Kelly the Culinarian: December 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Food find: Marley's second try

Tim and I went to Marley's again this visit to the Dells. Again, we went before any type of rush for an early lunch so that we could get back to water parks. We might have been the only people eating at that time, in fact.

First, we started with an appetizer of crab dip. It was served cold with a few veggies and some toasted bread. I liked it, but Tim insists it was imitation crab. I liked it because it was spicy without having a ton of mayo or whatever to keep the dip together. Tasty.

I went with a cheeseburger with the seasoned fries. The burger was almost like what my mom would make at home. It came with lettuce, tomato and red onion. The portion was huge too. The fries were smokey and spicy but still good with ketchup.

Tim got the special of the day, which was a chicken Parmesan sandwich. Again, the portions were huge. It was a shredded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and provolone. I gave it a try and the sauce was a bit bland but the chicken was moist and the cheese plentiful, so I let it slide. It was served on a toasted hoagie bun which was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

We didn't opt for dessert this time because there was just so much food. Another great visit to Marley's.

Food find: Mexilcali Rose

Mexicali Rose in the Wisconsin Dells is what the Chicago Tribune calls a "must visit," a fact that is touted on all of the riverside restaurant's advertising. Tim and I didn't make it there on our last visit, but we thought we'd go on our last visit.

We trekked out there on a Friday evening and all but the bar was empty. We were quickly seated and served some chips and salsa, which were pretty good as far as that goes. Tim and I also ordered guacamole, which was an overpriced $5.25, but a nice blend of avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, some spices and lemon. A nice starter, I suppose.

Tim and I ended up ordering the same combo platter with a hard-shelled taco, enchilada, burrito and rice and beans. The entire thing seemed like it was covered cheese, but Wisconsin cheese is the best, after all.

Now, the food was tasty. There was a great combination of spices and it seemed as though the veggies were fresh. The overpriced guac was really good, if only there was more. We left full, but I'm not sure if I'd call this a "must visit." I can find food that's more authentic down the street in Mundelein or Lake Zurich that has more bang for your buck and feels like you're actually eating something authentic to Mexico.

Then again, for a touristy joint in the middle of Wisconsin, I guess it's pretty good to get out the door for $32 with a full belly.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Food find: Kalahari

I was so excited for Tim and I's second vacation in the Wisconsin Dells. This time, we got a great deal at the Kalahari resort, which has the America's largest indoor waterpark.

We also got a free update to a nicer room because it was a little empty the day we arrived. But, since it was so close to Christmas, there was all kinds of holiday activities going on. First, there were reindeer outside for kids to pose with. There were also baby tigers and a kangaroo that kids could pose with. Santa was on hand several times per day and kids could get a bedtime story from elves and check out massive gingerbread houses in the lobby. Adorable!

The Kalahari designed it's lobby to be sort of like a mall -- there's a pottery place, two convenience stores, a caricature artist, restaurant and this sweet shop. It was ridiculously overpriced but Tim and I shared a brownie explosion sundae for $6, which had a brownie covered with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate syrup, chopped nuts and whipped cream. It was way more than enough for two people. We also decorated our own Christmas cookies in the lobby one afternoon. The resort provided some delicious and cute toppings, like these tiny candy canes that tasted like peppermint.

More about things around the resort tomorrow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Kitchen aid: Champagne dreams on a beer budget

It's almost New Year's, which brings a deluge of people to all kind of liquor emporiums to purchase a little sparkling wine for their home bound celebrations. Not all champagne is created equal, but it needn't be expensive. An article recently published in H&Ms magazine shed some light on the topic of champagne:

- It should be stored on the side to keep the cork from drying.

- Champagne should be served somewhere between 43 and 48 degrees. Whoever wrote this thinks it's better to serve it too cold rather than too warm and I have to agree.

- A good champagne glass should be narrow at the mouth and wider in the middle.

The author of this vignette says more expensive champagne is better than cheaper, but I tend to think otherwise. If you expand your horizon to sparkling wine, which can include domestic varieties, there are many more tasty options. You can always try Prosecco as well.

