Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday

I'm an all purpose holiday loving fool. I take all comers, religion be damned (pun intended). So I would not let Fat Tuesday slide without a tip of the hat by way of something or other. Paczki was out because I lack coordination and I didn't grow up with it so it seems very odd. So: Mardi Gras it must be. I popped on my Annette Hanshaw station which has evolved into Dixie jazz and made a plan to visit Heaven on Seven.

This was the scene:
What I don't know is if it looks like this all the time or not. It didn't have as much revelry going on as I would have expected, but the decorations did help let me know that we made the right choice.

There was a sad rendition of gumbo. Better was the hoppin' john:
Which makes me think of one of my top 10 favorite movies ever.

And solf shell crab po boy:

It was my first time with soft shell crab of any kind, but it was nicely fried and everything tasted fresh. One dining companion opted for Louisiana crab cakes which (strangely, to us) contained cheese. Is this a thing? Because I call foul. Crabcakes are better without cheese. Especially melty cheese.

I was impressed by how diner-like Heaven on Seven is. They were beyond friendly and accommodating, especially when I messed up and made a reservation for their other location which I imagine might be a bit fancier. But for a grey and quiet Mardi Gras day in Chicago, this more than let us get our fix of gluttony before the big repent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I spent my weekend making beer...
...and being stalked by this ferocious beast:

That is pure killer instinct. Now that Lily knows that I am a pushover and our other cat is super jealous she spends all day passive aggressively lording over us all. She tends to be so quiet that when she makes any noise we immediately reward her with whatever she's looking for. That usually is a trip to the basement, even though she's ended up accidentally locked down there for a few hours more than we care to admit.

The beer should be alright. It's the first time I've ever done it, and I was happy to have the collaboration of my friend Monica. We brewed, drank some Dreadnaught, and watched Marie Antoinette.

My temperament is not well suited to the "Relax, have a homebrew" mantra espoused by Charlie Papazian and so I had an absolute freak out when the yeast started doing its job and therefore kind of bubbled over into the airlock. Brew day was fun, but this brewing thing seems to be experimental, and the moments I spent thinking we'd wasted our time and money were dark.