Saturday, June 06, 2009

Posting 2 Post

I've noticed that there are quite a few of you coming back multiple times per day looking for updates. I'm sorry! Truly, not much has been going on. I was supposed to go out last night and opted to stay home instead and did the same thing again tonight...which was stupid because I'm so super bored it hurts! So, I'm sorry...

Today I walked a lot. I initially started out going to an art festival which actually ended up being a high priced craft fair, really. There were some nice pieces of jewelry (I've been searching for a one of a kind funky ring and haven't found one yet) but they were so outrageously priced I had to keep walking. Overall, I was disappointed with it. On the way home I decided to take a road I've never been on before. It's a beautiful street with tall trees and beautiful old houses. They were so majestic. I'm glad I took that little adventure. The weather was perfect for walking too.

Over the last couple of days I've also been painting my furniture. For years I've had a half moon table which I originally stained a light blond color that matched the floors in my old house. Here, I covered it in fabric to conceal all of the wires I have from routers, printers and the like. But, I hated it, and so I decided to paint it black. Instead of using it to hide wires, I've moved it over and am using as a desk. It's a little too high so eventually I'll have to cut off about 1-2 inches off the bottom-I'm using my foot stool as a chair. Hey-you do what you have to when you live in a small apartment!

Last week I bought a lamp and a little table for $20 from a guy who was moving out of the area. (It always amazes me how much these people sell-AND how they can afford to live in the places they do!) The table was cute but bronze metal and well, just not my style. So because the paint I had was perfect for weird surfaces, I painted that too. (That came out really well)

Ignore the wires-I haven't yet started untangling them so I can hide them again

At this point, I was on a roll. Months ago you might recall that I acquired a cheap cabinet from another guy moving. This helped house some of my pans and platters but it was that ugly brown laminate. So guess what I did to that? Painted it black! I'm really happy with how that came out too-it still doesn't look expensive, but it sure as heck doesn't look as cheap as it did before either. AND now all of my furniture matches!

Ignore the plastic & magazines-both are still wet

Guess where I got my coffee table? Yep...last year I bought it from a guy who was moving back to Europe. I loved the shape and size but it was kind of a dull black color and after all the rest of my stuff was shiny and new, I knew I had to paint that too. I must say, it looks fabulous and much nicer now. I feel a little more like a grown up (with matching furniture) now. Which is OK in the apartment decor department. What's best is that all (but the half moon table) were bought for $40 total and the small can of paint I bought at a discount store was only $8. (That stuff rocks by the way-I still have 3/4 of a can left...and it's one of the little cans!)

Living in Boston is really good for buying nice-ish used furniture. Especially at the end of a semester when people have 2 days to unload everything they own.

So...there you have it. Told ya my life hasn't been very exciting!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Missing Ingredients

Let me preface this post with the disclaimer that I love working for the family I cook for. They are all extremely nice and the girls are darling. The hours and they pay are almost perfect and I get to cook whatever I want. But...

The deal was that each week I would send a menu with a list of ingredients needed. I set up a document that broke each ingredient down by category (produce, dairy, etc.) to make the shopping easier and The Dad even modified it further to suit their needs even more. It's perfect. I send them the list, they buy the ingredients, I cook...

From the beginning, The Mom has told me that if I can't locate something from the list to ask her because sometimes it might be in a weird location or container. Now that I am more familiar with where everything is, I do this less, but last week I found myself calling The Mom into the kitchen because I could not find the chicken stock. Now, I use a lot of chicken stock in my cooking. Basically whenever something calls for water, I almost always use a stock of some sort instead. Since chicken is the easiest to work with, this tends to be what I use. Most of the time I can go without the stock if we're out, but other times, like last week when it was the base of a sauce, I can't. And guess what wasn't in the cupboard last week? You guessed it, chicken stock.

The Mom called The Dad and asked if he bought it and he replied that he did not because we only needed 1 cup. Now, I'm not genius, but 1 cup is more than no cups, which is what he bought. Only 1 cup still translates into him needing to buy stock. Realizing that things can get overlooked, I didn't freak out but found myself in a predicament. Luckily they had canned chicken soup and so I strained out the "stuff" and used the broth like I would have used the stock. No problem. Minor crisis averted.

Fast forward to yesterday, my first day of the week cooking for them. Dinner was Lasagna rolls with prosciutto and spinach with a tomato cream sauce and zucchini. As I'm rifling through the fridge I notice that prosciutto is missing. Okay, this isn't a huge deal. Though it adds depth to the dish it's not essential and I can do without. But then I come to the lasagna noodles and find that they are the no boil kind. Why in the world would he have bought though when the name of the dish has the word "rolls" in it? Admittedly, I'd never used these before and so I freaked out for a minute. I asked The Mom if she's ever used them (she got mad at The Dad and said that he obviously wasn't very careful this week, which is true). She hadn't. So I tested one in boiling water and found that I could soften them enough to stuff and roll them. After baking, they came out very well-though not nearly as good as regular lasagna noodles. Dinner one, done. Minor crisis averted.