Travel safe and have a great new year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Stand mixer bread

The anointing of the stand mixer begins! Yesterday I just had to take it for a spin and I decided to make a loaf of standard bread from the Kitchenaid recipe book to get started.

Here's the recipe:
Warm: 1/2 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, then allow it to cool to lukewarm. Dissolve 2 packets of active dry yeast in 1 and 1/2 cups warm water and add 4 and a 1/2 cups flour to the mixture, then attach the bowl and bread hook. Mix at speed two for one minute. Continue mixing at same speed and add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans the sides of the bowl, about two minutes. Knead it on speed two for two minutes more until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky.

Put in a greased bowl and cover, then place in a warm, draft-free corner to rise until double in size, about one hour. Punch dough down and divide in half. Form into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Allow to rest and double in bulk for about one one.

Bake in 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

I brushed them with melted butter and scored the loaves for a nicer look. I need to work on my loaf-forming skills, though, because these look like bricks.

Oh well, there's plenty more time for practice. What should I make next?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Have a very Merry foodie Christmas!

Christmas at this house means food, family and presents. We always get up super early to open presents -- we used to set our alarms for 5 a.m. so we could see what Santa brought. After we open gifts, we have a huge brunch. This breakfast is my sister's favorite part of Christmas -- there's eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, hash browns and cinnamon rolls. We spend at least an hour making breakfast, another hour eating and another hour cleaning up.

This year, my sister's boyfriend bought me a Hello Kitty waffle maker and we had adorable little waffles shaped like kitties, bunnies or bears. There are little faces on one side and a waffle pattern on the other. Adorable! Another great gift.
After that, we try on clothes that Santa brought, pick up the living room, get cleaned up and start dinner. My mom puts out appetizers and snacks and we usually eat dinner around 5 p.m. This year, my mother made some delicious prime rib au jus. We used our buffet server again today to keep everything hot. We also had cheesy potatoes, green beans and rolls.

I'm stuffed and I haven't even gotten to the half of it -- taking my KitchenAid stand mixer for a spin! More on that tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Stand mixer!

I can't blog tonight because I need to get to bed so Santa can come. However, Tim and I had a lovely time in the Dells and ate some wonderful food. More to come later.

My exciting news: Tim and I exchanged gifts this evening and he got me a Kitchenaid mixer! I am so, so ecstatic about this gift.

I know some of you out there must have a stand mixer. My family never had one, so I'm not sure where to start. What should I make first? Also, what attachments and accessories do you find useful?

I've already set it up on the counter and I can't wait to use it. Best. Gift. Ever.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'll be spending the weekend in the Dells doing touristy things, but there will be all sorts of food things to enjoy there, so I'll return to blogging Sunday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Celebrity encounter: Rachael Ray!

I'm close to exhaustion after a busy day, but I just had to talk about my encounter with Rachael Ray! She did a book signing today in Oak Brook and Chicago. I chose to take a shot at getting tickets for the Oak Brook appearance because it was later in the day and I had a ton of things to get done today during the day.

I got up at 4:30 a.m. to leave my house and get there at 7 a.m. I ended up arriving at 6 a.m. because traffic was late and I got in line -- I was No. 12 or 13. So I waited with a friend until 9 a.m. when they handed out wristbands to come back for the signing -- 375 tickets in all. Someone went nuts while we were all waiting about people cutting in line. I'm pretty sure you could have showed up at 8:30 a.m. and still gotten a ticket.

Anyhow, at 9:10 a.m. I was left to my own devices. I ran Christmas-y type errands and attended to an appointment and generally had a fabulous day, then returned to Borders at 6 p.m. to get back in line. Right before 7, Rachael Ray hit the house and started signing. The signing itself went very fast -- those with wristbands could get a total of two books signed, one of which must be Just in Time and the other must be either a book from the same publisher or her current magazine edition. Also, she would only personalize the Just in Time book, would not sign any memorabilia nor pose for photos except maybe with children.

