mojosmom: (Snow)
I've just been very remiss.  And very busy!

I've been recruited to join another board, that of the Newberry Consort, a local group that specializes in what is now called "historically informed performance".

Volunteering at the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust (they've just changed their name from the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust) continues, as I give tours at both Chicago's Robie House and Oak Park's Unity Temple, as well as help with training new volunteers.  I am finding that one of the things I really enjoy doing is giving tours to school children.  They are lots of fun!  And I was given a very nice compliment, by being asked to act as a house captain for Robie House during next year's very special Wright Plus event.  The people I work with are quite lovely.  Yesterday, it was so cold that no one bought tickets for one of the tours I was scheduled to give.  I had to stick around because there were people for the next tour, so the house manager said, "Why don't you take advantage of the living room?"  So I fixed a cup of tea, took my book, and sat there reading and watching the sunlight play with the art glass windows.

Our branch library, the oldest in the city, was once again part of Open House Chicago, and I organized the volunteers for that.

The last few weeks have, as always this time of year, been full of parties.  Between my professional organizations, various non-profits I contribute to/volunteer with, not to mention purely social times with friends, I've been eating and drinking to my heart's content, if not my cholesterol's.

I am hoping to have two new additions to my household after the new year.  Meet Teague (on the right) and his brother, Thai.  They are a Siamese-tabby mix, and oh! so adorable.

One of the reasons I'm not taking them in until next year (other than the fact that I don't want to bother them with company until they've settled in) is that I am leaving town on Monday and won't be back until Dec. 24th.  Didn't seem fair to bring them home and then desert them!  I am going to Cuba for a week!  The trip is with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and we'll be in Havana for a week, meeting artists, musicians, and dancers, and, not incidentally, enjoying warm weather.
mojosmom: (Lilith)
I have just come from the vet's, where I had to have Lilith put to sleep.  I have seen her slow down tremendously over the last few weeks, and at first put it down to old age (she was about 16) and her arthritis.  But then she stopped eating and drinking, and she was too weak to walk far without stopping to rest.  Yesterday, I took her in, and the vet said her stomach was very distended, and took x-rays, which showed a lot of fluid, signifying either a tumor or organ failure.  They kept her overnight to see if IV fluids and meds helped.  They didn't.  And she was hurting.  So I to made the decision to let her go, and held her and petted her as she went.

She had kept me company for more than fourteen years.  I am going to miss her terribly, but I know it was the right thing to do.  
mojosmom: (cat)
a new car! (That's not the actual car, just an image I snitched from a dealer's site.)

It's a white Prius C 3, hatchback, with a moonroof.

I've been planning to buy a new car for a while now, and actually went to the auto show last February to check a few out. I'd pretty much had narrowed it down to this one or a Fiat 500 Cabrio, but decided the Fiat really wasn't practical. As much fun as a convertible would have been, I'm not a fan of two-door cars and the back seat was insanely tiny. (Now if I could afford two cars, and had a garage, that would be different story.) Frankly, the possibility of getting a hybrid with a moonroof was a huge point in favor of the Prius; that combination wasn't even possible when I bought my last car!

Then last week I got the sad news that the hybrid battery on my current car, a Honda Civic Hybrid, was on its last legs, no surprise after 9 years and 163,000 miles. So instead of sinking $4,200 into a new battery, I made a down payment on the Prius. (My older sister and I had talked a while back about her buying my old car when I got a new one, but there is no way she'd want to sink that kind of money in a 9-year-old car, either. So I traded it in. Didn't get a lot for it, but I wasn't expecting to.)

But, oh my! When you haven't bought a car for 9 years, the technological changes can be a shock! Not to mention the stack of reading material they hand you. A huge thick owner's manual for the car (it's 556 pages! so you get a "quick reference guide" as well), plus a huge thick owner's manual just for the audio system (another 200+ pages). A warranty guide and a warranty rights notification. A navigation system guide. I think it's going to take me quite a while to figure all this out. But I'll have fun doing it. The sales guy paired my iPhone with the Bluetooth system, and showed me how to answer calls from the steering wheel. Ack! Please don't let me turn into one of those people I currently bitch about!

When I got home, I figured I'd go to the I-Pass* website to add this car and remove the old one. Now, the dealer had transferred my plates. So the site wouldn't add the new car because the old one, of course, had the same plate #. And I couldn't delete the old one first, because you have to have at least one car in the account. Fortunately, the customer service person who answered my call told me to just edit the current information, and stayed on the line while I did that to make sure that worked. I had the feeling I'm not the first person who had called with this issue! They should put that info on the site.

