Saturday, August 25, 2007


That was the cost of a haircut, a bowl of great gazpacho at Bread & Cup, and an ice cream sundae (peanut butter sauce, whipped cream, and dry-roasted peanuts on banana Oreo ice cream).

My barber at the College of Hair Design was Max Paul Starcic. I've had him before and I really like him. He's a very easy conversationalist, which sadly can't be said of every barber. He shaved my neck with a straight razor and finished my buzz cut with a hot towel on my head. If your hair is too long to appreciate a hot towel on your head, let me tell you: you're missing out.

I've been to Bread & Cup like six times. I've had their breakfast (bowl of banana walnut granola and a cinnamon roll with French press coffee), vegetarian sandwich, curried tuna salad sandwich, BLT, bread pudding (three different servings: fresh banana rum, chocolate, and less fresh banana rum), sample of the heirloom tomato and mozzarella cheese dish, and now, gazpacho. The only things I haven't enjoyed are the vegetarian and tuna salad sandwiches.

I don't know why it has taken me this long, but I'm really glad I discovered Ivanna Cone's sundaes and the excellence that is their peanut butter sauce. Even better, their "smaller" sundae is less than a small dish of two scoops.

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At August 27, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger Karen said...

ooh, I love bread ampersand cup. Let's get Wendy schnokered and the drag her there, which will be less against her will due to her BAL.

At August 27, 2007 7:51 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I'll put a call in to her. Are you up for Wednesday night?

At August 27, 2007 9:00 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

I want to go, but my class doesn't get out until six.

At August 27, 2007 9:44 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

I'd like to go, too, and wouldn't even have to be schnokered. Ellen, maybe you could pick me up on your way?

At August 28, 2007 12:58 AM, Blogger Voth said...

Ooh. I get to be schnokered up! Woohoo! I'm holding you to that. I want alcohol, and I want a lot of it. I'm still not impressed with the menu, but whatever.

At August 28, 2007 12:17 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Wednesday it is! 7:30? Ellen, you'll need to drive like a bat out of hell, please note that you normally drive like an old woman so this speed would be considerably faster.

At August 28, 2007 12:26 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Wait, wait, Wednesday is not good for me. Can we schedule for Thursday? 7:30? Daniel, are you having anyone over for Thursday festivities?

At August 28, 2007 1:20 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I'm booked up for Thursday, so unless you can pass up your Big Band on Wednesday for Wendy and me, it'll just be the two of us.

However, there is a trip to Champaign this weekend that you can still get in on.

At August 30, 2007 7:34 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Ellen does drive like an old woman!


At August 30, 2007 7:33 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

I just want to arrive safely.


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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bataan Twirler

I think I might be a little sick in my head.

I was driving to the College View Post Office to drop off AdventSource's mail for the day and at the stoplight to turn onto 56th from Calvert I was behind a soccer mom type vehicle that had a decal on the bumper, similar to the "Calvin urinating" decals on the back of pickup windows, of a girl doing the splits and holding a baton above her head. The text accompanying the decal said "Twirler on Board." This was accompanied by a license plate cover/holder that said "I'm a Baton Twirler."

Meanwhile, I'm thinking it would be clever to use the pun Bataan Twirler--blending a horrific event in human history with possibly the perkiest form of entertainment this side of pom-poms.

In doing research for this blog, I found out I'm not the only sick bastard, and even worse, the sick bastard before me gave that phrase as a name (scroll down toward the bottom to Saaraap).

That's all I have.

[While writing this, I've been listening to a This American Life episode that aired on the 10th. The episode is about spokesmen and Act 1 is about Rachel from north London who blogged about her experience after being on the subway in London when it was bombed. I clicked TAL's link to her blog and horribly, her mother died on Wednesday morning.]

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At August 23, 2007 9:59 AM, Anonymous ashley said...

Hi Daniel,

Sorry we didn't get back to you about this evening. I'd like to request rhubarb pie. Except I can't be there. Maybe if we finish with our insurance agent early we'll stop by. Don't bake the pie. I shouldn't be rewarded for my delinquency.

