This morning, we started out by going off to Whole Foods, an organic grocery (seriously, there's, like, carbon compounds EVERYWHERE there!) It was HUGE. And pretty impressive. Elsa was looking for ingredients for the phenomenal meal she was planning for us. So ingredients we bought. Judi, meanwhile, was nearly comatose with caffeine deprivation, so I sent her off to get herself coffee and me a vanilla steamer. She returned awhile later, perkier and with a hazelnut steamer. (OK, so she missed the word "vanilla" but the steamer was very yummy.) Apparently, she was looking all over for the Starbucks that she knew was in the shopping plaza, only to later discover she was standing in front of it. Now *that's* what I call caffeine deprivation!
Once we bundled the groceries into the car, we drove back over the Long Ass Bridge (ah, I remember alryssa, tiger5, Judi and I walking over that once - I so much prefer driving) to return to Judi's place. Then we walked over to the Taste of Chicago. Yum! (Although we don't go over any Long Ass Bridges, it's still something of a Long Ass Walk, but it's still a lot closer than many people going to the Taste had to travel.)
So, with my handy Taste of Chicago booklet in hand, I shall rattle off the good things I sampled there (everything I bought was a "taste" portion):
- Lagniappe-Creole Cajun Joynt - beignet
- A Natural Harvest - tamale
- The Breakfast Club - bite of Elsa's tamale
- Tamarind - Taiwan Shining Noodles
- Kasia's Deli - pierogies
- Arya Bhavan - samosa
- Wow Bao - a Kung Pao bao (steamed dumpling with kung pao filling)
- BJ's Market & Bakery - bite of Judi's mustard fried catfish and bite of Judi & Elsa's peach cobbler
- Bobtail Ice Cream Company - chocolate - dipped ice cream cake on a stick (which was ENORMOUS for a sample-size. I'd be afraid to see the regular sized one!)
The walk back from Taste was warm (and long). So I told the girls that I wanted to go swimming. Elsa agreed and then we talked Judi into at least putting on her suit in case the water was warmer today. So we got in the pool (this time full of people, especially kids) and agreed that it was, indeed, warmer than last night. We stayed for over an hour in the pool and then sat on the lounge chairs for a bit longer drying off. It was very refreshing!
When we returned to the apartment, Elsa started working on supper, starting with the ice cream. Judi and I went to the market at her apartment complex to get a few needed items while Elsa cooked. It's a cute little market which actually had everything that we needed (including lemons and batteries - and yes, you can make a battery from a lemon, but they don't usually fit inside of garage door openers or radios).
I set the table (with Judi correcting me the whole time) and Elsa plated the dishes. The salad was heirloom tomato, fennel, tarragon, and bleu cheese with vinaigrette. I'm not a big tomato eater, but I enjoyed the salad. The main course was pork chops with brandied peaches, potato souffle, and broccoli with lemon. Oh my, the pork chops were wonderful! And the brandied peaches - yum! I enjoyed the potato souffle too and ate most of my broccoli. :-) Dessert was the christening of Judi's ice cream maker (which Elsa had given her at Christmas) - Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream. Yum! I'd forced Judi to buy me a Lindt milk chocolate bar at the market, so I topped the ice cream with a square of that in each - yummy.
Elsa and I watched the end of the Navy Pier fireworks from their reflection in the apartments across the way - that was pretty neat. I have suggested to Judi that she & I go on Saturday to see them up close & personal. She agreed. :-) We're now vegging on laptops while Judi works on cases for her job. Poor thing! Tomorrow, more Taste, some fireworks, and more fun!