Shamleless Plug

I'm embarking on a new part of my life that is happier and going in a direction! It's really refreshing.

I was married May 19th, 2012 to a great guy I met at the C.I.A and we're go excited to embark on a life together. He has as culinary degree to match my baking and pastry degree. It's going to be a Good life.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts on food and cooking. I am but a humble baker, who happens to love cooking and embraces the joy of food.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Appeal of.....

What is so appealing about the combination of rye bread with onions, American cheese and a hamburger(or turkey) pan fried? I had a fake Ruben today (rye, Russian dressing, American cheese and turkey), and the onions and rye had such a mouthwatering allure. The slight crunch of the toasted bread melding with the melted cheese and pairing perfectly with the onions has such an indescribable perfection to them.

I'm addicted to patty melts. I didn't discover rye bread until I had my first, and I've been addicted ever since. Beef, cheese, and grilled onions have this classic savory flavor: the juicy meatiness of the beef, just a little bit pink in the center, the mild cheese gooed over the edges, the grilled onions, soft and slightly carmalized, adding a little more aromatic lusciousness to it. Whoever was the gastronomical genius to replace a bun with rye and throw it in a buttered fry pan is my lunch hero. I find myself looking for an excuse to throw anything in between rye bread with cheese in a frying pan. I can't describe rye bread properly, but I think it's the caraway that makes it great. It's smell is both distinct and vague. Something you can't pinpoint, but is so overwhelmingly familiar.
The rye is the background component. It is also mild, depending on what type of bread you like. I prefer the light rye, because it pairs so beautifully with the caraway and doesn't distract from the beef, onions and cheese. I haven't experienced an authentic dark rye bread, but I imagine it to be overwhelmingly delicious, intense and full bodied. But perhaps not the best bread for patty melts.

But I don't know the deep down, delicious appeal of such compentons. Apart they are good, together they are indulgent, even a little sinful. Whatever it is, it brings me sheer flavor pleasure that few dinereqsue foods seem to bring.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cover Letters

I am in the middle of writing cover letters to send to alumni. The thing is, I'm not exactly seeking a job. I'd love a job, but I think it is presumptuous to write or call someone who may not even be seeking anyone (and gets hundreds of letters a day from people who wish to write) and say "Hi! I'm here! Give me a job!". Especially for food writing, you cannot expect a job just like that. It's foolish. It takes work and determination. At this point, I'm happy for advice and for these people to look at the things I've written and to tell me how to become better.

I'm about two sentences away from begging potential employers to give me a look. But I wont, I think it's frowned upon.

My cover letter is painfully short. I am just contacting these people for some advice and direction. Maybe let me know where to go next. All I have is a blog and some articles in a school newspaper. This really shouldn't be this hard. I've been sitting here for two hours trying to express what I would like from these people. I want to tell them a bit about myself, but is that appropriate? Do they really care that as much as I love to bake and cook, I'd rather be writing about food than doing perfect knife cuts on fruit? Maybe.

I just want to write and be around food. A place that would let me do so would be incredible. I don't know where I'm going to end up, I just hope it's somewhere that will allow me to do it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lists Part Two, and Health Rantings


Things I Ought to Get Done Today


  1. Be more active

  2. Eat more produce

  3. Cut back on the junk

  4. Drink more water

  5. Resumes and Cover Letters! (Augh!)

  6. Unpack more

  7. Find my phone charger

  8. Go to the bank

  9. Laundry

  10. Read

My apple is hard and mealy. I was going to try for some kind of salad for lunch, but I'm really not a big salad person unless I'm really in the mood for it and it's done under very particular conditions. I wish I liked raw veggies more (I have an awful habit of eating crowns of steamed/sauteed broccoli with blots of hoisin sauce or some other delicious Chinese sauce), and could pick up some fruit and munch on it, but it's hard, and people make it so much harder, like a chore: we must eat six servings of fruit and veggies a day. It sounds arduous, and then “they”, (meaning the people who must sit around and think of ways to make our eating lives complicated and irritating) have the audacity to tell us how “easy” it is. Just incorporate it into your everyday lives! Make a smoothie! Put berries in yogurt! Keep grapes in your desk! Nibble on dried apricots! Right. Those efforts are well intentioned but last about three days. Sooner or later we're all scarfing down some salty indulgent snack food with a diet coke, which, by the way, has been discovered to cause weight gain as well. (And don't get me started on soda with vitamins)


