Monday, October 29, 2007

An Herb Walk to Open my Energies

Yesterday I spent a good five hours wandering around my campus with a local herbalist Darren Huckle. He patiently explained to the ten of us that the plants we see around us every day can be used for anything from mcalming down after a test to supporting our immune systems, to opening our energy. A lot of what he said made sense to me (green vegetables = good for me) but a lot of it sounded like the hippy side of Santa Cruz. Oh well, I found a new hiking trail and learned the names of a bunch of plants. I deemed it a successful Sunday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My food wish list

Sometimes, I feel very unprepared to cook on a college student's budget. My mother, bless her, is a baker and sticks to the family recipes. My father, bless him, cooks abundantly and a ver wide range, but is an engineer and sticks to the recipes in his cook books. That's fine, but I don't have any cook books! I am limited to what I have typed up of my parent's recipes and the unsatisfactory internet recipes. I don't know why the internet recipes that I've found aren't as good as cook books (perhaps because they're free?). In any case, I am developing a wish list for recipes that I hope to fill, or get cook books for my birthday and Christmas (hint hint)

My Recipe Wish List

1) Chinese Chicken salad
2) Fried wontons
3) Orange Chicken
4) Simple Salmon/fish (for a special occasion)
5) Matzo ball soup
6) Enchiladas
7) Noodle salad (the Schneider family version)
8) A good and flavorful quiche
9) General Chinese recipes (I miss home)

So if anyone has a recipe that they love and wants to share it with me, I will love you forever. Now I'm off to make another pasta. I'm getting a little tired of pasta... but it's cheap and easy and I can get all sorts of nutrients all in one tasty meal. I really miss Chinese... almost to the point of ordering take out! Come Thanksgiving things will get better. I hope.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One of those days

I awoke this morning from a nightmare. Someone in my dream was forcing my right hand into a pot of scalding oil. When I woke up I discovered the mother of all bug bites on my hand, and it itched and burned like it had a vendetta against me. I got up and rand my hand under hot water to stop the itching and couldn't fall back asleep (I guess 5 is too late to go back to sleep). That's alright though, because I had a little work to finish. You see in my music class we're copying down music with more important notes drawn larger than less important notes and then some analyzing in the margins. I had copied all the music (it took me almost two hours) and finished the analyzing on a separate paper. This was my plan; I was going to scan this first step into the computer, so when I have to do a second and third draft, I don't have to do the busywork again! Brilliant! Except that I don't have a scanner. It's ok, I can use the university computer labs, but not until they open at nine, which is fine my class isn't until 9:30, and all the work is done sans copying it onto the paper to turn in.
So I finish the analysis on my separate paper, eat some breakfast, enjoy a long morning, and go to stats section at 8. My plan was to finish the quiz fast and be at the lab when it opened, but my TA kept talking and talking about a simple concept, and the stupid girl kept asking dumb questions. On a side note I have nothing against asking questions, I've been there. It's asking a question, when the answer is literally written on the page in front of you that gets me. The textbook was written for a reason, try reading it sometime. Anyhow, the quiz took me a total of 20 seconds to finish and I ran (because now it's 8:55) to the lab. 9:10 my friend helps me scan all of my papers and I email them to myself. 9:25 I begin to simultaneously run to class and copy the analysis onto my paper. I didn't get to the music building till 9:35 at which point I am so frustrated and upset that I am on the verge of tears. Incomplete homework in hand, I rush through the building only to find a note on the door. "Music 100 has been canceled today." I literally sat down and cried, and then laughed, and then called my mother.
After putting all that effort into finishing the homework on time, the least they could have done is let me turn it in! Well, tomorrow is another day. Tuesday in fact, which is definitely my least favorite day. Too much stuff to do, and I doubt my piano will be prepared enough for my teacher. Such is life.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hurray for Dinner Parties!

Last night six of my friends came over to my apartment, sat down at the table, and enjoyed a very thick Italian bean and pasta soup. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I am at the success of my first dinner party. The company was good, the conversation was good, the food was good, even the drinks were excellent (Thanks Kimberly!). I was so happy to sit down and eat a good meal with people that I care about. I think the quote that sums the evening up was when we were passing around the bowls of soup and someone commented "Wow, I feel like I'm eating with family." And that's exactly how I felt. I love to cook, and I love to eat, but more than anything else, I love to feed other people. The only thing I regret about last night is that no one took any pictures. Very unfortunate.
Well, now that I've cleaned all the dishes up and recycled all the bottles (unlike my house mates, I clean up after my parties) it's time to start in on the music theory homework! I don't think I have to tell you that I would rather have another dinner party. Ah well, the homework has to get done sometime.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My apartment smells like beer

I can't imagine why. Sometimes I worry that my house mates can't have fun or relax without a substance. It's their lives and I don't have the right to impose my values on them, and I don't want to be judgmental, but I really think that they could benefit from a little less drugs and alcohol. I'm finding it difficult to reconcile my desire to respect their life choices, and my values. oh well, on a brighter note, my herbs have finally sprouted!Aren't they cute? Soon I will be able to walk out onto my balcony and pick fresh herbs! Hurray! Until then I make do with dried herbs in a jar. Speaking of dried herbs in a jar, check out the pasta Orvieto (Thanks to Nick Stallino for the recipe) that I made last night!

Mmmmmm it was good. I was pretty proud of myself. It was very delicious. Now I'm off to practice scales! hurrah...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mmmmm... food

Now that I'm back in school, in my own apartment, with my own kitchen, food has taken over my life. Eating has to be my favorite thing to do. I absolutely adore being able to putter around in the kitchen for a while and sit down with a delicious meal.
My only problem, is my limited budget. It's not that I can't afford to feed myself, it's just that I don't have enough money to buy things and then let them go bad. So things like fruits and vegetables are turning out to be an issue. I'm eating, but not a balanced diet. I'm sure with more practice budgeting and cooking I'll get the hang of eating healthy.
Last weekend I made a dish called Pasta Matriciana (thanks to Nick Stallino for the recipe out of his marvelous book which I don't know the name of because my father won't part with it. I have to copy out the recipes I want and cook from my chicken scratch notes! harrumph!) which was delicious, even if I didn't use fresh basil (how I miss my garden!). It cost me just under $5 to make (of course I didn't use freshly grated Romano cheese) and fed me for four days. It would have fed me for five or six days, but I shared some with Robert. My second favorite thing to do is feed other people (aka show off my mad cooking skills).
This weekend I'm making buttermilk chicken, which will be a little more expensive, but I need to take a break from the pasta. I'll let you know how it turns out.