At August 30, 2007 7:33 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I hate, just hate, those bumper stickers that have Calvin peeing on something. Even more annoying, though, was one I saw recently that showed Calving kneeling in prayer to a crucifix.

Grrr. Leave Calvin alone!


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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Proverbs 22: 6

So last night, I watched Knocked Up. Its characters are focused on creating an environment to bring a child into. There is a bit of a montage at the end where they are taking their daughter to the park and swinging with her on the playset, but mainly, it stops where the real parenting begins.

Then today while driving back from flag football practice and scrimmage, I was thinking how much I love playing football and how that love has influenced decisions in my life.

I played little league football when I was in Fourth Grade (side note: there is not a Grade Four in Ukraine) in Wheeling, IL, a suburb of Chicago. I was part of the Wheeling Sooners and rode my yellow mountain bike with my pads hanging from a one handle bar throwing off my balance to every practice. I guess for my dedication, the coach chose me to run through the paper hoop first for our "homecoming" game. The actual event was not as glamorous as I had hoped, as I tripped on the hoop and ran for about fifteen yards with my torso parallel to the ground trying to get my balance before I did a little forward roll. This was the start. I played offensive line and line backer and we went 1-9 that season.

My next organized play was in Doland, SD in 7th and 8th grade. These were the salad days, and we were a pretty good team on our Monday afternoon games. Then the summer after my eighth grade year I decided to be baptized because I wanted to be part of the Remnant before the 12 o' clock hour. High School football games are generally played on Friday nights (the start of Sabbath). So in order to continue my athletic career and my spiritual walk, I decided to go to DAA where I wouldn't have a conflict between the Sabbath and football, even if it was just flag.

Eight years earlier Hans Widicker, my current boss, was playing high school football for Bowdon High on Thursday nights, an arrangement made specifically for him, and his brother who was two years ahead. Hans also played basketball and missed District games that were played on Saturday. From what I can gather, Hans was talented enough to play after high school at least at a small college. But college ball is played on Saturdays, so to maintain his witness to a community that broke traditions for his Faith; he went to Union. This is still a bit of a sore subject with Hans, and understandably so.

Back to my thoughts during my drive home from practice:
Considering my history, how do I raise my child to navigate the conflict between their passions and their faith? Do I bring faith to them at all, or do I fuel their hobbies at the exclusion of God? And separate from their hobbies, How do I incorporate spirituality, if I decide to, at all?

My present answers to these questions:

I will let them choose how to blend their faith and vocations. I will introduce faith and God as someone who they can always turn to when everyone else has let them down or isn't around for support. I'll lean on the church as an institution to help incorporate spirituality, while encouraging them to question and search for their own answers.

I'm interested in what your answers are to these questions, especially those that are married or are planning to be.

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At August 20, 2007 12:09 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

How about not having kids?

At August 20, 2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

Your description of your dedicatory fall was beautiful; having played only one season of flag football but being an inveterate faller, I could totally identify.

I have absolutely nothing to offer as far as kids and values.

At August 20, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

But if I don't have kids, who will I force all my hopes and dreams on?


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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Re Cap-a-Pie

So I last spoke to you before mixing my pie crust. That went well.

Wednesday morning I went to Bread & Cup for breakfast and had their cinnamon roll and granola with a double of their French press coffee. It was all very good. Wednesday night after work I went again with Karen. She had the heirloom tomato dish, green, yellow, and red tomatoes with slices of mozzarella and olive oil, and I had the vegetarian sandwich, carmelized onions, carrots, roasted squash, and hummus in half of a ciabatta loaf, a glass of Starling Castle Riesling, and their bread pudding. The carrots weren't very functional, as they kept falling out of the sandwich with hummus on them. The roasted squash was pretty bland yet interesting. I can't really recommend the vegetarian sandwich, but it looks as though they will always have excellent seasonal vegetarian options, like the heirloom tomato dish. I liked the riesling; it had a nice bouquet and was on the right side of the sweet/dry line for me (sweetish, yah). I really liked their bread pudding. I think it was a banana rum; which didn't matter too much because it didn't taste strongly of either, but they chocolate sauce was great and it was served nice and warm. Wonderful.

