Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sort of a Cop-Out

Not to totally cop out of writing a blog update, but I just finished this one for my school blog and I don't really want to re-type it for my personal blog.  Plus, it's a personal story, not an essay, so it shouldn't be too boring to read. I was pretty excited.

Here's the link.

SPOILER: It's about chocolate. 

I love chocolate.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Steps to Take

Or, Things I Could Do To Be Better At My Life

Get involved in the local food scene:  Find somewhere to volunteer. Talk to local farmers, growers, factories. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn from experts of their craft. Put together/volunteer to help with events.

Stay up-to-date:  subscribe to foodzines, food blogs (the pertinent ones), customer stories, food trends, food science developments, restaurant policy, and all the other food news floating around.

Learn about people in the industry: historical figures and their impact, important milestones, current movers and shakers in the US and abroad.

Get back in shape:  "Fat chef" is bad business in our modern world. Plus, I just feel TONS better about life when I'm exercising hard-core on a regular basis. Obviously, I'll never be skinny...but I can be strong.

Write about food:  I think that, whichever specific route I end up on, I will need excellent writing skills--particularly, writing about food, restaurants, and the personal experiences of myself and others.

Publish writing about food: Give myself a deadline. Find a blog (or three), a magazine, a newspaper, somebody that will carry a story that I wrote...maybe a year. Include the writing in my culinary education.  As anyone who has social conversation with me would emphatically tell you--I love telling stories.  Time to tell stories about something I'm passionate about. Like food.

Oh, hey, look.  A food blog. With my name on it.  Maybe I should write in it. Even better--maybe I should give myself a (weekly? semiweekly?) deadline for writing in it. That might help. 

Learn how to take food photos:  Yeah, definitely not a strong point.  But it could be. It will be, eventually. 

Volunteer:  Find outlets to volunteer teaching, cooking, teaching cooking, working on farms and ranches, helping with events, cooking for families, cooking for people with food restrictions, cleaning. Job shadow someone talented. Ask questions. Work hard.

Learn French:  At least enough to not butcher things I'm trying to explain in the food world.  And preferably enough to get me around the streets of foodie places. Like France, for example. 
                     dude....right after I typed that, a native French speaker about my age emailed me and offered to teach me French and negotiate a price for tutoring....o.o.  Sweet!!  (Big Brother is watching...?)

Keep a clean space:  Having my room/apartment/living space clean and uncluttered will help me stay calm and clear and help with the creative inspiration process.  (This post has taken so long to write and publish, primarily because I keep stopping to clean things)

Keep the CLEAN space DECORATED: if I keep it decorated the way that I like it, it is much easier for me to keep it clean and uncluttered. I enjoy being in cohesive spaces. (Also: Give myself permission to get rid of some perfectly good stuff that just isn't my style--even if someone gave it to me as a gift or I've had it forever.)

Start a dinner group:  This is difficult with work schedules, but the concept is the same. I cook more, and better, and have more opportunity to explore new techniques and ingredients when I have other people to cook for.  Preferably other people who appreciate good food.
Develop patience. 
And a more real sense of self-beauty. 
And prioritize taking care of myself. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dropping Eaves

My brother is currently in Anaheim, California, serving a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He writes a lot of letters, particularly to my mom. I happened to see a letter sitting next to the computer in the office, and saw my name on the front page. Naturally....I peeked.

and then I laughed and laughed.

This is the paragraph the he wrote about me, to my mom:

"Ahh...Sabina.... The woman, the myth, the legend. She had better slow down before she ends up owning (the store where I work). Or dying. Or even worse...becoming a real chef... ;-) haha priorities, right?"

First, warm fuzzies on SO many levels. (1) Who knew he thought so well of me? :-) (2) Hermione reference!! (3) he also included a note to me directly (a separate letter; the above paragraph was in a letter to my mother and not intended for me to read).

His note to me read as follows:

"Sabina. sorry I cannot write much; I only have 5 minutes left. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH... Send me snacks. :-)" --Elder Robert Safsten

...........I love that kid. So much. Gotta go make some snacks. ;-)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kitchen Wants

I'm spending this afternoon and evening charting out all the required assignments, optional assignments, and extracurricular enrichment activities for this quarter.  And that's boring.  But do you know what isn't boring?


Like these. 


Friday, July 5, 2013


once upon a time, I spent a ton of time in my kitchen. It was pretty cool or whatever (Well, lately, mostly "whatever." I only have air conditioning in one room, and it is not my kitchen. It's been crazy hot lately.)

I am currently renting an apartment, and have really enjoyed the kitchen set-up. I have these huge sliding glass doors, and a cute little porch, and some classy outdoor furniture (which I need to clean today). 

As I was hanging out in my not-so-cool but soon to be very classy kitchen (I'm working on some artsy stuff and new organization), I glanced down at the floor--and immediately noticed something that caused me great alarm.


all over the entrance of the glass doors, and trailing through to in-front-of-my-stove-space.


i immediately stopped what I was doing, and looked up various ways to kill ants, the intent of bug murder burning deep in my soul. Outside is bug territory. Inside--at least, my kitchen-- is MY territory. (Porch is the Neutral Zone). i will sometimes just catch or re-direct bugs that are in my room, or other parts of the house-- but bugs crossing into my kitchen is a trespass worthy of immediate destruction. 

I didn't like any of the remedies I found, and medical situations in my apartment disallowed the use of traditional bug poison. So, true to form, I took the knowledge that I had and mixed up my own concoction. I couldn't use soap, because that would leave my floor sticky.  I need something that evaporated quickly, and didn't leave a nasty scent.

It took a few tries before I was successful, but in the end, this is what I came up with:

Some water (about a cup) (use filtered if your surfaces are particular)

About a cup of distilled vinegar (or apple cider, but distilled is clear)
Also some vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
Mix in lavender oil, cinnamon oil or extract, mint oil or extract, oregano oil, thyme oil, clove oil, ginger oil, lemon or bitter orange oil. Garlic, I hear, also works....but I did'nt want my house to smell like garlic.

For a less expensive version that takes longer, I'm sure I could have steeped the herbs in the water instead of using all the oils, then let it sit overnight. Strain the herbs out, then mix the liquid with the water and alcohol.
But today, those bugs needed to die. Immediately. Essential oils by doTerra for the win!!

Put in a spray bottle. Spray on the bugs, and they die. Also, allow a couple to escape, follow them back to the entrance point, spray the entrance point with the mixture. Mop surrounding floor, spray lightly. If you find the hill, destroy it with either boiling water or dumping some of the mixture into it.

Note: I cannot vouch for whether the ants feel pain.  I really, really don't like killing things (I have a hard time with shellfish cookery)  or knowing things were killed inhumanely. However, bugs do not belong in the house, and one simply cannot reason with them at this point in our mortality.

The bugs are in bug-heaven, my kitchen is up to code, my floor is clean. 

And my house smells fantastic. Bonus points.