Tag Archives: Cooking

Rent Paychecks & Food Orphans

8 Jul

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Am watching this show that makes me want to cook all the time…an artform I am rubbish at, but like to pretend I can do anyway.

… My amended versions of fake recipes are entirely based on what seems like a good idea at the time, spun on its ear, with the hodge-podge of nonsensical foods and condiments I have to work with directly in my cupboard and fridge. This is because it was rent paycheck week, so I am poor again, but just as determined to invent something of culinary awesomeness with nothing at all but what I’ll refer to as the leftover Food Orphans in my kitchen.

… There is no lettuce, but I have zucchini and cucumbers. Lots of beans and rice…but no bread. Eggs without milk. Hot sauce in three varieties…and chicken broth…spaghetti with no sauce, and one can of albacore tuna.

… Every condiment in tiny takeout packet form, and every salad dressing…but no butter or sugar. I have a $12 Moroccan spice and a $3 Italien seasoning mix, but also a tiny packet of zillion-dollar-an-ounce Saffron, as well as a box of cornflakes, a thing of Shake-n-Bake, and cupcake decorations without ingredients to mix and make the cupcakes.

I dunno how half these things got in my house. Mostly, other people have bought them and left them, over time. Because everyone cooks there…not because the kitchen is posh and high-functioning…it is a galley with zero steel surfaces and a human dishwasher (me)…but mostly because I will ply free booze to anyone who will cook for me…so I can grate and cut things and pretend I know what I’m doing when I don’t.

Because I love food.

… And I love the process of making it.

… And so, when I go through friend-cooking-withdrawal… I click a food show on Netflix, get a burr up my ass, and go pretend I know how to go it alone with inventiveness.

I WILL FIND ART ANY WAY I CAN, AND PRACTICE IT, TO MY HEART’S DELIGHT… SO JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT!

(The struggle is real.)

(… And not just for my palate.)

Next: Am starting to get frustrated with the ever evolving world of job hunting. You want this one who never calls, constant calls from all the ones you don’t want…the best jobs are too far away, the close ones are shitty, requiring your every night and weekend probable take-over. It has become a vicious cycle of the phone ringing and binging all day long, but always ending with anticlimactic fizzle.

My phone is quickly becoming sexually frustrated as hell, as I re-sweep the same damn ads over and over and over again, and Insurance companies haunt me like a mouth-breather on a crowded bus.

… Also, every accounting department known to man.

Trust me. You don’t want me in Finance. Or to sell things to people. You want to bury me in the back office where I can chew massive amounts of paperwork while speaking to no one…for hours and hours.

… Maybe I’ll start looking into the mortuary arts. It’s people-related, but only barely. It’s quiet, low stress, and there are no constant calls bitching about returns and repairs.

(No, but seriously. I should consider this.)

Meanwhile, why isn’t it 4:30 yet?

… Mrs. Johnson has arrived and gives zero fucks about the remainder of the work day. She just wants her forced 15k walk out of the damn way and a Pamprin cocktail with a whiskey chaser. And then: some pajama friend hang time.

… Which she’s damn-well gonna get. (I’ll have you know.)

The end.

~D

The Elephant

3 Jul

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It’s the thing that everyone pretends not to see:

The elephant, in the room.

…The giant neon sign with a number counting down, regarding people you love, and how many days until they leave you.

When you know it is coming, all you want is to ignore the fucking sign.  But you almost never can.  And when people are so constantly reminding you of it, with voiced affections, and party-throwing, and the turning in of keys, selling of cars, liquidating of assets, it is even more present.

…Suddenly, it becomes like trying to ignore an entire herd of elephants.

…I’m pretty sure that’s where The Fella is living right now.  He’s taking it like a champ, but he is an affectionate human who has had a giant impact on a lot of other humans, and that gets messy when people say, “goodbye.”

Lucky for me, I am more than secure enough in my relationship with him and The BFF to know that “goodbye” will never be in our shared vocabulary.  Neither one of us will ever really manage to shake off the other two.  The bond is too indelible. 

…But even if all the hundreds of other silk web strings linking him to every relationship he’s built here over the years, stretch to New Orleans and back again, those relationships will never quite be the same again.  And he likes change roughly about the same amount that I do…which is not at all…so, “life” is about to get a whole lot “woa” for him.

He’s totally “good” for it, but that doesn’t mean he wants to focus on that fucking elephant any more than anyone else does.

…Which I can totally understand.

