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Musing on Galway

Galway begins

Wondering why I’m listening to Cotton Eyed-joe in a cafe in Galway…it’s a pretty strange experience! I remember dancing to this song when I was young, people being raucous and rowdy and lots of movement all round. Here, there’s none o’ that. Lots of chatter in Irish voices except the one beside me who’s also on his phone, reading news or about his favorite sports teams. This is not a new experience for me. Except that everyone has a different accent to mine. D is never talkative off the clock unless we’re at the bar with other people. And I’m always wishing he were. But it’s ok here, his silent way is helpful for my observing nature.

observing the denizens of this Galway cafe

I see so many people who look just like they could be at home in San Francisco too. But they’re here, at home or visiting, in Galway, Ireland.

There’s a lady with a big, fluffy black coat, beanie and sunglasses across the room from us, sipping her drink, some espresso no doubt; I can’t tell if she’s old or young she’s so covered by her trappings.

There are students on their laptops, studying or playing around. And ladies yapping over their coffees. And I’m just an American in Galway…haven’t seen anything but this cafe and the train station. The few pubs surrounding it are of course, as you’d expect, plentiful. But they serve food, people don’t drink like you’d think here in Ireland. I think it’s only the young people who party much and usually in foreign places like America, when they’re visiting on J1 visas.

We’ve come to see the town and yet we’re sitting in this quaint cafe, listening to the full version of The Prince Of Bell Air

Brand New Apartment, Brand New Life

New Apartment

This is a big step, for me, for him, for us. It’s extremely cliché; I know it. We signed a lease together and I’m going to write this post even though he’ll probably be embarrassed. However, since many of you out there don’t know who HE is, he can relax, knowing that the ones who do know won’t make fun of him for too long.
My man and I lived together for a few months out of necessity and, I’d have to wager, a bit of laziness on his part. Or, maybe it was his sneaky way of a test drive. Whatever it was, living together at my last place of abode led to us signing our first lease together about one month prior to this post.

We’ve been officially moved-in together for about three weeks; I think it’s going well! We even had our first houseguests over, including one of our favorite couples ever over for a hilarious evening of food and wine. I made boeuf bourguignon a la Julia Child (because I can’t resist making a mention of her wonderful legacy) and he made the most wonderful salad. Of course, the walnuts were raw, yet still scrumptious because, as we discovered in media res, our oven wouldn’t heat up…

New Life

In other news, I’ve gotten what one can only call a promotion of sorts. It’s funny how getting a raise and promotion only means new (and more) work. At least that’s what I’ve observed in the movies! Ha! I’ve just gotten my first one of either sort. Although, I’m not sure if I can really say promotion, but my hours of work and play have dramatically changed and, as of this payday, so will the number of dollars in my direct deposit.

Looking Backward, Just for a moment

It’s amazing to think that it was three years ago to the day, I was fired from my first job in the city, for being trained improperly. I still believe there were more motives than that at play, but who cares at this point? The only reason I even know that it happened is that I wrote a draft labeled March 22, 2014: “Being fired and moving on…Yes, I was just fired from my job yesterday.”

I’m not sure I even want to open the draft to read the rest–I can’t believe how different my life is now. I can’t believe that back then I could even begin to fathom that I was happy–I was not nearly as happy as I am now……

Took the time to read that draft and I’m amazed at how positive I was about being fired from a job I loved so much…Of course, that’s how my momma raised me!

Job Update: Culinary Work

Since my last post was a long time ago, I know that there is a lot I have not written about… I have been working at a Michelin-starred restaurant since early January. I am proud of where my journey has taken me in such a short time! I feel I haven’t entirely earned working in a Michelin-starred restaurant by any merit, since I am currently doing a job (for essentially the first time) which I would not ever have expected myself to be doing; I have been a food runner at Aziza! It is a wholly different experience to not be cooking or baking but still working in a restaurant. It has been a relief not to have to worry as much about the plating or getting in trouble for not being an experienced enough cook. All that I have had to do is be nice, eloquent and have the menu and all its ingredients memorized.
The only bad thing about working in a restaurant as a food runner is that I still want to go to culinary school. I am learning a lot about ingredients and sourcing and guest relations, but it is not hands on cooking. However, I still have too much debt even to consider attending culinary school. With some credit card bills from when I was in a transitional period called college, to the student loan I took out for two semesters of graduate school, I am afraid to take on more debt right now to get schooling for a career that just is not very lucrative. Consequently, I simply have to continue working as hard as I can and I am going to continue to work two jobs if that is what it takes. Of course, I do not want to entirely give up working in the back of house anyway. so, even if I’m at One Market Restaurant only a few days a month, continuing with two jobs makes more sense, unless I could work for a restaurant like Lazy Bear where the cooks are the servers.

Trestle Menu
Trestle’s Menu during my visit

Regardless of culinary school pipe dreams, I have been to some lovely restaurants lately, including Spruce, Trestle and Nopa; all three of which I was very impressed with. I think Trestle, being that it is so inexpensive and has just as good food as the other two, and therefore is a great value, takes the proverbial cake. All three were wonderful experiences, however, and entirely different anyway. I don’t have time before work to go into detail about them, but comment below if you’d like to see a follow-up blog about these restaurants.

Vertigo and New Jobs

So it’s been quite a while since my last blog. Haven’t actually written anything except a few recipes and a two-weeks notice. Yep. I have already found another new job, so now instead of working at Seaglass and Inner Fog, I’ll be at Inner Fog and One Market! I’m extremely excited for this new job. I’m going to learn a lot and be back in a fine dining establishment. Although I will definitely miss my Seaglass coworkers, I’m excited for this new step.
I’m still thinking about culinary school though…I think it will always be in my mind. Whenever I’m ready I guess I’ll just go.
Sorry for the shortness of this blurb, but I’m ready to go sleep off the vertigo I’ve been suffering for a week.
I wish you good food and sweet dreams.

Julia, My New Guide

So, I just got one of the best gifts of my life. Nothing extravagant or expensive….Well relatively speaking it’s exorbitant, I usually spend only a few dollars on a book. This one is quite a bit more costly than that. But this book, this book is special. My boyfriend just gave me the two-volume set of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You may be able to imagine my excitement on receiving this gift, or maybe not. But if you have read my blog or know me personally (shout out to mom, haha), you know how excited I am. I’ve often said I wanted to be like Julia, dedicated to the art of cooking. My blog is even named for her most famous ingredient, butter.

But I’ve never allowed anyone to buy this set for me, and I wasn’t ready to purchase it for myself, for many reasons first and foremost, the price tag and my fear. I am terrible at following through on things, just like Julie from Julie and Julia, but I plan on being accountable for reading through the two volumes. I even intend to cook as many recipes as possible for the practice and to feed my boyfriend and roommates.

The big question is… Should I try to make every recipe in one year or less? Would anyone be interested in reading about that kind of travail?

 

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