This took me to my pie baking responsibilities. I first made the rhubarb custard pie, as it didn't require my meringue skills yet. The recipe wasn't that complicated, but it required me to open my 400 degree oven twice. First to pour my cream and egg mixture over the rhubarb that had been cooking for 20 minutes, and second to sprinkle sugar on the top of the pie 10 minutes before the end of the cooking. I didn't like this part of the recipe, but it really turned out quite well.

This brought me to my rhubarb-orange custard pie. I first rolled out the pie crust, not knowing how long it would take to assemble the meringue/rhubarb custard mixture. Then I set to work on my egg whites. If you've never whipped egg whites to stiff peaks, I suggest trying it. It doesn't take a small amount of work, but to see at hand the miracles of food science is pretty neat. After 7 to ten minutes of whipping, I had reached a stiffness I felt would stand up to folding with the rhubarb egg yolk mixture. My problem with this recipe was that they had the pie baking at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. I should have known better, but this was way too hot for some delicate egg whites. I turned the oven down about ten minutes into the baking because I was smelling that wonderful flame kissed marshmallow aroma. So it didn't look great , but the orange juice concentrate added a nice tartness to the pie, and I'm looking forward to perfecting this recipe.

Those that came to enjoy my offerings were Katie, Karen, and Wendy. Not as many as I was hoping, but in this case, it was quality and not quantity.



At August 11, 2007 5:27 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

I admire your desire to share your epicuriosity with other people.

And especially your willingness to include others along the way as you strive for perfection.

Your risks have paid off well.

At August 11, 2007 6:30 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you.

At August 15, 2007 9:30 PM, Blogger Randomness said...

hey i enjoyed your pie creations too!

At August 20, 2007 9:09 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

That all sounds so good. I'd read this entry much earlier, but I haven't been cooking lately. When I'm disturbed in my surroundings, I can't cook. But this begins to inspire me to start cooking again.

At August 20, 2007 12:03 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I know what you mean Curly Sue. I have to have a very clean kitchen before I start to make my cooking messes. And just because there is room for another person in my kitchen doesn't mean they belong there.


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Giddy as a School Girl

Last night, in part to my own seeding and in part to my ancient answering machine, I talked to Ellen, Marcy immediately after, my mother shortly after, Karen immediately after, Wendy (of my own volition), and Katie some time after. Apparently my answering machine wasn't picking up while I was on the line, so instead of giving a busy signal it was just ringing like ten times, so when I hung up after talking to Ellen and my mother, the phone rang right away with Marcy and Karen on the phone. I'll share with you now what I shared with most all of them.

Monday I finally received my copper bowls that I purchased on eBay from Connecticut. This prompted me to read my Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook before going to sleep, for a couple reasons: to make sure I had the requisite ingredients for the recipes I wanted to make on Wednesday night, and to locate the recipe I'd seen earlier that not only required rhubarb, but also some stiff egg whites (the reason I got my copper bowls). I was almost a bit embarrassed at how excited I was for the impending baking session. Like I told my mother, "[her] young man is becoming a woman."

So tonight I'm going to make a Rhubarb Custard pie and a Rhubarb-Orange Custard pie, both open-faced. The Rhubarb-Orange calls for 3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate, and then after mixing the egg, sugar, spice, and rhubarb, I fold it with three whipped egg whites. We'll see how it turns out, but I'm expecting an almost souffle (a pseuffle, if you will). I'm deciding whether to make my blubarb cobbler tonight or tomorrow night, fresh, before the people arrive for my antepenultimate Thursday night get together.

Now I must go mix my pie crust.

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At August 08, 2007 9:34 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I love pseuffle!

At August 08, 2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

Me too! That made me laugh out loud.

At August 09, 2007 3:59 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

You forgot to mention that your copper bowls had arrived.

Pseuffle is a very, very clever word.

At August 13, 2007 1:40 AM, Blogger Voth said...

The pseuffle was psuperb.


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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dial M for Pizza

I saw Dial M for Murder on Wednesday night. I really liked it, probably more than the other Hitchcock and Grace Kelly film that came out later that year, Rear Window, and definitely more than their third collaboration: To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant.

