Friday, December 21, 2007

Soiree: Summed Up

After arriving home at 5:15pm I ran around my apartment like a mad woman trying to make myself look presentable for the soiree.  It was snowing heavily and so that walk from the car to the apartment building made my hair flat and my mascara run-not exactly the way I'd like to be seen in public.  The problem with running around like a mad woman in my apartment is that you end up looking like you just ran a marathon=sweaty.  Nonetheless I called my hostess to make sure everyone was still going.  A few people canceled, she said, but she would be there for sure, along with a couple of others, making our total 4 instead of 11.
Getting to the T was not a problem, nor was making the connections.  The problem was the 2 block walk from the T to the museum.  The sidewalks that I have encountered in Boston so far are not very well maintained in the winter.  They end up being a sloshy, snowy mess and are very difficult to walk on.  I wore boots and jeans so it wasn't so bad, but it wasn't fun either.  I got to the museum with flat hair-luckily no runny mascara.
Once inside the soft glow from the indoor courtyard warmed me instantly.  Chamber music was playing softly and trendy people milled around with glasses of wine and sparkling water.  It was just like I'd imagined.  While I was in line, someone came up to me and asked, "Are you Mags?"  She didn't look like any of the people who were supposed to attend the event with me, so I was very confused, but said yes.  "Your hostess asked me to tell you that the rest of your group is inside."  Um...ok.  Thanks.
I checked my coat and walked around and it wasn't long until I found the group and quickly fell right into the conversation.  Our hostess was a little older than I am and works as a holistic counselor.  She's got a high energy level and is very welcoming-it was easy to feel like I've known her for a long time.  Two other girls were there-a medical student (who I loved) and a girl who works for Harvard.  I liked her, but not as much as the other two.  We are going to make plans after the holiday for them to come over for dinner or dessert, so that's nice.
As we walked around the museum, one thing was constant-none of the art was labeled.  I saw many nice pieces, but can't tell you what they were-with the exception of a Rembrandt painting that I recognized from art history in college.  I take that back-one thing was labeled-the Rembrandt painting that was stolen-who's spot on the wall still remains empty.  Another note about the museum is that because it was an after hours party, the lighting was very dim.  While this was beautiful in the courtyard, upstairs near the art and exhibits it was quite frustrating.  We found that appreciating the museum was rather difficult and instead opted to wander around talking to each other more than soaking up the culture.
Which is ok too.  But I love me some art, and I was looking forward to seeing some and learning something new. 
After taking a cheesy survey (where we were tricked into thinking we'd all get a gift afterwards but instead got 1 gift card to the cafe for all of us!) we began our journey back home.  Three of us were taking the train while our hostess was riding the bus, so we parted ways with her and trekked back to the T, where the 3 of us slowly broke up and went our separate ways as well.
Overall it was an enjoyable time, and I look forward to visiting the museum during the day and perhaps taking a tour so that I can learn more about Isabella and her home, as well as identifying the pieces of art that are displayed.  I also enjoyed meeting the girls and am happy that we all have interest in meeting up again soon. 
A note about food/drinks.  The food was in the cafe and the cafe was extremely small-it seats like...8 people.  So we didn't go in there, but I did have a drink that consisted of the juice of a blood orange (yum!) and champagne.  They served it in a stemless martini glass which was very cumbersome to walk with-I might have suggested they use a traditional champagne flute instead, but I didn't.  It was a wonderful drink and very refreshing and I'm glad I chose it over my traditional red wine.
This long weekend is a full one with a special house guest, a haircut and lots of gifts to exchange. :)  I may find time to post between now and Wednesday, but if I do not, please have a safe and happy Christmas.  Lots of love to you all.  :) 


Thursday, December 20, 2007

What's Cookin? Gingerbread Popcorn!

It's been a LOOOOOONG time since I did any What's Cookin' posts, and I'm not sure why.  So, I'm going to start 'em up again.  They're usually on Sunday's, but b/c of the holiday and the baking schedules and all, I thought I'd post it now...this is a great tasting treat that you can make ahead of time and bag up for gifts.  It's pretty economical to make too-especially if you cut the recipe down. (I didn't use 15 cups of popcorn!)  So, without further ado:
15 cups popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250

Line 2 large baking dishes (I used 9 X 13 pans) with foil and coat with cooking spray. Fill each with 7 1/2 cups popcorn.

Combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil for 5 minutes; stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Pour over popcorn; toss to coat.