The signing went by really fast. They came around and had us write our names on post-it notes and then the handlers shoved it in front of Rachael Ray for her to sign and a fast snap shot and then you got hustled out. It was a 30-second encounter that was 13 hours in the making for me.

And it was worth every second.

Back when I knew nothing about food and had no interest in ever making anything besides mac and cheese from a box, I flipped onto the Food Network and watched a minorly known cook make up 30-minute meals with ingredients I could actually pronounce and recognize. Rachael Ray is my food idol and the reason I got into cooking in the first place, so this was a banner moment for me.

Things I learned about Rachael Ray:
-- She's tiny. On the show, she looks much bigger, but in person, I swear I could fit her in my purse.
-- She's that bubbly in person too. I watched her with other people and she really is that happy.
-- She's a get-it-done lady. I know she has a ton of shows, books and magazines, but in person, that motivation comes through. She never stopped for water, chatting or anything else. She got there early and ready to work. I'd be tired, if I were her.

I only regret that I did not ask her to sign more stuff. I had another, hardcover book that Borders told me she wouldn't sign because it was a different publisher, but others got it signed. I also wanted a spatula signed, but didn't because Borders said she wouldn't, but I'm sure she would have if I'd ask. It's too bad, I would have gotten it framed for my kitchen. As it is, I'll never know anything about the Just in Time book because it will be stored in a safe place and never read for fear of damage.

But hell, I still met my cooking idol. I also had a wonderful day of shopping and other productive activities, so there's nothing I can get too upset over.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Holiday cookie party

As part of this year's Beta Sigma get together, we did a little cookie swap. While we attempted three types of tasty treats, only two turned out. Hey, no one's perfect.

So tonight, let me highlight this delicious and ridiculously simple fudge-type thing we made. Now let me tell you, we only made it because the title to the recipe was meltaway nut log. It just sounded funny.

This can all be made in the microwave too in one large bowl and then poured out onto wax paper, creating minimum mess. Here's how you do it:

1 six-ounce bag of semi-sweet chips
1 six-ounce bag of butterscotch chips
1 can of fudge or chocolate icing
2 cups marshmallows
1 and a 1/3 cups nuts, any kind

Melt the chips together in the microwave, stirring frequently. Stir in icing until fully incorporated. Pour out the mixture onto four separate pieces of wax paper, then add a half cup of marshmallows and 1/3 cup of the nuts to each mixture, then use the wax paper to mix the ingredients into the chocolate. Make each mixture into a log, about eight inches long, and refrigerate for three hours or until hard before slicing.

I made a slideshow of our adventure. The end result was very tasty with not a lot of mess or energy. Yay for holiday spirit!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Food find: U.S. Botanic Garden

Going along with the museum theme of the day, let me introduce you to the U.S. Botanic Garden. While there was nothing there to eat the day my sister and I visited, I did go there for HerbDay a few weeks ago.

Regardless, the Botanic Garden is an interesting place. It's not just pretty plants, although the poinsettias they have on display there these days are more like floral bushes than tabletops blooms. Also, they have an amazing outdoor Chihuly glass display, when weather permits.

In addition to a plethora of lectures and workshops, the displays help you understand where your food comes from. There are displays of healing plants along with some interesting pepper plants. I didn't even know peppers came as tiny as the ones I found. Another interesting, interactive display is Plants in Culture, which shows different uses and products made with plants. There are also these cool little flowers with herbs in the middle that visitors can take a whiff of. Katie's taking a sniff of a couple of flowers that represent the spices in jambalaya.

It's not exactly a tasty place, but it's interesting to see how important these plants are to how we view the world as well as our dishes. It's a great place to visit to learn some uncommon knowledge about your favorite common ingredients

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Food find: National Air and Space Museum

When Katie was in town, we did everything touristy one can imagine, including going to most of the Smithsonian Institute Museums. The most popular of all the museums is the National Air and Space museum on the Mall, which is the most-visited museum in the world with anywhere from 9 million to 10 million visitors annually. It's open every day except Dec. 25.

