A Poem for Mum

I love my mum-

she is the only one

with so much heart,

and so much spunk,

to lift a flat note soul

out of baritone blues

into a sharp chord heart

like a falsetto chime in early spring.

Her energetic eyes

spray ultra-violet light

of compassion that melts

the midnight shadow snow.

Massaman Curry with Chicken and Sweet potatoes

For a giant batch, enough for the household and your mother:

Boiled chicken and stock:

2 organic chickens, cut into 8 piece

2 large onion

3 large carrots

4 stalks of celery

2 stalk lemongrass, smashed and chopped

Bay leaf, salt, pepper

Bring to a simmer, cook 45 min.  Shred chicken

Curry:

Onion and Sweet Potato, small diced

Stir fry with massaman curry paste, granted galangal (or ginger), 1 head garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, cardamom, Chinese 5 spice, turmeric

Degrade with white wine

Add tamarind paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, cashew butter

Coconut milk, more smashed lemon grass, stock from the boiled chicken, salt and pepper

When potatoes are soft, add diced bell pepper and diced tomato

Finish with pulled meat and fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice

butterfingers

You cut yourself short. All the time. Snip snip. Doubtful. So full of everything negative.  Why lady do you give up so easily? Why do you assume that you are wrong, and where do you put all the anger? How do you place passion in space when the method is so unforgiving?   The ideas are like sparks and they come and they go, come and go with me.  I want to remember everything but in turn that makes me forget so much.  If I think too much about the details it makes me mess up and go slower.  But if I just keep dancing I might just keep up.  Giddy up everyone.  Its a fucking rodeo.

the lights are off, but everyone is home

I have been off work for a little over a month now, and I am still waiting to get bored.  I haven’t been doing much, socializing mostly with the family- trying to get as much time as I can with my new niece, getting to know my future sister in law, appeasing mums by having time for her, trying to get time to see my over worked and busy twin brothers.  I have seen a few friends, but I haven’t made too strong of an effort to reach out to acquaintance friends whom could be real friends if I made any sort of effort to hang out.  That is because I am still waiting for boredom, still waiting to get sick of sitting around, sleeping, exploring the internet, and cooking.  Also playing with the cat and keeping the house clean like a 1950’s housewife.  Not only is the house spotless, but I look good while doing my feminine chores.  Not because I am practicing being a perfect wife, its all for me.  I like the house clean, and I like to wear a matching nice pj-type outfit because it feels nice.

I still cannot even think about going to back to the grind, giving up my physical body and all my mental energy on a job where the pay is absolute crap and getting a good position is like getting a bullseye in darts.  I like playing darts, but if even hit the damn board I feel successful.  I have had a couple of offers, but I turned them down without a blink of the eye, before checking my bank account and realizing how much money I am losing on a daily basis by not having a paycheck.  Well its not that much, but that meager paycheck was a lot better than nothing.  But still, there is not enough motivation in this world presently to get me to even think about going back into the kitchen day after bleak day.  There is a job out there now that looks great, and I really should at least apply for it, but simply cannot.  I do not want to go back yet.  I want another month.  At least.  Like so many other people, I have worked and worked for a long time to get where I am today.  Which career wise is absolutely nowhere.  I have one of the worst jobs in America, and I worked very hard to get here.  My tires are stuck in the mud, and no amount of working for free or for the best restaurants, or constantly staging and looking for new opportunities has made one bit of difference. Maybe if the payoffs were better I would feel more equipped to start looking for a new master.

So no, I do not feel bad or lazy or a waste of space by staying home all day, minding my own simple business of keeping myself fed and keeping the house glorious.  Maybe after two months I will forget the hardships associated with my chosen career and be ready to begin afresh.  Maybe I will go into sales and find a whole new set of reasons to hate a job.  I want to love what I do, but its so hard when you don’t get breaks, can’t sit down, can’t use the cellphone to talk to your boyfriend that you never get to see cuz you are working nights and weekends, and get yelled at about how fucking terrible you are at mopping the floor.  I once had so much passion that it was fine to be treated like an immigrant without rights.  That passion has been reduced down so far that yes, I am thinking abut if about going into a sales position.  Fuck that girlish dream to never sell out, to help improve peoples lives in a way that I know how to, to follow my heart.  I have been close to giving up for a year now, and the time might just be ripe.  I don’t want to throw in the towel, but I guess nobody does.  And its not just the money, or lack of dignity that is causing this change, its physical. My body hurts, my back is fucked up, I need to see a doctor on a regular basis just to get healthy again.

