Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moving Realizations

1. Being a planner both helps you (having things written down, clearly marked) and hurts you (stressing about how you are going to pay for a down payment on a new apartment)

2. Garden level apartments mean: In the basement

3. A man named Shiro owns a shit load of apartments in the Boston area.

4. Moving companies will not help you if you are moving less than 300 miles away.

5. Those PODS are wicked expensive.

6. Despite my effort to find an alternative, UHaul remains to be the best deal.

7. I have not packed up my things in a VERY long time, and trying to do so is extremely overwhelming.

8. Even though I have not used certain things in years, there is still that thought of, "I might need that!"

9. Putting things in boxes makes you think about all of the things and people you will no longer have near you.

10. I only have a little over 1 month left here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Winston

Besides my sisters little friend Isabelle who was from New Zealand, Winston was the first person I really knew who was from another country. He had skin the color of melted chocolate and a spirit that drew you to him.


Winston was a summer employee at the resort that my family vacationed at every summer. Every year during the 3rd week in July my family and lots of others met at our resort for "fun, food and frolic". The teenagers, me, Sean, Kelli, Ryan and sometimes Jen would seemingly rule the roost having the time of our lives.


Most of the staff remembered us from year to year, and always looked forward to the 3rd week in July. But Winston was new, and we quickly adopted him as our favorite. Everyday before dinner we would pile onto a pontoon boat and allow Winston to drive us around the river, all the while telling us stories in his fantastic West Indies accent. Sometimes, we had no idea what he was talking about, but we were mesmerized by the sound of his voice.


He fixed it so that he was in charge of all the teen activities that week-the hot tub parties, midnight movies in the pool and volleyball games that seemed to last forever. He danced with us and taught us new moves, told us jokes that we weren't supposed to hear, and made us feel like we were older than we really were.


When it came time to leave, we were more sad than usual. Knowing that Winston was on the exchange program, we knew that he most likely would never be able to come back and that we would never get to see him again. We hugged, said our goodbyes, and vowed to always remember him.


About a month later, my parents went back to the resort for the night. Being that the staff knew us, my parents had several conversations regarding our annual trip. Winston's name inevitably came up. My mother, I think, told their waiter how we all adored him, and how we felt cool because we were friends with someone from the West Indies. (She even brought up the fact that we all somehow overlooked his obtrusive BO simply because we craved the friendship of someone from a far away land.)


The waiter scoffed. I am told he visibly bent over and laughed. And then he told my parents that Winston was a fake.


I do not remember what his real name is, but I can tell you it was something as American as Michael or John. His accent was fake, his homeland was the United States, and he was a thief.


Our Winston was from Georgia and stole from the guests that summer. He took wallets and money and probably other valuable things that guests left unattended in their lazy vacation mindsets. Those things he took could be replaced, but that summer, he took something from us too. Winston (or Michael or John) took from us our unwavering trust in strangers-our willingness to believe things at face value and our confidence in our own judgement.


It may have only been a summer job for him, but for us, the resort was our place to reconnect with each other (we all lived in different states), to explore what it meant to be a teenager in love and to say we had friends from other places. And from that year on, we stuck closer to the American staff-the ones we knew from before.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

When I'm An Established Caterer...

...I won't have to do this. I will have menus priced out and recipes in spreadsheets instead of on random slips of paper in every drawer and closet. I will not have to take hours upon hours tracking down the cost of duck breast or figure out how much 1/4 t. salt costs in a recipe.

So, because I KNOW that some of you miss the polls...here you go. Help me pick which canape I should add to the passed service during cocktail hour in December: You can choose up to 3.


House Update

Thank you everyone for the congratulations and happy dances you all are doing for me today! I'm quite excited myself. To update you, the 2nd couple who looked at the house last night did not put an offer in. Ching called and asked if it was ok to counter offer as we discussed, and I agreed.

A little later on he called back to tell me that the buyers could only come up with $4000 for closing, and the best they could do was $500 back to me. Because I was set to accept the entire $4500 concession, I agreed.

Tonight Ching will come over after work and I will officially accept the offer in writing. Within 2 weeks the house will be inspected, and if everything passes, I will begin looking for an apartment. I am not looking until then because I am not willing to put a down payment on an apartment when the deal here may fall through.

I do not yet know where I will look. I have put calls into my chef's at school to get letters of recommendation from them, as well as get contact names of people in Boston that they know. I will continue applying for administrative jobs in Boston and if I get a call, I will go to the interviews. If not, my mind is made up for me, and I will stay here for a little while longer.

