Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Eating through a disaster

Tonight as I was trying to get my 45 minutes of cardio in at my office gym, an interstate bridge loaded with rush-hour commuters was falling into the Mississippi River a few miles away. Through my cloud of sweat and the sounds of VH-1's "I love the 90s - 1996" blasting in my ear, I noticed that incredulous stares at TV screens beyond my field of view. Not until I completed my cool-down, did I switch the station on my personal "Cardio-theater" to CNN to catch the news.
As expected, my phone had been shivering in my gym bag for half an hour with text messages from friends, frantic calls from my Mom and sister, notifications from my Facebook page, etc. After calling Mother to calm her down and alerting J, the BF to what was going on beyond his office, I went home the back way - avoiding the highway and enjoying the view of Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles.

I got home, stuck a Trader Joe's Refrigerated Pizza (Pesto Pomodoro) in the oven and attempted to make a honey dijon vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, squeeze of honey, kosher salt, and coarse black pepper) to go with my baby spinach salad with feta, sliced almonds and roma tomatoes. Not a combination I had tried before, but it actually turned out well enough to inspire us to eat outside.

We sat on our balcony which has a clear view of downtown Minneapolis, but no visibility to the river beyond and the disaster that was still unfolding as we consumed our meal. I've been sipping on a bottle of "Cheap Red Wine" this week which seemed appropriate for a pizza & salad night, but whose garish (though not repulsive) flavors and rich red color amplified the dark hazy mugginess that settled over the city as the sun set and people were still being recovered across town. Reading the blog of a former political colleague who witnessed the collapse from his house, I'm left with some heavy questions that will linger over all of our dinner tables for a long time both here in the Twin Cities and beyond.

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