Oh, this Christmas did not majorly suck like I figured it would. Times are hard all around and I told everyone last year, if you're going to spend money, spend it on the younger kids, I don't need anything. Well, after Thanksgiving my dad tells me he has the perfect gift that he knows I'm just going to love. The only hint he'd give me was, it's smaller that a car, and bigger than an atom. Gah! I hate surprises when I know I'm going to get a surprise! So of course anticipation was high, and I really figured that would be the only thing I was getting. Turned out it was the complete new series of Doctor Who!!! And I also got seasons one and two of Sanctuary! Those were the big three--I've gotten really into Sanctuary but I missed almost all of season one, so that was nice. And of course they got me a bunch of Burt's Bees stuff, some Pomegranate and Soy shampoo (Best. Shampoo. Ever. I don't even bother with conditioner anymore.) Assorted lotions and facial cleanser (the Willow Bark and Soap Root Cleanser, combined with the Royal Jelly Night Cream is better than anything else I have ever tried; I almost never break out anymore, ever.) And of course the lip balm. It's expensive stuff but it's the one thing I do to treat myself, so ever since last Christmas they started using it as stocking stuffers for me. Burt's Bees is awesome.
And a few days before Christmas, my brother asked me if I wanted to switch computers with him. He had a laptop, but he's moving in with his fiance and she already has a lap top, he wanted a desk top. So of course I said yes, because I have been wanting to get rid of that thing and get a laptop for years, but I could never afford to buy one. And, as an added bonus, I can mooch off a neighbor's wifi so I can actually use the internet at home. I'm telling you, it's a novel experience to surf not only at home, but in bed. Or the big comfy armchair my sister's mother-in-law gave me. So, as long as the roommate thing works out, and I manage to find an awesome job that pays better than I make now and doesn't leave me in a state of panic all the damn time, everything'll be awesome.
I still hate this place. Not as bad as before, because at least I have a decent job. But still. This is a place that you just have to be from here to think it's actually a cool place to live. It's all about The Beach, which is nice, but you'd think it was the only beach, the way some people act. And all the tourists--god. I hope that when I'm twenty-five I'm finally not living in Alabama anymore. Although granted, I haven't lived in the same part of Alabama my whole life, but the state is still pretty...homogenous.
So. Goals for year 24:
1.) Finally finish this fucking degree
Looks like the economy is hitting this area, hard. Lots of people have lost their jobs, and now only one of our restaurants is open (normally two are open year round, and there are two more that are only open during summer). Which means that now we are obliged to start serving breakfast and Sunday Brunch, a prospect that certainly does not thrill me in the least. I have become too accustomed to keeping late hours and getting up at around noon. Start going on beach vacations, please!
Diana Gabaldon: Christ, woman, you write a lot! Voyager is over a thousand pages long! And I only thought Mercedes Lackey was hard on her characters; what you put poor Jamie and Claire through makes Misty look like a benevelant goddess by comparison.
Oh my God, my mother's birthday is tomorrow. And I only know that because the mouse pointer moved over the little clock in lower righthand corner, displaying the date. (I should at least get points for knowing when her birthday is.) Looks like I'm paying Amazon extra for overnight delivery....
Speaking of my mother--she called my work last night to see if I was there. According to the bar tender, I am in the doghouse because I have not called her, or answered her calls, for a week, and she thought I had been murdered or kidnapped. (Do mothers do this only to their daughters, or do they do it to their sons, too? Must remember to ask my brother.) I can't help that my phone is broken! I have to buy a new one on Friday when I get paid. Alright, I could have borrowed someone's phone and called her, but I forgot. I'd have sent her an email, except I know she hardly ever checks it.
Alright, alright, I know I am a bad daughter. Off to Amazon.
I can't believe she's all grown up now; I still think of her a kitten. It doesn't help that Oz and Tob are both enormous; almost any cat would seem small compared to them. But Olive actually is on the runty side, according to the vet, although she's starting to get the merest hint of a jiggly belly.
She's still very shy and reserved, but affectionate in a cat way. Oz climbs all over me when he wants attention. Toby taps my hand with his paw. Olive will just sit next to me, and if I don't notice her quickly enough she meows. Her meow is kinda squeaky, like she has a sore throat. She will never tolerate being held, the way Oz and Toby do, but she's still a sweet little thing and I'm glad I went against my better judgment last year.
They are all gone. Phew. That was an experience and a half.