Day to day things go from healthy to unhealthy. We're such a sedative and stubborn (but I think a better word would be ignorant) society. The majority doesn't understand we can't eat the way we did 50 years ago, even 30, where walking and being active wasn't something you really thought about. But they don't want to hear that, they want to hear they can eat what they want and be fine. Some people are so fearful of bad fats, sugar, and salt that they go organic when they don't understand what it is and eat things they don't need to, like choking down gluten free bread when they don't need it. I could go on about parents and their gripping fear of food allergies, but I wont get into that.


My sister is a healthy eating nut. I'm a little envious of her seamless effort of fruit smoothies, chickpeas, hummus, salads and good carbs. Her yoga, caperioa, running. I think she's still a gym member. I'm not gonna try that again. I want to be active, drink lots of water, eat lots of leafy greens and colorful food. But it's hard day to day. At school, I didn't snack, drank only tea, water or low-fat milk and the majority of the meals I enjoyed were relatively healthy or had something healthy on the plate. I had few desserts and on an average day did minimal 30 total minutes of walking. I also don't smoke and I drink very, very infrequently and in very small amounts. Here it's hard to avoid temptations of soda, pecking at crackers and small snacks. The most active I've been so far is unpacking and tackling unfathomable piles of clothes.


I don't want to come across as lazy to my family. I don't want to be a room hermit, but honestly, everything I need to keep busy is in my room. I need to get a handle on all my resumes, which after a walk, will hopefully be seem more inspiring.


It shouldn't be this hard. Fitness magazines make me feel lazy, and some of their tips sound eccentric. We're all either obsessed with being thin and “fit” or fat and blissfully ignorant or uncaring of what the future will bring.


I'm not going to end this with tips or some motivational advice, more like exhaustion. It shouldn't be this hard to be healthy. We shouldn't feel bad about enjoying a donut sometimes, or a cookie. We shouldn't have to feel such an impulsion to follow these fitness magazine's workout routines to feel like we are doing good for our bodies. I don't think, as a relatively healthy 22-year old, I should be this worried that being a little “overweight” will have as drastic effect on my body as “they” are making it out to be. “They” shove so much of this down our throats, and we wonder why we're so tired, discouraged and overweight. We're manipulated and brainwashed, hearing more messages of health and weight loss that we can count in a day. I for one, am exhausted by it, and think it's crazy that we're so desperate for nutrition and “good health” that people like Oprah and health magazines are pushing green algae in our smoothies. If Oprah is pushing it, you know it's crazy.


PS- As I finished this a commercial came on for gum: “Go from nice gut, to nice butt. Extra gum as 5 calories” Along with some claim of weight loss and staying “on track”. What a crock.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G major, "Surprise"

I wonder how long I will last at home. This is my second full day home (by myself- being here with the boyfriend doesn't count as much), and I'm just wondering how long I'll last. I think I'll go crazy trying to fill the time as I've had. That, and as much as I love my family, I think they'll drive me crazy sooner or later. I've just spent my time cleaning, organizing, unpacking, doing laundry and other wonderful moving activities. My days are quiet, and I'm worried about job hunting and money. Tomorrow I'm going to spend the day on resumes and getting in touch with people who can help me find a job. In the meantime I need to learn how to be a better writer. Stronger, at least. I'm reading these food magazines and the writers are fantastic. Strong words, great descriptions, so eloquent. I'm so envious. I want so badly to be that kind of writer. When I write I feel flustered at times, eager to get everything out while it's still in my mind, just like when I talk. I'm not good at focusing at little details- like how the minced garlic and crushed pepper looks on a steak, or the intricate design on a dessert, the smell of the potatoes. I'm so bad at that- how am I going to be a good food writer if I'm so bad at details?