By this time, my insurance agent's office had closed for the day, so I left a message and will talk to them today about that. And, as I'm headed downtown today to lunch with a woman from my law school's development office (translation: she wants to hit me up for money), I'll take the opportunity to stop by City Hall and transfer my city vehicle sticker.

*This is a transponder you put in your car to automatically pay tolls.
mojosmom: (Default)
I am so f'ing lazy. Here's my post about my trip to France, two months after I got back. I am so bad. And I still have a lot of photos left to upload to Flickr.

Completely aside from the fact that André Breton lived here, it's easy to see why St. Cirq Lapopie attracts artists. I mean, look at the view from my balcony the first morning:
View from the balcony - misty morning

The B&B where I stayed is lovely. Parts of it are 15th-century and parts are 16th. My room was 16th. Here's the date (in a weird combination of Roman and Arabic numerals) along with the name of the guy who built it, with a "typo" in stone!
B | F(A)URIE | 15XX

Day One )

Day Two )

Day Three )

Day Four )

Days Five and Six )

More later, because this is getting really long, despite cuts!


Jul. 23rd, 2013 10:57 pm
mojosmom: (Cathy)
Both sibs arrived late afternoon on Thursday. When I drove to pick up Cathy at the airport, my car's air conditioning crapped out, so I took the car in for service on Friday, another insanely hot day. Fortunately, Stacey drove in, so we were able to use her car (though she doesn't have air conditioning!). We hung out at home mostly, but went out to lunch and then browsed a used bookstore (shock!) Despite the fact that they'd both given me books for my birthday, I bought some more.

Friday night, we went to Victory Gardens to see Luis Alfaro's Mojada, an updated version of Medea, set in the Mexican immigrant community of Pilsen in Chicago. It focuses on the idea of exile. It could use a bit of editing, I think. The second act is much stronger than the first, which has a good deal too much exposition. The acting was generally excellent, though.

Picked up the car on Saturday. Of course, having gotten the air conditioning fixed, the weather cooled. Figures!

The memorial service was good, though the retirement home chaplain was recycling some platitudes. Decent attendance, many old friends of my mom's, of course. Later, we went to dinner with Eila's family and some friends, and drank many bottles of wine in her memory. Good food, too!

Stacey had to leave early on Sunday morning to be back home by evening. Cathy & I went to the Art Institute. The Japanese print gallery has an exhibition of Hokusai, which was pretty fabulous, and we checked out the Undressed and Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity exhibits, as well as Kara Walker's Rise Up Ye MIghty Race!. Then we were tired, so we went back to Hyde Park for lunch and a visit to yet another bookstore before I took Cathy to the airport.

The weather was pretty fabulous today, low to mid-70s, sunny, lake breeze, so I went over to the Wooded Island, walked around a bit, and then sat in the Japanese garden there and read a bit. Then I wandered a bit by the lagoon shore behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Astounding numbers of dragonflies were flitting about the plants, and I managed to find one that stayed still long enough for me to get a photo:

mojosmom: (Book sale!)
Really. It's not just that it's in the 90s. It's humid and stuffy to boot. I dashed to the library earlier today to return a book and renew my card, and, after realizing how bad it really was outside, I nixed my plans to go to an outdoor concert tonight. I'd have been sitting out with no shade, no breeze, and I know I couldn't have tolerated it for long. So I stayed home with my A/C.

Last weekend was nicer. I had an errand downtown, and had left lots of time due to bus reroutes. Having done so, we naturally zipped there in no time, and I was quite early. But, as always, I had a book with me, so I sat in the Art Institute's sculpture garden and read until it was time for my meeting. The meeting was short, so afterwards I went back to the Art Institute to see the exhibit Undressed: The Fashion of Privacy, a nice complement to the "Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity" show. I also stopped by the shop and picked up a few "Special Value" books.

It was a bad day for book shopping (or good, depending on your point of view). I got my hair cut, and then went next door to O'Gara & Wilson's. Everything 25% off, because they are moving to Chesterton, Indiana, of all godforsaken places. I suppose from Doug's point of view, it makes sense, because that's where he lives, but for literally decades it's been one of my favorite used bookstores, and I will miss it terribly. It will come as no surprise to you that I bought a bunch of books.

This is all on top of what I picked up, free or cheap, at the American Library Association convention here a couple of weeks ago. I had an exhibit hall pass from Tim over at LibraryThing, and took full advantage of it!

