Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New FB Profile Picture

Started some new medicine. Cool and all, but one of the (minor??) side effects is...I have been awake since 7am yesterday morning. That's 38 hours. I have been actively Doing Things in those 38 hours, including cleaning my entire kitchen, making a roast, dulce de leche, and a meatloaf, going shopping, chatting with my Mom, doing my hair, watching a movie (trying to convince my brain to sleep), going on a lovely walk with Manperson Gamili, visiting with a long-lost hooligan and her newly created Tiny Human, AND completing a 9-hour load at work in only 7.25 hours. I was tearing it up, and I SHOULD be exhausted.  

And here it is, 9:13pm THE NEXT DAY, and I'm not only still awake, but not particularly tired. I took this medicine more than 27 hours ago, and while the initial Crazy Head Heartpounding Shindig has wound down, I'm still feeling odd about it all.

This must be what those "I put three Five Hour Energy's into a RedBull and then mix it with an espresso shot or two" people feel like. O.O 
needless to say, i decided not to take it again tonight. i dont to be COMPLETELY deranged when this all finally comes to a crash. o.o

Monday, April 29, 2013


I realized that I have four HUGE loaves of sourdough bread at my house that never got delivered to people that wanted some. 

I feel a little like a punk. The bread was delicious, and they wanted some. And it has no preservatives in it--awesome for health, less awesome for forgiveness-to-the-baker-who-forgot-to-let-people-eat-it. 

Lucky for me, I have a dehydrator. And a rather extensive spice cabinet. Chef In My Head decided that I will make croutons and bread crumbs. I've never done either, but I can't imagine it's too difficult. This will be a mini adventure!

I don't eat croutons. 

But I'm sure SOMEBODY will! :-)

PS...I just realized just how many croutons ten pounds of bread will make. So....hit me up if you want some...for summer salads or light soups or whatever. o.o

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Input from the Alter Ego

I laughed WAY too hard at this.  Then I realized--Shopenhauer wrote his Fourfold dissertation at age 25.  TWENTY-FIVE. I'm almost that age!  I felt the sudden scramble to review my life, frantically searching for some sign that I have used my time with purpose, that my life has had value, that I had made a difference somewhere.

Then the tiny voice in my head started laughing at me.  "Well, Self," she said, in a dry tone. "Might we even call this an... "existential crisis"? ba-doum *chhe*.."

Touche', dryly ironic mental alter-ego. Well played.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Eat. Pray. Love. And Whatever. Part One.

This mini-series written in response to several comments I've had over the last little while, from people whom I believed knew me well.  I do not intend to sound, as my brother would say, "chippy." These are meant merely as clarification. And they are kind of long. Best read aloud...or at least imagining that I am reading them aloud to you...or whatever. 
I love you all.  

You've had two days of brief and clear and simple. Today was the first day of a three or four part, very unBCS response to recent events. 

 For whatever record is being kept here, I am a professional foodie. That is my job title:  The Foodie. That's what I do. It's my job--I get paid for it. Happenstancially, it is also my hobby.  I read technique books for fun, and spend "fun" money on things like saffron and artisan honey and 30-year-aged balsamic and rosewater. (And then I decide rosewater is too expensive so I make my own.) 

The thing is, food is so much a part of my day to day life that it is no longer directly associated with eating in my mind.  Food is a challenge, an expression, a profession. It is a way to share my talents with people, to improve the quality of their life by bringing innocent sensual pleasure to their current minute of mortal existence. It's a way to show people that I love them. Food is a language that everyone speaks--whether they want to or not. I am a very results-oriented person, who connects very powerfully physically with the world around me. The culinary universe is a great place for me to develop talents within the scaffolding of that nature. 