Confidence, Jenni, they'll never hire you if they read stuff like that- I think to myself. One look at this post and they wouldn't read past this sentence. But hang on! I do feel like I have something to offer. Writing is my outlet, and I obsess over every last word I write when it's most important. Blog posts are a way for me to chit-chat, in the real situations, I'm infatuated with tweaking and moving things around. I always feel like I can make things stronger and more....I've been trying to find the right word and I can't find it. I want people to read what I write and know exactly what I mean, how something felt, tasted, or smelled. I love thesauruses. I was introduced to them by my Speech therapist in grade school, circa the 5th grade, and I've been in love ever since.


I ought to listen to more classical music- get my mind working. Silly as this sounds, I've recently discovered Haydn on “Nintendogs” on Nintendo DS on my computer, and the song was Symphony No. 94 in G major, "Surprise", and the dog kept getting startled on the loud beat, but I really like the song. But it's not for me, unless I know each note, I know Haydn would make me paranoid- waiting for the other shoe to drop, or for a balloon being filled with helium to pop. I'm listening to it now, and my shoulders are hunched up, and I'm just waiting for the loud note to startle me. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZJDWh9F3Vig


I need to be less random in my writing. My mind is going from one place to another, the connections making perfect sense and flow in my mind, but to others it isn't as clear. I either have to make thing flow better or stop doing it altogether. But I like my writing. But I need to learn how to conform to what my potential employer would like, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get a job, within legal reason, of course.


As I always say, “We'll see what happens.”

PS. Now that I think about it, I'm a bit like Haydn, his compositions often had twists and an odd flow to them to keep people engaged in them, he had a good sense of musical humor, as far as my untrained ear can hear (as well as what I read). So perhaps there is hope for me yet.



Monday, March 17, 2008

Lists

Things I will miss at school


  1. Pork Tonsu, Pork Adobo-adobe, beef stew, bulgolgi/bimimbap, tomato soup, trout almondine, the fudge and any other dish at meal times when they are good

  2. Having my own space, schedule and routine

  3. Cooking with my boyfriend on the weekends/spending time with him

  4. Only having classes, papers, exams, and the audacity of Apple Pie Cafe (and the school in general) to complain/worry about

  5. Writing for the paper

  6. Classmates who were kind to me

  7. Friends

  8. Having two and a half days off to catch up on work

  9. Cleaning my room three times a day and have it never be clean enough

  10. Walking up and back to Roth for classes on the mornings where it feels just like the season it's supposed to be

  11. My bed, the only one out of my three total room changes I slept well in the first night there

  12. My room

  13. Having only to gripe about useless roommates

  14. Walking to the store/lunch with my boyfriend

  15. Classmates who I can joke with back and forth and make me feel included

  16. Teachers/chefs who care

  17. Downtime in my room

  18. Feeling like I got a lot accomplished on a day off

Things I will not miss


  1. Crowded dining halls

  2. Bad food

  3. Complaining/arrogant/bitter/impatient/drunk/immature students

  4. Accounting and Finance

  5. Walking up to class on rainy days

  6. Classmates who were unkind/offensive/and blame placing

  7. Rude/inconsiderate/LOUD/wasteful/blasting the heat/messy roommates, who have friends who are even worse and play the foreign card, acting like they don't understand you or the R.A when you tell them to close the damn door at 3 am when there are a dozen of them drunk in their room.