While playing with the kids after dinner yesterday I realized that I also did not see flour tortillas-an essential ingredient for tonight's dinner of Chicken Enchiladas. Again, I asked The Mom if maybe they were somewhere else. Her expression told me everything I needed to know-they weren't bought either. I sighed and told her that I'd pick some up on the way over and called it done.

Until I went to make the cilantro rice that accompanied the enchiladas...guess what essential item was missing? Cilantro. I'm not exactly sure what he was thinking on this one because they do have a very small (VERY small) cilantro plant on their porch. Perhaps he though that I'd have enough. But in my lists I specify the quantity of each ingredient needed (1 tomato, 1 cup chicken stock, 2 BUNCHES cilantro). There is no way in hell that he thought there was 2 bunches on the deck. No way. So, tonight's rice wasn't as spectacular as it usually is because I only had about 1/8 C. instead of the 1 C. needed.

And tomorrow's dinner also called for cilantro...guess what's not going to be as spectacular as it should be either?

I know that things happen and there are distractions. But these are detailed lists and he uses them to shop, often adding the rest of the groceries on them too. It seems to me that he'd go down the line crossing things off as he shopped but clearly, this is not what he does.

I love working for them. I love them all. After tonight's cilantro debacle though, I just needed to vent. 1/8 C. of cilantro...*sigh*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Roundup

I started the weekend with a little bit of dread. Every single one of my friends in Boston had plans leaving me to fend for myself. Normally this isn't a problem-I'm mostly a loner anyway-but now that I'm unemployed, my days are usually spent without any human contact and so I crave time with my friends. As it turned out, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Saturday I went to my very first Earthfest. It's an annual free concert put on my a local radio station. The weather was beautiful for a change and I figured if nothing else, I'd have a nice day outside with a book. I brought along my beach chair, some snacks and water and set out for a nice day.As expected, it was packed. I got there a little later than expected and ended up sitting in the back-which was perfectly fine with me. At first I sat in the sun but after about a half hour I got way too hot so I moved under a nice tree and settled in. Shawn Mullins, Seven Mary Three, Lemonheads and Soul Asylum played. All were very good and I really enjoyed myself even though I was the only person by myself (or so it seemed).

At one point I turned around to see about 20 state troopers lined up. They stood watching the crowd for a few minutes and then with a sign from the front trooper, they moved toward a large group of kids in the middle of the field. Once they got there, they encircled the kids so no one could escape. They questioned them all, searched backpacks and coolers and ended up escorting a few kids to the special tent on the side. The rest were marched through the crowd by the remaining troopers and escorted off the grounds.

I have to admit, I was quite impressed. Just the way they moved in and took over in an orderly fashion was amazing. They were also kind and didn't seem to be jerks like many people think they'd be. It was nice to see. They ended up going back to the same location a few times during the day, always taking a few kids away. Didn't the people around that big crowd get the hint?? Kids...

Speaking of kids, the only bad part of that day was the fact that I sat next to 3 of the dirtiest, unruly kids I've ever seen. They were wild and knocking into people while wrestling, smacking and scratching each other and crying-all without being scolded. In addition, they had a big container full of caterpillars! There were literally about 20 of them, all trying to get away from the evil children on the blanket. I'm not a big fan of caterpillars, mainly due to the one season when I was little when the entire earth seemed to be infested with them. I was just about to get up to relocate myself when they thankfully put them away. Ick.

Today I woke up in a somewhat blue mood. I have nothing planned for a few weeks and knowing this just got me down I guess. The sun was shining though and I could hear the bird chirping (there are actually a lot of trees around here for living in a city) and I just couldn't allow myself to wallow in self pity. I decided to head to the beach. I thought that it was supposed to rain in the early afternoon, so I figured I'd get a couple of hours in and then come home. Boy was I wrong! It was sunny and beautiful all day. I ended up being there for about 5 hours. It was such a relaxing day. It was warm, but windy which made the heat bearable. The snack bar was open so I was able to get lunch and cold water, and the bathroom was open so I didn't have to leave early. I read half of a very large book and breathed in fresh air and sunshine. Then I came home and took a nice long cold shower and washed the sand away.

It was a good day.

I know that a few people in my "real" life think that my going to a tanning salon over the last couple of months was a bad thing. But I was in the sun for 5 hours today without much shade (I did put the umbrella up for a few minutes) and I am not burnt. If I hadn't been tanning, I would be a lobster right now. Instead, I'm tan and happy as a clam. :)

I think I might go back tomorrow. If I don't have a job, I might as well make good use of my time off this summer, right?