I cook for people that I like. I certainly cook for boys that I Like...and just for boys that like food. I love cooking for people!  I love it when people cook for me!!  Many people seem to be intimidated to do so.  They say things like "oh, this enchilada (PS--one of the best I've ever tasted) won't be up to your culinary-student-chef-person standards..."  or "Well, I say that I feel bad that you pay for/cook dinner every week during our class break--but I don't  cook because I feel like my food won't be up to snuff!"  

  ummmmmmmm...yeah, no. Thanks for playing! Whether you are totally aware of it or not, what you are really saying is "My insecurity is more important to me than the fact that you are hungry," or "My insecurity is more important than your money."
(these are not the only two times it happened, so if these two are reading this post, don't take it personally. I'm just using this to illustrate a larger point. I love you.)

Anyway. One of my favorite meals ever was creamy chicken ramen with frozen mixed vegetables that a man-friend of mine made me once. I am not a food snob when it comes to food intake. So how about this: I'll work on not coming off that way, and you, hypothetical persons, work on not assuming I'm looking down on you. Your insecurity is not my problem, so don't MAKE it my problem. Thank you. We all do it--and I include myself in there--but it makes me feel bad. Just because it seems as though I do nothing but Food Stuff 24/7, please don't think that I'm sitting there judging your food/culinary/whatever as Lesser And Unworthy. Seriously. Food is fun. And yours is probably delicious.

To put it in college-kid terms, I love "free" food.  I put that in quotes, because NO food is free.  SOMEBODY paid for it, or worked for it, or made it, or grew it.  Perhaps a better phrase would be "gifted" food. I LOVE when someone cooks for me--because I know what it takes to put a meal together! When I invite people over for dinner or dessert or something, and the response is "Sure! free food?  I'm always down for free food,"   sometimes that gives me pause (depending on the relationship I have with the person, of course).  I'm not even sure why--sometimes I just feel like that may not be the appropriate response.  Where I was raised, if someone invited you to dinner, the usual response was "Oh, thank you! That sounds great! Is there anything you would like me to bring?"  ...or something to that effect. Not "Wow, thanks, free stuff!" ...>.>...  <.<...  Is that the way we respond when someone offers us a gift?  money? service? I don't know. For me, preparing a meal for someone is all of the above.  It doesn't deserve lauds and honor, and that's certainly not why I cook for people.  But a little politeness and courtesy among friends usually doesn't go amiss. Neither does giving someone something delicious...or not-as-delicious. 

[[If you don't know me well, best stop reading here. The rest of this may sound dangerously like a rant. However, read it with much more of my dry humor and it will be far more accurate.]]

Another social block that I run up against--more than anyone should-- is the idea that somehow my being fat is related to being a chef--and since fat people can't possibly be healthy, or happy, or loved, then my life would improve greatly were I *NOT* a chef...or that food/chefness has become my substitute for being healthy/happy/loved....OR, even better, if people eat the food that I cook, they too will be fat, and therefore unhealthy/unhappy/unloved!  No possible way would a fat chef cook healthy food! No possible way would a person who cooks all day also NOT eat like a pig the food that she cooks!  She must be fat because she's cooking all day and snarfing down all of those calories like a willpowerless glutton! She's fat because she's a chef.
  I got news for you, well-intention-ed-but-fantastically-incorrect-persons:  
I was fat before I was a chef. Get over it. 
 Second news flash?  Fat people can be healthy, and happy, and loved. I am AMAZED at how much my body has recovered from some very serious medical issues I have dealt with over my high school and college years. Heck, my whole life. My body is none of your business, and I don't have to justify my struggles to you. 
I am very, very happy as I live my life according to the nature and outline that God gave me. Again, thank you for your concern, but my sadness and pain stems much more often from people being sick or dying or being blown up or making stupid choices like listening to Nickleback. You know...real problems. 
As for being loved...I'm a strong, independent black woman who don't need no man. 
haha but seriously?  I've dated lots of guys. Many of them decided I wasn't thin enough or pretty enough or whatever, and if they wait a little longer, they'll find someone as awesome as me but with an easier life, less intensity, and also smaller than a 16. 
Usually I dumped them. ^_^ 
As for the others...I've had my heart take a few beatings in its time. But who hasn't? Thanks for your concern for me, but I can handle it.  And if YOU are concerned that the people who are dearest to you will love you less because you gained weight by eating the Obesity Powder we fat chefs put in your food?  
Maybe it's time you found new people. 
(Or watched Legally Blonde. Bombshell's got problems too, babe. Remember: bend...and snap!)