I just don’t care.  No fucks given.  I should care about my rapidly diminishing funds, and be more frugal, but I don’t care.  I am doing whatever I want to do.  Nothing reckless like buying new cloths or going to the club, but if I want to stop at the bar for two drinks, or get a damn burrito, then fuck it.  I am not going to waste this precious precious vacation counting pennies.  I am been conservative and way too concerned about every damn dollar for way too long.  Its annoying to care so much.  I have reached the end of trying to be responsible and save and think about retirement or that proverbial rainy day.  The switch has been flipped, and for now, the lights are staying off.

Time to dream

I’ve been sleeping for days.  Basically the whole week.  If there is time to lay lie, time to sleep, spend the morning in bed, tucked in early to read, reclined on the sofa eyeballs deep in a book, wander in dreamland, trying to meet the sandman.  That’s me.  Sleeping beauty.  Snoring silently to the rhythm of dreams, I find adventure in the skies, in the seas, in the whirlwind of fantasy.  My dreaming life has always been vivid, way more exciting then the mere day to day adventures, way more fun, and I am way more in control.  There’s that serenity to all the action and possibility of harm, and sense of unity with all the rapid changes and wild twists the dreamtale takes; underneath the crazy characters, I am the mastermind steering the ship in the right direction.  Usually.  Usually the nighttime adventures are rad, but there are always those strange, weird, almost foreboding dreams that fuck up your whole day, like your shadow is a shade darker.  Its haunting.  But those are a rare bread.  I get so lost in the dream world that I want to neglect the one in which I am actually awake, the one where I can write and don’t forget my phone number, or have inexplicably heavy legs.  I get so caught up in that ultimate fantasy, that not even the promise of breakfast is enough to snap me out of ever changing land into this stable world.  Alas, today I have broken the sleeping spell.  I felt the thin glass of dreary constraint slip off.  It shattered, leaving me free to think and imagine and sense the tactic world once again.  I had to sleep enough to wake up from the constant sleep I was in.  The answer to the sleepy numbness that you get lulled into after the day to day routine is simply more sleep.  Sleep until you dream the prince charming, dream until hopeful.

Alone and hungry

Tonight was inspired by a book that I failed to return to the library ( I guess by now its a permanent item in my collection) called “Alone in the kitchen with an eggplant.” Not that there are any actual eggplants in my kitchen – I do not wish to upset one ‘Katherine the wife.’  However, on a completely separate point, she regularly keeps poison fruit in the house at most times, and even talks on about how delicious apples are and how she couldn’t live without them.  Anyway, the book is about cooking for one person, themselves or yourself, and how people approach this scenario.  It might be a complete breakdown of all adult maturity and one eats uncooked ramen, chucks of cheddar cheese, and potato chips dipped in krab dip, or frozen pizza with a side of blue box mac, or a complete avoidance of the need to refuel and go straight for cereal and yogurt, or those select special few that decide that they deserve a meal more well prepared and personal then that normal reserved for a love ones birthday.  I, of course, belong to this last category of species, and really had to talk myself out of buying diver scallops for dinner.  I just lost my god damn job, and it takes my complete will power to not spend $40 on dinner for one.  Blue box mac is so much cheaper.

So compensation, and compromise, and we arise at a menu that can please both myself and more importantly, my myself again.  I went to the grocery store that has discount vegetables, and that is where this culinary journey begins. The discount rack at Edgewater produce.  The bounty that was discovered there!  I opted with turnips and red bell peppers, then picked up the regularly price beets with stems attached, mushrooms, arugula, parsley, that’s it,  Off to the jewel for ocean perch, that’s it.  Homeward, on the battlefield complied the dinner one for one (items not mentioned above where located in the pantry):  arugula salad with roasted beets, hazelnuts, goat cheese, balsamic; roasted turnip purée with rosemary served with brown butter perch, topped with beet stems and greens, mushrooms and onions.  For dessert, dark chocolate.

Epic fail: no picture

Epic win: everything else.

out of the kitchen, into the daylight

This is a sporadic update about the journey out of the monocratic life of a line cook, and into a career field where the pay in more than minimum, a land where you can sit down while you eat, where do don’t get treated like a child.  Sometimes goals are best left to the basics.

This is a way to explore the many sides of my charming and strange self, to highlight the many sides of cooking and eating, and to chase down that unifying dream of happiness, being content with the constant hunt.