For like 4 years now, all I want to have and eat for my birthday is pizza. And three or two days prior to my B-day I will start imagining 3 18” pizzas of my favorite variety. I imagine myself eating those until my gut retaliates on me. My one and only food birthday wish is Pizza and guess what?… MY HUMBLE WISH NEVER COMES TRUE! I either find myself cooking my own birthday buffet or I end up eating a different meal.
I admit, I do have a lot of humble dreams, I am a very practical person, I love left-overs, I always resuscitate dying food ingredients… I make a very simple wish for my birthday, And What?… What?… Why doesn’t it come true?! I am even friends with my Ex-boyfriend formerly known as The Mozzarella Guy, so why is this happening to me?
My birthday is still months from now… So I am now creating a gameplan… I’m thinking I either buy pizzas starting today and put those in the deep-freeze, or I have to find a nice pizza delivery guy (of course,should be single!) beg him to be my boyfriend so that before we hit our 6th months together (will be praying hard and crossing my fingers) , I’ll make him surprise me with boxes after boxes of pizza! Yes, just pizza!… no 68 karat diamond ring from a cracker jack box or a nice dinner date at 7-11… Just Pizza! :)
“I’m a homebody, I’d rather be in the kitchen cooking than hanging out in a bar.
I guess anyone who is very dedicated to their craft or passion or dreams at several or most occasions find themselves in a little kitchen, their bedroom, an attic or a basement immersed on doing the one thing which pumps meaningful and creative blood in their veins.
I am always happy being alone in the kitchen. I enjoy tinkering with kitchen equipments, rummaging through my boxes of baking and cooking tools, mixing my own blends of spices, opening the food closet, browsing on what is available there and coming up with something like a tasty dish. I like the calmness and preciseness of baking because the end product almost always never disappoints. I love cooking using my heart and intuition because both directs my palate into successful dishes. I love cooking in silence because I can reflect and think and hear ME. But I also love cooking with music playing in the background… play something Latin and sexy and my dish turns out spicy with vibrant colors… play something upbeat and jazzy and my dish turns out assertive and bold because of the bright flavors of fresh herbs, the tartness of fruits I always incorporate with smooth, creamy and decadent desserts. I never play sad music or even ballads while in the kitchen…Because I don’t believe anyone can cook with a broken heart (Well, technically we can, but with just pitiful outcome, I believe.) because a sucky feeling does transfer a lot of crap to my food… So in times like this, I never cook… I just eat my way through 2-3 jelly donuts. @@@
The minute I open my eyes, I go out of my room, check the breakfast table’s offering. If I feel hungry that instant then I do eat breakfast and if I don’t I just have a very big mug of coffee.
After I’m finished doing the breakfast thing, I head to the kitchen, do mise en place for 30 minutes, cook for three hours. After I’m done cooking lunch, I slack a couple of hours here online. I answer emails from my favorite people, I do food Q&A for family and friends , I feed myself niblets of snacks every 30 mins. (usually the junky ones) and I watch a full episode of either Nigella Kitchen or Jacques Pepin Youtube video.
I head back to the kitchen around mid-afternoon, do mise en place again and cook my butt until 7pm (but in between the cracks of my daily routine I always do sneak peeks here.)
Nowadays, I find myself having a couple of conversations that started off with something random, like wearing a red lipstick, sentiments on crappy shows on tv, something about awesome music, or sympathizing with a friend. But always I am caught in the end finishing the conversation with a discussion about food. For instance just last night, I posted this stat :
“Nowadays I returned with wearing red lipstick again… I figured there’s nothing wrong for being a bit adventurous on how you present your face… I don’t know about other girlies out there but a red rouge just brightens my mood and makes me feel so vintage. I curl my hair,part it sideways,wear mascara and red lips… How girly can I get?!”
And a guy friend of mine commented: “It’s sexy… I approve” but then our talk suddenly curved around Fairytales, then headed towards a discussion about being a robot and a pickle… And all of a sudden dived to an argument about Phallic symbols and Phallus (Note: I did not started it! LOL). And finally, our talk settled and ended with him saying he likes Pepperoncini and me suggesting he try canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and Habanero Pepper sauce…. closing the stream with an “Okie Dokie!” LOL
But even if my life is kinda two dimensional right now… I am happy. I get to always end my day with food.
Geez, it’s 8:30 in the morning and here I am posting my personals… AND DARN IT IT’S ABOUT FOOD AGAIN!
