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23

Mar

Anonymous asked: where do grapes come from

http://bit.ly/YlFeNV

12

Jan

Hey everyone,
I hope you’re all getting excited about Lee After Dark! I’m going to be posting about every other day with updates, including menu items that you’re going to want to see! To start, here are some of the key things to know.
Lee After Dark “Soft” Opening: January 23rd, 8:30pm - 12:00am
The staff will need to get used to the equipment, so stop by during the last week of Winter Study to be one of the first people to try the great new items!
Lee After Dark Grand Opening: February 1st, 8:30pm - 2:00am
The Grand Opening is going to be HUGE!!! There will be free grilled honey buns to the first 200 students, purple cow gelato, our mascot Ephelia, free snacks, and much more! Most importantly, you can actually swipe past 1am!!!
There will be FIVE breakfast specials at Lee After Dark. Here’s one to get excited about:

BELGIAN WAFFLE
One Large Belgian Waffle
Choice of Berry Compote
Whipped Cream and Ioka Valley Maple Syrup
Choice of Crispy Bacon, All-Natural Sausage Links, or Fresh Fruit
Choice of Coffee or Juice

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all getting excited about Lee After Dark! I’m going to be posting about every other day with updates, including menu items that you’re going to want to see! To start, here are some of the key things to know.

Lee After Dark “Soft” Opening: January 23rd, 8:30pm - 12:00am

The staff will need to get used to the equipment, so stop by during the last week of Winter Study to be one of the first people to try the great new items!

Lee After Dark Grand Opening: February 1st, 8:30pm - 2:00am

The Grand Opening is going to be HUGE!!! There will be free grilled honey buns to the first 200 students, purple cow gelato, our mascot Ephelia, free snacks, and much more! Most importantly, you can actually swipe past 1am!!!

There will be FIVE breakfast specials at Lee After Dark. Here’s one to get excited about:


BELGIAN WAFFLE

One Large Belgian Waffle

Choice of Berry Compote

Whipped Cream and Ioka Valley Maple Syrup

Choice of Crispy Bacon, All-Natural Sausage Links, or Fresh Fruit

Choice of Coffee or Juice

29

Feb

International Dinner at Mission Park

In celebration of the rich diversity present on campus, Mission hosted an International Dinner last night that showcased various toothsome cuisines. The interior of the dining hall was decorated with colorful tablecloths and candles, and vibrant flags hung from the ceiling to honor the meal’s cultural significance. I left this dinner with the signature waddle - you know, the one where a protruding stomach obstructs the standard walking motion. Getting this full - and having the satiation last the entire night - before 6pm is quite a feat. In an attempt to beat the imminent line, I ventured down to Mission at about 5:15. However, I was greeted by the longest line yet - the sea of people was visible from the top of the hill, snaking its way out the lobby door. Lucky for me, my committed freshmen were poised in prime location with their swipe cards, and I must admit I joined them - one of the many perks of being a JA, perhaps?

Fried plantains, as I have mentioned before, will always be a delicacy to me. As I’ve come to expect, the starchy pieces were luscious and sweet, caramelized on the outside and delightfully soft and warm beneath the sweet, slightly crunchy coating. These units are an integral component of any bite. I greatly enjoyed the rice baked with milk - this addition made it more dense and satisfyingly clumpy - topped with thai spinach cooked with peanut sauce. The rich, creamy texture and flavor of crushed peanuts coupled with thick, wilted spinach, and onion and tomato pieces provided a decadent topping for the small, white kernels. The savory Korean pancake was dense, and contained scallions and shrimp - the small unit were surprisingly substantial, and the light, salty brown topping sauce complemented its doughiness. Although its mostly obscured by the other elements of my plate, I sampled the Vietnamese rolls and enjoyed the deep-fried umami taste of the interior meat and spiced vegetables. A Peruvian steak mixture topped the neighboring rice mound - the slender meat pieces were stewed to tenderness with tomatoes, onions, and Latin American spices. I relished the heartiness of this dish in particular -toothsome nourishment defined its contribution to the meal. I’ll always be fond of the “edible dish and utensil” concept, and thus the halved, hollowed zucchini filled with rice cooked to ideal firmness with tomatoes, pine nuts, and spices (from the Eastern or Northern European region, I believe) targeted this fancy. I also sampled the thai coconut soup with mushrooms, and found that the flavorful broth went particularly well with a couple of spoonfuls of rice so that the mixture is still liquid, yet overwhelmingly heterogeneous - something I learned from my grandma, of course. I’m always encouraged by the turnout to these culinary and cultural explorations, and I, along a large portion of the student body, greatly anticipate the next installment of ethnic cuisine at Mission.

