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Ides of March Plus Four
5:35 p.m. - 2004-03-19

Today when I got back from lunch, Talia came up to me and told me that she loves the way I put the files together, that they are perfect, and make examining them very easy. This is the first really meaningful compliment I have ever gotten at work. I wanted to remember it, so I am putting it down here. Now all I need is another raise and two more weeks of vacation a year! She also asked for a copy of the check lists I made up for myself for updates and opening orders, and gave them to Linda, whom she is training. Linda said they make the whole process so much easier. Well, yes, anything that tells you what to do next and relieves you of the struggle to remember everything correctly is a boon to mankind.

It was hot in the house when I came home this afternoon, and heavy feeling, so, for the first time ever, I have the AC on in March. It feels wonderful. It occurs to me that also for the first time in years we have had a few beautiful weeks right in the middle of the blossoming fruit tree time, which might translate into a good fruit set this year. I would love a tree full of good peaches.

Yesterday at lunch I decided to drive to a shady spot and read my book, "Miriam's Kitchen". Unfortunately for my budget, the shady spot I picked was by the park, and I was sitting there right across the street from Half Price Books. I told myself that I could just go over there and look around, but not buy anything. We all know how that turned out. My new books are The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion (great!) and Once Upon A Tart, from the New York restaurant of the same name. I was still in a cooking mood when I came home to make dinner, so I made a salad dressing I haven't made before, from Kopy Kat recipes. It called for sour cream, which I didn't have, so I pureed some cottage cheese I had, and the dressing was really good, with dill. It made about a pint, so today I made some potato salad and used the rest of the dressing in that, and though different from the excellent family recipe, it is very good, and less fatty than all that mayonnaise would be.

Sometime last evening, I realized that I had lost my gold earring, those little hoop earrings I wear 24 hours a day. I looked around for it, but no luck. Then, at bedtime, I found it on the bedside table, and then remembered taking it off in the middle of the night for some reason. What this means is that I was walking around all day at work with only one earring, and never noticed until after I was home again. I guess I don't spend too much time gazing at myself in the mirror.

I am listening to a book on tape, The Apprentice, My Life In The Kitchen, by Jacques Pepin. Not only is it interesting, but often hilarious. At one point in his training to be a chef, Jacques, only 14 years old, was making fun of the head chef behind his back as the head chef bent over to get something under the counter, and Jacques made a fake motion of stabbing the chef in the rear with his knife, while the others in the kitchen laughed silently. Unfortunately, the head chef stood up and moved backwards. Another time, Jacques reached for a pot hanging over the head of the formidable head chef, and dropped the pot on the head chef's head. I am enjoying the book very much.

Better go put the fish in the oven.

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