Bake at 250 for one hour, carefully stirring the warm mixture about every 15 minutes. Cool completely.

*Notes: Be VERY careful-the candy coating is VERY hot and will stick to skin like crazy glue just long enough to burn you good...NOT a good recipe for kids to help with.

In The Garden

Tonight I am attending a soiree. Doesn't that sound magical? It's a soiree in a courtyard that has been entertaining guests since 1903, created by a woman who loved the arts, a good dinner party and The Red Sox-in short, a woman I think I could have been friends with.
Isabella Stewart Gardner was an amazing woman for her time. A world traveler, she managed to compile what can be considered to be one of the "most remarkable and intimate collections of art in the world". After her death, Isabella's collection remained relatively unaltered.
The after hours soiree begins in the courtyard and will have live music, art and cocktails. I believe we will be offered special tours with our admission and giving an inside look at the museum. It should be very interesting and I am extremely excited to be going. I've always loved art and going to a museum after hours (with other people) sounds fantastic.

The only trouble is that I have no idea what to wear. The dress code is not really mentioned and never being there, I have nothing to go on. I will have to travel by T alone, so wearing a skirt doesn't seem practical nor does wearing high heels. Though it was suggested that I wear a low cut shirt and a high slitted skirt, I think I am going to opt for a nice sweater and perhaps a pair of dress jeans with boots.

This can always change at the last minute...

I'm not certain if I will be allowed to take photos, but I will bring my camera just in case. Of course, I will let you know how it was. This is an event through the website I joined, and there is always a chance that I'll meet some crazies. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


*God said, "Let there be light" but the devil said, "Let it be fluorescent".

*It's delightfully silly that a 5 year old would continue to ask for a Nutcracker for Christmas. (Of course I got her one...actually, 2. Santa & Mrs. Santa)

*John & Kate Plus 8 sucks you in so you can't get off the sofa.

*Just as I thought that I had a great laundry experience, my last load didn't dry. :(

*Meeting people for the first time when you have a migraine really, really stinks. It makes me feel like I am back in high school when I couldn't communicate who I really was. Luckily, I'll get more chances to prove I'm not some boring zombie girl. Who squints a lot.

*Tomorrow night I am going to an evening Soiree at a museum. I'm pretty excited. It's a very "city" thing to do.

*It is mother fucking hot in my apartment. I'm sorry for the eff word, but even with the windows open, it's like the Amazon in here.

*Asian porn has weird music. (I can only imagine how many people are going to get here b/c of that point.)

*This world keeps getting smaller and smaller...

Wordless Wednesday:A Very Boston Christmas

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Toosdae ?'s

Look at what I found (my Toosdae badge). Yay! This weeks questions are geared towards drivers licenses. I don't know why. But-answer 'em anyway! :) Have a great Toosdae everyone, and know that I will comment on your answers when I get home!

1. Are you an organ donor? If not, why?

2. Are you a registered voter? If so are you registered to a specific party?

3. Do you like your drivers license picture or do you go to all costs to keep it hidden?

1. Until I moved to Boston I was not an organ donor, but when I went for my new license I thought, "Why the heck am I not an organ donor? That's stupid." So I checked yes. Before I thought it was kind of gross, but when I die, my soul can't be given to another person, so why shouldn't my eyes and my heart help someone else?

2. Yes I am and I am registered as a Democrat, though truth be told, I vote for the person and not for the party.

3. I hated my CT picture because it looked like I was wearing tons of makeup (which I wasn't) and I still had bangs. My MA license is actually pretty good I think, and I don't mind showing it at all.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It Still Cracks Me Up

