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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008  
Over the Top Chef - Week Two

There's no way I can recap this the way David does on his eclectic blog, but I just want to mention a few things. I haven't gotten to know the cheftestants yet but am catching on to a few of them. Two of them have the same hair - Richard and Jennifer who is half of a lesbianic couple with the strangely spelled Zoi both vying for TC.

For their Quickfire Challenge, the cheftestants were sent to the Green City Market in Chicago where this competition is held. Padma Lakshmi (who oddly was married to Salman Rushdie) told them to make an entree made from five ingredients they purchase there. They get salt, pepper, sugar, and oil to use free from the TC kitchen. I think considering all the produce, I'd have stuck with a vegetable dish and not included meat in it since they said it was frozen or questionable in some way. Most of them had a combination of meat or poultry and vegetables.

The judge was Wylie Dufresne. A couple of the guys said things about him I don't understand - something about molecular gastronomist. Richard said they were in the same genre of food. This is all above me.

Everyone scurried around chopping, dicing, sauteeing, and combining.

Richard (the male fauxhawk hair) got eucalyptus which I wondered about, but he said it was edible in small amounts. He's the one who did some kind of smoke thing to his food last week. This time he had braised chicken with that eucalyptus and apples and other things in it. He was in the bottom four, which the judge was sad about since he said they played in the same sandbox. I think this might have to do with the gadgets he brought with him - that smoker thing and a foamer. Who knows what we'll see next! Other losers were Andrew (because he used an extra ingredient - balsamic - ADD for sure), Spike because of questionable beef, and Eric who David says looks like Satan, but that's not why he lost - or maybe it is.

The top three were Scruffy Ryan, Sneery Valerie, and Mark from New Zealand. The Kiwi won with his lamb dish and now has immunity in the main challenge. Narcissistically the judge complimented his sideburns as well as his food. He'd left one of his bags at the market and was praised for making do while leaving something behind. I think he also has ADD. I'm a professional and enjoy making these diagnoses.

The Elimination Challenge was to draw knives to choose wild animals mostly illegal to kill, much less eat - vulture, bear, lion, penguin, and gorilla. Aha, they are catering a reception at the Lincoln Park Zoo and must use food included in their animal's diet. Based on the knife/animal they drew, they were in five teams of three. They were given a list of food that animal eats and then had to decide on a menu. This is a creative challenge unlike some that have been based on junk food, exotic animals that seemed gross, and other odd rules.

This was interesting because we're getting to see how they work together, which ones are divas and control freaks (Nikki and Dale), and who can plan. Some of them felt that they were going home because of disasters - the blinis with rutabagas and the gross mushrooms and were right!

The menus were listed, so I could pause and type them. I don't know what some of these things mean and doubt I'd eat a few of them.

Lion: Bison tartare, beet salad with goat cheese foam, chicken sate, and prime rib with horseradish foam.

Bear: Venison loin with squash, seared salmon, stuffed mushrooms, and cheese & honeycomb on bread.

Vulture: Braised chicken on tostada chip, Moroccan lamb meatball, anchovy on quinio croquette.

Penguin: Thai shrimp & crab salad, roasted zucchini, squid ceviche, and yuzu & mint glacier. (Where do penguins get zucchini and mint?)

Gorilla: Crab salad, black olive blinis with rutabagas and mascarpone, lamb and edamame lettuce cups, and banana bread. (I thought gorillas were vegetarians.)

See what I mean about unknown foods and preparations? Mascarpone I like in tiramisu where it belongs but I'd be willing to try it in other dishes. Yuzu? Ceviche? What are they? Raw or very rare meat, no thanks for the e-coli. I'm squeamish.

Best Teams: Penguins and Vultures.
Worst Teams: Gorillas and Bears.

Wylie Dufresne was guest judge along with the regulars Padma, Gail Simmons, and Tom Colicchio. They liked teams vulture and penguin the most and the gorilla table the least because of the blinis. Penguin Andrew won because of his glacier and squid. Apparently he was brave to attemt the glacier risk with the molecular gastronomist as a judge. (I'm writing in a foreign language with that.) Gorilla Valerie has left the building because the blinis were her fault. The mushrooms almost eliminated Bear Nikki, and I'm not sure why they didn't because all the judges hated them. They said Valerie should have known not to make those ahead of time because by definition they should be prepared at the last minute. Well, OK!

For someone who doesn't particularly like to cook, it might seem odd that I like this. I don't design my own clothes or do ballroom dancing either, but I do like to be entertained!

9:04:00 PM

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