Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adventures in Logan Square: Farmers and Pastry Markets

The day started off bright and early.

My mom popped by with a full spread of lox and bagels along with a gift of a new hat and scarf set which she knitted. During the first 20 minutes of her visit, the fact I don't have a microwave came up twice. Then we transitioned into why don't I have a toaster. I got divorced six years ago and had both of said appliances way back when. But time flies. And I figured if I really wanted a microwave, I'd have found one by now.

As I wasn't quite dressed, my mom wanted to turn on the TV, which first had to be plugged in because I only have two outlets and my stereo and record player were both plugged in.

"So, you have to start up your TV every time you watch it?"

"Well, I don't watch it that much."

"You can just get a power strip cord. It's $10 and you can plug in more than two things."

"I know, I think I have one."

At that point, my mom made the discovery that I have cable, or rather she saw a cable and wonder what would happen if she plugged it into my TV.

She asked if I'd ever tried to plug in the cable wire.

I said no, but apparently I now have basic cable. And I also have Blu Ray.

My mom is excited by the Blu Ray.

I keep forgetting that I have Blu Ray. I only own one Blu Ray movie, it's Pixar's Up, and though I have the Blu Ray version of it, I think I was watching it in regular DVD mode. There is a difference.

We sat for a bit and marveled at the crispness of the Blu Ray. Then, as I put eyeliner on she read the manuel for my TV and learned all sorts of things about it.

Though I'd wanted to just chill out, and rest because my sciatica has been acting up-- oh yeah, we also talked about the fact I'm apparently walking crooked and should go to the doctor now that I have a real job and decent health insurance--I knew I had to get some coverage in for the next pipeline.

Thus, we ventured out on an adventure to Logan Square. We typically don't go out of our "coverage area" of Wicker Park and Bucktown, namely because I'm already waking up at 4:30AM to work before my day job and having a hard enough time keeping up with WPB news/emails/events, much less adding other 'hoods to the mix, but there were two great reasons to do so today, with the first being a pop in to an advertising sponsor, the Logan Square Indoor Farmer's Market, 2135 N. Milw., where my mom got a half-pound of Cafe Camp Rey coffee.

At the market I also apologized to Lou Ann of Jake's Country Meats for not eating much meat [or buying hers].

She said that it was okay, and then discussed a sustainable farm tour she once attended in Iowa, which included a demonstration of how to make sausage made from tofu.

"If you're going to make it taste like sausage, why don't you just eat sausage?" Lou Ann speculated.

True dat.

There was also some nice sunlight pouring into the lobby. And, new this week: Pussy Willows from R. Reyes & Sons.

Up the street, we walked from the Congress Theatre to Logan Square Kitchen, opting to use the street since the passageway in front of the vacated Gerber building was unfortunately not trek-friendly considering my mom's arthritis and my lower back pain. There was, however, no shortage of First Ward campaign signs tacked to the vacated Gerber building.

At the Valentine's Pastry Market, hosted by the Logan Square Kitchen, a shared kitchen and event space, $1 was the admission ticket to a festival of pastry vendors offering their most scrumptious treats, just in time for the holiday tomorrow.

We enjoyed chatting with Ramona, a newcomer to LSK and owner of Tushiya Sweets and Treats, and a rep from FIGcatering who was sharing samples of margarita-lime meringue pie which was perfect for this unusually warm day.

I walked away with a special trio of cookies that I intend to bring to work tomorrow.

The cookies were purchased from Celese Dolan of Celestial Kitchens, pictured in polk-a-dots. In Celeste's 'pipeline' will be an opportunity to showcase her baked goods at a pastry shop opening soon in Andersonville. Here in Wicker Park, Celestial Kitchens cookies can be found at Cipollina, Milk and Honey, the Goddess and Grocer, and many others in addition to the Wicker Park Farmer's Market which begins again in June.

After the pastry market we trekked back to my mom's car, where she asked me if I'd noticed anything different about her.

I racked my brain. Finally she had to tell me, using the following clue: What is the one thing that you do that everyone bugs you about doing constantly, but the minute you stop doing it, nobody notices?

The answer is smoking.

She stopped Jan. 1.

"Now that I know that I can stop, I can start smoking again," she said.

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