My wife is a self-taught chef. She owned and operated her own business: Java Junction, Bakery and Café in Tremont, Illinois for three years. Now she’s employed as a patient-line cook at Pekin Hospital. As she enjoys her craft for work and play, she likes to have the best tools within her grasp. This year, for Christmas, she requested a marble mortar and pestle. I decided to search for one of those classic tools oftentimes used by chefs, but also utilized by pharmacists in their trade.
My search initially led me to disappointment—there are no real kitchen stores in Peoria it seems. Google maps didn’t show me any result. The one store I did find, I contacted but they did not have the product that met my specifications. It was porcelain and not marble. After my wife witnessed a colleague break a porcelain mortar and pestle, she thought marble would be a better choice.
I decided to take a trip to Bloomington, Normal for my pestle quest. No one could accompany me on this journey today as it was made at a moment’s notice. The nice thing about this is I’d have a good time exploring the great small businesses of downtown BloNo and Uptown Normal with an extended amount of time.
I spend a fair share of time in both Bloomington-Normal and Peoria for work and play. Let’s voyage out on the BHC Eclipse to pick up a mortar and pestle.
Mistakes happen, and I ended up not remembering to use the roundabout to point me towards the Garlic Press, I end up stuck in a traffic jam. This box truck seems to be stopped for some reason.
Across the street there’s Maggie Maguire’s.
I may need a Guinness after this traffic jam. Thankfully, I see a parking spot just ahead of me and to the right. Time to practice that oft-forgotten art of parallel parking-once I dropped anchor, two plainclothes cops pulled up behind the box truck at the stop sign where they got the driver moving. I would have photographed them, but I didn’t want to attract attention in a potentially precarious situation.
Bloomington-Normal has many small business treasures, and one of them is The Garlic Press. This store is a chef’s paradise. I have the mortar and pestle behind the counter waiting for me.
Okay, we’ve secured the package—time to eat. Let’s head next door to the café. I’m going to have myself a Rueben, and I think I’ll have a nice cup of coffee chased by one of their elegant desserts.
Okay, it’s time to head on back home.
Here’s the goods. Hopefully, the wife likes it.
Otherwise, I’ll be drinking from the flagon from the Dragon or the chalice.
Bonus Photos: A Christmas Gift From Ragin’ RR!
So a package arrives the other day and it's suspiciously labeled to send to MBIP, which gives me a little clue as to who's sending it.
And as I scan the packing list the suspicion is confirmed, it's from none other than MBIP pal, commenter and leaver of perfect quotes to accompany posts, Ragin RR!
That comes with a plastic chicken key ring!
It's a nice addtition to my little family down here, thanks, Ragin' RR!