I am late posting this. I realize it makes me look like a huge slacker. But, as you will see below, I spent Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon in Chicago (well, the burbs of Chicago) playing Ultimate until I was covered in mud and could barely stand up. And then I had to catch up on work AND homework. But don’t worry, that didn’t keep me from eating dinner! So here we are, slightly late but just as happy.
Sunday: St. Patty’s Day!
Today, as you likely know, is St. Patrick’s Day. Traditionally, American kids get drunk as hell and make jokes about Irish stuff we don’t know anything about.
Well, today, lucky me, I got to go to WORK! So I had to skip the traditional part, but I did get to make Irish-ish food for dinner! I went the shepherd’s pie route since I had leftover mashed potatoes, and it was an excellent choice. First you make a meat pie:
I think lamb is the traditional meat, but I went with ground beef and veal mixture. And then I mixed it with peas and carrots, also pretty standard, and topped with chicken gravy. Which I started with ROUX!
That’s right, y’all. Made a roux. Turned it into gravy. And then I topped with mashed potatoes and baked for ~45 minutes. And then ate it. I know these are more process than food pictures, but hey, I was busy eating!
Monday: ANOTHER MEETING
Keeping track of what I eat has actually made me aware of HOW MANY MEETINGS I go to. Seriously, for not having any work-related meetings ever, really, I go to a lot of meetings for other stuff. Tonight I had yet another frisbee-related meeting. I split a deep-dish pizza with jalapeño peppers, bacon, and pineapple, if you must know. I had two slices. It was heavy.
But then I forgot to take a picture of it, so instead you get a picture of a typical Ann Arbor squirrel. I guess this one isn’t typical in the sense that it’s not morbidly obese, but it is March, guys. Mostly typical for Ann Arbor because it’s straight up eating human food just like a person would eat it, because there’s so much to be had around town that they get practice eating everyone’s favorite late-night drunk snacks.
I’m better than a squirrel, though. Because I got deep dish.
Tuesday: Let’s play “What’s in the fridge?”
As we all know, leftovers are the greatest food created, because you don’t really have to do anything other than microwave it, and then you get to eat! Minimum effort, minimal dishes, obviously minimum-quality photo op. So tonight we have leftover shepherd’s pie with steamed Yu Choy Sum.
CRUCIAL NEWS UPDATE: Yu Choy Sum is an incredible vegetable. I asked my Chinese friends, and they have a different pronunciation for it, but it can be found at a couple of the grocery stores in town this time of year, and has the highest deliciousness:difficulty of preparation ratio of any vegetable I know. Instructions: wash well, and chop the stems off to separate from the leaves. Put the stems in the bottom of your steamer bowl, place the leaves on top, and steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Stick right on the plate, add a dash of lemon juice, and bask in the glory. Seriously, no olive oil or salt or butter required. I put pepper on mine because I put it on everything, but just a tiny bit of lemon juice brings the most marvelous flavor out of this magical veggie. So I encourage you to try it while spring is still in session, because it goes away from the grocery shelves by May.
Wednesday: Why leave the Kingdom when everything is so delicious?
Tonight I had practice at a semi-reasonable time–6 to 8pm. This is the perfect opportunity to get my favorite food on the way home: Taco King tacos! And quesadillas. And everything else they serve. This was actually a lot of food. I usually go for the three tacos, but we split a quesadilla instead of the third taco, and let’s just say they don’t skimp on the cheese at Taco King. I was stuffed to the brim. Fat and happy!
Thursday: Stuff in a pan
Notes: This is a scramble of stuff that I wanted to eat, so I made it and then ate it. It was actually really good. On the right is potatoes and spices and asparagus, sautéed. On the left is two fried eggs with some cheddar and fresh green pepper (and salsa, clearly) on top. Didn’t take too long, tasted like a dream, full of nutrients.
Friday: The Patio
Since I knew we were leaving Ann Arbor in time to grab dinner at our destination outside of Chicago, I of course used Google Maps to locate our hotel and then scroll around the nearby area until I located an appropriate venue for both eating and watching the NCAA tournament.
Enter: The Patio in Darien. I emailed my carmates, and even though it got a couple weirdly bad reviews on Yelp (“The waitress at the counter was SO RUDE! WHAT KIND OF MANAGER ALLOWS THAT?!?!” or “I used to love this place but then I came last week and my FRIES WERE COLD! GROSS! Never coming back, that’s for sure!”), we all agreed it was our best option in the area. Besides which I much prefer local over chain places if I actually get to sit down and eat there.
It was incredible. First of all, pulled up to the place and there were ZERO parking spots. Seriously, we parked next door by a bank or something, next to their delivery van. But even though every single spot was taken, there were still a couple free tables. They also had a DRIVE-THROUGH WINDOW. Drive-through BBQ. So we get in and it’s the type of place you order and they bring your food out to you. But everything looks great, so we all place our orders (removes the annoyance of the waitstaff separating everyone’s checks at the end of the meal!) and sit down. And then about three minutes later our food comes out, steaming hot. Everything was great. I absolutely stuffed that entire enormous pulled-pork sandwich and tamale into my mouth, because I knew I’d be running around all day Saturday. Great choice, team!
Saturday: The Return
We went back to The Patio. After our rave review when the rest of the team got to the hotel, everyone decided we should go back on Saturday night after getting down and dirty in the mud all day chasing a frisbee. So we did. And it was great. Once again, parking lot was totally full, and once again we conveniently got mountains of delicious food in about five minutes.
I got a chicken/cherry/blue cheese/pecan salad with a nice balsamic vinagrette and half of the sweet potato fries in the picture. The girl who I shared the sweet potato fries with also got a burger AND a cup of soup AND a side salad. Like I said, we ran around all day, and by the time we got the food, we were ready to win the battle of stomach wills. And the college athletes rejoiced!
There you have it, folks. Another one for the books. And another one for the stomachs. See you next week!