Today is yurnewbff's birthday. She has been in the world for fourteen years now. Good god, has it been that long? She's as tall as me now! We may even wear the same bra size!
Erm. Yeah. Happy birthday sis.
However did I forget that?
And yes, my first inclination on hearing that a 14 piece set was on sale for $99 was, damn, forget mom, I'd buy that for myself! If it was actually a good brand, that is, and not some off brand (I've had Le Crueset and All Clad on my wish list for a while now...and some new attatchments for my stand mixer, if, you know, anyone was wondering... :O)
Am I bitter? Probably, yes, if I dwell on it. But I also hate how commercial Halloween, Christmas and Easter have become, so how else am I supposed to feel about a holiday that doesn't celebrate anything real, and is nothing but an excuse to get people to spend money?
( Emma/Chuck and other things )
And I still do not understand why it did not cut these last two pictures. Livejournal, you defeat me.
Well after that shit I have to say that Christmas this year was oddly...cheerful. And I got presents! I asked for a camera around my birthday but said it could wait until Christmas if that wasn't doable. But then shit happened and I had to borrow a bunch of money from my parents, so I figured in the whole fairness of things I would not get much, and certainly not a camera. But I did! As soon as I figure out the software I'll put up some more pictures. Also got a Barnes and Noble gift card (already spent!) and a few little things, and from my sister (who has been tormenting me since Thanksgiving about what she bought for me) I got the cutest teapot! I need a teapot, too, as much tea as I drink, and she gave me some lovely peppermint tea to go with it. It's not nearly as minty as other varieties I've tried; you taste the tea first, and then a little mint aftertaste takes over your mouth. I like it.
Oh, and my mom's new kitten (who is Olive's sister), I WANT! Oh my god, this kitten is, is, so unique! She's long haired, longer than Oz, and has siamese markings, but the part of her coat that's dark, ears, face, paws, tail, is calico colored. Her face mask and ears especially. Oh the little love! I have been plotting to steal this kitten. I NEED this kitten. But my mom won't hear of it.
Also Merry Christmas to all of you internet people, though we have never actually met, you are still among the best friends I've ever had (doesn't say much about my people skills, does it? :p).
Anyway, at Wal Mart sweet potatoes were on sale for fifty cents per pound so I bought a big one so I can try something I've had stewing in my head for the last couple weeks: Sweet potato bread. I'm just going to take Nana'a banana bread recipe and use mashed sweet potato, and maybe add in some extra spice to give it zing. Damn, I wish I'd thought to get some nuts. Walnuts or pecans would be pretty tasty in it.
Also I must tell you: Olive is getting FAT! How can a half grown kitten already have a chubby belly? The silly baby. And Oz and Toby still have not learned not to climb the Christmas tree. Well, Olive does too but she has not had two years to learn better.
Ugh, looks like another storm's coming. I can see the clouds out the window and the wind looks like it's really picking up. It's been so miserably humid here lately!
The butter should be room temperature by now.
Aaaand, the Nightrunners series, which I may have mentioned I love once or twice, is being rereleased with new cover art, by the new guy that did the cover of Shadows Return! Ordinarily I wouldn't buy them, 'cause why? Same book, right? But the covers of the first three are just so...so...not good. And the one on Shadows Return IS! I would love to see what this artist makes of them!
It's almost Christmas, I've survived the Class From Hell, and I've avoided taking more classes with TDC, not to mention that even though class starts January 7, it's on a Wednesday, and my classes are on Monday and Tuesday. Haha, I get an extra long vacation! Except for work of course, but I can deal.
I am so, so sorry I could not say this sooner...but happy birthday aurillia!
:D The Thanksgiving get together went very well, although I could not find my nutmeg, so I used a dash of paprika and a squirt of dijon mustard. It was good...except I don't think I should have blanched them first. They came out just a little overdone for my taste. Also up it to 3 pounds, one was just enough for two people, but I had a lot of extra sauce.
I only have to deal with TDC one more time after today. Just ONE MORE TIME!!!
I'm debating about writing this, but I sure as hell do not want to put up with the teasing I know I'd get from my family, and I suppose the relative anonymity of the internet is as good a place as any to get this out.
Dez. Ah, Dez. The object of my hopeless, stupid crush. I found out he went to the same culinary school I am currently attending. And we talked and talked about food and what the school was like for us. Turns out he lost his job at some other place and, like me, ended up doing the fast food thing out of sheer desperation.
