August 2008

ok, so life has been a little turbulent around here…
breaking up with Bear, going through a couple jobs, awesome vacation in northern Michigan, and now the flu, plus finding out that Bear already has a new little Bunny…

so i was having dinner with Mom and Sis-in-Law and little Twiggy (and little Eggbert, the latest addition to the family who’s still in the embryo phase)
and we were talking about all this drama, and then Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” came up.
Mom gave it to me for my birthday but I just started reading it over the weekend. I haven’t finished it yet, but Mom was spot on with this pick.
Gilbert’s tale begins with a spiritual longing brought into sharp focus by depression and despair stemming from marital difficulties which eventually result in divorce. Gilbert is a travel & food writer.
So I was saying to Sis-in-law how much I identified with Gilbert’s approach to relationships, and her spiritual search and then I said “yeah and she gets to work through all this stuff while traveling around being a writer!”
And Sis-in-law says “you could be a travel/food writer!”

which of course i dismissed because there are seriously so many bloggers in the world who want to be food/travel writers…

and then I was telling Sis about the Omnivore’s Hundred and how surprised I was that even though I’ve only left the country once (Scotland last spring) I’d eaten so many things on the list.
And she said “So are you going to try to eat the rest of the list?”

And I thought “Hmmm…”

So here’s the idea, we’ll call it “Eating the Rest of the List”

– I will attempt to eat the remaining items off the list and write about each experience
(bonus points if I travel first and eat the item in it’s native surroundings)
– I will consume as many of these items as possible outside of Chicago
– I will take the best pictures I can of these experiences
– I will try to finish within a year (August 19, 2009)*
– I may or may not post these on this blog… but I will write about all of them

Here are the remaining items in no particular order, with one of their native lands:
1. Nettle tea (UK)
2. Steak tartare (France)
3. Carp (In Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland, a shachlo of carp is a traditional part of a Christmas Eve dinner)
4. Epoisses (France)
5. Black truffle (France)
6. Pistachio ice cream (probably upgrade to gelato… Italy)
7. Brawn, or head cheese (UK)
8. Bagna cauda (Italy)
9. Cognac with a fat cigar (France… or Cuba?)
10. Curried goat (Jamaica)
11. Fugu (Japan)
12. Prickly pear (southwestern US/Mexico)
13. Umeboshi (Japan)
14. Poutine (Quebec)
15. Carob chips (unfortunately, only in America)
16. Sweetbreads (France)
17. Currywurst (Germany)
18. Durian (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia)
19. Louche absinthe (France)
20. Gjetost, or brunost (Norway or Sweden)
21. Baijiu (China)
22. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (maybe New York City?)
23. Kobe beef (Japan)
24. Horse (still ew… very popular in Tonga, a place I’ve always wanted to visit… China tops the list in production)
25. Criollo chocolate (Central America, the Caribbean islands and the northern tier of South American state)
26. Rose harissa (Tunisia/North Africa)
27. Snake (US/China)

I think a trip to Asia is definitely in order! Maybe during winter break… is it warm there in early december?
Maybe then I’ll hit the UK, France, Italy, and more of Europe next summer…
and i definitely foresee a long weekend in Montreal sometime soon!

Mo, you’d better help me out with some of this!

*I swear it’s a coincidence that this would have been my 4-year anniversary with Bear, but what a nice way to commemorate it!


i’m still here peeps! Just been hit over the head with work and vacation and now sickness… I’ll do a real post soon I promise!

The Omnivore’s Hundred is an eclectic and entirely subjective list of 100 items that Andrew Wheeler, co-author of the British food blog Very Good Taste, thinks every omnivore should try at least once in his life.

He offered this list as the starting point for a game, along the following rules:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (‘m not bothering with this since I’d try anything once!)
4. Optional extra: post a comment on Very Good Taste, linking to your results.

I think it’s kind of a weird arbitrary list, but whatever, here goes:

1. Venison (YUM!)
2. Nettle tea (?)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (been meaning to try it…)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp (ewww… reminds me of the giant armor-plated carp that live in the Chicago River, processing so many metals that their scales become several inches thick and strong enough to repel bullets!)
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Phở
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (random raw-milk cheese)
17. Black truffle ($$$)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (apple, cherry, plum, pear…)
19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream (?)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese (next time i go to the UK!)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda (Italian anchovy dip… i do like anchovies!)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (don’t know why it has to be in the bread bowl…)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (just had my first one this summer!)

36. Cognac with a fat cigar (had cigars… not too excited about cognac really…)
37. Clotted cream tea
8. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail (in soup, thanks Pedro!)

41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/€80/$120 or more (oh hells yeah!)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine (I can’t wait to try this – a canadian masterpiece of french fries topped with fresh cheese curds and smothered in brown gravy!)
60. Carob chips (gross)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (working on it)
63. Kaolin (is this even really a food? but technically yes i’ve consumed it…)
64. Currywurst (one more reason to go to Germany)
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (took me a minute to realize they meant chitlins!)
71. Gazpacho (not a big fan)
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe (a special kind of super-authentic stuff)
74. Gjetost, or brunost (Norwegian cheese)
75. Roadkill (instinctually almost wrote that this is the one thing i’d never try but… remembered that i once ate pan-fried robin’s breast after we hit it with a car while doing field work for our Field Ornithology (aka Birdwatching) course… I’d like to say it was the prof’s idea, but I certainly said it first after considering the prof’s long history with eating all kinds of crazy birds in the past… He’s Canadian…)
76. Baijiu (extra-strong Chinese booze)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (thanks to my Dad who loves gas station food and shared that love with me)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant ($$$ someday, someday…)
85. Kobe beef (another $$$ item)
86. Hare
87. Goulash (at a fantastic Serbian restaurant in Milwaukee)
88. Flowers (nasturtiums are my particular favorite)

89. Horse (very hard to imagine ever eating this… but never say never)
90. Criollo chocolate (from Wikipedia: Representing only five percent of all cocoa beans grown, criollo is the rarest and most expensive cocoa on the market)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa (definitely need to up my harissa intake)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake 

Well I’ve got 73 out of 100, so only 27 more to go!

This is a totally weird list and while I feel kinda cool for having tried so many of these things, I am certain that I have been aided by the vast variety available in my fabulous city!