Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pics of life in the past few weeks...

Finally, I am uploading some pics of what I've been up to the past couple of months...  Almost all of my life is devoted to food, cooking it, serving it, cleaning up after it... and just a tiny bit of eating it... LOL

Miles of Biscotti have been in my past... catering has REALLY gotten busy...

AS you can see... it's a family affair... this is our offsite kitchen we cook in...

I told Bill he looks mad here... but he says he wasn't... just ready to lift a heavy pot... and he thought I should have been doing more work and less picture taking... "Hey... who's the boss here... buddy!"

I was actually able to cook for myself once in a while... this was lunch... yummyyyyy!

Then, the following week was filled with teenaged Football players and their voracious appetites...
This, of course, was the salad course...

Many hand make light work...

French Dip sandwiches... on homemade Artisan Bread... I made 99 loaves that week...it was a BLAST!!!

Part of my classroom... just before serving up Tacos, Enchiladas, Fresh Guacamole, Fresh Salsa and a TON of other food... all made by our hands...

Dining area of my classroom.  I used sheets at tablecloths, and painted ACA Eagles on them...

Ready for the men... each meal, we place big bowls of fresh fruit all over so they could graze and hydrate with great food...no processed junk...

And after all the Football Mayhem was over... I was able to concentrate on becoming a
My first official scribblings on my whiteboard as an International Cuisine teacher...
What a blessing!

Monday, August 30, 2010


I got called into the principals office again today...  He offered me a great opportunity.....  

He asked me if I would be willing to open up my classroom from 2:45 ish to 4:00 ish to SELL MY FOOD to the students, teachers and parents that hang out after school...

I almost jumped out of my seat... the BEST PART... All the money I make... IS MINE!!!  Basically, instead of them paying me to open up the classroom and just be there to watch kids do their homework... he gave me an open ended opportunity to make as much money as I want to, depending on how hard I want to work... WHAT A BLESSING!!! It's like handing me a restaurant... without all the over head!!!!  Of course I will be paying for the ingredients out of my own pocket... but my income can be limitless depending on how I feed my customers!!!   YAHHHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I know, to all of you that HATE to cook, this sounds like the WORST job in the world... but to someone like me... IT'S SHEER HEAVEN!!!

I can't wait!!!

To those of you who live near by and want to grub on my food... stop  by ACA after school Mon-Thurs and come and eat!!!!  I'll post my menu after I make it up!!!

I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!          

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

International Cuisine, yeah... that's what I teach...uh huh!!!

I am officially a teacher... again.   I cried yesterday (NO...NOT in front of them, I'd NEVER let them see me sweat), because I thought I was boring the students... Leave it to twenty 17 year olds to send me back 25 years of self confidence.  LOL

Actually, they've been so sweet.  So accomodating.  They know I'm new, and they are being very patient.

Already, on my third day, I know what I'm going to do differently next week.  I'm sure by my third week, I'll have it all down to a science and some sort of routine... right now... even though I've written down my lesson plans for the next month... I'm still kinda winging it, because 20 post pubescent teens can be a little bit unpredictable.

Fortunately, my kids attend private schools, and these students don't have the same type of "edge" as a mix of other kids would.  Yikes... that sound really uppity, and I don't mean it to be... it just is what it is.

I have 16 girls and 3 boys, and today, they made baguettes of bread.  I stayed after class and baked them all for them, and they came in at break and picked them all up and ate them... it was very satisfying seeing them so excited about the bread... it made me giddy.  

Tomorrow, we make personal pizzas, but not the traditional way, with sauce and pepperoni and cheese... nope... they can have that any time.

My class is called International Cuisine for a reason, so I cut up some fresh red onion, roasted some bell peppers, cubed some fresh mozzarella, and made up a batch of fresh basil pesto... and THAT'S what they are going to make their pizzas with.  Typical ingredients you'd find in any home in Italy to top a pizza... YUM!!!

If any of them turn their noses up at the ingredients...I'll make 'em wash every dish in the class..twice... LOL!!!

Next week, they are making rich doughs, and cinnamon rolls, fougasse and a starter...

So excited!!! 

So far, so good...We'll see what next week brings...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OMG... I start teaching tomorrow morning!!!

Tomorrow is the big day.  It's been 16 years since I have had a "BOSS".  Normally, everytime I looked into the mirror, I saw my boss, and really like her.

Now, I answer to a Department Head and a Superintendent.

