Saturday, January 15, 2005

Full-Time Drudge

That's right, boys and girls!

I quit my Dream Job. Which is okay, really, seeing as how it was a dream from about five years ago that had turned into more of a nightmare in the past year-and-a-half to two years.

So now, I'm officially over-educated. My brain is all dressed up with no place to go. My god, I wish I had a picture to post of that....

Do I have something to replace the teaching with? Oh, now come on! That would be too responsible of me, wouldn't it?

Now I'm just waiting for the fall-out. I've already borne the recriminating looks of the Associate Director of Composition (responsible for graduate teaching assignments) and the gentle reproof of well-meaning friends who say "Oh, Sweetie. That's long as you know you won't find fulfillment in X job."

My one shining ray of light, hope, and self-actualization came in the form of a very nice analogy from a friend I don't know as well as I should--a cna: "Who knows better than you, Li', what you're doing and what you want your life to be? For instance, if you and I came upon an accident on the highway and I said to you, 'This guy has a sucking chest wound in his right lung' and you, Li', said 'Put him on his left side' and I did it...who'd be responsible when the guy died?"

The point of the analogy (and my apologies if I've screwed it up and actually saved the hypothetical man with the sucking chest I really haven't watched enough "ER" to know for certain what a sucking chest wound is or how to save anything but Nun's Puffs which have too much butter in them) that no one knows how to live my life so well as I. I'm the expert.

Pretty scary stuff, eh?

More later on my quest to find a series of cooking classes here in Mid-MO. Something other than the Heart-Healthy crap which the local hospitals host.

the Li'...signing off

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Family Tree

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Little Puff Pastry That Couldn't

or, the curious story of Brie en Crout...

Tonight's installment in the continuing saga of Hell's Belle's Kitchen features the following characters...

*****Brie, the star of show; nicely trimmed and round in all the right places
*****Walnut, a better actor when he's toasted; tends to fall to pieces
*****Razz Berryjam, a sweet gal; spreads herself a bit thinly in this role
*****Puff, a crucial character; full of promise, but the performance is ultimately flat and disappointing.

We join them in The Actors Studio after the show:

Brie: I thought Wally and I had good chemistry goin', y'see. I mean, I could tell he was a bit warm under all the pressure, but when he touched me, I could feel myself goin' all melty inside, y'see.


Brie: Whassat, you bit player? I knows you was tryin' to get between us all the time. Slinkin' around, playin' Miss Sweetie. Hunh. I knows you for what you are, Yeah. If Cran hadn't been a bit off that night, you'd never've come near Wally...or his nuts.

Interviewer: So, Miss Brie, you think that the show fell apart because of Miss Berryjam's interference with this...what was it you called it..."chemistry" you had with the male lead?

Brie, Walnut, Razz: What? No! Oh, heavens! Never the case.

Razz: It had to have been a technical malfunction.

Interviewer: What?

Razz: was Puff.

Interviewer: What do you mean? How could the show go down because of...of......because of the CURTAINS?

Wally: Failure to perform. Happens all the time. Ya been around the business as long as I have, you see these doughboys come and go.

Interviewer: And what have you to say to all of this, Puff.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Did you hear the one about the Cook-off Judges...

who ended up in the stew? Well, no. I haven't either. There's a similar story (with added racial and gender issues) in Fannie Bragg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. There, one of the bad guys ends up in the vat of bar-be-que. Mary Stuart Masterson starred in the movie. I think her character was Idgie. enforcement (aka Cook-off Judges). Taste like pork, I hear.

So, I'm batting 0/2 today, which is really more like 1/2, since I really didn't want to hit one of the balls. I didn't win anything for my Kitchen Drudgery, but then again — neither did I wreck the outside of my car trying to avoid MidMo's potholes, nor did I wreck the interior w/ potato soup spillage.

And really, my reward is the transformation from famished to fulfilled on the faces of the starving undergraduates who work the evening shift with me. What more could a kitchen wench desire?

(How about a bloody cash prize, eh?)

the 'Li


Ladies and Gentlemen — Start your crockpots!

In a time longago, I learned from a distinguished professor of English bibliography & research/Moby Dick/folklore that almost anything has the potential to be folklore. He lectured on everything from tattoos (he was very into sailor tats, as a sidebar to his interest in whaling), to the infamous lower-income suburban instances of the Madonna-in-the-bathtub, to various office practices.

Our final included bringing family crockpot recipes.

I bring this up because today my workplace is hosting a Crockpot Cook-off. I slaved over a hot crock last night, concocting Baked Potato Soup:

2 large onions, diced
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 lb bacon, diced
minced garlic (I threw in about 2 Tbsp. in order to get rid of an almost empty jar.)

Fry together until bacon is crispy and vegetables are soft. Drain.

Layer together in a crockpot with 5 lbs. red potatoes, cubed.

Add fresh ground pepper, 2 Tbsp. vegetable bouillion, and 4 cups (or so) water.

(You can also add 1 tsp. of nutmeg at this point. I did. Try it!)

Cook on low 8 hours. Mash up some of the potatoes with a fork, if you'd like.

Stir in the following:

12 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
6 oz. heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup bourbon

Cook on low for another hour, then top with minced chives.

I'll let you know if I win anything. I'll also advise if I end up sloshing lovely cream soup on the charcoal grey floorboards of my new car as I dash to work. Odds are slim for the former, but very, very good for the latter.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Hell's Belle

From the moment I heard of it, I was quite enamored of the premise of Gregory Maguire's book Wicked. I love everything down to its subtitle, The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The book, itself, is a masterpiece, and those who know me know that I don't use that word lightly.

Damn. I can't claim that kind of fame -- but I do often feel like I've been enchanted (or, more accurately, dispossessed or relegated) to Milton's Pandemonium. My subtitle isn't quite as catchy: The prosaic mutterings of Hell's kitchen diva and house wench.

Nice work if you can get it, eh?

So, here it is. My mutterings. Mostly unadulterated.