Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Slackerdom, Random thoughts on Chilies, Sushi, and Tasting Menus

Hi gang,
Sorry I've been such a slacker around these parts.  Well over a month ago I started another food-history post, this time about the chili pepper. I wrote a great introduction but then got halted in a phase I normally love: the extensive research phase.  And it isn't even like this particular research is difficult.

I have found myself in a strange slump, though when I think about it, it really isn't all that strange.

My mind gets very excited about new things - and I obsess over those things for a while, until I find other new things that spark my mind, cause me to become engrossed, obsessive, and all-consumed.  Those new things I subsequently devour, and my interest fizzles out.

Is that to say my interest for food has fizzled? Not in the least! Could that ever happen? Yes, of course, when I stop breathing and am dead to this world.  Before then?  Not so much.

But with traveling in January to Texas for a couple weeks, and then to Detroit and Chicago, then to Milwaukee, my active life has been, well, active, and my down time has been very down - reading books, doing some light email correspondence, having quiet dinners with my husband, etc. Now I am not one to knock reading books - reading books is great, and I just finished a very interesting, very *different* book called 'Beautiful Ruins' - and I suggest you give it a shot.

The downside to spending hours reading is, of course, you aren't spending hours writing, or researching - unless what you are reading sends you on a web tumble of researching things mentioned in the book - which happens often in my case when I am reading near the internet (read: straight from my computer).
So I have been researching, just not chili peppers. And I have yet to do the 'cooking at home with us' segment because that would mean getting dressed and doing makeup, not just sitting around being lazy like I do almost all the time. It would also mean cleaning off the kitchen counter. Again: I am lazy.
But sometimes something's gotta give... and I guess that has to be my slackerdom... at least for a while. That being said, I wrote a few yelp reviews recently - two of which focused on sushi places.

One sushi place was here in Wisconsin, the other was across the great lake over in Michigan... and tormented as I am - I have to question why some town in Michigan has such fresher fish, and much more creative and tasty sushi than any place I've yet to try in Milwaukee.

I mean, Milwaukee has universities, it has yuppies filling painting classes, yuppies drinking cocktails... Shouldn't these yuppies be demanding truly sushi-caliber... sushi?  So far I've tried 3 sushi spots in the MKE [Milwaukee, WI] and none have been good. I tried *one* with a low yelp score in Michigan - and it was smashing!

Milwaukee, I know you love your beer, your brats, and your Wisconsin cheese, but please, step it up for the rest of us! As always, my recent restaurant reviews can be found here: kawaiicat7.yelp.com

And a final note that's on my mind: Zagat recently released a list of 'affordable' tasting menus 'not to be missed' in the city of Chicago.  While I still have a (perhaps irrational) grudge against Rick Bayless's spots (on their list: Topolobompo), I was VERY happy to see Cafe des Architects (my previous post interviewed the chef) finally getting some well-deserved recognition.  It is listed as #3.

Check out Where Zagat thinks you should be dining.

Ok, that's enough randomness from me.  I hope you guys are doing well (and staying warm if you're in the arctic tundra like we are).

I promise to harangue my friends into more 'home cooking heroes' segments, and to finally get the ball rolling on our 'cooking with us' section.  And I really must, as we are off on a trip to New Orleans early next month and that's bound to keep me all kinds of distracted.

Oh, and I didn't forget about those chili peppers!:)

Thanks for your understanding!


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