The museum is so worth the crowds, which weren't too bad on the day we visited. First, there's a new exhibit, America by Air, which explores the evolution of commercial air travel in America. There's also the interactive display, How Thing Fly, which is a must-see if you're visiting with children because it features a series of interactive displays. Another favorite is Space Race, which chronicles how America and the former Soviet Union battled to get to the moon first during the Cold War.

But our favorite by far was the Treasures of the American History Museum. The museum itself is under construction until 2008, but the best of the collection is on display in a tiny hall on the second floor. There you can see Kermit the Frog, Dorothy's ruby red slippers, Mr. Roger's cardigan, the puffy shirt from Seinfeld, the hat Abraham Lincoln wore when he was assassinated and Julia Child's hand-written recipes. It's a fabulous display.

But, to the food. One of the most popular items in the vast and impressive Smithsonian Store is the astronaut food, which they say was served abroad space shuttles. It's dehydrated ice cream in either Neapolitan or ice cream sandwiched in between two cookies. They also have strawberries, but I feel like astronauts were more likely to eat something more substantive.
At any rate, we tried the Neapolitan and I think it was $4. It only has 130 calories for this block and wasn't very filling, unsurprisingly. It reminded me of an after-dinner meltaway mint. It became a little more creamy as it melted in your mouth and did taste like ice cream. My favorite was the strawberry portion and my sister liked the strawberry the best. It was a tasty treat, but I wish I could have tried something more meal-like.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Mason jar cookies

I'm attending a cookie-baking party tomorrow afternoon. It's hard work, so I made these dips that I devised for a party last spring. I also devised these parting gifts for my friends, just in case they hadn't gotten enough baking. Gee, I hope none of them are reading tonight ...

Anyhow, these mason jar cookies are cute, decorative and pretty affordable. You can get a 12-pack of mason jars with lids for $13 and the ingredients for these cookies are generally what you have on hand. You decorate the top with ribbon, raffia or swatches of Christmas fabric that you can usually get for $1 to $3 per yard, depending on what you get.

I went with this oatmeal raisin mason jar recipe because much to my shock, not everyone in the world like chocolate. I know, I was appalled too.

The key to making these jars look cute is to use a large funnel and pack the contents together with a spatula or one of those basters with a tear-dropper style ball at the end. The layers make the jars look nice and ensure you can fit everything needed for a batch of cookies into one jar.

The recipe I went with had printable labels with instructions for assembling the cookies, but I jazzed them up with some clip art and glitter and such. I like crafts projects every now and then.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cake and champagne

I don't know if there's anything better in life than celebrating graduation and a great quarter in D.C. with cake and champagne. We're older students, after all, so this is how we roll, or whatever.

Here's a dino that Sarah Baicker made to represent a Medill student: carrying our crappy, school-mandated huge-ass Lenovo laptop and nursing a cocktail. It appears with a graduation cap and my cocktail, the champagne. How fitting.

We also had these fabulous cakes decorated by our multi-talented office manager Salome. I partook in the chocolate cake and it was so delicious -- there not only was semi-chocolate flakes and chocolate icing on the outside, but there were layers of ganache between the cake. Just imagine that one for a second.

Oh, the memories. I'll miss the Washington news room.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Food find: Buca di Beppo

Another post about lasts! To celebrate the fact that most of my class was graduating, we had a class dinner last week at Buca di Beppo. While there are a few of these in Illinois, I had never been to one of these family-style Italian eateries.

So let's start with the drinks -- one of the specialties they were offering is a raspberry lemon drop martini -- isn't it pretty? It was a sweet cocktail, but not overwhelmingly so. I also liked the little punch of tartness from the lemon juice.

They served a standard iceburg salad to everyone along with garlic bread made in a pie plate. It was very garlicly but not as buttery as I had hoped. Oh well -- it was at least browned and toasty. It was the day it snowed in D.C., so I was happy to have something hot out of the oven.

So for the first family dish, my table went with spaghetti. It was a marinara meat sauce that was what I look for in a tomato-based sauce -- not too sweet, smooth texture and enough meat to keep me full. Also, the pasta was well cooked -- not too al dente.

