With winter insisting upon staying right up until its official dismissal, I have found myself in the skyways of Minneapolis quite often as of late to avoid the snow and ice below. I mentioned once before that I like the skyways during the lunch hour because suddenly Minneapolis seems like such a different city. It becomes crowded and rushed, making me feel like I’m in Tokyo or Hong Kong.
The other day I ate in Tokyo with two of my friends. Technically, I was eating in Minneapolis and I was eating alone. Continue reading →
Bringing Thanksgiving dinner to a close last week, I valiantly devoured a second “smidgen” of pumpkin pie, despite the protests from my waistband. Normally, Thanksgiving is the kickoff for holiday eating – straight through Christmas until New Year’s Day. The damage I can do on the scale during this short period can take me months to undo. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, I forgive myself for each meal, each treat, each errant cookie with “it’s the holidays!”
As I put the fork down (and stopped using my finger to mop up every last crumb of pie), I realized with dawning horror that Thanksgiving was so early this year in the U.S., that there’d be an extra week of potential Christmas-forgiven eating. Unless measures are taken I could discover, as a friend once warned me, that elastic is finite. Continue reading →
As I’ve mentioned before, a few years back I began a “tradition” of celebrating family birthdays from afar by going out for a nice dinner or dessert, eating in their honor even if I couldn’t be there in person to celebrate with them. Because I’ve lived away from my family for so many years, it was a way to feel connected and not left out.
I’ve had a lot of good meals these last few years celebrating my brothers’ and sisters’ birthdays. (Always in their honor, mind you.)
Well, now that I’ve moved back to Minnesota where most of my family lives, my tradition was nearly unmasked as nothing more than an excuse to eat where I please without guilt.
My older brother’s birthday would be the first one I could celebrate in person – the first real test of my so-called tradition. The challenge was to pick someplace that would seem like a treat for him, but would be my first choice too. Continue reading →
As a kid I was accused of being a picky eater. I say “accused” deliberately, because I argue that’s it’s unfair to label someone who doesn’t like tuna and cream of mushroom soup (or green peppers) a picky eater. That’s just three items within the universe of food.
I grew up in the Midwest in the 1970s and that means hotdishes (casseroles). There are untold variations of the hotdish – tuna or hamburger, egg noodles or chow mein noodles. Usually bound together with cream of mushroom soup. You can also add peas. You can add a topping of tater tots or potato chips (for a bit of a crunch). And on and on. So many variations, yet still just one dish in my opinion, and for that I was called a picky eater. Continue reading →
As I approached the building, I was hoping a secret knock would be required, and when rapped correctly a thick necked man would peek from behind a speakeasy to admit me. Although The Secret Society has a lounge that pours out a proper absinthe, no secret knock is needed.
The Secret Society is a lounge, a recording studio and a ballroom.
The 1907 building of The Secret Society was once home to fraternal organizations – first the Woodsmen of the World and then in 1947 it was home to the Prince Hall Masons, named for Prince Hall, a black man who in 1775 was made a Master Mason. Continue reading →
The hours weren’t random, they occurred consecutively. It was within those 18 hours, however, that I encountered parking trouble, pie, soccer, suduk, an extinct volcano, a soapbox derby, and ramen noodles. Continue reading →
My brothers and I, after a good meal, tilt our heads just like our dad does. It means we are full and we are happy. With some variation we all say, the first part almost a grunt, “Mmm. That was good.” And then look to the rest of the table for agreement to dispel any disbelief that the meal was just a dream.
We are now well into the re-launch of Operation Feel Good, the plan my siblings and I have to get fit. My very first day, I made two rookie mistakes. Yes, the very first day. I left the house in the morning without a water bottle and I left the house without a proper lunch plan.
A water bottle shouldn’t be a hurdle, but part of the problem is I can’t bring myself to buy bottled water. I can fill a bottle from my tap at home after all. Forgetting a water bottle, I could, of course, go without anything to drink, but that’s not where my mind goes. The devil on my shoulder tells me that if I’m going to add to the landfill, why not dive all the way in and get a soda. Once I set up the decision as a choice between water and a soda, the bad choices start to rack up.
I’ve never done well when faced with two options. On a family trip when I was a little kid, my younger brother and sister and I were allowed to go through a buffet line by ourselves. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I claimed I was just sane enough to realize I didn’t have the power to conjure the objects of my thoughts. (I was in the mood for macarons and they appeared before me.) But what if it’s the object of an author’s thought that has been conjured?
A few days after I conjured the macarons, I was having breakfast at Fuller’s on NW 9th& NW Davis in Portland’s Pearl District. It’s an old-school diner with counter seating only.