I don't get uptight when the gamers post about games, or when the fitness junkies post about their own fitness, or when the computer guys post jokes that no one else understands because they are written in C++. I don't even get grumpy when the conspiracy theorists post about President Obama being a martian or how all gay people are going to convince our children to marry stray cats!  So please don't get grumpy at this professional food person for posting about food. Please. This sounds like "a rant at an invisible foe" to some of you, but I have actually had some people un-friend me over this (which kind of makes me feel like adults never actually grow out of elementary school cliques). 
Fact: Reading my posts won't actually make you fat. And, fat's not the worst thing in the world a person could be--one could be shallow and insecure and judgmental, for example. That would kind of suck. 

Sincerely Yours, 

Chef Sabs

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Elephant In the Room. Of My Mind.

Took trip to Salt Lake this morning to drop off my brother at the airport.

Made some French Lavender Lemonade with the rest of my Meyer Lemons.

Got done with finals. Good grades all around.

Still haven't figured out my transcript transfer/freeze between universities.

Just got boxes cleared from my living room....just in time for my brother's stuff to come and fill it up again, haha.

I'm going to miss that boy.

Re-connected with a former roommate and current friend whom I have not seen in a while. I was in the area to see someone else, but I was glad to catch up with her.

Trying to focus on moving forward with life. I did a really good job of that for over a week... til, like, Monday. I'm still doing okay, but I have to remind myself to stay focused.

Setting up my calendar and cover letters and such for my new position today. Maybe that will help the focus. Sitting in a box in front of a computer all day may prove less-than-conducive to concentration. We shall see.

This is in short sentence bursts not on purpose, but because my silly Girl Brain is having a hard time focusing.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

BCS...but not the football ridiculousness

Got the Foodie job. Really excited! Doubling as Foodie and Artisan Baker until the last week of April, then I can just do Foodie. 

Got a WAY good deal on halibut and salmon, so dinner has been tasty lately. 

Turns out, it's nice to be friends with a butcher. :-)

Someone gave me a slice of Key Lime Pie today. 

I promise that my entire life does not revolve around food. 

In fact, I'm getting my hair done soon. 
In like a month.

Also, I'm pretty much re-doing my whole wardrobe over that month. Should be fun. 
And kind of expensive.

Speaking of expensive, I'm really excited for culinary school in the fall!

I'm excited for the semester to be over this week. O.O  
         That means field trips to Salt Lake! :-D

Also, it means my brother's birthday, and I have no idea what I am going to do for him.

The end.

Those are my updates. Brief, clear, concise simple.  Which feels kind of weird, but I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Today marks the first day of "Two Weeks of Absolute Insanity: Judgement Day Edition" 

As a preface, the phrase "to prove," which repeats itself in the following list, can be translated more literally in this case to mean "there are going to be lots of important people judging my performance who set me to [this task] so that they can decide whether I actually meet their standard of expectation in [task]."  These are not self-imposed "I have to prove to myself that I'm good enough, so I'm going to do all this stuff RIGHT NOW just because I really want to because I don't feel good enough about myself already."  
Just to clarify. 

Now for my list. I like lists. I have a difficult time sequencing tasks and events in my head, so lists keep me from getting overwhelmed. Plus then, when I'm exhausted at the end of a day, I can look at my list and say "See??  I'm tired for a reason...not just because I'm a wuss."

So, I share my list with you, blogger universe. But mostly it's so I don't go insane. 