Every time I watch reality cooking competitions I always always root for the best and most talented woman chef against her male counterparts. I am not a sexist nor a feminist, but I found that women chefs have to work twice harder than the men inside the kitchen.
The culinary world, specially the culinary environment in my country is still dominated by men. I have worked in kitchens where I was the only woman there. And being a “girl” I did endured significant stressful days (issues not even connected with food) and mostly a few dozen early mornings where most of the time I was either made a comic relief or just “the only woman” to hear chauvinist comments, awful after-work offers and once in a while some malicious smirky glances. All that I went through on my first taste of a real professional kitchen. It made me even checked myself for any shortcomings on my part… Was I too friendly? Do I look too feminine? (a ridiculous question to ask myself since when I am in the kitchen I look exactly like one of the men with my hair hidden and wearing the same jacket as everybody else), Did I come across as a push-over? Have I said anything,anything at all to make them think I am dumb or an easy girl? And the answer is, NO I haven’t done any of these nor made myself appear like a tart wearing a toque. Because when I’m in the kitchen I literally move like a man, I beat myself up to be more efficient with my skills and techniques, I bust my butt off hauling heavy crates and food pans or whatever, if I hear one of them talking smack to me, I was also capable of tossing a smack right back at them with me always taking the prize. So I ended up with this conclusion and solid realization. It is because I am a woman, and no matter how big and loose the jacket I wear, I still have breasts and no matter how I identically smell like all those sauteed dishes combined, I still smell better than the guys.
I just made myself a plate of Kung Pao Chicken noodles for lunch. I like spicy food and my spice tolerance is pretty hardcore, like I am notorious for munching slivers of bird’s eye chilies in spicy dishes.
So I made Kung Pao Chicken noodles and decided to turn the spiciness up a notch by adding half a teaspoon of hot Chinese chili paste (eye-tearing hot). The first fork full was really nice and spicy, but then as I chew my second mouthful I realized that I kinda overdid it with the chili paste. And as my mouth burns, my eyes tear up and beads of sweat trickle down my brows, I did what every girl of my character would do… I kept eating it still, wishing that I could finish the plate on record time so that I can slosh the heat away with a very cold glass of sweet tea.
My lips are kinda puffy now from the spice burn…. I guess I’ll be skipping my collagen lip injection for today.
“I have a lot of cooking tools. In fact I have a whole drawer full of knives. Cooking tools, especially cutlery, are my toys.
-Martin Yan”—After acquiring 2 big containers of baking and cooking tools through the years, I did at one point ask myself, “What is wrong with you?… you could have bought a pair of designer shoes with all that money you spent buying all this weird whisks,off-set spatulas,cookie cutters,fondant tools or whatever weird looking tool you can get your hands to?” But I always have a clever answer or even a good rebuttal against my conscience and this is…. Because cooking and baking is part of my DNA, I think about creating food all the time, above all else I am my happiest when I feed people I love and even all kinds of strangers…These baking and cooking junk I’ve hoarded through the years are my VALUABLE POSSESSIONS and I LOVE MY TOOLS SO MUCH THAT I WOULD EVEN LIST THOSE ON MY WILL. ;)
“I ended up turning down a full scholarship of music at the conservatory to pay to go to cooking school.
-Emeril Lagasse”—Oh wow…. seems like James Beard and Emeril Lagasse and I went to do what we are really meant to do…. Fall into cooking after all that love of music and the arts… The heart’s got to do what it wants to do… And what it feels right I guess.
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves. - TOM WOLFE”—And indeed it is the absolute truth…. you give your heart into cooking the most perfect meal…. You get excited looking at his first bite…. You get nervous with what he has to say after the first bite…. and when all is good and well and satisfied, You’re the happiest woman cook in the entire world.
“I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it. - Todd English”—
And it is really like in the playing field… it takes teamwork for your kitchen to win, and so much hard work to be hailed as “MVP”… Your coach is your executive chef who barks at you a lot, keeps pushing you to be the best, and you must absolutely do a field goal by creating the best dish.
Contrary to popular belief, the kitchen is a great place to keep you in the best shape, for you are constantly on the move… mice en place, all that pan tossing, standing for hours and hours until your restaurant closes, really a place that kicks anyone’s butt to extreme exhaustion at the end of the day.
Like sports and with any sports team, a kitchen and its chefs have only one thing in mind at the end of the day…. To be the best among the rest-be the Champion! ;)