23

Feb

Russian Dinner at Driscoll

On Tuesday night, Driscoll hosted Professor Darra Goldstein’s annual Russian dinner. Renowned gastronomist, Goldstein teaches a popular Russian course that focuses primarily on the nation’s food and food culture. Although I haven’t taken this class, I view the dinner as an extension available to all curious students such as myself.

The foreground of the picture presents an enticing, savory pancake - after receiving the luscious yet light bready base, diners encountered an expansive bar with toothsome toppings. I garnished the essentials - salmon and sour cream - with two types of caviar, salty capers, spicy red onion chunks, and a lemon wedge. Rolled like a taco, the unit presented complementary flavors - the elastic dough was slightly sweet, and went excellently with the distinctive salty fish taste and fresh lemon juice. Adjacent to the pancake lies the potato salad, firm cubes of the hearty root vegetable coupled with pea, ham chunks, egg, and a decadently creamy dressing. Indeed, all these dishes possessed the a distinguishable richness that the body craves in bitterly cold temperatures. I also compared the herring marinated in vinegar, and coated in cream. Both  were delicious when consumed in tandem with buttery crackers, and blissfully reminiscent of hors d’oeuvres. I opted for another fish dish, as well - another mild white variant, cooked in a delectable cream sauce and served with caramelized onions. The flesh was tender, and the coating was delightfully thick but not cloying. The sweet and sour beet salad was simple, yet elegant - again, the sauce was wonderfully mild, which highlighted the earthy flavor of the vibrant vegetables. Of course, I tried a slab of the pork and fennel pate - I can only characterize each bite but its heavy yet toothsome meatiness, and fennel’s frequent presence in sausage and other meat dishes only enhanced this effect. Although not pictured here, the Russian apple cake with chocolate glaze was moist and flavorful, rich cinnamon and dark chocolate present in each bite. Thankfully, I have one more year here - I wouldn’t want to miss the exotic Russian spread that’s sure to reappear next February.

19

Feb

"Cow-ibbean" Carnival Dinner

Every year, Williams holds a Winter Carnival in the middle of February. Much like a winter rendition of Mountain Day, Winter Carnival presents a variety of fun, outdoor activities for eager students, and an opportunity to watch our nordic and alpine ski teams compete at nearby Jiminy Peak. Like Winter Study, this weekend enables a temporary escape from the brutish monotony of cold weather and endless piles of schoolwork - however, on this particular Carnival, beautiful clear skies and a campus virtually devoid of snow characterized the weather. The premier Carnival dinner occurs on Friday night, after a day off from classes, and our Dining Services created an elaborate ambience for the occasion. The interior of Paresky was transformed into a pirate-themed wonderland: plaid tablecloths adorned the tables, and diners were presented with an eyepatch upon entering Whitmans, which was similarly outfitted with crates, masts, and other ship-like paraphernalia. Keeping with the “cow-ibbean” theme, the fresh dinner spread was exotic and delectable.

Fried plantains never fail to amaze me with their crisp, caramelized exterior, and delightfully mushy interior. The preparation process renders the plantain body soft and delicate, and brings out the sweetness of the starchy fruit. Similarly toothsome was the curry over brown rice - a light sauce with the rich spices of the caribbean, coupled with a variety of tender cooked vegetables. Although not visible behind the colossal pile, the “cool cod cakes” were mouthwatering, crunchy bread crumbs mixed with subtly flavorful fish flesh and seasonings. I also relished the coconut shrimp and accompanying coconut cocktail sauce, served with roasted vegetables and large, smooth avocado slices. Indeed, creamy avocado was an integral component of the salad as well. The cool, crisp greens were complemented by julienned jicama and decadent chunks of avocado, coated in a light, refreshing dressing. Finally, the cajun catfish was seasoned and cooked to perfection, the moderate spice offset by the garnishing mango, cilantro, and coconut shaving slaw. The beautiful sunniness and warm temperatures made the transformation from winter to tropical wonderland smaller in magnitude than conventional weather would indicate, yet this meal would have raised morale in the middle of a snow storm. 

15

Feb

Amidst rhythmic drumming, my entry and I enjoyed a delectable dinner of traditional Islamic dishes. The dining hall was “dressed” for the occasion, the standard long tables covered with an assortment of cheery pastel colored tablecloths, which enhanced the festive ambience. I spotted this dinner during my customary Sunday night menu browsing and meal planning, and marked my mental calendar. Of course, other students did the same thing - ethnic cuisine always draws a big crowd, and tonight’s Muslim Heritage dinner was no exception.

