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what we talk about when we talk about the bitter cold

January 26, 2010

It is COLD today, and it makes me wonder who came up with the idea of the elevated train in Chicago.  It’s lovely in summer – rather than waiting for a train in a dank subway station, most of the city waits outdoors on elevated platforms lofted one story above the city streets – but it is slow torture during the winter.  If, like myself, you must make a couple transfers to get on your way, you might begin to think, as I do, that the firm that designed Chicago’s elevated train system a century ago must have written the plans in from California.  No one in their right mind would subject hundreds of thousands, nay, millions, of residents to the daily bitter chill of Chicago’s maiden months of the year.  A couple years back, sitting on a Spanish beach, I wrote an essay for a magazine in Iowa City about missing the seasons and Iowa’s winters.  I take it back.

I’ve been cooking a lot of fried rice lately, so when I came across The Minimalist’s recent video post on “the best fried rice ever,” I needed to try it.  The recipe calls for crispy garlic and ginger to be sprinkled over a rice and leek mix, with a fried egg on top.  I must say, however, that my usual recipe – red onion and garlic sauteed with a bit of meat or chicken, rice, and an egg mixed into the dish rather than served on top – tastes better.  At least to me.  Leeks don’t have quite the same acidic pop to them that onions do, and nothing in the world smells better than garlic and onion cooked in olive oil.

I’m also working on how to better take pictures indoors, at night, under fluorescent light.  At this time of year, most of my time outside of work is spent in artificial light.  Tips are welcome.

No. 342: 1/26/2010

I miss everything about Chicago, except January and February.

– Gary Cole


No. 343: 1/25/2010


Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.

– Garrison Keiller

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 9:52 am

    Ooh I cook fried rice the same way you do except I add loads of pepper with a side dish of cut chillies with light soya sauce! I have that same situation with shooting under fluorescent light which is why I tend not to but if I do, I adjust the colour balance with ps. There are also colour filters you can use but I’m afraid don’t know enough to say much about them…

    • January 28, 2010 11:13 am

      i’ll have to try that with the chili and peppers. Thanks for the tips on indoor light, I’m going to look into it more..I’ll let you know what I find.

  2. January 27, 2010 11:53 am

    Adam-i just discovered your website, and as someone who called chicago home for 8 years and recently relocated, it’s lovely to be transported back though your lens. looking forward to reading more!

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