enjoying the foliage

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Last year, Pratima wrote about her trip to Chicago and her fantastic excursion to Lou Mitchell’s, a diner with excellent omelettes and cute old ladies who hand out donut-holes foryou to nibble on while you decide what you want for breakfast. I second her exultations!

I was in Chicago for a couple of days for a philosophy conference last month but spent the first day wandering around the city (the lakeshore and the Art Institute are great!). My first stop was the diner–we directed our cab from the airport to it straight away. It was lovely and delicious, just as Pratima described. The omelettes were incredibly fluffy–just the thing to start our adventure.

Of course, I vowed to try and replicate the omelette experience at home, and I think, as of today, we’ve succeeded. Behold, the spinach and feta omelette (what Lou Mitchell’s calls the ‘Spinach Special’):

Note: One of the most important things about fluffy omelettes, or so I’ve read in various places, is making them in a small skillet so that the eggs don’t spread too much and actually have a chance to rise. An 8-inch skillet should do, though we found a 7-inch Earth chef skillet recently at the Bay for about $13–ceramic nonstick and oven safe.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp butter, cubed
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 3 or 4  large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 25 g or so of feta, cubed
  • milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put cubed butter in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Sautee onions with a bit of oil and salt over medium heat until soft and slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in another bowl.
  4. In the meantime, wilt spinach (I just nuke it in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds). When it cools, wring out the excess water, and chop it finely.
  5. Add chopped spinach and feta to onions.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and yolk vigorously for a minute or so. Add milk, salt, and pepper, and beat some more, incorporating air until bubbles form around the edges of the mixture. Right before you’re ready to put the eggs in the pan, add the frozen butter to the egg mixture.
  7. Add a bit of butter to the same skillet when hot (again on medium heat). After it foams and melts, give it a swirl, and then add the egg mixture. Using a small spatula (silicone seems the best option), dislodge the edges of the omelette from the pan as they start to cook, letting uncooked egg take its place. Keep doing this until the bottom of the omelette towards the centre starts to set. Add the spinach, onion, feta filling and incorporate into the eggs. When the omelette is almost set–the top will still be slightly runny–stick in the oven for about 3 to 3 and a half minutes or when the surface of the omelette is fully cooked.
  8. Remove from pan, fold in half, and serve with toast. 🙂

This omelette is pretty easy to make with a bit of practice. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures. I can’t seem to find my camera anywhere.

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I still haven’t booked another road test. My license expires at the end of June. I’m beginning to think that I won’t bother getting my full license…after all, I was never planning to own a car. And now that this sweet ride is sitting in my room, I think I may just compete with the traffic on two wheels. Riding on the road, even in Kingston, is a bit scary. I went out with a few more adventurous friends yesterday during rush hour. All that I can really say is that there was a lot of adrenaline pumping.

For anyone who is considering doing some road biking, I seriously recommend investigating fixed-gear bikes. YOU CAN BIKE BACKWARDS. I’m sorry, but I still can’t get over that. I haven’t done it yet…my bike is still on its free-wheel setting while I get used to the geometry and such, but give it a few weeks, and I will be able to bike in all directions. Nothing will stop me…except maybe mud (I slipped off the pavement yesterday, lost all traction in the muddy grass beside it, and then fell comically sideways).  Obviously, biking backwards is just a novelty–the real beauty of fixed-gear bikes is their speed and the punishing regimen they deal out. You can’t coast. Once you start, your pedals are always in motion…until you break, skid, or crash. Fabulous. Frightening. Yes!

Okay, clearly, I’m not a great spokesperson for fixies quite yet. I should also get back to reading about sex and gender.

Since I’ve quit Facebook and I’ll be spending most of the next month cross-legged on someone else’s couch writing term papers, I’ve decided I may as well make my announcements here. You’re the people that matter, anyway.

  • I’m doing my MA at Queen’s come September. Exciting but not exciting.
  • I’m going to be in Chicago for a few days at the end of April…does anyone want anything/does anyone have places to recommend in terms of food and cool experiences?
  • I will make this for you on request. It is massively delicious, and I need to justify my bundt pan purchase by making as many cakes as possible.

Rather than reading Wittgenstein’s prophetic pronouncements on philosophy and the world on Friday night, I went to see a movie with my friend Adam. It was a vampire movie, and it wasn’t Twilight. You can deduce a priori from these facts that it was a film far superior to the preachy, misogynistic, goth-lite fodder that all the world’s fourteen-year-olds have been lining up to see lately. It’s called Let the Right One In, and you might be able to find it at your local indie-flick haunt.

There is just something about Swedish winters, playground love, and bloodsucking that is deeply horrifying and yet very good from a cushy movie-theatre seat. The film features smatterings of gore, yes – self-mutilation, exsanguination, immolation – but these tidbits aren’t what leave you in want of a hug when the credits roll. It’s all about the understated love and pain, the strange and demanding moral entanglements of being twelve and a bit of a bloodsucker. It’s a lonely, messy, and desperate sort of life.

This came up randomly in my ethics and environment seminar. It’s pretty high quality.

Hey guys,

I’ve started a new blog to document my newly vegetarian ways. Visit sometime. I’ll be sharing recipes, nutritional information, and that sort of thing. Mostly, I think, it’s just an excuse to try new food and take pretty pictures.

http://lemonxjelly.wordpress.com

So I was talking to some BFA (bachelor of fine arts) friends of mine last night, and this conceptual art exhibit, Shedboatshed, came up. Basically, the artist, Simon Starling, came upon an old shed by the Rhine one day and decided that he would reconstruct it into a boat, row the boat to the museum he was having an exhibit at, and then rebuild his boat into a shed. It won the Turner prize in 2005. I thought it was a neat piece right away just because it automatically made me think of the good old Ship of Theseus paradox about object identity (as much as I hate that kind of metaphysics) – is Starling’s shed at the museum the same shed as the one he found by the river? But other than that, I think it still raises a lot of interesting questions – from ‘what counts as (good) art?’ to ‘in what ways do manufactured objects relate to us specifically, people in general, and the world around us?’. I suggest scrolling down to the bottom of the Tate page (first link) and listening to the audio clips or reading the transcripts from them about Shedboatshed. It’s nice to note the thought behind the piece rather than just dimissing it as a weird, postmodern act of futility.