Mulling things on my morning ramble.with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
A morning for food thoughts.
My wife and I had a late evening of feasting during a delayed Christmas party at Henry's Sports and Bait yesterday.
It was wonderful to get away and have time alone with my wife.
And the eating was wonderful.
The featured item at their Christmas party is always fish tacos. I love how food crosses cultures.
Among the fish used were Illinois River sauger and Lake Michigan perch. On traditional corn tortillas with a slaw and a sauce with a subtle kick.
Cool enough this morning in the teens to step lively, but not too cold. After all the eating and drinking last night, I needed the extended ramble and we did it.
The only wildlife was a smattering of sounds from the Canada geese swimming open the hole in the ice on the lake to the west. Yesterday, I checked and they have quite a hole opened up.
One of the food items was a Lithuanian pastry, a tree pastry, which I believe is called Šakotis.
I found that interesting. Another culture heard from. Somebody had a big bottle of Lithuanian lager there, too. I forget the name, but what was interesting is that a beer savant in the crowd checked the label and said it was not pasteurized
I found that a little odd considering the long trip from Lithuania to Chicago, a path also taken by many people.
The ice on the town pond was surprising thick, thick enough to hold my weight. That's pretty wild since the north old clay pit was wide open only two days ago.
The part that refroze has a slick clear surface, so slick the meathead went flying when he tried it.
I did not see any holes from ice fishermen trying. Soon enough.
Back home, I had to laugh. My world tour of cuisines returned to my homeland when he cut open the first red-beet eggs of a new batch.
Red-beet eggs are a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, part of the seven sours and seven sweets.
My mom made a wonderful red-beet eggs, using red beets that she canned herself.
Over the years, I have tweaked her recipe.
I use the basics of water, sugar, vinegar and red-beet juice. But I tweak it with a bit more vinegar and spice it up with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
The early red-beet eggs I find a visual wonder. The red-beet juice has just turned the edge of the egg white pink. Then there is the white around the vivid perfectly yellow yolk.
It was that kind of morning, feeling oddly cheerful on sunny winter morning, happy to be part of one world.