Many thanks to everyone for the comments, e-mails and well wishes for my sister, over the weekend. There's a link on my sidebar to the website, I'm going to move on for now, if that's ok. I promise to keep you posted.
Clint and I got out of dodge this weekend: a road trip to Chicago. We ran the ethnic neighborhoods on Saturday, doing a little photography, eating a lot of food, and, after parking the car and cabbing it, warming ourselves in this or that Irish pub.
Sunday plan was to stroll down Michigan Avenue, do a little shopping. Unfortunately, I'd guessed WRONG when I guessed that everything would still be open on Easter Sunday. Everything was not open. Everything, except for restaurants and grocers, was closed.
When life give you lemons, you know what to do: Get some lunch then head to the World Fruit Market on Devon Street, Chicago's Indian neighborhood...where you can buy more lemons.
I've touched on it here before, and I have to say it again: I love this neighborhood produce place. It's...well, neighborhood-y. And bright. And fresh. Fresh fruits, fresh cheese. There's a butcher case full of stuff I would never buy, like fresh heads. Not human heads; Lamb heads. Or maybe they're goat heads, I'm not sure. And fresh hooves. There are also more identifiable meats that make you wish you'd brought more of a cooler along: fajita mix, and roasts, ohhh, yummmm.
We skipped the meat purchases, but stocked up on inexpensive fruits and vegetables, and I freshened up my spice rack. The spices are crazy-inexpensive.
Most of these cost $1.99 a bag. A jar in our local grocer with 1/4 of the content costs almost twice as much. I bought crushed pepper, cumin, coriander, black pepper, javentri, cinnamon, coriander, whole dried chili's, and bay leaves.
We got produce also. Peaches were 74 cents/lb. I brought back a couple of Israeli-grown persimmons for my boss. Lemons, limes, cumin leaves, cilantro, and the freshest, juiciest ginger you'll find anywhere was also on my list. In the front of this photo is fresh, green garbonzo beans.
I've only seen garbonzo beans (chickpeas) either dried or canned. I had no idea they even started out green! I stood in the aisle fretting to Clint that I wanted to buy some, but didn't know what to do with them. A very nice Indian lady stepped over to tell me what to do: Toast them. Her daughter helped her where her English faltered; the were so sweet! Toast them whole, then pop them open, discard the shells and eat the bean inside as a snack. No oil? No spices? I asked them? No! Nothing, just toast them!
Well, alright! My boss, Yoram, has since informed me that this is best done over an open fire. Maybe I should have Clint take them to work with him...
The spices and produce came to a total of $33. That many spices along would have cost me upwards of $80 in a local grocery store.
So my agenda for the next couple of evenings is filled: Indian cooking. I'll slice the limes into some club soda, and get busy on a roaster full of biryani, and a big pot of cilantro chicken. All will be wrapped in my trusty food saver, and frozen, and we'll be set for Indian food for weeks to come.
Sometimes, it's kind of nice when things don't go your way, yes?
World Fruit Market
2423 Devon Street