Skip to main content

thursday thoughts - playing catch-up with my life

i can't believe that it's already Valentine's Day. where has the time gone?

i mentioned last year that the boy and i don't celebrate Valentine's Day. we don't feel the need to shower each other with gifts (or, as the tv advertisments would like the American public to believe, that he should shower me with diamonds). and frankly, i'd totally kick his ass if he bought me anything lavish today. i'm glad we're not that kind of couple and that neither of us are high maintenance.

but that doesn't mean that we don't appreciate it if we happen to get each other something On This Day. one year, he bought me a peace lily; and i still have it, dragged it with me from Maryland. which reminds me that it needs repotting.

i had good intentions last night. i made the barefoot contessa's outrageous brownies to bring to work today. the changes i make to her recipe: i use pecans instead of walnuts, and i substitute milk chocolate chips for the semi-sweet to be melted in the batter (and keeping the semi-sweet to be mixed in later). i made these at the same time as i was roasting a chicken. i haven't seen the boy much lately, as his work hours have been nutty, and i wanted to make sure he was eating healthily, so i roasted a chicken for us to pick at over the next few days. my dinner last night was a sandwich made from a hunk of store-bought baguette sliced in half and topped with still warm roasted chicken. no mayo or other condiment; it didn't need it as the chicken juices were running all over the bread anyway. a very satisfying dinner. i ate this while watching Le Divorce, which always makes me long for France.

funny that on the eve of Valentine's Day i was watching a movie whose central plotline revolves around a pending divorce. but i totally dig this movie.

i also caught up on some much needed phone conversations with my sister-in-law; and after i hung up the phone i realized i had no energy left at all. i wanted to cut the brownies and box them up, and i started to do that, but lost total interest in it. i think with all this hard work and longer hours i've been putting in lately at New Big Corporate that i'm just beat these days. i can barely keep my eyes open past 7:30 pm. how lame is that? so i wrapped some tin foil around the brownies and told the boy to bring them into his work today. and now after reading Dorie Greenspan's lovely post, i'm kicking myself for not cutting the brownies up into different shapes. i've got all kinds of cookie cutters. my vivid imagination was not working last night.

speaking of New Big Corporate, boy have things changed around here in the past two weeks. i've got a new boss; they brought in the Big Guns after our little "mishap" a couple of weeks ago, and lemme tell you right now what a difference it makes to work for someone i totally respect. i love my new boss. i think he's fantastic, even though he is demanding of me. it's worth it because (i can't believe i'm about to write this) i'm starting to like my job and the people i work with. you know you must like your job when you willingly come in at 6:30 am one day and don't leave until late in the afternoon and you don't mind that you skipped lunch.

last week i was watching the F word on BBC America, and Chef Ramsay was trying to teach some british chick how to cook. apparently, this british woman had absolutely no success with cooking; one of the few times she had cooked, she ended up sending one of her friends to the hospital after feeding her undercooked chicken. so here is Ramsay with this woman standing in her wonderful kitchen, in front of this brand spankin' new looking fantastic multi-burner stove that i would kill for. it made me think about how many people i know who have all the best and most expensive equipment in their kitchen, yet can't boil an egg (and most times, don't even want to). an old family acquaintance (who, incidentally, was married on Valentine's Day - the same friend i successfully deterred my mom from visiting on Christmas this past year) has the most fantastic kitchen ever. Sub Zero fridge and a Viking mutli-burner stove top and all kinds of stuff i'd give my eyeteeth for. when my mom (who is in the middle of remodeling her kitchen - or at least thinking about it) asked said friend why she chose that particular refrigerator over the others, really trying to get her expert opinion as to its merits, the friend shrugged her shoulders and said, "It keeps food cold, i guess". it's people like this who make me roll my eyes. but then, i shouldn't really complain, because it's people like that who keep restaurants full and my boy employed.

i won't see the boy until tomorrow night, and i've made us reservations at Taurus. normally we prefer to go someplace closer to home in case we decide to imbibe a bit, but we haven't been to Taurus together in a long while (i went once for lunch when i still worked at Old Big Corporate, as it was just down the street; and another time for Girls Night Out when we were all behaving like degenerate debutates let loose without chaperones for the night). i do like Taurus, and the view is pretty nice. it also doesn't hurt that it's right above the Viking store, which is a place the boy and i love with all of our hearts.

i hope you all have a good day, and hope that you don't get sucked into the Hallmarky-ness of it all and just appreciate each other for who you are.

