Part I: Food
Sausage, apple, and noodle casserole, accompanied by spinach-and-chana-dhal, mixed veggies, and homemade bread. Oh, my ghod, so good. Spinach and chana dhal also exceptionally good later, on bread, as a snack.
Cornbread casserole with bits of ham, canned corn, canned creamed corn, and cheese. Yum! Improves with being refrigerated; goes from a crumbly casserole to a solid, suitable for eating out of hand.
Quiche Lorraine (bacon and swiss cheese). Very good and, like the cornbread, better the next day when it can be eaten out of hand.
Beef tips and noodles, followed by very good blackberry cobbler.
Lemon dhal as a snack, twice. (Once cold on bread, once reheated on crackers, because it was too thick to scoop when cold.)
At Manolo's Pizza and Empanadas, 115 W. Oregon St., Urbana, IL: Dale had one each of the sausage-pizza and pepperoni-pizza empanadas; I had one each of the San Telmo Pollo, potato cheddar, and mushroom thyme empanadas, along with a leftover bite of raspberry cheesecake for dessert. If you are anywhere near Urbana (or even Champaign), make time for a trip to this eatery.
At Mandarin Wok, 403 E. Green St. #2, Champaign, IL: even though they normally only do dim sum until 3:00 p.m., they accommodated our large party at 5:30. (They do dim sum from a menu, rather than carts.) We had pan-fried turnip cakes, pan fried water chestnut cakes, barbecue pork buns, deep-fried pork dumplings, King of Shrimp dumplings, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, and sesame balls. There is also a full menu, and two of our party ordered from that. Again, if you have the opportunity, eat here! [Note: Doug says I'm forgetting a deep-fried shrimp and toru dumpling. He may be right, but I think that's the one I'm remembering as King of Shrimp.]
At Culver's: Not ice cream, but custard. Quite lovely, and I want to go there again some time and try an item from their non-dessert menu.
Part II: People (in approximate order of appearance)
ysabetwordsmith and Doug
Tim and Trisha
Andrea and Riley (Andrea was formerly identified as "Ysabet's Delightful Cousin" and Riley is her boyfriend)
barbarakitten_t and tcgtrf
Phoenix and Cheryl
There were several phone calls back and forth in an attempt to meet up with benchilada, but we didn't quite make it.
Part III: Activities
A dinner party.
[ETA] Acquisition of a new comment-to-make-Janet-blush even though it was perfectly innocent, dammit. [End ETA]
A shopping trip.
An animation mini-festival.
A day trip to ChamBana, including but not limited to Joanne Fabric for patterns and cloth because Ysabet can sew and will make me some business-wear, Priceless Books for a meeting place and used books, and a FREE HARP CONCERT! Claire Roche and her partner John Wilmott are doing a US tour, and happened to be in Champaign, at the gallery just next to Priceless Books so that we spotted the sign, the evening we chose to be in town.
[ETA] Possible acquisition of a new nickname. [End ETA]
Another dinner party.