We arrived at Jaclyn’s house on a rather stormy day, and were greeted by Jaclyn in her Chicago Printer’s Guild Apron. We followed her up the stairs to her apartment where to one side we caught a glimpse of the living room and one of her two cats before heading straight down the hallway to the kitchen. She also has two dogs, but they were away at the beach. Apparently one is very excitable.
Jaclyn has a big open eat-in kitchen with a wooden table. The table was full of the bounty of her morning visit to the local farmers market. Plums are in season and were looking positively divine. Along one side of the table lies a bench her other cat enjoys very much. He observes the activity from exactly eye level with a serious gaze. Ninja cat? He presided over the activity for most of our visit with what I can only assume was keen interest.
After reading that the artists who’ve graced our website have an affinity for curry powder, Jaclyn decided to present one of her favorite curry dishes. Growing up, her friend’s mom ran a Nepali restaurant and served curried eggs. I peeled the hardboiled eggs while minced onion and olive oil were combined in another pan. With the addition of a splash of olive oil and a dash of curry these combine into one of the most amazing curry sauces which is then drizzled over top of the eggs. To date, this is one of our favorite curry recipes. We haven’t had a chance to make it in ITAK’s kitchen yet, but it’s on our list!
As the lentils from the first dish were still cooking away at this point, we continued on to prepare the plums for dessert. Chopped and combined with wine they were placed into the oven. The last thing Jaclyn had decided to prepare for us was her minted cabbage salad. Some of you might remember Alberto Aguilar’s simple cabbage salad, and this one was similar, but kicked up a notch. Mint and red onion were added to the cabbage base with garlic, vinegar, and lemon. All of my encounters with cabbage salad have left me shocked at the simplicity and deliciousness of cabbage. So tasty!
We plated up and headed out to the back porch, where fate had given us a small window to dine outside. The impending downpour managed to hold off for our outdoor interview. The porch was filled with as many plants and vegetables as would fit. Adjacent to those was a large vermicompost. Sadly a previous storm had taken the lid and a makeshift one replaced it. Jaclyn explained to us that in winter you can stop feeding the worms and pause composting. Here in Chicago where it gets too cold to keep a compost bin like this one outside all winter, Jaclyn moves it inside and doesn’t feed it again until the weather warms.
Instead of ending with worms, we’re going to end with ice cream. When Jaclyn’s compote was finished we enjoyed it on top of vanilla ice cream. The compote was so warm it quickly worked to melt the ice cream. It was so good, it didn’t last too much longer than that. We’ve already made this, as well as an apple spin off inspired by the general fruit + booze + oven = gooey deliciousness formula we learned here.