The sibs arrive tomorrow for a couple of days. Stacey has warned that she plans to bring lots of veggies, so I will exercise restraint at the farmers market tomorrow morning.
mojosmom: (Default)
I accidentally typed "Sumer", which is vaguely appropriate since the folks a few blocks over at the Oriental Institute are spending their summer making beer from an old Sumerian recipe.

I, however, have entered the 21st-century. I've bought an iPhone, nudged to it by the fact that my previous provider, U.S. Cellular, sold its local market to Sprint, which means my old phone would stop working in a couple of months.

After handling that transaction, I got to the Pritzker Pavilion for about the last half of the Grant Park Orchestra's open rehearsal for their "Let's Dance" program. Great fun! Tap and tango and jitterbug. During their break, I wandered over to a concession stand for a hot dog and lemonade, not my usual fare, but I tend to indulge once or twice over the summer.

Yesterday, I lunched outside at a local restaurant near Robie House, prior to giving a tour there. Perfect weather. In the evening, I fought the "Waste of Chicago" crowds and went to a special event at the Art Institute. The curator of the "Impressionism, Fashion,and Modernity" show gave a lecture, the exhibit was open, and there was a reception in the Modern Wing with French wines and food. Crème brulée! Yum! Also a cabaret act. The show, which includes some paintings that have never been lent in the U.S. before, is fabulous.

There's a memorial service next weekend for a dear friend who died a couple of months ago at the age of 90. Her daughter emailed me to ask if I'd say a few words "if you feel inclined". You better believe I do! Eila was a real treasure and inspiration in my life. I am honored and delighted to have been asked.


Jul. 7th, 2013 02:56 pm
mojosmom: (japanese icon)
Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune wrote a column recently about The Deliberate Art of Savoring Summer. You know how it's gone before you know it, and you wonder why you didn't do all those things you told yourself you'd do? Every year, she works out a challenge for herself to avoid that. This year, it's setting aside an hour every day to do something summery.

I like the plan!

So today I hied myself off to the Bonjour Café and sat outside with a goat cheese and roasted red pepper panini, sipping iced tea and reading a book. It's a lovely day!


Jul. 7th, 2013 02:56 pm
mojosmom: (japanese icon)
Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune wrote a column recently about The Deliberate Art of Savoring Summer. You know how it's gone before you know it, and you wonder why you didn't do all those things you told yourself you'd do? Every year, she works out a challenge for herself to avoid that. This year, it's setting aside an hour every day to do something summery.

I like the plan!

So today I hied myself off to the Bonjour Café and sat outside with a goat cheese and roasted red pepper panini, sipping iced tea and reading a book. It's a lovely day!
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
This is just a brief post to let you all know that I got home safely late yesterday afternoon. The strike caused a delay of about three hours on the Amsterdam-Toulouse leg of the flight over, but that was all. That was nicely off-set by an unexpected upgrade to business class on the Chicago-Amsterdam leg. (I did not have the same luck going home, though!)

The trip was amazing, and I've just put close to 1,000 photos onto iPhoto, so I will be spending quite a bit of time editing them and uploading the best to Flickr.

I'll write more over the next few days.


Jun. 10th, 2013 06:53 pm
mojosmom: (Default)
I know I promised to post about my trip to New Orleans, but I have been dilly-dallying. I think, though, I'd better do it before I leave for France * - tomorrow! Ack!

The train trip down was a pleasure. Interesting companions at meals, and a good, comfortable sleep. I took a cab to the hotel and arrived just as Stacey was getting back from an exploratory walk around. We went to Lafayette Square to listen to music, a weekly event there, and then had dinner at Café Amelie, which Stacey had scoped out earlier.

The weather, at least for the first couple of days, was not great. Rain, and cool. When we got to Jazz Fest on Thursday, the Fairgrounds were a sea of mud. As a result, we spent a lot of time in the Gospel and Jazz tents, rather than checking out the outdoor stages. It was muddy when we went on Saturday, too. Colorful rain boots were much in evidence:

The footwear of choice

As always, we went to hear old favorites such as Germaine Bazzle (whom we also heard at her regular Sunday night gig at the Royal Sonesta Hotel), and discovered some new ones, like Naydja CoJoe:
Naydja CoJoe

One of the best events we went to was at the Kids' Tent, where Big Queen Cheree Harrison and the Young Guardians of the Flame were teaching about Mardi Gras Indians, though one kid, at least, apparently would have preferred to be elsewhere:
"Wild man"

I'm so glad we decided to spend extra time in NOLA; we were there a full week. On Friday, we toured the Ursuline Convent, which is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley. There was also a marvelous exhibit of Newcomb Pottery at Madame John's Legacy, part of the Louisiana State Museum. Then on Sunday, we were able to go to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which had a couple of very interesting exhibits, one on decorative arts from World's Fairs, and another specifically about Japanese art at World's Fairs, but which also included other items from the museum's collection.

