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Archive for the ‘Ann Arbor’ Category

Kelsey Museum Opening

We attended the opening of the Kelsey Museum of Archeology at the University of Michigan opening yesterday.

As an art lover, I was happy to see that it was crowded with guests of all ages. The museum has an amazing collection, from the largest collection of Latin inscriptions in the west to a beautiful and accurate (watercolor) replica of the Villa of Mysteries from Pompeii. See it being installed in this Youtube video. We look forward to returning to the museum at a later (and less crowded) date to better see all of the pieces.

There was live music and historically accurate food for the opening. Check out the pictures of the bread created by specially by Great Harvest Bread.

Kelsey Museum of ArcheologyEgyptian cakeAncient beveragesFirst recorded breadRoman Army bread

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Boo!

Halloween 2009Happy Halloween! My husband and I had fun dressing up like a bride and groom for a Halloween party last night. With my veil and his bowtie, we joked that perhaps we had more bride/groom accessories than we did when we got married a few weeks ago!

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Sparrow Meat Market Dinner fifth courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner fourth courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner third courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner second courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner first courseSparrow Meat Market in Kerrytown (Ann Arbor) hosts a semi-secret monthly feast. They take over the supermarket and Sweetwaters Café area with long tables covered in white tablecloths. They serve multi-course meals and guests share their BYOB wine with each other. The entire complex is closed except to those who made a phone reservation and know to enter through the only open door (closest to the parking lot.)

I’d seen flyers for it when I looked for it on meat counter after browsing the Saturday Farmer’s Market outside. There are no ads and no mention of it on the Sparrow website. Friends have raved about it, but mostly because they heard great things, not because they’d ever gone. 

After eating in the packed rooms filled with the aromas from the five dishes and the live music by Douglas and Andrew Brown, I understand why they don’t advertise. They don’t need to. Through word of mouth, this dinner is “legendary,” as one friend described it to me in an email.

Here was the menu:

1st course

Baby spinach with dried Traverse City cherries, toasted pecans, crumbled blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. 

2nd course

Marinated tomatoes and zucchini served alongside a selection of Italian salamis.

3rd course

Seared scallops with cream sauce over roasted garlic and pumpkin polenta. 

4th course

Pork loin stuffed with fresh herbs, garlic, and grated pecorino cheese slow cooked in marinara served over braised escarole greens.

5th course

Fresh prepared Amaretto cannolis.

My favorite part of the meal was the pumpkin risotto. I don’t care much for scallops in general, but this polenta was perfectly seasoned. It wasn’t sweet or spicy. The pumpkin flavor was appropriately slight and complemented by the creamy sauce. This is something I want to try to recreate at home. Minus the cream sauce, this Epicurious recipe sounds about right.

The fresh basil on the zucchini in the second course helped to bring out the fresh flavor of the vegetable. The salamis were room temperature and their fattiness (a positive!) was offset by the light vegetables.

The salad dressing on the first course was a bit heavy for the light baby spinach leaves and the pork loin would have benefited from just a bit more spice (salt and even hot pepper), but considering the large numbers of people being served, I don’t think it should be held against them.

This dinner was something we’d like to repeat. And repeat.

If you need more convincing, you might enjoy this review on AnnArbor.com by Jennifer Shikes Haines. 

The menu changes according to the seasons. Be in “the know” and check out the flyers on the meat counter. The cost for the five course dinner is $45.00 and you can call for reservations/information at 734-761-8175.

 

 

Thanks to the Ann Arbor Chronicle for linking to this article.

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While there are only four days left before the wedding (and we fly to New Jersey tomorrow), I’m taking a break from all-things-wedding to present “Family History: Ideas for Collecting & Assembling” at the University of Michigan’s Work/Life Resource Center’s 4th annual event on work/life issues. The title of this year’s conference is Connecting the Dots.

I was contacted by UM’s HR department after someone read the description of a similar class offered at Rec & Ed and one presented at the Ann Arbor Book Festival last May. You never know what opportunities will lead to other ones.

A description of the workshop:

Family History: Ideas for Collecting and Assembling Researching and writing your family history doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this session, learn tips on how to gather information and brainstorm ideas before translating the stories and research into a form that you can share with family members.

The idea for this workshop, as well as earlier ones and a memoir writing class I taught in NJ a few years ago, came out of a family history project that my mother and I completed together. Continuing the work of her late sister, my mother researched documents about our family’s emigration from southern Italian (Sala Consilina) to northern NJ in the late 1800’s. My mother, a professional photographer, and I visited the town a number of times and collected not only more documents pertaining to the family, but also an oral history. Our relatives there were incredibly generous in sharing their stories.