Thanks again to you all...

Adult Food

I'm an adult. I'm a chef. I know what good food is, and what food isn't supposed to be good. But...

Don't you ever get a craving for something you ate when you were little but you know you shouldn't still like as an adult? And then do you get angry at the people who made up such a stupid unwritten rule, that you have to stop liking something just because you're a grown up? It makes me want to kick them in the shins for making me and all of the other adults who sometimes feel guilty about the fact that they really aren't adults feel bad. (Did ya get that?)

I know I shouldn't like Chef Bourdee anymore. I recognize that those little marble sized meatballs probably aren't meat, and if they are, I probably don't want to know which part of the animal they came from. I can comprehend that those little square raviolis that are swimming in the impossibly thin and viscus sauce are not the best I can do.

But damn it, sometimes I just want to open a can and eat them until my tummy hurts. No need to heat it. Just eat it out of the can like an impatient teenager who is late for drama club.

And what about animal crackers? I'm not talking about the ones you get before you go back to college for the semester that come in a giant sized bag that inevitably rips before you are done with them. I'm talking about the ones that come in the little boxes that look like circus trains and have a little white string for a handle. The ones that taste more like cookies than crackers and are much more detailed than the grown up version. (The ones that you used to try to sneak in the shopping cart when you were in the grocery store with your parents).

Grown ups like cookies. We like detail. We may not like the circus, but we can appreciate a whimsical box when we see one!

Bagel Bites seem to be banned too. What's up with that? Just because I am supposed to know that eating those little snack sized pizzas as a meal is bad doesn't mean that I should have to lie about who I live with (kids/no kids) when I reach into the freezer.

Yes, I can afford a real pizza pie from a reputable pizza joint. But damn it, I want popable pizzas from a cardboard box every now and then! Is that too much to ask?

I can't even get into the way you are looked at in the office break room when everyone is eating Lean Cuisines and Hot Pockets and you whip out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (And God forbid you hate the crusts and cut them off!) It's like you suddenly have blazing red flaming hair in a sea of pretty blonds.

And no one wants to be the ugly girl.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cha-Ching!

I'm not sure if it's a record or not, but the very first person who toured my house is going to buy it...


Yup, you got that right, I have a written offer for the full asking price-with a concession for closing which we are going to try to reduce to half. But SHHHH-I'm going to accept it anyway...it's a great deal, and I'll be out of my house by the end of November.


Where am I going? I don't know. I have been saying for about a year now that I would like to move to Boston. Why? I don't really know, except for that it's a very cool city, it has a lot of opportunities in the food industry, and...why not? I plan on getting married at some point again and I would very much like to have at least one child. Now is my time.


But...it's very scary, now that I 0nly have 1 month to plan! I've applied to a billion jobs in Boston about an hour ago-and to be honest, I have no idea what most of them were! Truthfully, I think I am going to get a short term least here in CT and plan my relocation for the Spring.


However, when I walked into Barnes and Nobel tonight (b/c I had another showing at 7pm-we're hoping they'll put an offer in and we'll have a bidding war, but I'm not being greedy) the very first book I saw was this:




And for the record, praying to Saint Joseph really does work-said 2 prayers to him this morning...

Randomivity

It's weird having to make my bed every morning before work and cleaning up my morning mess (like being sure my pj's aren't in a pile on the floor in the bathroom-undies included!) because someone might be going into your house that day.

People say that bad things happen in 3's-I really hope that is not the case, because two of my friends have had bad things happen last week and I don't want anyone else to cry.

I hate people who come around only when it's convenient for them. It's very selfish and they always get away with it for some reason.

No one should ever wear sweatpants in public, unless they are a high school girl who's got a cute little ass. This includes you Mr. I Work Out Everyday guy-especially when you wear a jacket with an elastic waste over them. (I was surprised he didn't have high tops on, to be honest)

This sounds weird, but I saw my niece this weekend for the first time in a few weeks and she's really growing up. I noticed right away, and it was because her feet seemed bigger-like, not little baby feet anymore. 8(

I lost the key to my shed, so I asked Loso if he could cut the lock off for me one of the days he's at my house doing the roof so I can cut my lawn.

I'm kind of nervous about the roof thing-does anyone else ever wonder if roofers go into your house through the attic and into your house? Cause they totally could.

I have got to focus on getting a proposal and contract written up for the big party I have in December. I've just been slacking on it, and I can't do that any longer...the menu is set, I just have to price it, and talk to Crazy Bruce about getting me some cheap liquor!

