Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Heaven on a bun

Chicago Hot Dog

George and I really love Chicago Hot Dogs.  A true Chicago Hot Dog is not available in very many places outside Chicago.  On our way to Milwaukee last week, we were scheduled for a 2 hour layover in Chicago, and had high hopes of getting one there at O'Hare, but our flight was canceled and we ended up in Charlotte, NC.  No hotdogs there!   When we had time in Milwaukee, we looked for a Chicago Hot Dog place and didn't find one.  I asked someone who seemed to know restaurants in the area, and she looked at me rather blankly -- a what?  I guess Chicago Hot Dogs are not highly coveted in Milwaukee.  Either that, or she was a vegetarian.

In the Boston area, George and I have driven the 60 miles round trip to Weymouth to a small hotdog stand that imports the right buns, the celery seed, the special all beef Vienna hotdogs, and they even import the pickles and relish.   Windy City Eats is a great place, and I wish it was lots closer!  The owner used to live in Chicago, and he missed them so much, he opened this business.  He understands the obsession!

In Chicago, years and years ago, I remember standing in a line at a small hotdog stand on the west side of Chicago to get a dog, and sitting on a picnic table nearby.  This would not be that memorable, except that the line was about 30 people long, and it was obviously a "happening".  The hotdogs were delicious and something to look forward to on a cool Saturday morning.  No one minded sitting outside; the hotdogs were glorious.  In Boston, they don't know hotdogs.   All the excitement around here is for the best lobster roll.   Lobster rolls are great, don't get me wrong, but they, well,  whatever.

Finally, on our way home from Milwaukee last Monday, our flight was delayed, we had a long layover in Chicago, and as we got off the plane, there was a big open Cubs Restaurant...Chicago Hot Dogs!!   We ordered.  We enjoyed the wonderful flavors of the pickle,  the peppers, relish, mustard, celery seed, soft poppyseed bun and a true Vienna hot dog nestled in all those melded flavors -- and happily paid the check - over $30 for one plate with two dogs, and fries and two cokes.  It was worth every penny!

Here is what I'm talking about!   Have a great day.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I just returned from Milwaukee where we traveled so I could attend the PMC Certification Class - Level One - taught by Irina Miech at Eclectica Bead Studio in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  It was an amazing experience.  This is the picture of the pieces we made -- not my actual pieces -- but I don't have pictures of those yet.  We all had to complete these 9 projects to graduate.

There were nine of us in the class, and we made nine pieces in 2 days of class on Friday and Saturday, October 3 & 4h.  I have to admit, I was very nervous when we started.  I arrived with my backpack of water, and some clay tools that Irina had said I could bring, and we all dove into our projects with Irina's help and patient instruction.  The clay and tools were included and she already had everything we would need to complete our pieces.  I met some really nice people -- and we all worked very hard to get our pieces exactly right.  It was not easy!  We motored on, and I was able to leave at the end of the class with all my pieces finished, fired in the kiln and packed away in my jewelry case.  There is some work with patina on a few of my pieces so I will take pictures later.

My world right now is all about metal clay, and since I already purchased a beautiful Paragon Caldara Kiln a few years ago, I am ready to get good at this!  Something about retirement -- it frees you to do each day what you REALLY want to do.

Have a great day!