…But on the same hand: it is rather nice to see a turn out of people, friends you haven’t seen in ages, coming from all over the surrounding cities, counties, years and seasons…some even dropping in from Mars, to wish a person, all the best in the world.

…And to see the happiness of The BFF, at last getting to claim her Fella, for new ‘ventures and life explorations.

The elephant sucks.  But it comes with good memories.  Including the ones we build through this weekend…before two people get on a plane, to start a new life together.

…Which, when they are The BFF and her Fella, is a pretty rad thing.

And now: post-baseball game at the stadium, we’ve split for the night, to rejoin tomorrow in cookings and fireworkings and general family joyness.  Another day to add to the mental scrapbook of the us’s, and all the goodest of good things.

~D

Of Yum

1 Jun

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Friend over making amazing eats.

He has a degree in it. 

This always blows my mind. 

That people can “degree” in something so delicious.

Infused shallot butters, and brown-sugar ribs, pepper-bacon and cheddar cheese topped baked potatoes, and this amazing wonderment which turns out to be brown sugar in sour cream with strawberries and honey crisp apples.

…Yes, we will be eating around midnight.

…But we are midnight people. 

Plus I hiked around a lot today.

…And this is a very special occasion, called: “Someone wants to come over and cook delicious things in my kitchen and leave awesome left-overs for free.”

I try my best to always be accommodating on such occasions.

I’m “giving” that way.

~D

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Hungry

29 Apr

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Am eating classic BFF Fajitas…a major staple of our bestest kind of days…where we’d run to the market for fresh veg, a bottle of cheap red wine, and come home, setting on Swing or Samba or somethin’ equally sassy, and drink and cook until the light left the sky and we were well buzzed and comfy.

…I miss those days all the time.  But it’s even worse on “Big Days.” 

Yesterday was the first Birthday since I’ve known her that she wasn’t here to resume her place of festivity-planner.  Foods from here to kingdom come, delights in outtings, special specifically NOT “cheap red wine”…the works.

…That girl does it up!

But dammit if she didn’t manage a co-feat-wonder with The Fella, being all the way on the totally wrong-opposite coast of America at the time, or not.

This was my BD gift of wonder, delivered with epic joy and hugs by The Fella, and slobbered over by me after he had left:

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…”So, what’s the big deal?” you might shrug to yourself, if you’re new to the blog, and it’s earlier epic drunken posts of foodage joy…in days when The BFF lived just there: at the end of the street, and would ramble over many times per week for our cooking sessions, punctuated with theatre debates and history talks and men worries and all the things that BFF’s always fill the space of time with.

Each food and drink and goodie, represents a very specific memory…a grin…and by the end of her little note tucked in the back, a mess of tears.

* A tiny watermelon. (In memory of the Gray Goose spiked one, that sat in my fridge all prepped for our naughty-secret of a picnic lunch, while we three watched Shakespeare in the Park, one summer.)

* Peppers & zuchinnis (Our oft-repeated BFF Fajita days, spread out over the entire coffee table, piled high with zillions of add-on sides n’ fixins.)

* An articoke. (The epic 100th BD of Julia Child, when we decided totally on a whim to tackle a full-course spread straight from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” while drunkenly blogging our exploits.)

* Garlic. (A BFF staple in every. single. dish. Probl’y even the dessert ones. “Stink and think of me,” the note said…)

* Cabbage. (My refrigerator staple, for Polish kielbasa and potato stew — where both foods of “our people” gather in happy harmony, like we do.

* Spinach. (The major base for every epic salad we ever invented.)

* Dubliner Cheese. (Only the best sharpness of delish, also nodding to her time in ye old Irish Capital, together with Medium Tillamook, to be included somehow in some way, in nearly every meal we ever made.)

* A bottle of red. (Pin-up style, WWII ex-airfield-grown, an obvious toss up to our forever scout of delightful new reds, My obsession with WWII, and The Fella’s delight of period warcraft…bringing us all together in one bottle of joy.)

* Gourmet chocolate-covered cherries. (As with all the fresh veg, reminders of endless trips to Tacoma Boys, and their expensive little treats sections, upon occasion, finally splurged on with combining of fundages ‘tween we two.)

* A duel mix-tape CD. (Our greatest hits, our sing-alongs, our late-night cooking sambas…songs that each — like the foods in the basket — represent something you can’t always put in words…though the lyrics certainly help.)

…The last: a package that guided me with giggles and weepies all the way to my final “Anne Frank” show, and back home again.

Good thoughts.

Good memories.