There are certain things that make me start to laugh immediately when I think about them.  Sometimes it's just a chuckle and other times it's that quivery body shaking laughing that makes your body jiggle.  I like that have these moments-and love that people will sometimes just randomly hear me giggle to myself for no apparent reason.  Only at my publishing job did people ask me what I was laughing about and giggle along with me.  Perhaps in time the people at my new job will do the same, but for now, I'm still the new girl, giggling in my cube.  (I don't think anyone even heard)
Buy why am I laughing now?
1. In an email to my boss I typed "I sweat" instead of "I swear".  Luckily I caught it before I sent it out-spell check would NOT have caught that!
  ---> This error made me chuckle at the reaction that he may have had.  He's a pretty fun guy, so it could potentially have been funny. 
However remembering this made me do that quivery body laugh I was talking about earlier...
2. In the publishing job I often had to typeset ads for vehicles that were being privately sold in our publication.  People often wrote amazingly detailed text about how awesome their cars were-to the point where we would think, "Why are you selling this?"  So the ad copy was extremely important and people (rightly so) were very picky about what went into their ad.  One night we were there pretty late and I was tired and looking forward to going home.  I was supposed to write this: "Must Sell" but instead, I typed, "Musty Smell".  Now, I know it's not really even funny, but it gets me every time.  'Cause a musty smell will NOT help sell a car!  (I caught that one in the proofing step too.)
--->Knowing there was something that I DIDN'T catch makes me smile...
3. My friends and I went out for our monthly GNO (Girls Night Out) dinner and I convinced them to take a picture.  I am extremely proud of this still because Megan HATES to get her picture taken, and I now have 2 pictures of her!  I was going on the road the following day to take photos of the vehicles I spoke of earlier and so I used that camera to have the waitress snap the pic.  Two days later when the publication came out my CSR received a phone call from a jolly man who's ad was wrong.  He said, "Turn to page 57 and look at the ad for the truck."  He waited for her to turn to the page and then said, "I'll take the one in the middle."  Well, as you can guess, the photo of the 3 of us appeared in his ad instead of his truck and I was the one in the middle!  :)  I got many, many calls that day from my co-workers all over the country teasing me about that photo, and luckily the customer was not upset.  If he was, I would have been in A LOT of trouble.  As a manager, I knew better than to take a personal photo with the office camera...but my boss laughed it off, and we were ok.
Thanks for going down memory lane with me!


Two Chickens

The following things are inevitable:

1. On the eve of my biggest, most important (debut) catered party prep, it will take 8 hours to drive from my house to the house I will be cooking in.

2. That an electric juicer will lure both my niece and my little sister into helping me, on separate occasions. :)

3. That the flatware rentals will fill up the entire van which was supposed to also hold the food.

4. A second snowstorm would be dubbed a Nor'easter and therefore will make every citizen of CT flock to the same supermarket I needed to shop in.

5. My prep day fell exactly on the same day as my Mother's birthday.

6. The road to get back from the birthday dinner (which never has traffic) was bumper to bumper.

7. My mother will insist on watching tv in the same room I am sleeping in, even though I am drop dead tired and have a huge day ahead of me.

8. That I would forget about a step while unloading, making me fall gracefully (Hey-I caught myself on the doorknob!) making me sprain my ankle.

9. That I would be in the same room with the cutest boy this side of the Mississippi for 9 hours and not be able to kiss him.

10. That I bought the hardest tortellini EVER. (That means it takes 20 minutes to cook)

11. My Mother would come to the kitchen window and try to chat.

12. That even though you plan and double plan, there will be things you forget to pack.

13. I would miss the exit for the highway making my trip home extra long.

So, this post makes it sound like the party didn't go over so well, when in fact, it was pretty much a smashing success. The hall looked pretty and the bar was very well stocked-the DJ was great and my food was a hit. With the exception of the tortellini every dish went out pretty much on time and I'm actually really proud of myself.

The first reason is that though I have some experience cooking on a line (at the country club this summer) most of my experience is more like catering. And when I have cooked on a line, there were other people working different stations-for instance, one station would be cooking pasta and the other meat. I was doing every dish off of one stove without an expediter. (The person in front saying, "I need 3 beef and 1 chicken") What got confusing was that there were 2 chickens-an adult meal and a child's meal-and the waiters didn't always say which was which on their tickets. Thankfully the cute boy mentioned above jumped in and helped me out and we were able to get the meals out ok.

This was the second time that someone has said to me that the meat I've made was the best they've ever had in their lives. The first was after my P&P dinner at school and I was very flattered-but that girl was very young. She hasn't eaten as much beef as the guy who complimented me last night!

My father and his business partner were very pleased with the party, and the guests left full and happy, and to me, that is the best sign.

But man am I glad it's over!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I'm home in Boston once again, after 4 days in CT. It was a long and tiring 4 days but ultimately successful. This is what I came home to:

Yes. That's a car. Luckily not MY car, but it very well could have been if I was here this weekend. The piles of snow are enormous, as you can see, and the puddles were knee deep in some areas. I don't have boots. It wasn't pretty.

My car is still jam packed with pots and pans and boxes but I couldn't get them inside because of the weather. Here are 2 things I learned about city living this weekend:

1. Get waterproof boots
2. Buy a shovel-otherwise, you may be stuck in the parking spot that you hunted for (for hours) until spring.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that. Update in tomorrow's post about the party this weekend....