During winter break my family went to Park City, Utah on vacation to go skiing. We had picked perfect days to go there because it did not stop snowing. I love skiing because of the rush you get wile speeding down the hill really fast and because of all of the beautiful views.
After our four day trip to Utah we all went back to Cincinnati, Ohio where my grandparents live. In Cincinnati, I got to visit my grandparents and all of my
family over a succession of christmas parties. Over christmas we went to the Festival of Lights where they hang lights EVERYWHERE around the Cincinnati Zoo. It is absolutely dazzling! My favorite part is the the big tree in the middle of the lake where they play music and the tree lights up in crazy ways.
I love the Festival of Lights because of just how whimsical the zoo becomes. It feels like you are stepping into another world.
This year my family hosted Thanksgiving at our house. While we were planning logistics and the menu, I had the idea of doing a Thanksgiving Costume Party. I first polled some of the group for interest, and then sent out an email making sure that everyone would come in American history attire.
We had a great diversity of costumes including Typhoid Mary (my mom, because she was the cook!), Eleanor Roosevelt (my grandmother in a second hand mink at all), Sacajawea (my other grandmother with a feathered cap), Mr. Rogers and Charles Lindbergh (my two grandfathers).
I chose to go as Walt Disney because of his great imagination. One of the things I like best about myself is my great imagination, so I couldn’t think of a more perfect costume for me.
At my school on the first Friday of each month we have a period called “Focus Friday”.
During Focus Friday the students go to the activity they signed up for the week before. Some of the activities are things like watercolor painting, logic puzzles, and origami. My teacher, Ms. Devon, calls it Circle the Elephants because, in olden times, when the traveling circus came to town, they’d find a place to perform and “circle the elephants” and all the townspeople would do something different for a change.
The reason I like Focus Friday is because you get to take some time out of your usual schedule and do something different, too. I like anything that is out of the ordinary!
For my grandpa’s birthday we went to a restaurant called Eastern Standard. The highlights were the mocktails. Vilvaraja (who was the bartender) took special interest in us and brought me three different mocktails.
#1 The Sophisticated Man, a refreshing, cucumber cranberry mocktail served in a ceramic fish.
#2 WAGs, a juicy mocktail with non-alcoholic sparkling wine, grenadine, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and a splash of bitters.
#3 The Hot Toddler, a wintry treat to transition us from spring into fall, with hot chocolate, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne.
The food was delicious, but without Vilvaraja, it would have just been a great meal. He made our night!
A couple of Sundays ago, the New York Times Magazine arrived with a picture of Barbie on the front. Naturally, I was intrigued, so I read the article. The new Barbie called “Hello Barbie” is fully quipped with 8,000 lines of script and a wifi transmitter inside of her necklace. This doll is catching the firefly of artificial intelligence that engineers have been chasing since dolls first said “Papa” with reeds and tubes. Think about how cool it would be to have a doll who could actually talk to you!
I absolutely love flying JetBlue because of the live TV. This summer, I was flipping through the channels and I found Food Network, which I knew existed but hadn’t been interested in until now. I’m suddenly finding myself passionate about cooking! The Food Network is a TV channel that offers shows about everything from Midwest cooking style to cooking at a summer camp to making cupcakes. My favorite shows are:
My favorite shows all include the element of surprise or an elimination factor that forces the cooks to be more stressed than in their usual setting. This seems to make them more creative because they are trying to go all out and win big.
My friend Chef Mike Betts’s farm dinner showcased delectable, edgy cuisine in a beautiful outdoor farm setting. As the night got darker, it was really cool how the stars illuminated the whole sky and, combined with water candles (which my mom blew up), provided light for the table. Here were some of the highlights for my tastebuds:
The first dish that we had was chicken lever mousse, which was whipped to perfection and was a pillowy treat atop perfectly buttered crostini. As we sat down to the table, which was wooden planks perched upon hay bales, one of my favorite dishes was the four tomato plate with lemon basil, burnt ham, and tomatoes that were like flavor bombs. The last dish of the evening was chocolate beet puree cake with candied beets and a merengue cookie crisp, which brought the night to a close with a sweet ending.
During dinner, we took an interesting tour of the farm and saw the garden where most of the vegetables and fruit grew. Another one of the cool ingredients that were sprinkled into all of the courses were microgreens, grown by Matt from Greens Above Ground. I didn’t know much about microgreens, and I liked that he took the time to explain them to me as he was cutting them for pretty plating.
Pretty plating makes food even more all around awesome !