My Kind of Town, Chicago Is
Do you know the symbolism behind the design of Chicago's City Flag? The two sky blue stripes represent Lake Michigan/North Branch of the Chicago River, and the South Branch of the Chicago River/and the "Great Canal." The four red stars represent events from Chicago's rich history, namely The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, The Century of Progress Exhibition of 1933, and Fort Dearborn. Even the white bands are significant; they represent the North, West and South sides of the city. (There's really no East Side - that would be Lake Michigan.)
Chicago is my birthplace and my hometown. I lived there until I was 14, when my family moved to the San Diego area. At 22 I moved back, and lived in Chicago for the next 30 years before moving back to San Diego.
I still love Chicago, for so many reason - especially for family members and dear friends still living there. For those of you who've never been, I highly encourage planning a visit. Time after time visitors to Chicago are shocked (in a very good way!) by the beauty of the city, the friendliness of the residents, the world-class activities and of course, the food. In fact Chicago has become such a foodie-town that the NYC-based James Beard Foundation holds its annual awards gala and ceremony in Chicago!
If you were to visit, here are a few things I would highly recommend:
If you find you're cooking at home more these days, and would like to prepare your own "Taste of Chicago," please check out the recipes I've included below for two additional classics - Shrimp Dejonghe and Chicken Vesuvio. And when we are able to travel again, I do hope you'll consider a visit to Chicago.
Dream Now, Travel Later -
This treasured relic is a cocktail napkin from the late, great Binyon's, with the Shrimp Dejonghe recipe as told to me by their chef, Stanley. This was probably in the 1980s...I've transcribed the recipe and encourage you to try it - it's absolutely delicious!
Chicken Vesuvio is a staple in Chicago's Italian Restaurants. It's a roast chicken and potato dish featuring lots of olive oil, garlic, lemon and oregano - plus peas added at the end. Chicago spots I like: Tufano's Vernon Park Tap, The Italian Village, Rosebud, or Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse. But do try it at home!
Photo Credit: Serious Eats
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