Next, we had chicken Parmesan -- it was so awesome. The chicken was tender, the breading crusty and the cheese perfectly melted. There was just a bit of sauce on top, so nothing got soggy.

Finally, my favorite part. A strawberry cheesecake. It was so tasty and smooth, but I wish there would have been more strawberry sauce.

The only bad thing I have to say about this place is that my friend had hair on her plate -- ick. A little unclean. But then again, I won't be going to this particular location in Dupont Circle again anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Food find: Naan and Beyond

Pardon my blogging hiatus. The last two weeks of graduate school were busy and I didn't have any Internet at home. I was living like the Amish, really.
Last week was a week of last -- last essay, last story, last class, last lecture, etc. I'm a sentimental person so every last was meaningful. You only get a master's degree once and this has been quite a little road. So for our last covering conflict class (a course dedicated to teaching journalists how to write about a variety of war and hostile environments), we had Indian food from Naan and Beyond.

Now I didn't know a thing about the food I was enjoying, but luckily, the restaurant in National Place's food gallery is owned by my classmate Ambreen Ali's relative. So I found out that the pastry item in the background is a veggie samosa with potato and spinach -- really filling. There's also some rice, which was pretty tasty. There's also a mint sauce in the little package, tandoori chicken. If only I could remember what the rest of it is called ... the other dish was peas, cabbage and potato and then chickpeas in a sauce. It was all very delicious, spicy and filling. If only I knew what it was so I could get it again. Oh well, I'm now 730 miles away from Washington, so I guess I'll live without.
I hear they have a lunch buffet, but what we ate was made fresh for our class and was apparently tastier than normal.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hey folks! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. As some of you know, I finished my graduate studies on Friday. After more than one year in graduate school, three years as an undergrad and 12 years before that, I'm finally done! Unless I want a Ph.D.

To celebrate, my sister and I are spending the weekend being tourists and seeing the Washington sites. I still don't have Internet at my apartment, so it's been a tough last two weeks. I'll be returning the Heartland on Monday, which is coincidentally the world of Internet. I have so many food updates, so I hope you'll come back then!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Old Ebbitt sweet potatoes

Last reporting day of the quarter! We're busy bees in the Medill news room this afternoon. In the meantime, I have to share this recipe with you. My friend Rachel had lunch with a professor recently at Old Ebbitt Grill. Old Ebbitt is Washington's oldest pub and sits very close to the White House across the street from the White House, although this isn't the original site. Anyhow, they have a priceless collection of art and memorabilia and I've been told every Congressman has a secret stash of vino in their wine cellar.

But Rachel raved about the sweet potatoes she ate there. She said they were quite simple "the best sweet potato dish I've ever had." You can't argue with that.

Lucky for us, Old Ebbitt's chef is generous with the eatery's recipe. Rachel tracked down this beauty -- bookmark it now, you'll want it later.
Sweet Potato Gratin
2 1/3 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 quart heavy cream

Puree chipotle, cream and sugar to make a smooth paste. Layer potato in a shallow dish, overlapping the potatoes. Pour some of the cream paste over each layer until you have three to four layers. Do not over soak potatoes, the cream should not cover it completely. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until top is crusty and potatoes are tender. The mixture should bubble, but let it cool a bit before serving.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Food find: Ben's Chili Bowl

NOTE: Please vote for my photo entries, No. 1 and 2, on

There are some things you just have to do when visiting Washington: Check out the White House, ride the Metro, see the Wall, eat at Ben's Chili Bowl.

Hey, I don't make the rules here, I just follow.

Ben's Chili Bowl is an institution in DC that has been in the heart of the U Street Corridor since 1958. As the diner boasts, it has been black owned and operated since then. I was once told that before there was Motown, there was U Street. At the time when the eatery opened, U Street was in its hayday and was the heart of Black Broadway. It casually hosted legends such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King Jr., or Bill Cosby at its lunch counter and served up chili on everything you can imagine, including burgers, fries and hotdogs.

