Mar 23, 2009

i am currently on spring break, which feels odd, like i should be woo-ing and drinking and sleeping late. or traveling. i'm doing half of those - i'm going to VA to see a large portion of my family and one of my friends this weekend. and i've been celebrating with friends quite a bit in the past week. tonight i'm looking forward to going home and relaxing. take a bubble bath. maybe start packing for my 4 day weekend trip to the east coast.

i'm in a lull, feeling slightly out of place and trying to figure out where i'm going. i can't really describe how i'm feeling right now, except that i'm slighly lost. i need to gain some clarity before i move forward on this new path of mine, establish some rules and deadlines and plans and redefine my dreams. they're a little fuzzy right now, for a number of reasons. i feel scrambled.

but everything is good. i'm having some exciting encounters, meeting some amazing people, overreacting to some crazy half baked ideas. i keep expecting something to fall in my lap, bite me on the ass, shine down on me from the heavens. it may have already done it, but i've been too caught up in everything else to notice.

if i could take a month sabbatical i would. in a heartbeat. how come month long sabbaticals aren't standard in american business? time off to redirect, regroup, reload. the past three months have been harder on me than i thought.

to change the subject, we are in the process of refinancing our mortgage, which feels oddly more permanent than buying our home in the first place. maybe it's the returning to zero on our 30 year mortgage, perhaps its the knowledge that we need to definitely stay another 3 years to make it worth it. but we are pretty sure our place has appreciated, which is a good thing right now.

i'm sleepy today. neighbors with habits of blaring tvs at 5 am are not my favorite people.

Mar 12, 2009

i passed my sanitation exam with flying colors - i got a 91%, well above the 75% required for certification. i am a sanitation expert, people! now go wash your hands.

i have my final on monday for my kitchen course - we reviewed the material this week in class and i'm a little nervous of all of the memorization i have to do, french terms and ingredients i have to remember (does a choron sauce have tomato, or lobster? what is the mother sauce again?) (interestingly, when you google "choron sauce" the first link that comes up is for that pretty much sums up a lot of what i'm learning.)

i have almost three weeks off before i come back to an increased class schedule for the spring quarter. i'm taking food service business planning (sounds thrilling, right?) and i will continue my kitchen courses with the same classmates and instructor for intro to garde manger (the "cold" kitchen - salad, platters, etc) and methods of cooking. i'm anxious about having class three nights a week instead of just two, so bear with me if i don't see you for a while between april and june.

i am considering taking the summer off to have some time to relax and enjoy chicago when it's warm out, and practice cooking. maybe think about where i'm going with this thing. i'm still young, i have plenty of time to figure it out. that's one of the great things about cooking - you can teach yourself quite a bit just by practicing. doing it right just means it tastes good. that's an easy qualifier. there are so many ways to build your skills.

my evenings and weekends seem to be double booking quite often - tonight i have two drink dates, one after another. saturday and sunday i have both brunch and dinner plans. i'm cooking so much less now that i'm in school. i might need some time off to remedy that.

Mar 3, 2009

the past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me, without much time to think. the combination of full time work, part time school, and obligations to friends and family is finally getting to me. it hit me when i realized i haven't seen three couples that we used to be quite close to in roughly 3 months - and they all live in our neighborhood.

craig and i took a weekend trip to san francisco two weeks ago. it was our second visit to the west coast town, and definitely won't be our last. we ate a ton of fabulous food and after an eye opening weekend i finally admitted out loud that i could live there someday. we spent weeks planning and researching, and armed with a list of about 30 restaurants to pick from for the 7 meals we were to eat there, we ended up eating at two. we didn't make it to luna park, slow club or bakery tartine, but we did eat and drink at a number of fantastic establishments, including canteen (this is the restaurant i would own someday), bar tartine (brunch = heaven), beretta (lardo and sopressata and mortadella. oh my.), and bourbon and branch (the password is books.)

we spent time at the farmers market at the ferry building where i had an oyster for the first time in 10 years - when i decided i wasn't a fan - but this time i loved it. adored it. wanted to stay there and eat them all day.

i could so get used to living with a farmers market like this. we would, of course, need someone to give craig an incredibly well paying job so i could spend my time shopping and eating and cooking, but we can figure that out later.

aside from eating and drooling over produce and jarred goods i couldn't bring back home with me we spent some time shopping, gazing at artwork, and reuniting with friends. i came home with a new orla kiely wallet, a full belly and a heart that has made room for my new favorite city. (after chicago, of course.)

then i came back to real life. for school i had a two day sanitation class last weekend, to clock the required 16 hours necessary for certification with the state. i'm surprised i survived it - the instructor was one of these hyper intense people - full of so much energy and enthusiasm about sanitation and food borne illness that he talked about a mile a minute, making it difficult to understand him at points. after 13 chapters, a myriad of stories about bacteria and rats and people dying and foods rotting, we took the exam. i'll find out in a few days if i passed. honestly, i was so exhausted and overwhelmed i'm not confident how well i did. but, i did walk away with a few business cards - new friends and contacts - and some information that may prevent me from ever purchasing ground beef, fish, or deli meat from a grocery store ever again.

in class we're learning the nuances of mother sauces and their derivatives, the biggest challenge for me being memorizing the french names. i feel like we're slowing down a bit - but really, i think we're just all getting better and moving faster.

tonight i'm practicing some original recipes - i'm starting a portfolio of foods, a database that will someday help me begin my new career. wish me luck.