Monday, we checked out the Contemporary Arts Center, which is in an area that also has the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Civil War Museum, and the World War II Museum, but we saved those for another trip. The CAC had a terrific exhibit about masking. We took the streetcar to the Garden District, and visited the New Orleans Women's Opera Guild House, which is pretty fabulous and a popular place for weddings. We browsed around Magazine Street, and checked out the Garden District Bookshop (one of several we visited during our stay).

Our last day, Tuesday, we paid our mandatory visit to the Café du Monde for beignets and café au lait. The rest of our stay we had been frequenting the Croissant d'Or, just down the block from our hotel. It's in a building that once housed Angelo Brocato's ice cream parlor (which still exists elsewhere in the city). Traces remain:
Angelo Brocato - Ladies Entrance

Having fortified ourselves, we headed to Jackson Square to the Louisiana State Museum, where we spent the next three hours, first in their exhibit on Hurricane Katrina and then in their exhibit on the history of Mardi Gras. After a bit of shopping we went to the Backstreet Cultural Museum and then rested up before dinner at Herbsaint, another mandatory stop when we visit New Orleans.

Stacey had to leave earlier than I did, so we checked out, and I left my luggage at reception and then went to the French Market. I dropped into the HQ of the Jazz National Historic Park, where the ranger clued me into an exhibit on the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Old Mint (which seems to be part of both the National Historic Park and the Louisiana State Museum). I bought a book that I'd been looking at, The "Baby Dolls": Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, by Kim Marie Vaz. The ranger who sold it to me said, "I'm in that book!" Turns out she's one of the Antoinette K-Doe's Ernie K-Doe Baby Dolls! Baby Dolls are an old New Orleans tradition, started by African-American prostitutes who were kept out of Mardi Gras celebrations for reasons of both color and gender. You can read more about them here.

As always, we ate incredibly well, and, on my return home, I found that I had, indeed, put on a couple of pounds. But it was definitely worth it.

Here is the obligatory picture of cats hanging out. This is a shop where the owner weaves rugs, and the cats seem to have taken over her loom:
Cats "looming"

* I hope I get there! We learned today that there will an air traffic controllers' strike in France - starting tomorrow. It won't affect my flight from Chicago to Amsterdam, but might result in the cancellation of my flight from Amsterdam to Toulouse. What is it about me and Amsterdam? Last time, a volcano erupted! Our travel agent is on top of things, though, and it's nice to have someone else to worry about this and make the phone calls and handle any necessary rebooking.

Off soon

Apr. 30th, 2013 04:55 pm
mojosmom: (cat)
I will shortly head out to catch the bus to get to the train station to board the train that will take me to New Orleans.

mojosmom: (Head on desk)
My Internet is back and I am pissed.  Why?  Because it took all of about two seconds for my local electrician to figure out the problem - a bad filter on the line.  My ISP's tech support people, the phone company tech, NONE of them bothered to have me check that.  Idiots.
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
Well, it's actually eased up a bit now, so I was able to head to the library, where I am typing this.  It was coming down in sheets this morning, and the Robie House manager called to say they were cancelling all tours.  So I did laundry instead, and watched a bunch of episodes of "The Hour".  I don't get BBC America in my cable package, but it is available with Comcast's On Demand, that's how I see it.  Great show!

Yesterday, I had a long visit to the dentist.  She replaced one of my fillings.  Honestly, it was only forty-one years old.  I'm going back on Monday to have another replaced, which is even older.  We're not sure by how much, as their records go back only to 1968.

And in thrilling news, I got my hair cut yesterday!  My hairdresser was happy to see me, but I was even happier to see her.  We both like the Charlize Theron look on me:
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
i've been without internet for a week, and no end in sight.  Earthlink sent me a new moden, with no improvement.  A technician was out this morning to check the outside line, which doesn't seem to be the problem.  So now i have to find an electrician to come check it inside.


Anyway, I'm here at the library checking my email and letting you know why i haven't posted in the last week!
mojosmom: (Default)
And here I swore I was going to do better. ~sigh~ What did Robbie Burns say about one's best laid plans? Well, he goes around with a bird on his head, so who is he to talk?
Robert Burns with a seagull on his head (and his feet

Anyway . . .

