World Wide Wednesday

Deep Routes

An angry millenial writes an open letter to her parents’ generation that makes a whole lot of sense:

Quit telling us we’re not special.

Believe us, we bloody well know.

Earlier this month, Wellesley high school teacher David McCullough, Jr., delivered what was perhaps the world’s first commencement dirge to a crowd of teenagers on the first day of distinction many of them have ever experienced. Graduation from high school, he informed them, is a shiny induction to the hordes of mediocrity. McCullough even took it upon himself to remind the youth of their eventual funerals. (You know it’s a problematic speech when Rush Limbaugh loves it.) What parting words did the teacher have for those who survived his twelve-minute lesson on nihilism? The paradoxical exhortation to go forth and live extraordinary lives! Because, apparently, we can?

Here’s the rub: this speech is misplaced. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation graduating into an economy that wipes its rear end with their high school diplomas. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation who began running the rat race at age 4. It doesn’t apply to the generation that knows hard work guarantees nothing, that can’t hope to own a home before we have our own children, that pours coffee for other people’s parents for free in the name of gaining “work experience” through “internship.” David McCullough ought to have given that speech not to the graduates, but to their parents. We have not yet begun to shape the world: we are living in the one you created. And it’s killing us.

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Making Bison/Lamb Juicy Lucy’s with Buttermilk Ranch Cheese Curds Topped with Wisconsin Brick Cheese and Bacon

Whenever my good friends and I get together to grill, we do it big. For the Fourth of July, it was our obligation as patriotic Americans to do Independence Day justice. Enacting a “Never Say No” policy at Metcalfe’s and Brennan’s Market in Madison, WI, we set a lofty goal for ourselves: to create the best burgers we’ve ever eaten.

Upon crafting bison/lamb Juicy Lucy’s stuffed with buttermilk ranch cheese curds and topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and specialty bacon on a pretzel bun, we passed with flying colors. The flavor symphony was more beautiful than any orchestra; ketchup and mustard were simply unnecessary.

Here’s how we made them:

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Sports Rapport Is Closed Through Monday, July 9th

I’m headed up to Wisconsin AKA God’s Country for a week and will not be doing any posting.

If you find yourself struggling to make it throughout the week without my sports and food commentary, here are some of my greatest hits from the past year:

25 Things Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans Can Agree are Awesome


Badger Basketball: Where Are They Now?

Rooting for Allen Iverson

Aaron Rodgers Just Got Named the NFL’s Best Player by His Peers; What is His Ceiling?

With 79 NFL DUIs Since 2007, It is Time For An Automatic Four-Game Suspension

How Much Would 304-lb Tackle David Diehl Need to Drink to Blow a .18?

– Charles Barkley Says Larry Bird Drank Him Under the Table, LeBron Haters Led By Punk-Ass Skip Bayless

LeBron James Has ‘The Look’

Under the Radar, LeBron James is Having His Best Season

So Was That Egregious Pacquaio Decision Corrupt or Incompetent?

8 Better Ways to Spend $64.99 Than Ordering Pacquaio-Bradley

8 Better Ways to Spend $69.95 Than Ordering Mayweather-Cotto

Who are the Preakness Owners and How Did They Make Their Money?


A Day Trip to Auschwitz

EuroCup part I; EuroCup part II

Green Bay for Packers-Giants playoff and epic weekend

Indianapolis for Big Ten title game

Losing on a last-second hail mary to Michigan State

Losing on a last-minute hail mary at Ohio State

Madison for Nebraska, Will’s Northwoods for Packers-Broncos

Joe Paterno

Why Joe Paterno HAD to Go

Joe Paterno’s Complicated Legacy

New Emails Confirm That Joe Paterno Acted in Self-Preservation to Cover Up Jerry Sandusky


Trying the New Cantina Bell Burrito Bowl From Taco Bell

How to Make Enchilada Pie

World Wide Wednesdays

Via Google.