…Proving that you don’t need to be “present” to be present on a day, in a thought, to make a moment special.

The BFF is just that good.

🙂

…Off to go and tackle the dishes now.

KP was always my job…along with the sous chef-prepping.

Dear The BFF,

I don’t cook the big stuff, good as you do. But I’ll try my best! And think of you with every chop, and fry, and bake, and swig, and garlic-stink.

I promise!

Love you lots and lots,

The (now) Double-Three

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~D

…And In Sweden, They Do It With Fire On Their Head!

17 Dec

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St. Lucia.

…An Italian Saint with about 1100 notations of conception and trials of faith, but I can’t for the life of me figure out which is the right one, or why a bunch of Nordic peoples, chose her, specifically, to celebrate.  Her day falls within the Yule, however, so its very possibly a turn of convenience, and great excuse for a party. And since she’s attributed for feeding the hungry…a feast is held, simultaneously.

…Being roughly a quarter Swedish, I always knew “about” the shindig, but had never taken actual part in it, until Marty showed up in all her blond-haired, blue-eyed, candle-burning, best.

She was always St. Lucia, while growing up, ceding the crown now to her carbon-copy niece. 

…And the honor of BEING St. Lucia comes with the ability to make special spiced and raisin-dimpled Lucia buns, and coffee, at the crack of dawn for the Mom and Pop of the house, bringing it to them, while wearing a white dress with red ribbon belt, and sporting a crown of melting candles in a wreath on your head.

…And sometimes this whole deal is repeated again later, when all the older relations come over for the feast…

…So you have to be careful not to set fire to yourself, not just once per year, but multiple times.  Apparently, it’s the elder’s jobs to sob over you, while watching you wander around singing songs at them, bending over with a tray of goods to offer, while praying to all that is holy that the hot wax dripping and drying on your hair, won’t actually ignite.

…It almost never does (just for the record.)  But I’m still not totally clear on the kind of percentage that “almost never” constitutes.

What I do know is that a LOT of food is involved…and a LOT of that food is made up of meat, spices, potatoes, creams, breads and butter. So I mean, it was immediately obvious to me, that this was going to be an awesome thing.

…Then too, there is the liquor.

…Liquor that took us three stores to find and collect. Because this magical mix called Glogg, the St. Lucia drink of choice, is made from not just one, not just two, but THREE kinds of alcohol, simmered in a pan with a bunch of spices, raisins, and almonds thrown it…then lit on fire with the help of Aquavit, and finally sieved and drunk.

…Which is a magical experience that can seriously fuck you up by evening’s end…especially if you “Skol” a shot of Aquavit with every new party arrival before hand…which was apparently Marty’s Pop’s job, every St. Lucia Day.

Being “traditionalist” is every sense of the word, we felt obliged to take up that banner, and roll with it as well.

Family peoples came.

We “Skol’d” ’em.

They “Skol’d” us.

…We watched (and helped as needed) whilst Marty, flushed a deep red, resided over Johnson’s potatoes and lace cookies and Lucia bread and spritzes and Swedish Meatballs…and then everyone ate, and drank, and laughed for like the next forever-hours, until it was time for Marty to go home.

Our guts, rumbled from so muchness in foods and drinks, that we switched then to waters…and the party distilled even further, leaving Ma n’ Me n’ Uncle Big Guy, swappin’ stories and poking our bellys to help in the digestion.

…This was all (btw) after a five-hour emo rehearsal, directly following an until four in the morning party-fest sleep-over, which directly followed an almost three-hour screening of the Hobbit with some very excited individuals, which directly followed a full work week.

…Which is why I spent all yesterday having an affair with a long-running TV series, while wearing my pajamas.

I ain’t no fool.

~D

BFF Chefing & More

21 Nov

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The BFF is home from L.A. for a short week’s holiday with the us’s, who have missed her so.

…After a two hour journey that turned into six somehow, because apparently Virgin Airlines likes to relocate people by way of camel.

Due to overt, gross amounts of sexing tween her and The Fella, I was not allowed to see her upon arrival.  But today, I get to give her a monster hug…live, IN PERSON…and do that talking seventy miles a minute thing…even though we basically kept one another updated on everything already anyway.  Cuz it’s what girls do.  Even dude-ones.

…Anyway…the office is closing at one, (on command of Boss), and directly after, I will be swooping down upon her, at last! Together we will sweep our favorite shops for the best cooking goods and alcohol, and bring it all back to my house for our second favorite activity: togetherness cooking.  (Followed directly by our FIRST favorite activity: eating.)

