Thursday, June 23

Life Goals

On my flight to Austin yesterday, I started writing. I'm in a place where I'm constantly analyzing mylife, where it is, where it's going. Who I am, who I want to be. I started a list, I like to list.

Life goals:

work with math
use my brain
live sustainably
work for the greater good
have a big permaculture yard with a small earthen built house
travel (even more)
learn to spin wool
have a partner in crime
teach more summer camp
share food from my garden
learn to be an organic farmer
take time to live
learn more about wine

How to do this? What to do? I like the idea of teaching in public schools. Of being part of the solution. We clearly have a lack of math and science teachers. I love math. I want to share this love of math, of being geeky with kids. I want to share my experiences throughout the world with them. Though I learned about other countries in my history classes, it wasn't until I traveled to them that they became tangible something outside of the paper. I want to take kids abroad. How can I do this? Where do I start?

Then of course there's the food and sustainable living. Is this something that will just become part of my existance, something that's a day to day, or is this something I should work at as well. I need to start volunteering with the places that didn't hire me. Get experience, be part of their organizations.

How I do it...

An annonymous commenter (why are you scared of me knowing who you are?) asked how I live my life, am I independently wealthy? Trust fund baby? Living off credit cards? Nope, none of the above. When I graduated from Rice, I had a high paying job for 18 months and I saved almost every penny. I've been really fortunate as I don't have any school debt. My parents put me through school, something I probably don't thank them for enough. I put myself through culinary school with my savings. It is very important for me to live debt free. I use my credit card (how else would one buy plane tickets over the internet??) but pay it off every month. I live a simple life, my biggest expenses are food and travel, though right now as we're still searching for a new housemate, rent is ranking really high up there. My car is paid off. And last Christmas my grandparents gave each of their grandkids a sizeable chunk of change which I immediately put into the bank. So I've been catering some to supplement and living off my savings. The time for all this non-work though is ending. By August, I want to be working full time and saving money again, so that I can continue to travel. The what's, how's and why's of my life are still being worked out, but that will follow in my next post.

Blog Chainletter

I hate chain letters. With a passion. Typically I throw them out, even if they are from good friends. However, this one is easy enough. But I'm not passing it on. It doesn't even ask me to, so prehaps it's not a chain letter. More of a questionaire, so here goes.

1. Total number of cookbooks I’ve owned: I'm not at home, so I can't give an accurate count. And since it has the past tense, I'm sure I'll forget some that I've given away. I'd say the number is around 20 or so.

2. Last cookbook(s) I bought: Blue Ball Book of Preserving.

3. Last cookbook I read: Part of the Fog City Diner cookbook. Love the restaurant, think I'd love the book.

4. Five cookbooks that mean a lot to me:
a. Lebanese Cooking - reminds me of my grandmother.
b. Stop and Smell the Rosemary: It always makes me think of my dear friend Rebecca. Plus the pictures are beautiful and the recipes are always a success.
c. Enchanted Broccoli Forest: my first introduction to vegetarian cooking and hippy living.
d. American Pie: another book I was introduced to by Rebecca. I love Peter Reinhart, his passion for food and willingness to try pizza throughout the world inspires me to do something similar.
e. Baking with Julia: yay, Julia!

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog? I must admit, I rarely read other peoples' blogs religiously. The only one I really do is Linda's and she's already done this.

Ok, done. Linda, I hope you're happy ;)

Friday, June 10

Job Perks

No, I don't have "real" job yet. The second interview (which I was told was just a formality) for the Global Footprint job, that I wasn't really all that excited about, got cancelled on me as I flew home from Vegas. Such is life. I just keep keep on keepin' on. I've been sending out more resumes and actually have an interview tomorrow with Making Waves a non-profit that supplements education and life in general in one of the statistically poorest areas of the East Bay, Richmond. I'd be teaching high school math, Geometery, Algebra and Calculus, oh my! And it's a program that I find fascinating. More about it after the interview though.

In the meantime, I haven't just been sitting at home eating bon bons. I've been working with Stir Catering, mostly doing front of the house (carrying trays of food, serving drinks, setting up buffets) stuff and I'm loving it. Being the natural flirt that I am, the people interaction is fun. On Monday and Tuesday I was at Lawrence Berkeley Labs where there was a conference being held on Dark Matter. There, I met some mathematical modeling people and sent a resume off today. Who knows what may come of it, but it was a neat connection. I also came home that night with two flank steaks and 4 chicken legs. Yesterday, we were at the SF MOMA doing food for a New Zealand wine tasting event. From that I came home with 8 bottles of wine! Which was as much as I could carry to the BART station. If only I'd driven!

Wednesday, June 1

Ah, it's chicken that's flammable

I made Grilled Chicken Moroccan Style tonight. I cut way back on the recipe since I was only making 2 legs and did them under the broiler rather than the grill because again, there were only 2 legs. I'm still unclear how it occured, but clearly chicken fat is far more flammable than gasoline.

me: "Um, um, fire extinguisher..."
Joy runs in holding said device, "How do I use this thing?"
me: "Pull the pin, then squeeze the handle. But do we really want to use it though, it'll make a huge mess..."
her: "Wait, where's the baking soda?"
me: "here" dousing pan liberally with the white stuff.

Much window opening, fan placing, towel waving ensues. Then the grabbing of a beer and sitting down in shock. Then the scraping away of the baking soda to discover that there's still edible chicken under the black skin. And, to my shock, that it's delicious. So, I highly recommend this recipe. Though, I recommend doing it on the grill, not under the broiler (and I had it on the second rack down).