Than Cake

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

A few weeks ago, there was a discussion at work regarding the best cupcakes in Chicago.  Most of us in the office, myself included, are big Sweet Mandy B’s fans but Kurt sent an impassioned e-mail singing the praises of a cupcake-only bakery called Swirlz.

Time for a cupcake-off.

Turns out the company is very opinionated when it comes to desserts.

Anna (via E-mail): Seriously?  22 emails about cupcakes? Seriously?
Tiffany: I think you just made it 23, Anna.

In fact, there were about 40 e-mails on the subject.  Despite all the chatter, a clear victor emerged: Sweet Mandy B’s.  

Sweet Mandy B’s: 53%
Undecided: 17%
Swirlz: 12%
Other: 12%
Hates Cake: 6%

Basically, it came down to the frosting.  I think Amanda summed it up best:

  1. Thank you, very much, for the cupcakes.
  2. Swirlz is the superior cake.
  3. Mandy’s is the superior frosting.
  4. Since frosting matters and the cake is irrelevant, Sweet Mandy B’s wins, no question.
  5. The fact that they’re cheaper and closer means that Swirlz is heretofore banned from our offices.  Long live Sweet Mandy B’s!!  

“Damn, I’m Gonna Get a Hot Dog When I Get There”

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

I drove my brother Brian up to Evanston last night to get his bike out of my parents’ garage.  Afterwords we started heading back to the city when Brian asked if I was hungry.  “Mustard’s?”  I suggested.

Mustard’s Last Stand is an Evanston institution that was two blocks from where we grew up and adjacent to Northwestern’s football stadium.  Our family ate there a lot — so much that Brian developed a friendship with the grillman, Keith.  Keith seems to know everyone in Evanston and the two of them could talk sports indefinitely.

Neither of us had been to Mustard’s for probably 10 years, but Keith recognized Brian immediately, recalling his baseball days in high school, his back injury, and of course his infatuation with Notre Dame.

As we were leaving, Keith asked Brian to bring in a photo.

Keith: We’ll put it up on the wall.
Me: (Pointing to a photo of Michael Jordan mid-layup) Maybe you can replace this guy.
Keith: You know, we have the only photo in the world of Michael Jordan not dunking.

To truly appreciate Keith’s wit and sense of humor, read this article he had in the Sun Times last year.

I like mayonnaise

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Why is it that people who don’t like mayonnaise feel compelled to mention that they don’t like mayonnaise whenever they see someone eating mayonnaise?

I Want the RB Soda

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

The soft drink aisle at the supermarket advertises “6 pack NRB soda.”  First of all, why do they call it “soda” instead of “pop?” We’re in Chicago for Pete’s sake! Second of all, what the heck is NRB soda?  The only six packs were these little 8 oz cans.

Shama: It must be “Not Really Big” Soda.

Good Friends

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

I think I found the best cereal box ever. Look at these two. They come from such different backgrounds and yet they still managed to become Good Friends.  I like to think they met on adjacent toilets in a public bathroom — she accidentally went into the men’s room, how embarrassing!  There they realized how much they had in common: starting off each day with a bowl of Good Friends and then spending the next 3 hours on the can.

I’m not sure if you can read it, but underneath “High Fiber Cereal” it says, “Trio of Flakes, Twigs & Granola.” Yes, Twigs.

Doughnut Pancakes

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Look at these freakin’ things! Do you know what these are? They’re freakin’ Doughnut Pancakes! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

There was a bit of a brew-ha-ha over what we should do for our Jellyvision holiday party. I was pushing hard for indoor go-karts, and when “dinner at a fancy restaurant” won the final vote, I told everyone we were turning into an old fogey company. I might have stormed out of the room.

The “fancy restaurant” turned out to be a place called Moto. Now, I’m not really a fancy food guy, but Moto was the most amazing food experience I’ve ever had — includingWok’s Up.”

There are other writers who can better explain how imaginative, fun, and slightly freaky Moto is. What blew me away was the service. I kind of keep kosher and I figured I wouldn’t be able to eat half of the items on the fixed menu. After all, fancy chefs love tentacles almost as much as they enjoy wrapping things in bacon. But before the meal started, our server asked if anyone had any dietary restrictions. A couple of folks in our group had miscellaneous allergies and I told him about my not-so-strict kosherness.

When the first dish came out (a bowl of tentacles) I was brought something different (and amazing — daikon, I think — a word I had previously heard only on Iron Chef.) When Moto’s version of pork and beans was presented, my pork was replaced with Mahi Mahi. Each time the server would quietly explain to me what was different about my dish. At the end of our 5 hour meal, I thanked the server for being so accommodating. “It’s something we’re very proud of,” he told me, and then explained how they once did a 20 course menu for a strict vegan. “That was a challenging night in the kitchen.”

A couple days later, we received an e-mail from Moto thanking us for having our party there. Included in the e-mail was a recipe for “doughnut pancakes.” Basically you blend doughnuts, eggs and some other stuff together and then fry them like pancakes. My friend Claire, a nutritionist, called them, “A dietician’s worst nightmare.” Maybe, but they were damn yummy.