Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Midwestern Endorsement: How I Met Your Mother

For many years, I have had an unreasonable and completely without merit dislike for CBS shows. I think it is because they have jam packed their line up with boring, magic solves everything CSI episodes.

However, thanks to my pal TC, I have enjoyed How I Met Your Mother episode after episode. It's my favorite way to watch television. It is very funny. Who would have thought?

It helps that two of the main characters are from two of my all time favorite shows of the past, Doogie Howser, MD and Freaks and Geeks. AND! One of the main characters is from St. Cloud, Minnesota and they were dead on with their jokes about salads made with lots and lots of mayonnaise in Minnesota.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Midwestern Recipe: Berry Pie

Ozark Mountain Berry Pie

This seemed like the perfect pie to serve at a cookout to mark the beginning of summer! Lots of fresh fruit!

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
dash of salt

1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
3/4 cup blackberries
3/4 cup raspberries
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Double Crust pie - 9 inches
2 tablespoons of butter, cubed

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in berries. Add water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust. Fill with berry filling and dot with butter. Roll out remaining pie crust. Make a lattice top (but, a full cover pie crust is delicious too...the lattice is just so pretty). Trim and flute the edges. Sprinkle sugar on top.

Cover your edges with aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack and store in refrigerator.

Serve it with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Countdown of Sorts

I realize that I have been a bit distracted lately and not concentrating on things that I usually take some joy. The blog is one of those things. So, I present some tunes that I have been in heavy rotation on Iris the ipod.MIdwestern Mixed Tape, Vol. 4

Is it cloudy everywhere else in the world? And cloudy for many days without the warmth that usually accompanies spring. I am so ready for summer. I know that a teacher's work cycle is unique that there is an end to things. The school year provides an opportunity to start fresh each fall and end at exactly when you have nothing more to give children. Ten days left and my level of responsibility falls dramatically.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Midwestern Endorsement: The Schmitter

I like any town that takes its sandwiches as seriously as I do. Last night, I went to a Phillies game. I've had many delicious ball park and stadium foods, but I experienced a new high (maybe low?) at Citizens Bank Park last night.

May I present to you The Schmitter.

I assume it was named after the beloved Phillies' favorite Mike Schmitt and served at McNally's Tavern and the ball park. I love any sandwich that is worthy of a diagram.

I might not have ever known about The Schmitter if it were not for my brother-in-law who was visiting. He enjoyed a Scmitter at a game earlier in the week and tipped us off that this might be something I would enjoy.

No matter what names the Phillies fans used on the Blue Jay fans, no matter how mercilessly they booed the former Phillie players that dared to show their face again wearing a Blue Jay jersey, the Philadelphia establishment knows how to make delicious and heart-pounding food.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rain (Boo)

I don't know why today is an exception, but I am so bothered by the rain today.

Normally, I look at it with a "what can I do about it" attitude. Today, I look at it with a "I want to squeeze my face in" attitude. Maybe it was because Friday was rainy and today was rainy and that equals two rainy days of kindergarten in a row, but I am on the verge of some rainy day induced shopping. On days like these, I feel the need to shop for shoes, books, or music. I can easily not buy a new book since I just started a new one, but the shoes and music are a harder ledge to step away from.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Much Music

Driving to pick up my friend from the airport, I was listening to Iris the ipod. She was playing a song by Joni Mitchell and it occurred to me what I believe to be my perfect job. I would like my job to be centered around listening to music, going to concerts, and talking about music. Now, that sounds like a radio DJ, right. Well, I think that ship has sailed.

I can still do those three things but it will have to be on a volunteer status. My volunteer prospects are good though because I already have two music events on the calendar. Later this month, I will be going to see the Kate Walsh who has a knack for my favorite kind of music, folky and wordy.

In June, I will take two full days and dedicate them to hanging out and listening to tunes at the XPoNential Music Festival sponsored by my favorite radio station, WXPN.

Having little things planned is one of my strategies for having a fantastic summer. I don't know why I worry about this. I can't remember the last summer that wasn't great and memorable. I always worry that I won't make the most of my time and the lovely time of the year that is summer. I will be teaching summer school for five weeks, Monday through Thursday until noon. This leaves me with the afternoons to have my way with this city. Also, on Fridays, I plan on taking advantage of as many Free at Noon concerts as I can at WXPN.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Midwestern Plug of the Week: Liz Lemon/30 Rock/Tina Fey

I have another reason to justify my girl crush on Tina Fey. I am sure a patron rolled his/her eyes in my general direction as I enjoyed her new movie Baby Mama at the Narberth Theater this weekend. I did that laugh-out-loud-machine gun laugh. It comes from who knows where in my soul, but it happens whenever Tina Fey is using her comedy chops.

Okay, this is where I start to boss you around. If you are not watching 30 Rock, I am going to judge you...harshly. It is a show worthy of your 21 minutes (if you are lucky and have TiVo or some fancy space recorder DVR) or 30 minutes if you watch it old fashion style like we do. However, you are truly blessed if you have Tivo or DVR because you get rewind and watch the funny over and over again.

Thursday nights. 9:30/8:30 central.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Midwestern Position May Must Haves

The Weepies new album, Hideaway. My personal favorite song that I obsess about from this album is "Orbit".

A new pair of summer flip-flops. If you are like me, last year's summer shoes are no good. I like to call them well-loved rather than worn out. I am just an optimist. I picked up a pair of Rocket Dogs and I am happy to say that it is just the beginning. At least five pairs of flip-flops is reasonable per summer. And if you have been reading this blog for more than two years, you might recall the days when I couldn't bring myself to even wear a pair of flip flops.

A bed time. Just because it is staying light longer doesn't mean that you should feel shame for going to bed at 8:30PM. (Did she say 8:30PM?) Yes. Yes, I did. No shame. When you are tired and you want nothing more than a long night of sleep, draw the blinds and go to sleep.