  8. People of power who do not care or listen

  9. Cleaning my room three times a day and have it never be clean enough

  10. Planning a business causal outfit for every weather possibility

  11. Weekends in my room with nothing on or to do

  12. The heat, which is always blasting from #7, that billows into my room, which #7 insists on blasting regardless of the outside temperature

  13. Classmates who speak just for the participation points, yet have nothing of value to say.


Untitled

I graduate in a few days. It’s odd. I’m excited to go, but it just feels weird that I wont be walking through the halls again, running around to hand in papers, studying for finals, worrying I’ll pass a math class, being in class with people I can actually talk to and joke with…I’ll miss that- being apart of things. It’s going to be weird being home. I think I’ll miss it.
Hopefully job searching and part time work will keep me busy. My sister already established a curfew on “her” apartment. That makes me laugh a little. Yeah, “her” apartment. Right. Once you pay rent you can call it that, but for now the house edition (originally meant for my grandmother and an aid, by the way) is the house edition in which you happen to reside. I’m never in there longer then to check my email anyway, so for her to establish a curfew is another way to make me feel like a 9 year old girl. What a surprise, because it’s too much to ask to be treated like an adult or an equal, I’m only graduating with a Bachelors degree in a few days. I need to get a job to keep my sanity.

I don’t have any friends in the immediate area, my boyfriend will be up at school, so my weekends will be LOTS of fun. I’m a homebody anyway. I’m not big on staying out till 1am. Sleeping in isn’t a happy option for me, at least not at school. After midnight I’m just so ready to be home.

I don’t know….. I’m mixed. I’m ready to be done, but unsure of the future. I find it utterly unfathomable that anyone is willing to hire me because they like my writing. Sometimes all I want to do is write, but sometimes I feel so un-passioned and lethargic. And who’d want to hire someone who doesn’t want to write every second of the day? I really want to have a career at a magazine and share my experiences, ideas and whatever else I can with people. But it’s going to take awhile. For now I’d be thrilled to be an assistant somewhere. Yes, of course I’ll run eight blocks and get coffee at the other Starbucks because the one downstairs has weird lighting. Of course! Anything to get your foot in the door, right?

Anything……My senior thesis turned out very well, but I didn’t exactly follow what the Dean wanted from it….if by “didn’t exactly” you mean “absolutely didn’t take a bit of her direction and did what I planned to anyway.” In my defense, she wanted me to do a promo on how wonderful the Learning Strategies Center is, and, well, that’s not where the paper was going, and to go that way would make the paper loose flow and sound choppy. She isn’t the one grading me, it’s my paper and my experiences, so who is she to tell me how to write my paper?

I'm lethargic today. I had my last Ethics class and it was sad. My last class at this school. I'm slightly sentimental. All I have is a finance final and I'm done. Which I should go study for before I get too tired.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I must hold on before I, too, go totally mad

It's Wednesday! Today is going to be EXTRA fun! I had a Restaurant Ops final today, have a Spanish final as well, and guess what we're doing in Leadership today!? Three glorious hours of “Leadership is...” brought to you by every student in our class. Followed by said Spanish final and three hours of Finance. I was thinking about my day, Leadership in particular and this quote came to mind from Shrek 2 “I must hold on before I, too, go totally mad.” Ha. So fitting. I can't begin to describe how many days went in such a way that I felt like I was going to go “totally mad.”


I feel sarcastic today. I think I'm going to loose it today. I'm right on that edge of normalcy and “If you don't leave me alone I'll beat you with a stalk of celery!” Three hours of the equivalent to half of a half assed attempt and I'll be wanting to beat people with cabbages.


But this is my last crazy day. I think that'll keep me from assaulting people with fibrous produce.


I still need to pack and pack stuff up. I'm going home Thursday to go to the city on Saturday to see A Chorus Line with my mother and sister. I've been so busy with finals I haven't had a chance to pack up things. I really didn't think I'd be so busy! I'm so glad my two finals due next week were done last week.


I think I'm ready to go home. I'm going to miss school, but I think it's time to go home. Let's see if I'm still saying that in a month.


Guess it's time to read Finance. Then off to another maddening day.