Sunday, March 3, 2013

February 23 & 24, 2013 The Social Club's Pasta Dinner

 Saturday Morning Lincoln Park. I took the dogs with me to Chicago for our big food shopping adventure. My first stop was the Green City Market which is held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum during the winter.
First I picked up some salsa from Tomato Mountain.

I got some corn meal from Heritage Prairie Farm...

...pretzel rolls from Bennison's Bakery...

...semolina boule from Crumb...

...fresh pasta from Jessica at Pasta Puttana...

... fresh eggs, mushrooms and great advice on how to saute them before adding to my sauce from River Valley Ranch.

After loading my food haul from the Green City Market into the car, I took the dogs for a walk through the snow in Lincoln Park.

Then it was back in the car to continue our shopping adventure.
Next stop, lunch at Bari Italian Foods. I had a tasty sub and picked up some pasta and salami for tommorow.

Right next door is D'amato's Bakery where I got more bread.
Then it was a quick stop at Chicago's French Market. It can't touch the one at Grand Central Station but it is a good start for a city that is lacking in places like this one.

I picked a variety of cheeses and fresh mozzarella with help from the friendly staff at Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine....

...and a fantastic mini pastry tray at Delightful Pastries.

Then it was off to Binny's Beverage Depot on Jefferson St. for some microbrews.
After running the dogs up and down the sledding hill at Dan Ryan Woods on 87th Street, I picked up four pounds of sausage and several cans of whole peeled tomatoes, puree and paste at Rosario's on Pulaski Street in the Ashburn neighborhood.
Then I picked up Italian cookies, cannolis, sfogatellas, pastachiotti and almond nut cups at Naples Bakery in Evergreen Park. I also stopped at Howard & Sons Butcher Shop in Munster, IN for ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs. I also bought some Boar's Head lunch meat for sandwiches in case anyone stops by early in the day.

Sunday Morning in my kitchen. So today is the day for February's Social Club Get Together. I have no idea how this is going to work out but here's how I envision it will go. I will be hanging out all day and friends will come and go all day long...some will stay all day long, some will stop by for a few minutes or a couple of hours...we will sit around the kitchen table...enjoy some food, some drinks. Of course, the whole point of this is to have conversations...face to face...catching up on each other's lives, telling stories, laughing, drinking, eating and hopefully remembering what made us become friends in the first place. That is how the day goes in my head. Let's see what happened.
One good thing about winter in Chicago, you never have to buy ice...a cooler packed with yesterday's snow and today's beer.
The sauce always starts the same...olive oil fills the bottom of the pot, then the garlic goes in...but first the music goes one correctly guessed the album I have always listened to while making sauce...Billy Joel's 'The Stranger'.

Once the kitchen smells like my favorite odor...sizzling add the tomato paste, the whole tomatoes then the puree and seasonings.

I hope there is enough pasta.

Then you add the meat..sweet, mild and hot sausage...pork meatballs...beef meatballs. OK, I'll admit that I had hoped to take pictures all day long, but I was pretty busy...the early arrivals got sandwiches, some had lunch meat, some had sausage or meatball sandwiches. The cheese plate and salsa seemed to be popular too. Then my mother-in-law brought by several appetizers and tons of desserts. I was no longer worried about not having enough food. I'd like to thank everyone for the bottles of wine, cannolis and other desserts. It turns out the day went by just like I envisioned it...only much too quickly. So there were only a few pictures that I thought turned out after a certain point.

By the time I sat down to watch the Blackhawks game with Todd, Eric, Mike, Jim and Jimmy. I was exhausted. But I truly want to thank everyone that stopped by...I had a great time and hope you did too.









  1. Sure, I would rather watch porn, but this was cool. Shopping looked like more fun than cooking. The food and company was great!

  2. You might be the first person to use the reaction section. The shopping was fun but so was the cooking. I just wish I had taken more pictures but at some point I had to be the host. It really was a fun day.