Archive for August, 2010

Stay Tuned

I have a lot of things to write about:

  • Starting a side cake business.
  • Starting a new school year.
  • Acadia (I’m blaming that one on Mr. Cookie- he’s the official picture downloader in the household and he still hasn’t!)
  • Theatre exploits.

But, they’re all going to have to wait.  Life is keeping me from blogging.  I swear I’m still alive though.

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ArtEpicure

I’m waiting for Mr. Cookie to return from Memphis tonight on a delayed flight and while I’m sitting here I thought I might as well share with you what I did this evening.

My friend GirlyQ had been suggesting for awhile that we take some cooking classes together, so when Groupons came up for a local cooking school we decided to jump on the opportunity.  We signed up for a chocolate class (tonight) and a chicken class (next month).  I expected to learn a couple new techniques and get a couple recipes but wound up getting so much more.

ArtEpicure is located in the Brickbottom building, which houses the Brickbottom Artist Association.  I was living completely unaware that such a fabulous organization or place existed until just recently.  Artists rent spaces in this building and, as it turns out some also live there.  The chef who owns the cooking school lives there with his wife in a cozy space that includes a kitchen space surrounded by floor to ceiling book shelves, a smaller curtained off studio where his wife makes jewelry, and an upstairs loft area where they sleep.  You are surrounded by the many implements of a seasoned chef along with hand crafted marionette puppets hanging along a window, photographs of far away places covering the fridge, and walls crowded with paintings.  Two cats hold court and watch the proceedings.  As I learned, they do not object to petting and in fact will stretch out and bask in your ministrations but know to keep their distance while the cooking takes place.  It is a homey place because it is a home.  You sit around a huge island where Chef Mark talks to you as you all assist in preparing incredible food.

In addition to taking away recipes for chocolate mousse, chocolate pudding, bourbon truffles, chocolate soup, and flourless chocolate cake, I took away a newfound appreciation for fresh local food and a deep respect for the art of culinary mastery.  Chef Mark really believes in shopping locally and fresh as much as he can and is happy to divulge his favorite markets, farms, and brands for everything.  Huge bars of chocolate were chopped down for each recipe.  Nary a Hershey or Toll House bag was in sight.  Eggs and raw milk that had been procured at a farm in Foxboro were also used, along with organic sugar.  Even though we were not cooking anything but chocolate recipes for this class, he also talked about his own experiences as a chef including practices in buying and cooking meat.  Cans can’t be found in his kitchen (well, except for the coconut milk we used in the soup) but instead you can find one whole wall with ceiling to countertop shelves covered in glass jars of beans, spices, grains, and baking supplies.

There was such an incredible love and respect for food shown in his kitchen that it reminded me how special and lovely food can be when prepared completely by hand.  It has ignited in me a desire to buy less prepared food and take more time making my own.  I want to cut back on the amount of chemicals I’m putting into my body.  I want to eat local foods.  I want to take the time and love to cook wonderful foods that I and my husband can enjoy together.  Surely this desire will make us healthier and bring us closer.  There is something about the ritual of preparing food that nourishes my soul and too often I get caught up in the need to make something quickly that quality and health is sacrificed.

I believe that I may make my own chicken stock next week and freeze it.

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Green Bus

Dear Mr. Cookie,

Two days out and I’m still basking in the glow of our anniversary.  Two years ago, I married the man I’d wanted to for the past… I don’t know?  five years?  I’ve always been the quick one while you have a slow boil.  🙂  But we’re here, we made it.  Two years of marital bliss.  Good things happen for those who wait.

For all the pet peeves and frustrations, I know I’m lucky.  Anyone whose biggest stressors in a relationship are boxers strewn about a newly straightened house and toothpaste plopped on the newly cleaned sink should be counting their blessings.  I know I am.  Stink-Butt (oh  yes I did!), I love you.  I know this next year is probably going to be rough.  There are growing pains to endure and transitions to be made.  Soon, you’ll likely leave a secure, good paying job.  We agree that’s the right decision, for your mental health.  And, because of your excellent financial planning, it is entirely possible, which is great.  Who knows how long it will take to find a new one.  Maybe you’ll be employed again pronto or maybe it will stretch out.  But I know that you will find ways to occupy your time and fill your resume in the mean time.  You’ve always been a man of action, even when you were lost in thought.

It’s late and you’re not here right now and even though I have to be up to swim at 6:30 with GirlyQ, I can’t sleep.  My big spoon is missing.  Away on what may be his last business trip for this job.  In a city packed with memories of a first marathon.  Of blisters the size of… the barbecue platters we couldn’t eat last time.  Of a poster with drippy glitter because a certain wife didn’t make it in time for it to actually dry.  Of elation and Krispy Kreme and foil blankets. How many memories do we share?  I know the good outweigh the bad.

I adore you.  And now I’m going to lock the door because my man-bear isn’t here to wake up and protect me from would be killers/rapists/functional alcoholics/disfunctional alcoholics who wander the streets.  We all know how well I sleep through everything.  You’re the one who wakes up to every slight noise.

Have fun in the TN and hurry home soon, big spoon.  Our house is so empty.

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