It's easy to forget sometimes that he's already married. Not that that would stop me, if he was interested, it's just...he's not interested. Dammit. If it was just a physical crush I could deal, but we get along so well, besides having the alma mater bond. I have to stop myself time and again from taking our friendly banter a step further into flirting. All this time being single, and before that being with boyfriends I wasn't really interested in (actually they were friends of friends who set us up, you know how that goes--rarely well--the longest lasted two weeks), and now this. Has some screenwriter hijacked my life? Okay enough of that. I very much resent this reminder that I am a human person of the female persuasion.
1 can of unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 can of evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (white or brown)
9 inch pie crust, unbaked (okay I admit to cheating and using a frozen one. Sue me, I ain't pastry)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine sugar and spices, set aside. Beat pumpkin and eggs together; slowly whisk in evaporated milk. Then add in spices. Pour into pie shell, and cover the edges of the crust with foil, so they don't get over browned or burned (experience talking here). Bake at 425 for fifteen minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 30-35 minutes. You can tell it is done by shaking it, just slightly. If the filling jiggles like jello, it needs to cook more, if not, it's ready. Or you can stick a knife in it and if it comes out clean, it's done. But that messes it up.
This is actually the recipe from the can of Libby's canned pumpkin. I asked my grandmother once what her recipe was, and she confessed she always used the one on the can of Libby's. :/ I admit to being a tad disappointed, but hey, it's good pie, so I guess it doesn't really matter. And I have her recipe for sweet potato pie, and that is not from any can. I just did not have the money for sweet potatoes; I already had the pumpkin so that was what I made.
What I am making tomorrow:
Green Bean Casserole
(This is totally experimental; I have no idea if it will actually be good, but being a student of the culinary arts, come on, I am not just going to throw together a can of condensed soup and canned green beans.)
1 pound fresh grean beans (or frozen if you must, but please, not canned, ew)
2 ounce jar of pimentoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (it's good on spinach, so I thought I'd try it with green beans)
1 cup of grated cheese (I'm planning on using swiss, but whatever you like is fine)
French fried onions (my one concession to tradition, heh)
In a medium sized skillet, melt butter, and add flour, cook together about two minutes (this is a roux, and it will thicken the sauce, so this is a very important step). Then slowly whisk in the heavy cream and chicken broth and spices. Bring it just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens up. It won't thicken until it reaches the boiling point, but actually boiling it will not be good for the sauce, so after it starts bubbling just the slightest bit, kill the heat and leave it while you prepare the green beans. Now is also the time to taste and see if it needs more salt, etc.
The beans need to be washed, of course, and have the tips cut off, and depending on your preference, either chopped further into smaller pieces, or left whole. I am planning on cutting them down to smaller sizes, for easier eating. Then blanch them in boiling, salted water for two to three minutes. Drain them well, and dump in a casserole dish, maybe an 8x8x4, or therabouts. Also add the pimentoes, and then pour the sauce over them, mix well. Cover with cheese and onions, bake at 400F for, eh, twelve or fifteen minutes.
Those shall be my contributions to the Thanksgiving table tomorrow. LOL, we are too poor to buy a turkey or ham, so we're just having a roasted chicken and whatever anyone else brings.
I'm thankful that even though much, much discouraging shit has happened, I have persevered; I've made some great friends here at school, and I have my cats, after all. I keep telling myself, and believing, that this is only a temporary run of bad luck, and that one day I will finally have the title of professional chef, and I will not be so broke.
And the log books are due! I hate hate hate log books. They took something that was reasonably simple and complicated the HELL out of it. I really don't see how, once I actually begin an internship, I'm supposed to log all these hours. Other students tell me that they just fake them out, and their supervising chefs, who've all been through it, understand, and sign off on them, even though the interns haven't actually spent 500 hours as the saute chef and 300 hours as garde manger.
What I have to do with it right now is some of the more basic stuff. I have to log that I know how to clean a deep fryer and de-lime an ice machine for instance, and that I have spent a certain amount of time actually doing these tasks. And then TDC announces that we have to write up logs on all the dishes we've prepared for class. GRRR. So now I have to do about ten extra just for that, when I could have been doing them as we went along. Thanks.
And on top of that we had sub freezing temperatures last night. It was 25 damn degrees out! And the rest of the week it will range from the 30s to the 60s. Where oh where has my sub tropical climate gone?! At least the new Valdemar book was finally checked in!