My classroom is done, my syllabus is written and turned into my dept. head, and now all I have to do, is pick out my clothes for tomorrow, find some sensible shoes, and breathe in and out, and try not to get nervous.

I mean, what the heck am I so nervous about?  I've taught thousands of people to cook over the past 16 years... this is no different, right???  Then why are there a flock of butterflies swirling around my stomach???

There's so much hype coming from the staff, and the teachers about the class, that I feel like I have to live up to the hype. I know what I know.  I'm not a fancy cook.  I cook with simple ingredients and clean flavors.  I don't do foams and I only bake bread... not sweets... I hope they are okay with that...

  My hope and wish is to completely take over the school lunch program at the school, so the kids will be eating good, healthy, freshly prepared food.  I'd need to hire a big staff, but it's completely doable... so we will see what the future holds. It a very small school, only about 500 students total.

I cooked for the football team all week long, and the teachers and staff came in to sample the leftovers and were just so complimentary and so grateful for fresh food.    We made, Chicken Parmigiana, Pasta and meatballs, BBQ Beef sandwiches, Taco's and BBQ chicken.  I get to repeat them all again for team meals on Thursday night all season long.

Oy Vay...I HAVE A JOB!!!!!
When did that happen????

Wish me luck!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Old drug problems...

(I read this a long time ago... I don't know who wrote it... I sure wish I had... I raise my kids the exact same way as this passage... and I am sooo glad I do...)

The other day, someone at a store read that a

methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farm

house in the adjoining county and he asked me a

rhetorical question. "Why didn't we have a drug

problem when you and I were growing up?"

I responded that we did have a drug problem when we

were kids growing up on the farm or in the city. I had

a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church

on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings

and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and

community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by

my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also

drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told

a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak

with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the

preacher. Or if I didn't put forth my best effort in

everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the

kitchen sink if I uttered a profane four letter word.

(I do know what soap tastes like.) I was drug out to

pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and

cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the

homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out

some poor soul who had no one, to mow the yard, repair

the clothesline or chop some fire wood, and if my

mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a

tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to

the wood shed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my

behavior in everything I do, say and think. They are

stronger than cocaine,crack or heroin, and if today's

children had this kind of drug problem, America might

be a better place today.

Friday, August 6, 2010


So I did some catering today.  Mom and I cooked and served over 100 ladies today for our local
Women's Club.  It was a lovely luncheon, and I was honored to feed those lovely ladies... they were all so nice and complimentary.

I also made lunch for all the secretaries that work in Bill office... they feasted on Focaccia sandwiches, salad, and biscotti and cream puffs. Needless to say... I'M POOPED!!!

I have to do it all over again on Sunday, when we cater a friend of a friends funeral. 

School days are fast approaching, and I'm getting more and more nervous about teaching my class.  Excited and nervous... two feelings that keep me on my toes.

William got his schedule today, and he, sadly, doesn't have me as a teacher this semester.  He signed up for my class... that sweet kid.  The Superintendent called me the other day to inquire about whether or not I would be interested in also teaching a middle school cooking class.... I was like... YEAH!!!!  So we'll see... they aren't sure the class will happen yet... but soooo cool that they want me for more... and I haven't even taught one class yet!!!!

I haven't been able to write too much on here for a while... I've been working hard on my book, promising myself to write everyday now that I have a new laptop and don't have to be stuck in my super hot, no air anywhere, tiny office space... and the words have just been pouring out of me...
My poor husband has to hear each page I write, and he's a real trooper about not rolling his eyes at me.

I'm also simutaneously writing a cookbook, that I think I will change direction and write one about teaching High School Culinary Arts, with the recipes we make, and the antics the kids try to pull and some of things done and said...Of course, all names will be changed, and I'd never write about terrible things... but I think I'm in for some funny days ahead of me, and I'd love to remember it in a book.  Hopefully, if and when I ever finish, I can get it sold and others will enjoy it too.  I just love the idea about journaling my days... I forget about the small stuff so much.

The kids are great, winding down the summer with a visit up to their Grandpa's place for a few days... and while they are gone, I'll be going through their old clothes and purging, purging, purging, to make room for all the new clothes I am going to buy them.  I am soooo sick of seeing their clothes over and over... it's time for some new stuff...

That's about it for us... Bill loves his new job, (same industry, just now in the corporate part of it) no more jeans, t shirts and hardhats... now it's slacks, nice shirts and suits from time to time... I love the jeans and t shirts, but the new duds are growing on me...

I'll have a lot more to write as the new job for me gets closer and closer...