Since we last met, I've been madly giving tours at Robie House, and having a good deal of fun. I have also been discovering all the perks! The Preservation Trust has a "Volunteer Warehouse Sale". No, they don't sell volunteers. They let the volunteers buy "distressed" and discontinued merchandise at steep discounts. Including books. Then I did two tours last Saturday, and when I signed in, I found a coupon that said, "Thanks for working on a holiday weekend. Here's 20% off at the gift shop." So I bought a pair of earrings.

I've been to a couple of good movies. The Siskel Film Center had its European Film Festival, so I saw the French movie, Becoming Traviata, a documentary about a production of that opera at Aix-la-Provence, with Natalie Dessay. Also Dormant Beauty, an Italian film about end-of-life issues. Both recommended.

Oh, and I was right. I do mix up my French and Italian. Not so much in my Italian class, but in my French lessons, I'm always doing it. "Ma" instead of "mais", and the like. I've taken to watching "Le Sang de la vigne" (The Blood of the Vine), a French mystery series featuring an œnologist who tends to stumble on bodies. I quite enjoy it. Also Maigret, occasionally. Both in French with English subtitles, on the "International Mysteries" show, where I also watch Italian shows.

Opera season ended with "Streetcar named Desire", great singing, especially Anthony Dean Griffey as Mitch, but uninteresting music by André Previn. It was pretty much just the play set to music.

The Latino Theatre Festival is going on at Goodman, and I saw a fabulous play yesterday, Pedro Páramo, by Raquel Carrío, based on a book by Juan Rolfo, which I now have on hold at the library. It was a co-production with Cuba's Teatro Buendía, with some of their actors and some Chicago actors (including folks I know). It's a rather spooky play about a young man who goes in search of the father who abandoned him, and discovers a town where everyone is dead (though he doesn't realize it at first).

The cat and I both had fasting bloodwork last week. If you ever want to piss off a cat, take her food away. She was not happy.

I'm off to Cleveland on Wednesday to visit my sister (and her cats) for a couple of days.
mojosmom: (Default)
Our "mild" winter has disappeared with a vengeance, now that spring is just a few weeks away. We got about 10" of snow yesterday (yes, New Englanders, I know that's nothing compared to what you've been dealing with!). It started in the early morning and just kept snowing into the night. Both things I had planned for yesterday were cancelled by mutual agreement, as was an event for this morning. I did go out in the morning before things got really bad, just to pick up some produce, but other than that I stayed inside, warm and dry.

What was cancelled (well, postponed, really) today was some additional training for Robie House tours. There's a young adult book by Blue Balliett, The Wright 3, which involves mysterious goings on at Robie House, and the Trust does a special tour for kids based on the book. I'm going to do the training to give that tour as well as the regular one. I've given a couple of the regular tours already, and I am really enjoying it. One of the perks of doing this is that there is a lot of additional education available, seminars and lectures, etc.

We had one bad day last week, too, but not bad enough to stop me from going to the Art Institute for a talk about chocolate and the Mayan culture, accompanied by a couple of kinds of hot chocolate, finger sandwiches and cookies. Yum!

I tried to accomplish some stuff on Monday, but was stymied. My hair is growing out, so I decided to treat myself to some shampoo from The Body Shop. But when I got there, I discovered they're closed for renovations and won't re-open until next month! Then I went to the bank to transfer some funds for the deposit on housing for my trip to France, and they needed one bit of info I didn't have. So I couldn't do that, either. (I have the info now and will go back tomorrow.) I then went up to Gilda's Club, contending with the alternate transit routes, as the Brown Line train, which I usually take to and from downtown to the club, couldn't cross the river as the bridge is out for repairs. The CTA, however, had free shuttle buses running so it worked out, though on the way to the bus coming back, I was forced to walk past the Anti-Cruelty Society's windows and admire the kitties up for adoption.

Also for the France trip, I've decided to get some tutoring to brush up my French, which I haven't used to any extent in about 30 years! Ack! I start next week. I have a feeling that I'll be mixing up French and Italian.

Over the last couple of weeks, since my last post, there have been a lot of interesting cultural events. A big Picasso show just opened at the Art Institute, and I went to a lecture about that. Two days later, I was back at the AIOC for a curator's talk with Kara Walker, whose installation, Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!, also just opened.

In between, I went to hear Garry Wills talk about his latest book, Why Priests?, over at Seminary Co-op.