First in line was the toor dahl, the vibrant golden lentil dish - I relished the strong flavor of Middle Eastern spices, and the hearty curry coated the accompanying quinoa, creating tantalizing clumps. I topped the mound with tzatziki sauce, and the tart, creamy, cucumber-infused sauce complemented the dense earthiness of the lentils and quinoa. Vastly different from naan, the Syrian flatbread was delicate rather than doughy, and its thin sheets reminded me of cloth. It was surprisingly substantial, however, and possessed a satisfying starchy flavor, perfect when coupled with the garlicky eggplant taste of baba ganoush. I revel in the texture of this signature dipping sauce - it’s always cool and thick, virtually smooth save for a couple chunks of tender eggplant flesh. The tabouleh and cous cous pilaf were both refreshing - wholesome ancient grains served cold and paired with the fresh flavors of cucumber, tomato, and parsley, and golden raisins, carrot shavings, and crunchy onions, respectively. I garnished these two salads with sweet dates - I’d pry out the gargantuan pit, and break the firm, sticky body into bite size pieces, an essential component of any complete forkful. The kofka kabob was a dense mass of umami flavor and hearty meat texture - I cut the sphere into smaller pieces, which released its toothsome taste further. Finally, the halal chicken tikka misala is undoubtedly my favorite dining hall dish - the chicken pieces are always tender and perfectly infused with the tomato and cream mixture, and the jasmine rice enthusiastically adopts the rich flavors and spices - and deep color - of the popular curry. It’s Muslim Heritage Month, and Mission celebrates via cuisine. What better way to celebrate culture than to immerse oneself in cultural conversation and consumption?

02

Feb

Claiming Williams Lunch

I arrived a couple of minutes late to Brooks-Rogers this morning, and there was no way I was finding a seat or comfortably viewing any of the speakers at EphVoices: Perspectives on Playing in Purple—the auditorium was filled far beyond capacity, students covering the aisle floors and squished along the back and long side walls leading up to the stage. I listened to the speakers from the far back corner, unable to see their faces but heartened both by their words and the receptiveness of the audience. I had a similar experience at Goodrich this afternoon—I have squeezed into this versatile space on many crowded occasion, yet I have never seen such a turnout. Both the upstairs and downstairs doors were propped open, and despite the fact that there was nowhere to stand, enthusiastic students spilled out of the interior space and remained, listening for audible tidbits. On a day that celebrates the closeness of our campus while also challenging us to make necessary individual, institutional, and cultural change, it seems appropriate that discussion follow presentation—what better venue for continued interaction than lunch?

I relish Dodd’s “special occasion” openings, and the homey ambience of this safe space was well suited for the meal that encouraged students to further press themselves and their peers by addressing potentially uncomfortable issues. Three discussions occurred in this venue during lunchtime, scattered throughout the expansive ground floor: a continued discussion about EphVoices: Perspectives on Playing in Purple, an Ephventures-oriented talk about how to best welcome students to a safe and healthy Williams, and an open forum about spirituality entitled Inner Life, Outer Life.

The lunchtime menu suited the occasion, as well: although it was simple, the food was subtly toothsome and hence allowed conversation to be the defining feature of the meal. Moreover, the selection offered something for everyone: standard turkey wraps and turkey sandwiches, and a vegetarian wrap, which I opted for. I revel in the rich flavors and textures of hummus and tabolleh, and the wrap was moist and flavorful, infused with the taste of cumin and other spices, and fresh parsley. The other meal components were also delectably understated, a crisp green salad with a garnish of pickled vegetables, and a fresh fruit platter that was comprised of juicy pineapple and watermelon, and sweet chunks of cantaloupe and honeydew melon. A multi-colored fusili pasta salad with bright pepper chunks, spicy red onion, and sizable broccoli heads coated with a light Italian-style dressing served as a satisfying side dish. Sitting at a round table with my entry, we conversed a bit more about Perspectives on Playing in Purple, analyzing the complementary angles of the different speakers and adding our own personal anecdotes. Walking around campus and attending events on this mild winter day, I am continually struck by waves of emotion, inspired by the commitment of my peers—this tangible environment of support and exchange is truly the heart of Claiming Williams.    

29

Jan

Paresky Pasta Bar

Although I always relish the pasta entrée at Paresky—the pasta, sometimes handmade, is not overcooked, and the sauce selection boasts some combination of creaminess, meat, and classic marinara—last night’s innovative rendition stood out. Rather than sauce covered noodles, diners received a large bowl of plain spaghetti, and an extravagant spread of toppings enabled construction of the ideal personal pasta. I opted for a small spoonful of marinara, a simple foundation for my meticulously crafted creation. 

