Monday, October 10, 2011


My favorite song by the Head and the Heart:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seventy-five miles south of Manitowac, where I lived from 1978-1981. Carrie was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin because they wouldn't allow men in the delivery room in Manitowac in 1979.

Wisconsin looks like Germany. It's part of the reason I instantly adapted to German countryside; it felt like home. The hills clothed in multicolored leaves, churches peeking out above the trees, cool air swathing the hot, a premonition of winter to come. This year, the darkness of fall has stayed away.

Last weekend there was a concert by a Seattle band, the Head and the Heart at the historic Turner Ballroom in Milwaukee. We stayed at the Plaza Hotel, also a historic building, peaceful and retro, simply and accurately restored (or perhaps just very well kept up), and reasonable rates. The quiet of Milwaukee contrasts with Chicago's financial frenzied stressed population. It was a peaceful weekend.

Turner Ballroom was gorgeous and open, and the band amazing.
Resting in the grass along Milwaukee's biking and walking path. I've been so tired, and keep thinking that I'm going to have some time to rest soon. I realized that I've been on a non-stop pace since the end of March when I found out that my job was eliminated and I was on a crash course to move home. Of course, the traveling was self-inflicted pleasure & pain. Today I've been home for two months, and have not yet spent two weeks in one place. It's life on the road. I don't expect it to end anytime soon.
The Comet Cafe. Excellent food! Excellent coffee.
Surprisingly, I found tons of good tips in here. One always needs to practice self-improvement. Never stop learning! I don't intend to get old ever. (The book is The Encyclopedia of Immaturity.)
I shelled out muko bucks for new jeans. It's been about seven years since I bought a new pair of designer jeans. I like to practice delayed gratification so that I really appreciate my nice things.
Demonstrating the "mine and toss" technique. When you've bought too much ice cream and you can't eat it all, you are totally justified in mining out all the good sections and flicking the rest down the drain.
Holy Hill is a Cathedral Basilica in the countryside about 30 miles out of Milwaukee. The traffic to reach it was worse than anything I've seen in Chicago, and at the top we even sited tour buses. I tried to hide in the corner to cure my crowd phobia. But it was better just to go home!
We checked out the newly renovated Cheese Palace, after stopping last time the day before they closed for remodeling. I wanted to get one of the cheeseheads for Lily but they were not for sale, so a picture has to suffice. Next time I'll just take a picture of the Palace from the freeway and keep going. The place was swarming with people, and non-delicious samples for the second time in a row, so I'd have to rate this as a "no-go". Avoid!

Lastly, I'll mention Beans and Barley, a cafe and grocery store with hippie roots (though now very gentrified). For about a year, I've been hearing about their Tofu Scramber. I'm a big fan of tofu scramble: you can eat it alone, on top of salad, with bread, hot or cold. I like it all ways and it's quick and simple to make at home. A lot of restaurants will offer it, but drown it in oil and spices, so that later my stomach hates me. Beans and Barley makes a simple, savory version which I think would delight everyone's palate. I've found the recipe for it, so if you want to try it at home, you can savor the flavor without a trip to Milwaukee.


Source: Beans & Barley Market and Cafe, 1901 E. North Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1/4 C. tahini
1/4 C. shoyu
1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
2 lb. firm tofu, drained, dried and coarsely crumbled
2 tsp. olive oil
2/3 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
2/3 C. diced tomato
2/3 C. chopped green onions
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Combine tahini, shoyu, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Add to crumbled tofu, being careful not to crumble tofu too fine.

Heat 12-inch nonstick or well-greased, skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sauté mushrooms until cooked, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and green onions and cook for 1 minute.

Add tofu mixture and cook, scrambling occasionally, until some of it begins to brown a little. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: Serve with home-fried potatoes and toast. This dish is also good with corn bread, muffins or bagels.

1 comment:

Dee J. said...

Honey you can get the cheeseheads at Rybicki Cheese, Mall of America, Bloomington - it's a Wisconsin cheese company and my favorite!