Blending of the family, as is the case with EVERY Holiday, will bring Marty motoring up (thankfully, to provide another eating mouth and save us from our gluttonous selves)…and then, a meet with the next show’s Director, to drunkely talk character n’ script stuffs before our first read on Sunday.

…Cuz, yep, it’s team Marty and Roz, in this next one. 

Our fourth show together (third in a row), and the FIRST time we will actually get to work with one another for more than one line, on stage.

And I am so incredibly grateful to be intrusting all this personal history shit, with an already-sister, whom I would trust to Thelma-and-Louise lengths, on any journey that life would ever see fit to throw at us. 

You n’ Me, kid.  Let’s jump in that Cadillac and never look back.

…But before we peal out, stirring up all that dust with our tires…we DO have two weeks remaining on “Twelfth Night,” and its family…to continue to play and grow with.  We have time to enjoy the here-and-now with these people…and much as we are both eager beavers at digging in and getting right to work…we have earned this moment of happy play time with our current cast.

It’s been a good season of theatre this year.

…Have worked with four companies, met gallons of new friends, spent quality time with old ones, and have learned a lot. 

“Children’s Hour” will be the first of the new Season, opening in January…a kick-start to (one hopes) a helluva 2013. 

…I wish for a comedy as it’s predecessor. 

…I wish to keep branching out in new directions with new companies.

…And I wish to look back at its season’s end with at least as much fondness as I do this one.

Am thankful for a lot, today. And now, I’m gonna go home and enjoy it!

~D

From Our Foreign Correspondent: The BFF

19 Oct

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And now, a word from our Foreign Correspondent.

…She is back folks!

And, in more thinky terms of life changing philosophy, is here to share with you, (via our satellite offices) what it’s like to cry into your baking in abandoned woe, and roast a chicken in 90 degree heat (because goddamn it, it’s OCTOBER!)…what it’s like to haunt Kraft Service tables as an Extra on sets all day, and her burgeoning possible 8th career into Circus Performance Art, et al. Hold onto your hats, a lot of fun is coming at yuh! But first: we must begin at the beginning…and not give everything away right off the bat.

I give you: The BFF.

***

I am writing this from somewhere inside Elysian Park.

My lack of knowledge about my current whereabouts and my decision not to worry about being eaten by some large bush-dwelling park creature reflects the uncanny sense of calm I now feel in the face of the big, scary, directionless life change I made three weeks ago.

I am calm now. Make no mistake, I was not calm nine days ago.

WHO AM I

WHAT AM I DOING

WHERE AM I

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?

These questions and more had a good week-long free-for-all over my entire conscious being, often paralyzing me creatively and socially, negating the very reason I ventured south in the first place: meet people, do things, make art.

You make some chocolate mousse at 11:30 in an empty apartment on a Saturday night, you cry, you read about the execution of Socrates, and then you realize, suddenly and violently, that every terrifying thought stopping you up to this point, exists solely

INSIDE YOUR HEAD.

A breath, a cough, you put away the mousse, you pry your self out of the pillow fort, and you begin, once again, to live life.

In almost 3 weeks of living in Los Angeles, I have:

Been an extra on 2 television shows (it’s really much much easier than it sounds)

Met and learned from many fellow artists.

Danced the night away.

Followed leads (some fruitful, others not.)

Conversed with many strangers.

Propositioned some clowns.

Sharpened the vision of my future theatre company.

And as of this afternoon, I may very well have landed myself both a job and some serious training at LA’s premier circus school.

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD: LISTEN.

All you have to do is something, it’s very easy although we most often make it very hard.

Sometimes, things will be shit. But everything changes, always, so dwelling is utterly futile.

Move, with life, and you will be fine.

Inspiration, though keen to strike us over the head when we least expect it, most often will only come out and play after much coaxing and many compromises. As an artist, you must place yourself in an environment where inspiration is apt to dwell, even if it does not instantly adjust, even if it requires hours of sweet-talk and ass-kissing, there are places where inspiration is more easily found than others.

We must find it, and we must know that just because we have found it, does not mean we will automatically be inspired.

This is my challenge, alone, in the belly of the beast, consistently adjusting the lighting, fluffing the pillows, and playing some Marvin Gaye in the recesses of my mind on the off chance that inspiration happens to drop by.

I left [home] because it was no longer a place that invited my inspiration. Los Angeles is terrifying and large and harsh, but for me, a jungle is always better than a desert.

Much love,

The BFF

***

…And equal love,

~D

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