Times changed and Ben's weather the storm when other businesses failed in the sliding neighborhood during the '70s and '80s. Now the neighborhood is as bustling as any and has a Rite Aid and Starbucks. If that's not the picture of mainstream suburbia, I don't know what is.

Through the years, Ben's hasn't changed. I stopped in last night on my way home -- the restauarant is right across the street from the 13th and U Street exit of the U Street Metro Station. I got some chili cheese fries and a diet Coke at the lunch counter. Music played, the staff sang along and I watched my dinner being made. The staff is friendly and entertaining. While refilling my drink, my waiter told me that not only does he sing, dance, cook and serve food, but he reads minds Monday through Friday. Now that deserves a healthy tip.

The portion of fries was huge and I barely made it through half. The toppings were generous and the chili was in fact something to write home about. It was smokey and spicy, but not overwhelming. It has a nice texture and color and was quite filling.

Also, the atmosphere is so cute and authentic. There are little booths for larger parties and a Redskins shrine in the corner. Signs throughout the establishment thank patrons for supporting a local business and memorabilia is available. There's also a sign listing the people who eat for free at Ben's. The only person on the management-approved list is Bill Cosby, who in 1985 came to Ben's to announce the success of his show.

So now that I've crossed this one off my list, what do you think I should take my sister to see this weekend?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Food find: The Downtown Grill in Charlottesville

I went out to Charlottesville for the first time in at least six years during the weekend. It's lovely time to go out there -- the leaves are changing, University of Virginia is full energy and the roads aren't yet obscured by snow. It's about a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Washington, D.C., but I hear there's a commuter train that makes its way out there.

On Saturday, we first went out to The Downtown Grille with two of my aunts, an uncle and their four boys. The eatery is on Charlottesville's historic downtown mall. It's home to many eateries, businesses, a theater and children's museum that we used to visit when we came to see my grandparents.

Anyhow, this classy establishment touts itself as the finest purveyor of beef from the Midwest (the taste of home!) and seafood. The interior is moderately lit and has a nice bar decorated with mahogany wood and black leather-type seats to match the interior of the rest of the place. I didn't take any photos, but the Grille's Web site is nicely done.

First, our table got a healthy serving of freshly-made herbed rolls hot from the oven. They were quite tasty and had a good combination of herbs without being overpowering. Most dishes come with a salad made of a generous wedge of iceberg lettuce and topped with either a thick balsamic vinagrette or roquefort dressing, which I found very cheesy-tasting.

I ordered the small filet mignon. It must be an American thing that "small" is an eight-ounce filet, even though a single serving of protein is four ounces. Either way, it was pretty tasty. One side of my filet was peppered a bit too much for my taste, but the meat was very tender and cooked to a satisfactory medium doneness. My cousin Kieran got the Neptune angel hair pasta with shrimp, scallops and crab meat over pasta finished with a basil cream sauce. It looked delicious and the seafood was skillfully presented. My other cousin Patrick is very particular with food and decided to go for a carb fest -- he ordered side dishes of French fries, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. These side dishes are more like sharable family portions -- the mashed potatoes were really tasty and must have had sour cream in them. The mac and cheese was a bit tasteless, but the crunch on the top of the casserole-style dish was interesting. My other cousin Brendan got a surf and turf of a steak with a crab cake and he said the crab cake was delicious. My youngest cousin Griffin got an herbed chicken dish with bacon and cheddar -- he seemed to be a big fan. I can't remember much else that was on the table, but we all walked away stuffed and happy with our meal.

Next up for the night was attending the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra's family holiday concert at Old Cabell Hall at UVa. It was a lovely concert and had a great mix of recognizable, modern Christmas songs as well as more classical instrumental pieces. The show featured the orchestra as well as choir and was quite impressive. There was even a sing along, but I think the crowd favorite was a musical interpretation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas in which the orchestra played along as a local actor read the poem.

If you ever make it to UVa, try to catch a musical performance there. They really know how to capture a crowd.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend warrior

Hey folks, Virginia was fabulous! I'll update you Monday evening about the spectacular food and festivities in Charlottesville.