My Daily Meal Food Slideshows


Chicagoist Archive

On Will’s Northwoods Inn, Q101, some more.


HuffPo long read on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado.

On The Awl: What Return Can You Expect on That $2 Lottery Ticket?

Sconnie Nation Keeps Growing

How To Make Enchilada Pie in a Dutch Oven on an Open Fire

Back in my summer camp days, we used to do cabin cookout on Monday nights; here cabin groups would prepare meals over an open fire. Once I learned how to master its preparation as a counselor, enchilada pie was my favorite thing to make:

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Eating McDonald’s in Warsaw and London

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved McDonald’s. I distinctly remember collecting the large stadium cups bearing the Dream Team in 1992–six-year old me must have been a joy to parent during that pursuit–but I’m pretty sure I was hooked even before that.

I’ve never really understood why McDonald’s gets such a bad rap from the “America needs to be less obese” people (who are right in their campaign even as they are wrong in scapegoating McDonald’s); it’s not as if McDonald’s food is any worse for you than its direct fast food competitors KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell, sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s, or anything that’s ever been on Man vs Food or Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Even at Subway, a footlong meatball sub–which in my opinion is the only sandwich on the menu worth ordering–has 960 calories, 420 more than a Big Mac. For its contribution to our obesity epidemic, McDonald’s receives a disproportionate share of the blame.

The standardization that McDonald’s has achieved on a global scale is one of the most impressive feats of the human race. Almost everywhere in the world, a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke will be exactly what you are expecting out of a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke. I have no idea how they have accomplished this but it’s extremely comforting to know that wherever I am, I can order something and know exactly what I’m getting.

When I travel, I always make sure to try McDonald’s menu items that are not available in America.

In Warsaw, I ordered the EuroBurger, an exquisite double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on bread that has the form, but not taste, of a pretzel bun:

Photo credit:

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Trying the New Chef Lorena Garcia Cantina Bell Chicken Burrito Bowl From Taco Bell

Last week, I wrote about Cantina Bell, the new line of menu items at Taco Bell inspired by Chef Lorena Garcia. The line, which tested very positively in Bakersfield, CA and Louisville, KY, launches nationwide on July 5th. Currently, Garcia and Taco Bell are in the middle of a five-city US tour introducing the line to franchise managers and local media; I was invited to last night’s stop in Chicago.

When I arrived at the address given to me by Taco Bell’s PR firm, I found myself in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Lincoln Park. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Maybe they messed up a digit or I’m the victim of some elaborate prank.” Luckily, an event worker arrived about 30 seconds after me and reassured me that I was in fact in the correct location and that it would be a cozy, family-style dinner with various Chicago press and Taco Bell advertising executives.

After about 45 minutes of introductions and cocktails (“I, uh, write a small, but rapidly growing, web site about sports and food called Sports Rapport…”), we were joined at the dinner table by Chef Lorena Garcia, who spoke eloquently and passionately for a half hour about her background and the processes which led to the creation and consummation of her upcoming line.

For an appetizer, we were served tortilla chips with three dips: pico de gallo, guacamole, and roasted corn and pepper. These chips and dips will be offered at Taco Bell as a side for $1.49 (you get to choose one dip):

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Minnesota Cheese Festival

by Ashley Ghilardi

On June 3rd, 2012, we all learned how much Minnesotans love their cheese. The first annual Minnesota Cheese Festival was held in the International Bazaar area of the State Fair Grounds in Falcon Heights, MN.  The event organizers expected 3,000 people all day; over 2,000 showed up in the first hour; 3,400 total people showed up throughout the day. Beat that, Wisconsin!

This wasn’t your typical festival with loud music and fried food on a stick. You would expect to see cheese curds and other delicious concoctions at a cheese festival, but this event drew in a different crowd – a crowd that loves good cheese and expensive wine. Upon arriving to the event, I was handed a Cheese Fest Passport, in which you were supposed to walk up to each booth, try the cheese or wine, and get your passport stamped. This was unsuccessful.

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