And opera! I got to go to a dress rehearsal for Lyric's production of Rigoletto, which I'm seeing tomorrow. (Fabulous soprano, not so fabulous tenor.) Also went to Die Meistersinger on Sunday, which was all around excellent. It's Wagner's bicentennial year, so the Symphony did a program of the prelude and Act II of Tristan und Isolde. Chicago Opera Theater just did a production of Philip Glass' The House of Usher, which I liked a lot. The director gave it a homoerotic slant that served the production well. In the midst of all this, it was time to renew Lyric and CSO for next year! Time does fly.

My older sister has gotten involved in a new art gallery in Cleveland, which will have its grand opening the first weekend in April, so I'm thinking of driving out for a few days for that.

It's a rather odd coincidence, but before the Pope announced his retirement, I had been reading a couple of papal-related books. Two were books on the Borgias, and it's been interesting to see how journalists doing their obligatory potted histories of the papacy have been uncritically repeating all the old unsubstantiated gossip. I also read the extremely odd Hadrian the Seventh, about a failed priest who is unexpectedly elected Pope, by the extremely odd Frederick William Rolfe (he liked to abbreviate his name as "Fr. Rolfe", so that people would think he was a priest, but, according to one book blurb, "his vices were considered spectacular, even in Venice, where he died.").

The Latke-Hamentashen debate finally happened. It's usually the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but there was a brouhaha at Hillel, which had always sponsored the debate in the past. The Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, took it over, so it was delayed until mid-February, close to Purim. That, however, did not help the hamentashen; as always, latkes won the popularity contest!

Y'know, if I updated more often, these posts wouldn't be so long.


Feb. 18th, 2013 07:48 pm
mojosmom: (Food)
As a couple of people have expressed an interest, here are the recipes for two of the soups mentioned in my previous post. These are translated from the Italian, and the measurements converted. The great thing about soups, of course, is that your measurements don't have to be exact.


4 etti* (about 14 ounces) of wheatberries
3 etti (about 10.5 ounces) of corn kernels
3 etti (about 10.5 ounces) of chickpeas
an onion
grated pecorino cheese
extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper

Soak wheatberries and chickpeas in cold water overnight.
In a saucepan, saute the onion in olive oil. Add - after draining and washed - wheat, corn and chickpea; pour two liters (about 8 ½ cups) of water, salt and cook, with the pan covered and at low heat for at least three hours.

When the beans are tender add salt and pepper, remove the soup from the heat and serve hot with grated cheese separately.

Serves six.

* an etto is a unit of measure that, as far as I know, is used only in Italy.


One kilo (slightly over 2 pounds) of pumpkin
half a kilo (slightly over 1 pound) of potatoes
two leeks
half an apple
2 tablespoons of wheat flour
a pound of Formaggio di Montagna (can use Asiago) grated
extra virgin olive oil, salt

In a saucepan, heat three tablespoons of olive oil and pour the leeks thinly sliced​​. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat with the apple slices.

Add the pumpkin and potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes and cook over moderate heat, covered, for one hour.

After this, remove from heat and pass through a sieve. Put on the heat and add the flour a little at a time, stirring continuously as for a polenta. You should get a thick cream, not too dry.

Season with salt and cook for a few minutes, then serve with grated cheese.

Serves four.
mojosmom: (Food)
My Italian teacher's cousin, who is the president of Slow Foods-Bretagne, is in town, and this afternoon she gave a short talk about the Slow Food movement, and fed us soup. Three kinds, one from the north of Italy, one from the south, and one from the central part. The northern one was panisse, a pumpkin soup, with potato and apple and leek; the southern one was cuccìa, of chickpeas, corn and wheatberries, and the last was ginestrata, a Renaissance-era soup of broth with Marsala, egg yolk, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. It was a good day for it, too, because it was rainy and a bit chilly - perfect soup weather.

Saw Motherf***er with the Hat again, because Teatro Vista did an event for potential donors. Reception beforehand, then the play, then drinks afterwards with some of the cast members, including Jimmy Smits, who seems like a really nice guy.

I also saw Teddy Ferrara at the Goodman, a play by Christopher Shinn loosely based on the Tyler Clementi case at Rutgers. Thankfully, it was very nuanced. A lot of the cast was young and not very experienced, and it showed, and the part of the university president wasn't terribly credible - he seemed awfully clueless for someone who had been a U.S. Senator and was now running a major university. It was worth seeing, but could use some work.

My practice tour at Robie House was successful, and I am now certified and will give my first public tour later this week. Wish me luck!

June 2017



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