Sunday, August 16, 2009

Paying Attention

"Most of us move so quickly that our surroundings become no more than the blurred scenery we fly past on our way to somewhere else. We pay attention to the speedometer, the wristwatch, the cell phone, the list of things to do, all of which feed our illusion that life is manageable. Meanwhile, none of them meets the first criterion for reverence, which is to remind us that we are not gods. If anything, these devices sustain the illusion that we might yet be gods -- if only we could find some way to do more faster."

-- Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Friday, August 7, 2009

Eddie Delahunt Cafe

I heard about Eddie Delahunt on NPR yesterday morning, a program about local musical performers. Eddie is an Irish singer and musician who operates his own Cafe (shown above) at 45th & State Line, in a nifty antiques area. Samples of Eddie's music can be heard at Or, if you live in Kansas City you can catch Eddie's act live. Among other local venues, he currently performs Friday evenings from 6 to 9 at Mike Kelly's Westsider.

I happened to meet with Lynn Badaracco, my Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement consultant, last week at the Roasterie Cafe in Brookside. Lynn is helping me with my job search -- I volunteered for a separation package from Sprint Nextel this spring. I've been considering whether to blog about searching for a new job. Guess this is my first post to touch on the subject. :-)

One of my goals is to find a job in the KC urban core area, or at least a reasonably short commute from it. The idea occurred to me that it would be fun to meet with people when possible at venues in the urban core area. Places like the Roasterie, which I enjoyed, or Eddie Delahunt's Cafe, which I visited this afternoon. Eddie himself was on the job behind the counter. No unusual thing, I take it. He wrote a friendly autograph on my copy of his Triur CD. I'm looking forward to my next visit when I plan to stay longer and enjoy a beverage and sandwich.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Elly's Idea of a Burger

Elly and I are interested in vegetable gardening, and we've had a few over the years. Some have been more successful than others. This year, our tomatoes have overrun the whole garden (yes we planted too many!). The plants are well over six feet high. It has been cool and wet this summer, however, and tomatoes prefer hot and dry summers. As a result, we keep getting more and more growth, and more and more green tomatoes. Few are ripening.

The solution? Fried green tomatoes, naturally. :-)

Our favorite recipe comes from Deborah Madison. It's simple to prepare, involving only a small amount of corn meal, and pan frying with ghee (a clarified butter used in Indian cooking). The result is spectacular. At least, we think so.

Basie, it turns out, is not a fan of cooking that involves sizzling, smoke, or the exhaust hood on our cooktop. His opinion on the matter emerged quite suddenly. One day, we fired up the indoor grill. An instant later he went sailing over the puppy gate like a gazelle, clearing it by a good 12 inches and heading for a remote region of our home. (He had never previously jumped over it.) He's shown here watching the green tomato proceedings from a safe distance.

Traditional burgers are off the menu for Elly, who is a vegetarian. However, we have discovered Morning Star Chipotle Black Bean Burgers at Costco. They are hands down the tastiest veggie burgers we have tried. So here is Elly's idea of a burger, served with sauteed mushrooms on a bed of lettuce with a side of fried green tomatoes. Quick and easy to prepare, and nothing short of fabu. I had the same thing and loved every bite.