Trial-running a new position at work (to prove that the position should exist...and I should do it)

 keeping old position at work (prove that I can complete tasks in shortened time limit)

 2-part practical pastry final exam at UVU (to prove that I have the skill set, so I don't have to take the class) 

written final pastry exam at UVU (prove the same as above)

Yes, that's a three-part, 12 hour final exam for a class I've never taken and a program I'm not actually officially part of yet. 

pay lots of $ to the culinary school (to prove that I really want to be a student in the Fall)

finish moving into my room (to prove that I'm not a slob...but probably mostly so people will get off my back about "You've been out here for weeks, this should be done already. You are inherently flawed as a human being because you haven't followed my timeline of your life.") (and also because I really actually DO hate having boxes everywhere!)

....and for the record, the kitchen has been done for a week and a half. 
...Back to the list. 

Final papers and projects for BYU classes (to prove that....well....I can get good grades? o.O)

Final exams for BYU  (to prove that I CAN finish, and that my BYU education is very important to me)

See a friend from out of town (to prove that I am NOT a self-absorbed, self-important and uncaring individual)

GENERAL CONFERENCE.   Not to prove anything. In fact, I'm getting lots of pressure to not watch it at all and just "watch it later" because the other things are more immediately important. I will watch it AGAIN later...don't mess with my Conference time any more than is absolutely necessary. In fact, I'm not sure yet where I'm going to watch it. Should figure that out. 

Okay.  Looking back on this post, it sounds like I'm whining. Or 'bragging-in-reverse' about how much I have to do or something. That is not my intention. Listing this all out helps to to see what I'm doing, what the priorities are, and WHY I am doing all of this. 

I am transitioning out of a major chapter of my life. I'm not sure exactly what is happening, even, but I'm trying to take it one step at a time. This is very difficult for me, because I don't naturally see my life as a course of sequential steps.  It's all just kind of jumbled together in one mass, that I then compartmentalize into almost-manageable pieces--but it's not a linear organization. And usually I'm not doing things to impress people--I do them because they need doing and that's that.  But these two weeks have added pressure because OTHER PEOPLE decided they are going to judge me on my performance. That's why I hesitated to use the word "prove," because it has so much connotation of self-imposition. The fact of the matter is, I personally don't care about their opinion--only as far as their opinion is now DIRECTLY impacting which direction my life will go. 

The only thing I feel I have to prove to myself is that I am not a needy little girl. I have to step up and claim my own life, and stop letting it be dictated by what outside forces think it SHOULD be. I can be overconfident at times, and take on too much. As I complete these tasks, though, I can remember something a friend taught me recently: 

"Doing less," for Sabina, is the END GOAL.  *Not* a way of getting to some other emotional "end goal."  People have been telling me for a long time that if I just "do less," "stop taking on so much," "stop being so intense," that I will be happier.  I think there is truth to that....but not exactly.  Perhaps making an emotion my goal (which so many of us do, if we think about it)  will only end in frustration.  My goal needs to be to DO LESS. It is an end in itself, not a means to happiness. It can be accomplished as I focus my life.  I have been living for a long time, afraid of my own intensity. A part of me thought that if I actually focused all my energy on one thing, I would lose myself in the sheer rushing power of it. So instead, I tried to spread out that energy and intensity over a multitude of projects talents, goals and ideas, to keep from drowning myself. Yeah, that didn't work.  
Now I am beginning to understand that my intensity and seemingly random organization pattern is inherently part of who I am, and as I BALANCE myself internally with the gospel and the people around me, I can focus my fire-hose-level intensity on a single issue without losing myself in the process. I can continue to develop my talents using the other elements of my personality--fun, curiousity, excitement, randomness, flakiness, unrealistic optimism, and the inability to keep a solid routine. I can save the intensity and crazy-planning and world-domination for my professional goals, instead of attacking the world around me with exhausting intensity. 

I can choose. 
And that is AWESOME.