Ellyn hosted and selected the theme: Sweet Home Chicago. Perhaps feeling homesick after an extended bit of globe-trotting?
Whatever the reason, this theme resonated with us all, inspiring a menu of tantalizing dishes drawn not only from our cookbooks but the history books as well.
Each course was accompanied by a tidbit of knowledge about the food’s relationship to Chicago. An academic amuse bouche, if you will.
Interestingly, everyone chose to prepare something familiar but not obvious – read: no Chicago-style hot dogs or pizza, no Green River soda. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m a big fan of Chicago’s street food! But it was cool to see the group dig a little deeper into Chicago’s rich culinary history as a foodie town long before foodies were a thing.
- Drinks (Karen & Kathleen) – Shikaakwa Bloody Marys; Al Capone cocktails; Assorted Chicagoland craft beer; Various wines including Ditka Cabernet Sauvignon and Monsanto Chianti
- Appetizers (Greg & Dan) – Shrimp de Jonghe; Don Roth’s Blackhawk Spinning Salad Bowl
- Main course (Ellyn) – Chicken Vesuvio a la Harry Caray; Grilled Asparagus with Green Onions; Green Salad with Strawberries and Poppyseed Dressing
- Desserts (Ilise & Ann) – Milk Dud Cheesecake; Caramel-Dipped Pretzel Rods with Candy Toppings