Monday, November 1, 2010

When the stars make you drool

I had a surprisingly busy week that has left me kind of dazed and drooly. I quit grad school and took a job in a chocolate factory (I have signed a legal agreement forbidding me from divulging trade secrets or eating chocolate for six months). Then I decided that I had made a big mistake leaving school so abruptly, so I un-quit grad school, told the chocolate factory that I had messed up, apologized, and said that I hoped this awesome opportunity would go to another qualified applicant. As far as I can tell, no hard feelings.

So I quit my job twice this week. I feel like quoting Roxane at the end of Cyrano de Bergerac when she laments, "I have loved but one man and lost him twice". I guess if I were to follow through with this analogy, Roxane would have ended up with Zombie Christian at the end of Act V, but, well, you know what I mean.

Idonno. What can I say? I was frustrated with school after working on my big presentation last week, I applied for a real people job on a whim and I got it for no apparent reason. It was fun, being on my feet all day and watching toffee bubble and affixing labels and playing with an enrobing machine, seeing the purple sunrise over the cranes in West Oakland and biking past AT&T Park on my morning commute... but it wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I have three years of work here in school that I need to finish up a little better before I think about enrobing anything else.

Actually, I just like saying enrobing.

So this would have been a crazy enough week, then I had to add on extra choir rehearsals and unfailingly polite lesbian couchsurfers from Tuscaloosa and dyeing my hair blonde, and then the bookends: an unbelievable meal in San Francisco at Frances two weekends ago and an equally unbelievable, equally in San Francisco Halloween party last weekend (which, of course, required color-coordinated dipping sauces). More on those later.

In the midst of all this I haven't had much time to cook except for a quick pasta fazool last week. Somehow I have arrived at this idea that the only thing you really need to make authentic pasta fazool is a parmesan rind, so anytime I've used up a wedge of parmesan cheese I wrap the rind in some plastic and place it front and center in my fridge to remind myself: PASTA FAZOOL TIME. This pasta fazool time the other ingredients I used were particularly inauthentic--whole wheat orzo instead of tubular pasta, garbanzo beans instead of cannellini because somehow I have managed to hoard six cans of Trader Joe's garbanzo beans in my bean cabinet over the past two years. This after making a new year's resolution never to buy canned beans again (I have been setting my goals pretty low as of late). Anyway, it turned out fine and gave me enough for three lunches--one in grad school last week, one at the chocolate factory later that week, and one in grad school this morning. I have measured out my life in soup spoons.

But other than that I've mostly been eating burritos and regaining my cooking mojo: I made some oven-roasted potatoes and pan-fried brussels sprouts this evening, stuff that I should be able to do in my sleep, and they turned out okay, not perfect, but enough for me to remember how food works. Coming later this week: pomegranate guacamole, beet and avocado salad, and possibly bone marrow. Be excited!

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