Going to lunch today with the staff-my boss is paying, which means we get to drink! Wine in the middle of the day with good food is fun...even though that makes me sound like a drunk. Especially after my comment about Crazy Bruce above.

Wordless Wednesday: #27



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's All Gravy, Baby

I have always appreciated the little things, whether a kind gesture that someone did not have to do or the way a napkin is folded and artfully displayed on a table. These are the things that make life wonderful and having an eye for detail does not hurt.

I grew up sitting at a long, formally dressed table for Thanksgiving dinner. My Nana's black and pink china would carefully be placed around lovingly, signifying the beginning of the holiday. If I was lucky, I was allowed to help my Aunt Sue set the table. For me, I think this was the beginning of my love for traditions, entertaining and fine china.

Villeroy & Boch is also a company rich with family and history. In fact, it is still family owned after 260 years in business. They are the largest porcelain manufacturers in the world and are proud to say their dinnerware adorns the table of the Pope, royalty and the rich and famous. Today, their fine collections are available to people like you and I, in time for Thanksgiving.

My favorite of their dinnerware is from the classic collection. It is called Golden Garden and its style, not surprisingly, resembles my Nana's china (with the exception of the black). Its pattern is delicate and pretty and would no doubt make your Thanksgiving Day table shine. It has always been my opinion that presentation is just as important as the food itself, and inviting your guests to share with you these wonderful pieces, you are showing them how much you care. And I guarantee, they will either praise you to your face, or tell their other friends and family how every detail of your table was taken care of.

Walk Through Success

Ching brought over about 10 realtors from his office today while I was at work. The response was overwhelmingly positive and they all think that the property will sell quickly.

This is good news to me, but I have learned that when you think it will go fast, it usually drags out...he does have the MLS all set and is loading more pictures on it tonight, so I'm hoping that helps...and my open house is scheduled for the 28th.

Pray, if you will, that the house will be sold by the end of November. That would be the best Christmas present ever.

Toosdae ?'s



Hello there my friendly Toosdae friends! My house is officially on the market and will begin showing up in the MLS system sometime today! This is very exciting, but also kind of scary. Now that it's becoming real...Well, you know. ;) However, after dropping a few hundred dollars yesterday to have the oil company come fix my furnace...I'm ready! Here are this weeks questions.


1. What is the weirdest thing you have ever found in your fall/winter coat a year later?

2. What group or singer do you think you sound best with while singing in your car?

3. Would you have the flu twice a month if you got paid $1000 for having it? If no, how much would it take?

1. I haven't found anything truly weird, but yesterday I wore my leather jacket for the first time and found $0.35, 1 Tylenol and an individually wrapped piece of gum. I also have found lots of receipts, which I think is kind of neat to look at a year later.

2. The Indigo Girls-I know a lot of their songs and I think that I sound pretty when I sing along with them-sometimes the harmony, sometimes the melody.

3. No. Twice a month with the flu would essentially mean being sick the entire month, which would stretch to every month then all year. No way. In order to even survive I'd have to get paid $60K because I wouldn't be able to work!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Food, Food, Food!

Kat from My Two Cents (besides being lovely) tagged me to do a Food, Food, Food meme...and since I love Food, Food, Food and Kat rocks (Anyone who's blog url is "inyourfacesuckers" has to be cool!) I'm a gonna do it!

1. How do you like your eggs? I pretty much like all eggs. I love omelets (bacon & cheese), baked eggs, poached eggs and sunny side up eggs. Scrambled is good too. If I had to choose only one for the rest of my life thought, it would be sunny side up, with rye toast. Without the rye it's a no go...

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? As someone commented the other day, "You're gonna need like 20 of those, aren't you?" I like my coffee light. I sometimes put sugar in it depending on my mood.

3) Favorite breakfast food: Eggs, corned beef hash, bacon, rye toast with oj and coffee.

4) Peanut butter-smooth or crunchy? Smooth, though when I have a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich (YUM) I like it crunchy.

5) What kind of dressing on your salad? Ideally, blue cheese.

6.)Coke or Pepsi? Coke-preferably Cherry please.

7) You're feeling lazy, what do you make? A bagel

8) You're feeling really lazy, what kind of pizza do you order? Pepperoni and mushroom, well done.

9) You feel like cooking. What do you make? This is impossible for me to answer. I want to make everything...too many recipes, too little Guinea pigs and money!

