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Everything posted by FabulousFoodBabe

  1. I'm having some trouble with my ability to post here -- not trying to ignore everyone! It's really booking along here. The workers have put up zippered dust barriers between the rooms being redone, and the rest of the house. All I hear is machinery, hammering, at least three different languages, and some music. I see nothing. When they leave at 5:00, Mr. FB and Jean-Luc and I go in and look at it. The ugly is gone. The dirty remains.
  2. Most of mine will be plain old drawers -- I'm too impatient to do two motions! I've got drawers for just about everything you can imagine, but the big pots will have to be stored in a special cabinet. Ipe (EE-pay) is a Brazilian walnut wood. It's very durable and tough to work with, but lasts forever. We used it to rebuild the back deck and it's gorgeous -- but took a long time to carve around the rock outcroppings. And thanks for the reminder not to spoil them too much. I tend to go overboard, especially in the heat, with the sodas and Gatorade.
  3. It's very exciting, and the construction manager says he'll be out completely by mid-September. Heh. This has been so long in the making that every decision down to the hinges has been confirmed. (The delay was due to cabinet issues: First, with an Italian cabinetmaker, and then with one locally; Maker #3 has been doing a beautiful job.) Cabinets will be bamboo, full overlay doors, and the lower cabinets are all drawers. Countertops on the wet bar, pass and "not really an island" will be fabricated stone (no seams!); in the work area, stainless with two integrated sinks. Floors were going to be Ipe, but that's not practical for the interior, maintenance-wise. We'll do hardwood stained to match the outdoor Ipe; we'll have a nice flow through the house. One supporting wall has to be moved to accomplish what we want -- a tiny, boxed-in kitchen and a nice-sized living room will become a nice-sized kitchen with a wet bar and sitting area. I'm going to try and figure out how to upload the plans, and do that later.
  4. BekkiM! I think we're having matching kitchen renos, time-wise. Mine was to start on 7/9, but I began a new job and begged the contractor for a few extra days. Wanna race? When I redid my kitchen in Atlanta, I "raced" with a friend building a 3br/2ba house in Flagstaff, AZ (she lives in Scottsdale). Our work started the same week. She was done two months before me. BTW, I hear the GE stove is great.
  5. It started on Thursday, officially. What a wild ride this has been! I've started a blog elsewhere, for day to day postings. I don't want to bore my family, associates and friends with discussions of flitch beams and electrical subpanels, but I do want everyone who wants to see it, see it. So far, no nasty surprises under the drywall (we have a flat-roofed contemporary home with lots of cool angles and detailing, and if it's not roofed right -- which it wasn't until we got it -- it can be awful). I expected families of squirrels, or at least water damage to the supporting beams. So far, so good! Because I do tend to go on, I'll answer questions and post the occasional photo. But this forum was so helpful to me, and so much fun to watch others' kitchens rise up, that I wanted to share my thanks and excitement with all of you.
  6. I've thought about this a lot, and applied it to a professional kitchen, and to professional cooks. Competent, professional cooks. For every "typically female" response from a woman, I can think of a few guys who've responded the same. I think viewing food as an art or simply a commodity is not a female or male response. and for every woman I've seen cry when the chef yells at her, another one digs in. And I've seen men cry, too.
  7. I thought it was silly, too, that certain people just couldn't make themselves treat me the same as everyone else. Since in my last few jobs I'm older than everyone else, and in one case the only straight female in the place, the "boinkable" factor wasn't there, and some men (and women) ignored me. My favorite chefs treated me the same as everyone else. As long as you see them as "ladies in the kitchen," you'll have some learning to do. Treat your cooks like your cooks!
  8. Didn't you mean "Radio Edit?" Love it! And I agree, especially with pulling their butts out of the weeds, once your stuff is done.
  9. Sure. But still, when some cook makes jokes about having sex with underaged girls, that's where I draw the line. I'm not one of the boys.
  10. What alchemist said, and this. I was in the industry for years and years before I went to school. Within a week of culinary school, I realized how much I still needed to learn. Going back to school won't make you a cook. It won't hand you the focus, ability to do six things at once in a hot kitchen while being screamed at (often by someone who has no idea what s/he is talking about), and it won't give you the tremendous sense of satisfaction when it all comes together. That is from practice and from what's inside yourself, and there's no better way to find out if you have it, than to do it for a while. But if you want to take it up another level, formal instruction is essential, in my opinion, especially now. I went to the CIA. I could have done without most of the post-Externship teachings. But that first year was phenomenal.
  11. Maybe I'm missing something, but who is paying these attorneys? How can a Pearl Oyster Bar have enough disposable cash to pay for such a suit, and how much could you expect to get if you win against an Ed's?
  12. Heh. I know parents who freak out when their kids decide to pursue oh, say, the ministry instead of the investment banking route. Or who think it's a pall on the family name when they refuse law school to get an M.Ed. and teach inner-city physical ed. (my oldest is heading to college soon and the youngest in a couple of years, so I can be very charmed right now that they want to study marine biology, ocean ecology, and mushrooms. Yes, mushrooms. Ask me in five years how I feel about it!) The attitude a lot of people have is that cooking and food is playtime. Okay, maybe, but everything changes when you do it for money. Everything. And you're going about it right. Remember that your family loves you, but they love other things as well, and they could be concerned about you. Then again, anyone -- family, friend, stranger -- who has their own self-esteem invested in what you are doing, is not going to be happy no matter what. You can quit right now and go into the same field as the "good brother," but it won't be enough. I will say that finding a way to not ask for money from them might help a little bit -- but I also know it's not realistic. Enjoy your time -- no matter how your life turns out, you've got some amazing stuff under your belt.
