For several weeks before and after the winter solstice, I’m quite prone to seasonal depression. In recent years, I’ve come up with a list of things I can do to ward off depression, two of which we practiced today.
First, we went to the University of Illinois Conservatory. It’s a rather handsome greenhouse where the plant biologists keep interesting plants, and make the space available to the public to come and see the plants, and hang out in the warm and humid and sunny.
Sadly, today it wasn’t sunny.
But that’s okay. It was still warm and somewhat humid, with lots of exotic plants.
After the Conservatory, we went to the iHotel, where we had drinks by the fireplace, then went into Houlihan’s for lunch, then sat in front of the fireplace some more.
It was very nice. I’m sure it staved off winter depression for a day or two.
I’ve cooked enough fjord trout (which is a lot like salmon) to feel safe just winging it as far as seasonings go. This one has cashmere chili powder and ground cumin, with the addition of allspice. Served with sautéd red onions and red peppers, Cahokia rice, and a Stone Delicious IPA.
A few years ago I noticed a sharp increase in the number of cars left running empty to warm up. Of course: all new cars come with a remote starter, so now everybody is doing this, rather than just the people willing to go out in the cold, crank up their car, and leave it running empty.