10) Do any foods bring back good memories? Spinach dip-not the hot kind, the kind you put in hollowed out bread and use the guts to eat the dip. My family parties almost always have this. I never have it anywhere else, either. Also, thin garlic/cheese sausage on the grill reminds me of summers at my Nana's house by the pool with all my cousins, and my beloved Papa.

11) Bad memories? Well, my bad memory is also one of my favorite culinary school memories-does that count? Liver-we were all so eager to taste it prepared with a delicious sauce but when we all took a bite it was disgusting. My favorite was Know-It-All's face...he looked like he was going to cry.

12) Any food remind you of someone? Sure, lots...Doritos remind my of my sister C-Unit, Bananas, pine nuts and bean sprouts remind me of my Papa, my cheesy salsa dip reminds me of my sister Flipper, pudding reminds me of my friend Megan, Pumpkin almost anything reminds me of Greg, sometimes hot dogs remind me of my friend Kurt. And that doesn't include culinary school, b/c you every type of food reminds me of someone there.

13) Is there a food you refuse to eat? Tongue, though I debate whether it is food or not.

14) What was your favorite food as a child? As crazy as it seems, a provolone and spicy mustard sandwich on Bastone bread from NY...we moved away to CT and couldn't get good bread or cheese...visiting was always so yummy.

15) Is there a food that you hated as a child but like now? Spinach

16) Is there a food you liked then but hate now? Spaghetti & Clam Sauce, because we had to eat it so friggen often! (I guess it was cheap)

17) Favorite fruits/veggies: Pineapple, strawberries & peaches, broccoli, string beans and corn.

18) Favorite junk food: French Fries-crispy with ketchup.

19) Favorite between meals snack: String Cheese at room temperature.

20) Any weird food habits? I don't know...I do know that I turn my plate to have the meat on the left and potatoes or rice on the right.

21) On a diet, what do you fill up on? Depends on what diet-Atkins is cheese and sliced ham. Otherwise, low cal high fiber stuff. And fruit

22) Off the diet, now what do you like? Ha...too much!

23) How spicy do you order Thai/Indian food? Mild to hot-depending on where I am and how close the nearest bathroom is.

24) Can I get you a drink? Sure! Pinot Noir or Merlot or an apple martini.

25) Red or white wine? Red to drink, white to cook with...but I like some whites to drink too.

26) Favorite dessert: Warm berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream right on top.

27) What is the perfect nightcap? A glass of red wine in a quiet place with someone I can kiss.

Manic Monday: Bat

Badge by JannaGraphics


Monday's are MoMoLicious!


I didn't always love playing-like the time in 3rd grade when Daisy and Reagan, the two girls who made grades 1-6 hell for me, teased me so much that I started to cry right on the field. Or when, in 7th grade the boy that I was in love with came to watch the game-not for me, but for my friend who later got to kiss him.

For the most part though, I eagerly looked forward to softball season. I played from grade 3 to grade 12 and regret not playing in college. I made the team, but opted instead for parties and my boyfriend.

Being a girl who always hovered just beyond the edge of popularity, softball season made me a star. In 8th grade my coach was comparing me to a girl named Jen who was THE star athlete at the high school. By my freshman year, the varsity coach already new my name and another girl Lisa's name. We were quickly brought up to play with the big girls, and would later be co-captains our senior year.

I loved everything about softball-the way the spring air smelled whipping around my face delivered on the freshest and coldest breezes and the smell of the earth thawing, preparing itself it bloom once again in it's awe insprining beauty and cool, damp grass we sat on while doing our stretches. I loved the sting I felt in my left hand after catching a rocket that Lisa just threw me from short stop, the strain of the muscles in my long legs as I stretched to reach an impossibly short throw. (I was nicknamed "Stretch" b/c I was kinda famous for it...even in local papers!)

But most of all, I loved the way the bat felt when it hit the ball. A clean, direct hit that found every hole on the field-there is nothing like it. It is exhilarating and empowering and yes, even fun. And that sound-the crack of the bat is pure perfection. To this day, whenever I hear that sound, I can feel my hands vibrating, my heart racing and it takes me right back to our field near the apple orchard, in small town Connecticut.

I always wanted my little sisters to play so that I could go to their games and cheer them on like they were made to do for me. (My mom only missed 2 games my entire softball career-9 years!) Alas, the didn't, and now, my only hope is Rye Bread. I'm priming her early though-and she rocks at wiffle ball. :)