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Married to My Work

Late at night, when I dare to dream of my fantasy-chef world, Paula Deen is my grandma, Alton Brown is my quirky uncle, and Rachael Ray is just some homely, husky broad who once asked me for cooking advice in the produce section of my local market.

Grandma Paula

Uncle Alton

Rachael who?

In my real life, however, I am a displaced West-Michigander living with my husband in the Detroit suburbs, where he works for the auto industry and I am a wedding consultant for a small bridal boutique.

I went to college for business administration, and after that worked primarily in administrative, accounting and reception jobs.  It was totally mind-numbing, redundant work which, even though it brought in a decent salary, was beginning to suck out my soul, leaving me an empty shell of an administrative professional.

Sirius Black and I should go out and have drinks sometime to commiserate; it was that bad.

I came upon the idea of working in the bridal industry by accident.  I had lost my soul-sucking administrative job a month before my own wedding in what might be the best stroke of bad luck to ever have befallen a person, and while I was enjoying my life as a full-time newlywed, all of the cooking, redecorating, and watching soaps just wasn’t paying the bills.  At the suggestion of a friend, I applied for a job with a large, corporate bridal fashion retailer, and when they offered me the position, I figured “Hey, at least I’m getting out of the house and making a little money, right?”

A little money was exactly right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing something that makes you happy but pays peanuts rather than doing something that makes you miserably rich, but this experience took the cake.  Pun intended.

After eight long months of working myself ragged for part-time pay and being constantly screwed out of commissions, I went out one day and decided to try my luck at a different type of bridal salon.  I walked out of my first prospect with a full-time job five minutes from home, making almost double what my previous employer could offer!  I’ve been happy there, and happy with myself ever since.

I have a new love for the bridal industry, and a new respect for my skills, which, in turn, makes me a better, more successful consultant, and—most importantly—a happier person.

at my wedding, where it all started...

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Spring Fever

I’m not really down with the fungus consumption, but I know plenty of folks who are.  Here in Michigan, late spring is prime time for mushroom hunting.  Although not a fan of eating said fungus, one of my favorite memories of my childhood is that of scouring the forest for the mysterious delicacy known as the morel mushroom with my mom and grandma.

There’s a lot to experience in the woods besides poison ivy… knee-high forests of may apples, the forbidden-to-pick trillium, tiny purple crocuses and violets poking through the carpet of last autumn’s discarded leaves.  You’ll hear the soothing sounds of the cardinals and robins and chickadees, the obnoxious calls of the blue jay, and more than likely, a flock of geese coming home from their winter escape.  If you’re really quiet, you might even get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a mama whitetail and her cute baby Bambi, or a sweet, fuzzy little bunny.

Being a child has its advantages in mushroom hunting… Little ones are closer to the ground, their eyes are better, and even though the young attention span is sometimes lacking, I think there’s a certain focus and patience a child can have when searching for something truly special.

I always outdid my family members in the hunt, but looking back, the baskets of treasure we took home were nothing compared to the memories of those outings that I cherish today.

Grandma Voss’ Sautéed Michigan Morels

2 cups of fresh morels, halved

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 small onion, chopped fine

salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan (or better yet, Grandma’s cast iron skillet); add the garlic and onions.  Cook till the onions are almost transparent.  Add the morels and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.  Season, and serve immediately over steak, pasta, rice, fish or chicken.

Enjoy!

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Nice to Meat You

I’m new to blogging, but I wanted a place to share recipes, stories, articles, and general snark with whomever might find it informative or entertaining.

Basically, I try to live my life by three simple rules:

Be nice.

Make things interesting.

Add bacon whenever possible.

I also have a thing for hot dogs… And when I say “thing”, I actually mean “serious self-control issue”.  I love hot dogs.  I love wieners, frankfurters, foot-longs, and even their Germanic cousins the bratwurst.  They’re pretty much the only reason I ever go to baseball games.  I sometimes make up an excuse to go to The Home Depot, just so I can stop by that little hot dog cart on the way out of the store.  I know they’re not healthy… I know they’re probably not even real meat… but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Hot Dog Girl courtesy of Wendy Ding

So naturally, when I saw a recent commercial advertising KFC’s new coronary-inducing “sandwich”, the Double Down, I couldn’t help but think that the Colonel was ripping off one of my favorite two-meat heart-stoppers, the bacon-wrapped hot dog.

Don’t deny your guilty pleasures, folks.  You know you want one.

…and don’t forget the deep-friend Snickers bar for dessert.

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