Harvard Square

Yesterday, both Ken and I attended the first Public Lecture Series and it was given by Governor Deval Patrick who shared on education. It was an inspiring speech no doubt as he shared his life story and how 2 teachers in particular impacted his life. A little about him: He was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and educated at Milton Academy and Harvard University. Governor Deval Patrick served as assistant attorney general for civil rights under President Bill Clinton and general counsel for the Coca Cola Company before he was elected governor of Massachusetts in November 2006. He has made public education a priority during his administration. As he has said, “I understand how education can transform a life because it is what transformed my own.”
After that episode, while walking home, Ken and I had a short discussion on the personal belief of teachers. This is important as it shapes how you look at education as a whole and the children who are placed under your charge. I feel it also helps shape your attitude when the going gets tough. Well, we shall not go into details as the topic alone can constitute a paper and Hargreaves would definitely do well in it. However, one thing Governor Deval Patrick shared caught my attention. In his words, he said. “Education is about creating responsible citizens, not preparing people for workforce.” Hmmm…..(a lot to say but shall reserve it =p).

Anyway, back to a lighter topic. Today, we decided to go Harvard Square (yes, on a weekday), as opposed to visiting during the weekends because both of us really dislike crowds. It was about a half an hour bus ride and the area seemed to be rather English. It has a laid-back kind of attitude, I thought. We checked out L.A. Burdick cafe as recommended by a friend and it was also a good opportunity to try out the cakes there so that they could serve as benchmark for my baking attempts in future. My review of the place is in my foodblog.

Anyway, we were walking aound the area and Harvard Graduate School of Education was just round the corner and we were hoping that we would bump into the two-metre-tall man but nope, tough luck. The Harvard Uni campus is nice and provides a relaxed atmosphere. I quite like it!

And as usual, we went home after two hours around Harvard Square, including the time spent in the cafe. Either we didn’t explore the place well enough or the place was really just a nice little area for chilling out. Or maybe we are just two boring people. I tend to agree with the last statement. =p

Roasted Five-Spice Chicken

I was surfing the web for an upcoming dish, a totally foreign dish and one which I fully intend to take on the challenge to cook when I stumbled upon the magazine, Saveur. The magazine contains a whole array of mouth-watering recipes and definitely a good resource for any home-maker who has to think of new ideas for meals.

And then, this recipe popped up before my eyes. Whoah! This is real easy and fuss-free. I have chicken and I just need to marinate the night before and then put them in the oven the next day. Sounds GOOD to me!

And I did just that. I marinated the chicken the night before and today, after a run, just roast the chicken for about 40 minutes (instead of 50 minutes) since I was not using the whole chicken. The turnout? I find that it was a tad too salty. I had used the Chinkiang vinegar which contains salt and thus should have used the kosher salt sparingly. So the next time when I make this dish again, I would use less salt. It’s a fuss-free dish indeed!

L.A. Burdick

We decided to visit Harvard Square today and bearing in mind what my friend, Kaye had raved about this cafe selling good chocolate goodies, I decided to give it a try.

L.A. Burdick cafe at Cambridge is tucked at a corner along Brattle Street. It was relatively quiet when we were there, with about 4 guests on a late Tuesday morning. The nice chocolate aroma greeted your senses once you entered the cafe. Ken settled for a mocca cake while I chose the Burdick (since the Opera Cake was not available) and a Macchiatto to go along with it.

The presentation of the cakes was neat and inviting though we felt that they could taste better. But to be fair, it could be because we were both not very hungry and perhaps we had a little too much of chocolates these past few days. It’s a nice retreat if you want to grab a book and be lost in the literary world with a nice cup of hot chocolate.


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