Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Urban Pizza Incident

It’s a beautiful weather day here in Chicago. As everyone knows, we get about two of those days per year, so I had to make the most of it. One of the things that contributes to the New DeLews' ‘uber-urban persona’ is the fact that we both work downtown, and we love that! Unfortunately our offices are on opposite sides of downtown, so we can’t meet up for lunch very easily. But in the past we’ve tried creative ways to meet up. One time I walked to his office (poor decision, as it was about a 30 minute walk), I’ve taken the bus to his office, he's taken a taxi to mine, we've both taken buses to meet up in the middle, etc… All that to say, when there’s a will, there’s a way, but it’s always a little rushed and stressful.

Well today I decided to try yet another creative method to see the Other DeLew. The Chicago Water Taxi! The mucky green Chicago River flows through downtown, and there’s a water taxi with a couple of strategic stops for $2! I took a perfect 5 minute walk to the river, hopped onto the boat, and 10 minutes later I was at Mark’s office! It was so refreshing.

Mark enjoyed some Chicago-style deep dish pizza for lunch today (for a work function), and he graciously offered to give me his leftovers. I’ll be eating dinner solo tonight because Mark is a big business man and has a big business dinner. I had asked him to bring me the pizza when I met up with him today. “Mark, please put the pizza in a bag so I can bring it home after work.” I believe those were my exact words on the phone. And dear Mark came downstairs with the bag of pizza in his hand. We took a walk, got some coffee and relished every moment together. And then I gave Mark a quick kiss and hopped on a bus back to work, bag of pizza in hand.

As I sat down on the bus, I casually looked into the bag of pizza for the first time. And here is what I discovered….

Ahh, the Other DeLew. He did exactly what I requested. Exactly. Love it. Love him. I cherish these moments. Hilarious and just plain wonderful.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

That Naive Girl

This New DeLew has never been known as a fashion guru. Back in the olden days, pre-marriage, when I was a 'Young George', I was morally against 'cliche fashion' (as I would call it), because I strongly believed it communicated materialism and consumerism. At the end of freshman year of college, I donated over half my wardrobe because I decided to take a stand against materialism's hold on my life. And although that decision resulted in wearing the same black long-sleeve shirt every day of my college career, I truly believed that this was one of the ways I can be subversive in society. That is, until I needed to dress up for some event and I realized that I didn't have anything fancy. And let's be real here- my definition of fancy was (and kind of still is) 'anything that isn't cotton'. And in the end, I would bow to the god of materialism by raiding my roommate's closets. But anyway, I reflect on that time of my life with a sense of endearment. Part of me says 'what a naive girl', but the other part of me says 'where has that girl gone?'

This past weekend we were in Madison, Wisconsin for a wedding, and we had the chance to spend some time putt-putting around the little city. On Sunday morning we were sitting in an independent coffeeshop surrounded by college students who were working on papers amidst their facebook stalkings. The student next to me was wearing a 'Free Palestine' t-shirt while his girlfriend was using political theory to bash one of Sarah Palin's speeches. And for whatever reason, it brought me back. I was reminded of the numerous thought-provoking discussions that I had in coffeeshops that totally rocked my entire understanding of reality. I remembered that feeling of challenge and uncertainty that I experienced when I was discovering a new way to perceive the world, this society, and my life in the midst of it all. I remember those late nights that we would spend dreaming of ways to be subversive against mainstream society, to fight the system of injustice, and to be communities of peace. These are the visions that make my heart beat. They are conversations that feel raw, that make me feel more alive.

And I asked myself, when was the last time my understanding of reality was rocked? How often do I question the powers that be and seek ways to be subversive? Not just for the sake of being subversive, but because I believe in an alternative vision for this world- a world where people choose love over hate, community over self, and humility over pride. Have I just become another cog in the machine of society?

I refuse to believe that these thought-processes are only for certain stages of life. Yes college students may have the luxury of time to theorize about life and society, but now ideally, I may have the resources and ability to put some of those theories into practice. It may take a different form now, as I can't wear a black long sleeve shirt to work everyday. But that doesn't mean I should just fall into the routine of materialism and consume everything I can. It just might require a bit more nuance now. And however counter-intuitive it might seem, we must continue to live in the midst of complexity and be comfortable with challenge. Now is our time, whatever stage of life we are in, to challenge what we consider 'normal' and be open to alternative visions for how we ought to live in this world- however subversive they might be. It's not naive, it just might be the way we were meant to live.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Did someone say berries?

Let's play a word association game, shall we? When I say Scarecrow, you think Harvest. When I say Glass of Wine, you say Heaven. When I say Midwest, you say The No-Man's Land between California and New York City.... juuuuuuust kidding......... and lastly, when I say Fall is Around the Corner, you say Berry Pie. Right?
Although I'd like to think that I made a berry pie because my psyche is so attuned to the changing of seasons, in actuality I was sitting on the couch and realized that frozen berries could be used for something besides smoothies. And let me say, this epiphany has changed the New DeLews' lives forever. My sister (who is an incredible composer, gourmet cook, and mother of two with another on the way) has a 'healthy' recipe for an Amazing Berry Pie. Now to my dismay, I probably wouldn't consider this pie as healthy as, let's say, kale. But hands-down, I agree that it is Amazing. Ah-maze-ing. If you happen to be anywhere near The No-Man's Land between Calfornia and New York City within the next four months, you will most likely smell this berry pie as it bakes in my oven. We can't get enough of it.

Amazing Berry Pie
A couple notes: I tweaked the recipe a bit, because I don't do the top crust. I don't have the patience or a big enough food processor. So instead I make a sugary, cinnamony, oat-y topping that is amazing. Makes it more like a pie-cobbler fusion.

Preheat oven to 350

1.5 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter (chilled)
1/4 c water

Process ingredients in a food processor until it becomes a big blob. Either roll out or pat out in the pie pan. (I don't own a rolling pin)

5-6 c fresh or frozen berries (I used rasps and boysens, but definitely toss in blacks and huckles!)
1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbs butter
1/2 c oats (any kind)

Combine sugar and cinnamon, then cut the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of mixture on the pie crust in the pan. Combine flour and berries. Pour berries into the pie pan. Add the oats into the remaining sugar, cinnamon, butter mixture. Pour on top of berries so that it's well-covered. Bake pie until brown and bubbly, (took my pie about 1 hour and 15 minutes). Let sit for 1-2 hours before serving. Enjoy!!