Comments

ntsc said…
The number of friends we have with expensive designer kitchens who cant cook is incredible.

My kitchen table, island, is home built and cost me under $300. Of course it is 4x9, regular counter height and has a 6 square foot granite insert (that was a present). The rest of the top is unfinished thick oak.
Ann said…
Happy Valentine's Day!

I am happy to say that I cook some great food in a crappy apartment kitchen with a crappier oven (I've learned to judge temperature by sticking my hand inside and counting off the seconds until I have to pull it back out). Of course I'd love a dream kitchen, but man, it's so not necessary!
french tart said…
i'm the same way. we had an electric range in our old house, and as much as i hated using the electric eyes, the oven was fantastic. our oven in this current house is gas. i love the stovetop, but the gas oven is so unpredictable. besides, it's kind of crummy. which reminds me that i need to clean it with that spray overnight.

we're very slowly making our kitchen to how our "ideal" is - we have a fancy fridge. but the other things will have to wait. i'd kill for a convection oven, or a gas top with electric oven combo. our kitchen island was a kit i bought online and had to assemble myself, and i think it looks great. i wish we had nicer countertops and a fancier faucet, but oh well!
Ashley said…
I so love reading your blog!

Glad also to hear that things better at BC.

Lastly, I've been to Taurus too and felt too old and under dressed. Dinner was great, service was good and we'd do it again.
french tart said…
ashley, too bad you're not a girl (or token gay boy), or we'd take you along for Girls Night Out! we carry on something awful. but then again, you used to sit across from patty and i, so you can only imagine how GNO is.

we havent had a GNO in a while, but it always ended up at Swingin' Richards. i'm positive you've no interest in that kind of thing ;)
Ashley said…
Wow... You, like some of my other lady friends, scare the crap out of me sometimes... :-)

Popular posts from this blog

potato, potah-to.

During my first few months living here, I played with a computer program to learn Vietnamese.  Unfortunately I didn’t learn much (I have serious trouble remembering vocabulary words, something that never happened to me before while learning another language).  But I couldn’t figure out why nobody understood a word I was saying.  It wasn’t until a Saigonese friend told me she didn’t like to visit Hue or Hoi An because she could not understand the locals before I realized that, like everywhere else in the world, Vietnam has different accents.  Complete ignorance and stupidity on my part.  After all, there are distinct accents in the US, and even amongst the Southern states there are subtle differences if you pay attention. When I lived in Savannah, Georgia in the late 1990s I noticed how the local drawl was vastly different than the Mississippi accent that my great aunts Ima Lee and Lula Mae had.   I’m not making this up; my Dad’s side of the family are as Southern as Southern can get.…

Drynuary.

So I participated in Whole30.

And I’m not going to bore you with the details of what I ate every single day, which is why I didn’t post about it throughout the month.  At the end of December when I mentioned to a few people that I was going to do this cleanse, most of the responses were incredulous. “But why? Why deprive yourself?”, was the main feedback I got. Let me tell you why.

December, and let’s be frank, November, were full of holiday spirit, in all definitions of the word. My boss hosted various lunch and dinner parties, and I spent a lot of my free time imbibing and eating pretty much everything in sight. Hey, it’s Christmas, that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?  In the beginning of December, I noticed a few days of indigestion, but firmly pushed it out of my mind as I didn’t have time to think about it. I kept cooking, and that included a lot of baked things, chocolate, crazy Australian desserts I’d never heard of before (something called a White Christmas which is basi…

walking.

It’s raining in Saigon. Again. We’re supposed to be out of the rainy season, but I don’t mind it. December seems to be a few degrees cooler than the other months, and the rain brings the temperature down a bit more.

Tonight, while walking back from dinner through the streets of Đa Kao, it was pleasant enough for me to wear a sweater (not a heavy one, but at least something long sleeved), and the rain misted down gently as I circumnavigated some of the near-empty side streets and hẻms on my way home. In high school, one of my great friends was a kid named Andrew who lived with his mom on Quai de Bourbon on the Ile Saint Louis, in two rooms with uneven flooring, high ceilings and hand-painted support beams.  The stone stairs on the way up to the apartment were polished to a shine and worn down by the thousands of feet that scampered up and down them over the centuries. I never met Andrew’s mom; she seemed to be away on business trips a lot, so a few of us would gather at his place in th…