New York is full of interesting things, some transitory, some permanent and others, well, semi-permanent.
I heard of The Museum of Interesting Things courtesy of an article in the New York Times on doings about the 19th century. The Museum was described as fun for “fans of period dress” which doesn’t really describe me although I love costume parties. The evening I went to had Suffragettes as a theme so I donned a white dress, green and violet shawl (Suffragette colors) and a big straw beach hat– very chic on the subway especially topped with my puffy coat.
The Museum is the brain child of Denny Daniel who brings events to schools, hospitals and other settings although the Museum seems to be gathering increased traction as an entity to visit. This particular “secret speakeasy” was held in the Soho Loft complete with cash bar, snacks including red velvet waffles and what looked like mac-and-cheese and displays of bloomers, other period clothes period books and pamphlets, an old gramophone and more.
Vintage music on original vinyl records played and an old film of Bessie Smith singing was shown. I’d thought the group would skew old but no–apparently Gen Y is also into the 19th century. Dressing up isn’t obligatory but makes it more fun. To find out more about the Museum or get on the mailing list, go here www.museumofinterestingthings.org
As part of the evening, Wildman Steve Brill, the park forager, spoke together with his daughter Violet, about medicinal and food finds in city parks. For his foraging and nature
calendar click here www.wildmanstevebrill
Both the speakeasy and the foraging tours are fun.
The recipe comes from Steve’s website. Dandelions are pretty easy to come by so take it away!
Dandelion Fried Rice– Wildman Steve Brill
5 tbs. peanut oil
1 tbs. dark (toasted) sesame oil
2 cups common dandelion leaves, coarsely-chopped
2 small hot chili peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped, or 1/4 tsp. cayenne hot pepper, or to taste
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbs. fresh ginger, chopped
5 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup texturized vegetable protein ( per Steve, this comes from any health food store)
2 cups basmati brown rice or other brown rice
2-3/4 cups water (or 2-2/3 cups water if you’re using a rice cooker)
2 tbs. tamari soy sauce, or to taste
1 tsp. brown rice vinegar
Assemble all ingredients beforehand.
1. Stir-fry the dandelion greens in 2 tbs. of the peanut oil over high heat in a wok or frying pan, stirring constantly, 90 seconds.
2. Add the chili peppers, garlic, and ginger and continue stir-frying another 30 seconds. Remove from the wok and set aside.
3. Stir-fry the scallions and texturized vegetable protein in another 2 tbs. of the peanut oil 2 minutes, then remove from the wok and set aside.
4. Stir-fry the rice in the remaining peanut oil and the dark sesame oil 2 minutes.
5. Place all cooked ingredients and all remaining ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed (or cook in a rice cooker until done.)
Eat green, wear green, go green for the planet.