We paired her photographs with my narrative poems re-telling the family’s history. The result is a manuscript entitled, “Cent’Anni.” The manuscript as a whole is still looking for a publisher, but individual poems have been published. If you are interested, here is one that is available online:

“Teresa serves dinner at 20:00” Conte: Journal of Narrative Writing (Dec. 2006)

I loved collecting oral history and crafting poems out of those voices and so I decided to begin Word Arrangement, a personalized poem company. And that’s how this blog and venture was born.   

I can’t wait – only 4 days left! – to becoming a family with my new husband.

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Theresa's cake

My fiancé and I were surprised yesterday by a cake celebrating our upcoming marriage at a potluck dinner for his program. Theresa Ramirez, a pastry chef whose wedding cakes you might remember reading about here, made this beautiful and delicious cake. Thank you so much, Theresa!

Even though I’m on the inevitable pre-wedding diet that I tried to avoid, I enjoyed a nice, big piece.

So, I tried to swear off a pre-wedding diet. I’ve been inundated with information (otherwise known as “ads”) about how to lose weight quickly before your wedding. They are in wedding magazines, Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. They are disheartening and could make anyone sad for the unrealistic expectations on women’s bodies.

It is important to lead a healthy life, which includes healthy food and exercise. Trying to focus on that instead of the wedding clothes, my fiancé and I joined a gym. It is the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center, a reasonably priced county gym. It hasn’t been too hard to go regularly.

Unlike some gyms I tried in NJ where many of the patrons looked like Soprano’s extras, this gym isn’t daunting. There are a wide-range of folks there, from kids who look like they might be on a team to senior citizens who park their walkers in the corner. 

So, we go to the gym regularly and eat good cake when we can. That’s a well-balanced life, if I’ve ever heard of one.

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Giving a similar talk in Maplewood, NJ (summer 09)

Today I am presenting at the Rochester Writer’s Conference.

Brainstorming, Work, and Creativity: Thinking Outside of the Box

Right brained or left, it doesn’t matter – being creative is essential in the current economy. Access your inner poet and your muse with poet and entrepreneur, Chloe Miller, who will lead a discussion of how to connect creativity with business planning and the generation of concrete ideas. This is a hands-on, interactive, process-driven voyage of discovery. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves.

Chloe’ Yelena Miller, received an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has poems forthcoming or published in the Cortland Review, Alimentum, Lumina and Privatephotoreview.org, among others. She teaches writing online for Fairleigh Dickinson University, edits Portal del Sol and reads for The Literary Review. She founded Word Arrangement, a personalized wedding poem company and related blog.

I gave a similar talk to the PIM group in  (Professionals in the Media) Maplewood, NJ this summer.

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If I were an auctioneer, I could quickly list everything we’ve been working on: seatingweddingrogramceremonyreadingsmenussongchoicestablesignsohmy!

Lots of little details, but it does feel as though it is all coming together. At this point, we are mostly tweaking and finalizing everything. That said, we do have to finish the tweaking and finalizing.

I’ve had a chance to relax a little. I shipped my shower presents and received them on Tuesday in the mail. I planted my new Italian herb garden, mixed in my new red bowl and watched tv under the tree-blanket that my friend made for me. Tonight I’m going to make one of the brownie recipes from my new collection of friends’ recipes for a potluck dinner tomorrow night.

Yesterday and this morning haven’t been filled with pensive thoughts. Mostly, I have work to do for my day jobs (there are a number of them.) Yesterday I started tutoring two new students (one MBA grad and one UM undergrad) in Italian. They found my listing on the UM Language Resource Center list of tutors. I’ve also been grading writing papers from two online classes.

Tonight we are going to be saying goodbye to a poet-friend who lives in town and is moving west. Then, our last wedding-dance class. Looking forward to breaking in those new shoes. Luckily, the heels aren’t too high (I could never be as tall as my fiance’, so I might as well make sure I won’t trip at the wedding.)

Tomorrow I am presenting at the Rochester Writer’s Conference. The copies are ready and so is my syllabus. I present from 10 – 11:15. It is about an hour away from Ann Arbor, so I think it will be an early morning. Oy. The subject of the conference is “Make More Money with your Writing!” I hope to learn something new.

With this long to do list, I gotta run…

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