Saturday night after I got back from watching Dr. John Walker at Jones Coffee, I found a styrofoam take-out container in my fridge with two pieces of pizza. I assumed that Wendy had dropped it off in my absence, so I thanked her in a comment on MySpace. She replied that, though she missed me; she didn't miss me enough to give me pizza. This might be a good point to mention that the pizza was really, really good. The crust was great. I believe there was eggplant and Greek olives and maybe roasted red pepper. Very tasty. So when Wendy told me that it wasn't her, I became frustrated because not only did I want to know who was in my apartment, but I wanted to get some of this really good pizza for myself. The only other person I could think of was maybe Scott, so I commented him and asked if he was downtown on Saturday night. I didn't get a response, so I just figured I had a fun little mystery that I might never solve.

Then Wednesday night, Wendy called me and we talked more about this mystery. She said she was going to Scott's that night, so I had her ask him in person. Mystery solved, almost. Wendy was able to gather that Scott had left it there, but couldn't remember where he got it from, "Auggie's or something, and they got the crust from some special place. He'll tell you tomorrow night when he comes over."

So finally tonight, when Scott called to say he wasn't coming over, he told me that he and Tanya got the pizza at Maggie's and didn't want to leave it in the hot car when they were over last Thursday. The special place they get their crust from is Le Quartier Bakery. This means that the pizza was in my fridge from Thursday night to Saturday night without my noticing. This also means that after sitting in a fridge for two days the pizza still tasted really good. I can only imagine what it tastes like fresh.

Tomorrow morning I go to Bread & Cup for breakfast on their opening day.

I made a blubarberryan (blueberry, rhubarb, and blackberry) cobbler for Thursday night this week. It turned out pretty good, but I will make more cobblestones next time, if I use a 9 x 13 pan instead of the 8 x 8 that the recipe calls for (actually a 10 x 6 pan, but I've never seen that size. Must have been real popular in the 60s.)

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At August 03, 2007 11:22 AM, Blogger Cerise said...

I really liked Rear Window; I haven't seen the others, sadly.

At August 03, 2007 11:27 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

I also liked Rear Window; I think the difference for me between Dial . . . and Rear Window is that Suspense is more of a character in Rear Window, where it is the characters that build the suspense in Dial M for Murder. I like that we get to know the villian a bit better in Dial M too. It is almost reminiscent of Match Point, including a former tennis player.

At August 03, 2007 4:08 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Aw, I forgot about Thursday night... that's too bad, 'cause I went to the Lancaster County Fair instead, by myself. Wasn't anything to write home about; I only stayed about a half hour.

How was Bread & Cup? I've been really looking forward to their opening. I'll have to get there soon. And it doesn't surprise me that Maggie's pizza is great; that's my very favorite restaurant in Lincoln.

At August 03, 2007 5:39 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Bread & Cup is ready and waiting. Ready to serve, waiting for the inspector to clear them to serve. So they aren't open yet. I guess continue checking their blog to find out when they will be open, or my blog since I've talked enough about them.

At August 04, 2007 7:31 AM, Blogger Voth said...

Auggies. Maggies. Close enough.

At August 05, 2007 7:48 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said...

Do you know the Dalai Lama's coming here?

(This has everything to do with Dial M for Murder and Maggie's Pizza.)

At August 06, 2007 12:09 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I think I have a 10 x 6 that may very well be from the 60s. You can borrow it if you want.

At August 07, 2007 12:54 AM, Blogger Voth said...

I'll try to make it. I have to walk over though, so if it is 90 degrees or hotter, fogettaboutit.

At August 08, 2007 4:03 AM, Blogger Angela said...

Only 3 more beanbag nights? Why are there none in september? Even the farmer's market goes until October. (maybe?) I think you should keep a similar schedule.

At August 08, 2007 6:14 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Well, I'd love to have people over every Thursday night to eat good food and play fun games, but the weather and their schedules prevents that. I really can't keep up the pace of eating the majority of a baked good each week by myself. I'm not the only show in town.


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