Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day on Lake Michigan

Memorial Day is the best time to take a run down the lakeside parks along Lake Michigan, just south of the Northwestern Campus. This holiday invites celebration. While we honor the men and women we have lost in combat, we also honor America... and what is more American than a BBQ picnic?

Families from all walks of life were out today, enjoying the sun and the company of loved ones around dozens of smoking grills. Of course, my attention was captured by the diversity of the food laying on the picnic tables. The hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburger were ubiquitous, but I couldn't help but notice that each family did "picnic" a little differently. I saw salsa being made fresh, everyone from aging grandmothers to teenage cousins participating in the slicing and dicing of vegetables; I saw a Tupperware filled with homemade noodles and a bottles of Kimchi sitting on top. Everywhere people were grilling corn, some in the husk, some without, one family added lime and chili, and another some butter and salt. There were avocado halves with spoons for easy snacking and fresh-tamales warm in their little pouches. I saw Cheese-its and Oreos, stake fajitas and mushroom kebabs, bags of fresh light-as-air puff pastry and lunch from Panera.

Though it may not seem note worthy to many, I am moved by the great American-ness of this day. There is no such thing as an All-American BBQ. Today, I saw at least 20 different kinds of the most American lunches around, everything from tofu sausages to sauerkraut to soy sauce.

Happy Memorial Day


B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...

Hi Ellie,

Just read the article in the Dining Guide from the Daily. While this comment might not be related to your original post, I would just like to say I have much admiration for what you're doing. Your upcoming internship in DC is just one of many examples of individuals who channel one of their profound interests into something that is both very self-satisfying and productive. It's very nice to see that.

I just have one question: I've found that it's very difficult for people who like to cook to come together and discuss recipes as well as share experiences of fine wining and dining around Evanston and Chicago. As a person who appreciates such things myself (and an avid viewer of the Food Network or any cooking show for that matter), have you ever thought of starting a cooking club at NU? You seem to have the right drive and ambition to do it.

Otherwise, keep up the good work on your blog and good luck in your internship!


Ellie Barczak said...

B: Sorry it has taken so long to respond you your lovely post. Finals consume us. First of all, thank you so much for reading the article. I have done a lot of thinking on the issue of a cooking club. There are some draw backs, especially with the packed quarter system. Next fall, i'm toying with two different ideas, one based on what an average college student has at his or her apartment, and the other based purely on the college budget. If you're interested, i'd love to toss some ideas around. Feel free to email me!