October 19th, 2019

Parbaking and Parboiling and Parthinking

My big excitement this week was getting to have dinner one night at The Stubborn Mule with Matt, a former Ringling clown and current Imagineer. It was good to catch up over some delicious fish sammys!

The other cool thing was going to see Encore's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!
Jameson is playing in the pit, which was totally visible from the audience so I enjoyed watching the musicians play and watching their reactions to the comedy onstage. I've never seen Spelling Bee before and was surprised at how hilarious it is! And lots of opportunities for improvisation. It's a very cool show and I had a great time, especially with Jameson doing his magic in the pit :)

At work, I got my 6-month review. Wow, I've worked somewhere for six months!
I got a little raise, and some nice feedback from my supervisor, plus a printout of my average accuracy, speed, and monitored scores throughout my time at CapTel. I'm doing pretty good, which is great. One thing I like about this job is that feedback is 100% based on and scored by your work. There's no confusion over what's expected, or what determines your value as an employee. It's really black and white here. And I really like that. I need it. Because a lot of other areas of my life are not so cut-and-dry. It's nice to have one place that is.

Anyway, so then we got to Thursday and Friday which are my glorious days off. I've finished my online course, and now begins the process of deciding, once again, if the field I'm looking into is the right one for me. I've got to pick something. It's just stressful when you've got to ask yourself, "Will I like this? Is this the right path?"

The fact that I have not had to ask "Will I like this" about my career choice before makes me a very lucky person.
There are many people who never find a job that they like, much less a dream job.
So I'm trying to stay objective, and patient, and remember that even if I pick the wrong thing oh God what if I pick the wrong thing and get trapped in some job I hate and have no other choice and--

Hahaha. Yeah...it's not easy to think positive!

But the fact remains I've got to do something, I've got to evolve. I can still play music. Maybe I can learn to enjoy it again like I used to. But in the meantime I've got to be flexible, and take risks, and try my best. And stay positive.

One hugely positive thing is that I'm with Jameson. He's incredibly supportive. He's dealt with all of my midlife crisis crap, even while struggling with his own demons. He's probably the only reason I'll be able to do this (whatever "this" ends up being). And I don't know how to repay something as big as that.

Um. Anyway.

I was feeling somewhat lazy this time around, so I only cleaned the shower and vacuumed. I didn't feel like cooking as much, and since we had capers and cream cheese left over from previous recipes I thought it'd be nice to grab some sesame bagels, lox, cucumbers and tomatoes and make lox sandwiches! It's been a while since I had one and it was very good.

On Friday we had a relaxing morning, and then Jameson decided it was time to get a new gym membership. I agreed. We've both been making our excuses about it...for me, I keep telling myself I'll start after Thanksgiving when I've got my bike from my parent's house, or I should wait until next year so my cancellation fee will be less with Planet Fitness. I don't know what Jameson's excuses were, but we both decided to stop making 'em! The new gym is close to the house and has a lot of nice amenities. I'm especially excited about the free one-on-one consultations you can get before you start. I'm hoping some insight from a professional will make a difference in how I exercise.

Satisfied with our new membership, we went back home, had lunch, and relaxed a bit.
Oh and I beat Castlevania! WHOOOOOOOT

Later on I decided to try out the pizza stone we've recently obtained to make a basic margherita pizza!
Stretching the dough was easy. I parbaked it a little so it wouldn't be soggy, then let it cook for about ten minutes.
The crust ended up crunchy, I suspect because
A) The oven wasn't hot enough,
B) I overworked the dough, and
C) The dough had been sitting in the fridge for two days and may have dried out.
Still, it was perfectly edible and a good first attempt.

What's a pizza without wings? I also made Alton Brown's recipe for oven-baked buffalo wings.
They turned out pretty good, although not crispy (his recipe calls for you to parboil them to render the fat and make them crispier, it didn't seem to work). I think next time I will try broiling them for the second half of cooking. I'll also get a different buffalo sauce recipe, because this one was basically butter with a little hot sauce and it was too much grease and not enough flavor for me personally. But again, a solid first attempt and definitely good enough to eat!

I feel like I'm learning a lot of new cooking techniques (new to me anyway) and it's kind of exciting to think that I could make pizza, and use what I learn there to make stromboli later! Or these wings, and use that to make my own jerky! I used to hate cooking and now that it's a no-pressure situation, it's becoming a lot more fun!

Now it's nighttime and Jameson is at a gig. It's raining hard, there's a tropical system moving through.
Next week it looks like Jameson will have some more free time. We're hoping to squeeze in some Halloween activities!