Of being a Darwin award winner!

“Don’t miss walking by the Chicago lake when you are there,” advises a friend who’s been in the US for many years now, when we tell him our program for the US.

“Sure.” I assure him blithely, thinking that we’ll take a little chukker around the lake after a leisurely morning at the museum followed by lunch. Would be nice to stay out basking in the afternoon warmth with little sailboats on the water. (I have the image of some of the lakes I’ve seen in India in my mind – like Hussain Sagar and some smaller ones like Chembarambakkam and Red Hills).

We go to the Field’s museum – completely awe-inspiring collection of natural history stuff, by the way! Watch a show on Galapagos, with my eyes popping out of my head and my jaw a few inches from the floor. Having been through a Darwin phase in my teens, I can’t believe I’m actually seeing what the great man saw – almost two hundred years ago!

The planned three hours stretches… and stretches… we take a break for lunch. And then decide to take a stroll “by the lake”. It is the Windy City after all and I am shivering in less than a hundred meters from where we start. The lake seems just a little bigger than I had anticipated. In point of fact, I can’t see the other side!

“How long will it take us to walk around the lake. Can we walk around it in one afternoon?” I ask my husband innocently, thinking of my friend K’s suggestion that we do! Husband and daughter stare at me, their turn to drop their jaws now!

“Do you have any clue where we are? And what lake this is?” asks hubby.

“Yes, Kr said it’s the Chicago lake,” I respond.

“This is Lake Michigan – one of the largest lakes in the world and it is all of 190 km wide,” he shoots back! He’s obviously done his homework – unlike me! I know the great lakes but had thought that there was something else called the Chicago Lake!

Never thought I’d qualify for the Darwin awards but have to award myself one right there!

And to celebrate my award (not!), we present the appropriately named, sinfully delicious…

TURTLE SUNDAE

A combination of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, hot caramel sauce and toasted pecans! The name derives from “Turtle candy” which consists of pecans coverd with caramel and then dipped in chocolate! In this land of plenty, nothing is done by halves! Toppings? Why stop with just one?!!

  • Brownies – 2″ squares – 2
  • 1.5 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbsp caramel topping (mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup milk, a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp of butter. Cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes till it thickens. ¬†Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes more. Switch off)
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecan nuts (I’d substitute walnuts too)
  • 3 tbsp chocolate sauce – either Hersheys or melt 2 tbsp dark chocolate in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and whip in 1 tbsp cream.
  • Whipped cream – 2 tbsp

Warm the brownies and place a piece on each plate. Spread the crushed nuts on top. Drizzle over caramel topping. Scoop icecream on top. Drizzle over the chocolate sauce and a tbsp of whipped cream.

Go straight to heaven. Do not pass Galapagos. Do collect half your daily requirement of calories in one scoop!