There were three kinds of cheeses in the melee—I sprinkled coarsely grated pepper jack, finely chopped fresh mozzarella, and chunks of feta on my heaping mound. I spooned some parmesan on top for good measure. Succulent mushrooms, both alone and sautéed with spinach, also graced the toppings bar, and the pungent, salty capers and kalamata olives invoked Mediterranean influence. Tangy pieces of sun dried tomatoes and cubed prosciutto provided further rich, savory flavors, which were complemented by the freshness of fragrant, coarsely chopped basil. I reveled in each delectable bite, overcome with strong flavors and satisfaction—I eagerly anticipate the next appearance of this dinner option.  

21

Jan

'82 Grill

The wintry weather outside brings the appeal of the ‘82 Grill to new heights - the cozy, intimate space coupled with the promise of a personal pizza attracts students looking for warmth, company, and most importantly, quality eats. For a dinner swipe, an eager diner can obtain a small salad and soup, a personal pizza with three toppings, and a drink. The various sauce options and the massive topping list offer infinite combinations, and on this particular evening I chose classic red sauce with roasted eggplant, sundried tomatoes, and chopped artichoke hearts. The already impressive topping selection is constantly evolving, and most recent additions include handcrafted feta and smoked mozzarella from local Vermont producer Maple Brook Farm.

Everyone likes to be pampered, and there’s something extremely satisfying about the buzzer’s announcement that a fresh pizza whose construction reflects your preferences is waiting for pick-up at the counter. Although it is obvious that these decadent rounds are made individually, most students are unaware of the process that takes place deep in the Grill’s interior. Dining Services purchases all the grain used in the pizza dough from Nitty Gritty in Vermont, a small, family-owned, and certified organic company committed to producing wholesome products through sustainable practices. Using this grain, Dining Services makes the dough from scratch in the basement of Paresky. Knowledge of this process makes it unsurprising that the dough is divine - it possesses the perfect elasticity, and the crusts are slightly crunchy but not too hard, while the interior sheet is soft but unyielding to the wealth of toppings that grace the surface. I was very happy with my topping selection - I love the texture of eggplant, and the generous rounds covered a large portion of each slice. The sundried tomatoes and artichokes contributed distinctive savory flavor and saltiness, and the rich sauce and melted, browned cheese bound all the ingredients together in a most toothsome fashion. Lunch is quickly approaching, and I have an idea of where I might go.

17

Dec

Driscoll Lunch, 12/8/2011

I woke up this morning to a campus transformed by the night’s snowfall; finally, a delicate coating of white powder covered the barren black trees, a fitting conclusion to December’s first full week. Correspondingly, my toothsome Driscoll lunch was an appropriate end to both my first semester classes, and my allotted dining hall appearances for the week—indeed, ten meals has carried me only to Thursday as of late. The 11:20-12:35 time slot left me starving, per usual, and I was overcome with a wave of ecstasy when I entered Driscoll’s lunch line to find my favorite menu selection.

 

Savory satisfaction need not look any further than the rich portabella mushroom burgers. These decadent units consist of delicately toasted rosemary flatbread layered with juicy marinated mushroom slices, sweet caramelized onions, and jalapeno cheddar, topped with a sizable dollop of creamy red pepper aioli. Each bite bursts with a complex combination of umami tastes, providing the fortunate diner with a lusciously textured and flavorful experience. On any given day, the barbeque lentils atop brown rice similarly satisfy my constant, unabated hunger for quality eats. Bound by a base that harnesses the flavor of Middle Eastern spices, the thick, clumpy lentil combination interacts with each rice unit so that every forkful promises to be a heterogeneous mixture of both sweet and savory taste, and firm and mushy texture. The golden macaroni and cheese was the final hearty component of my midday meal—possessing the creaminess I had been craving, the decadent globs of cheese-coated pasta tubes and tender sausage chunks fused together in a most tantalizing fashion. When constructing individual forkfuls, I make sure to consume bites of macaroni with the delicious roasted vegetables. A varied medley of finely sliced carrots, onion slivers, broccoli florets, and succulent mushroom slices, the whole mixture is seasoned to perfection and then roasted so that each individual vegetable piece retains some crunch while developing a semi-soft consistency. I relish the curried cauliflower florets equally, their vibrant yellow color a testimony to the intense cumin flavor that seeps into their textured, once-white surface. Although not pictured here, the butternut squash bisque was another cornerstone of my meal. I revel in the creamy light orange puree, the consistency of the squash body creating a silky smooth liquid that fuses divinely with my taste buds. The velvety solution coats the small oyster crackers I add in, infusing them with earthy flavor and saturating each one with the rich liquid. Indeed, the arrival of the snow and wintry weather renders me powerless against the comfort of hot, hearty eats.