  13. Whoever said chefs weren't smarty-pantses? (Oh, wait. I did. Once. Heh.) I'm non-traditional in that I'd been working in the industry for years and years, and going to CE classes around the country, before I got the degree. When I did go back, there were lots and lots of students who were taking their severance pay from IT-type jobs, and using it for tuition. All of them were going to open their own places after graduation. Failing that, they were going to be sommeliers. Dissuading someone from doing something they're not really good at or suited for, is a lot different than crushing their hopes and dreams. The similarity is that you can't really crush a dream, and you can't really tell someone who thinks they're the next Daniel Boulud that you worked for Daniel Boulud, Daniel was a friend of yours and you, sir/ma'am, are no Daniel.
  14. I agree with much of what you've said, Porthos. When investigating culinary schools, I heard things like "seven jobs per graduate!" and when asked to be more specific, the school was vague. I was just interested in their take on things; I've figured out that there are probably 1000 jobs for me right now, but not all of them are things I want to do. One school in particular tells even the AOS candidates that they're being trained to be managers, to run the kitchens. The teaching chefs are much more realistic, and then they're perceived as "meanies" for shooting down people's aspirations and dreams. But honestly, tell some of these students that they're not going to be the next big thing before they're thirty? Hah! More students than I care to remember would say, "this is why I'm coming to school here -- because I don't want to be the one cleaning up and doing prep for three hours a day. I am going to run the place!" I don't think it's fraudulent, though. You wouldn't sue a realtor for telling you your house will appreciate X% a year if it doesn't. I just wish more people would think before leaping. If I were an intellectual type,I'd add that Latin phrase for letting the buyer beware.
  15. Cali -- I'm reading. I love your blogs and haven't replied because I'm stressing out on your behalf, because it doesn't seem like you are. Plus, okay, I"m kind of intimidated by you. Today in the Yahoo! feed: "The No Asparagus Left Behind Act and The Story of One Who Was."
  16. Heh. First job, 1974, pizza place. Newbies were in charge of folding and lining pizza boxes for the hearth cooks. As we're getting ready to use a box, we'd hold up the pan liner and say, "hey, you put this in upside down! If T.D. (mean GM) sees this, he'll be pissed! sometimes he does spot checks, and you do NOT want him to catch this!" Poor newbie would spend half the shift pulling out boxes and holding the liner up to the light, and then with great confidence, placing them "right side up" in the box. (We used regular pan liners -- and told the newbies that they didn't come "right side up" in a pack -- that the person putting them in had to check each one. And that the GM could tell on sight.) Okay, we were teenagers, but still.
  17. Me, too. *** Wait time would depend on who's paying, and how much I wanted to see these people.
  18. D'oh! Or should that be, "Derrrrrr ..." You're right. I've been singing it wrong all these years.
  19. What gorgeous kids you have! And, what a beautiful monkfish dish. I hope to see more of them in your blog -- what they eat, and what they do with what they don't eat. (BTW, thank you for being so kind about the distance between Acadia in Maine, and in N.S.! I admit I'm geographically challenged, and not 'cool' enough to lie about it -- so this is an education for me as well.) BTW, Poutine is in the NYT Food Section today...
  20. It was a one-eyed, one-armed flying purple people eater Love Potion #9! this is all I can do without Googling --
  21. Wow! Those are beautiful photos. When I read The Shipping News, that is what I pictured: the terrain, the water and boats, the lighthouse. Just gorgeous. You are fairly close to the north coast of Maine, I'm assuming? My younger son spent a summer there at the Oceanography Institute; we fell in love with the place. It's too late for me to steal your "recessed spice jars" idea for my kitchen, but I'll steal it for another use. Hope to see some more recent photos of Griffin and Iris!
  22. Thank you for the lovely recap! Looking forward to the next therese trip. Your thread title asked the question, and now I wonder if you have the answer: Spring fever, or crazy? I think a little of both.
  23. It's too early for me to think of others, but this one just jumped out. Lyle Lovett, "Church." Second track on Joshua Judges Ruth. Fabby, a LL freak who can still hear Francine belting this out ... ahhhh.
  24. Somewhat guilty. I miss Whole Foods most (since my self-imposed boycott) because their paper bags were great for recycling newspapers and magazines. And since I usually help bag my groceries, I double-bag everything in plastic. I need the extras for walking the doggie. Chefcrash, are we going to see instructions for this on the next installment of Martha Stewart?
  25. I think the whole idea is a little weird, but it was on sale, so I bought it. Not bad, really. Not bad at all -- a richer, fuller flavor than regular Diet Coke. More Cola Taste. I didn't get a deep voice or run faster, jump higher, or become able to see in the dark or squat 150 pounds.
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