Monday, June 22, 2009

Soggy Maine

It has rained for at least 3 days straight. Now, I appreciate the fact that it's not 100 degrees like it is at home but I would like to see the sunshine sometime this week. Just a small request.

We open our restaurant on Wednesday. We are close to having everything put together. I should be writing a wine list right now. But I'm not. I have to have some personal time sometime, right? It seems like I have a good crew. They need a little TLC and polishing but I think it will be a great summer.

Island life is very interesting. Everyone knows everyone as well as everyone's business. It's like living in a small southern town but with a party line. I do have to laugh sometimes. I left North Carolina to work at this very posh country club in Maine. And there are some very prominent members here. However, I feel like I live more in the country now than I did at home. For instance, last week I was on the back deck looking out over the golf course and 2 VERY large deer were at the edge of the woods. I tried to take pictures to share but our camera doesn't zoom that far. Also, I'm not sure if I shared this or not, we live on a dirt road. Really! It's very quiet here. Even more quiet than home. Hubby and I sit on the back deck and listen to the silence and create the sound of crickets and frogs in our heads because that's what we're accustomed to hearing. It's that quiet. I'm quite enjoying it.

Also, on a side note, I am reading the Harry Potter series for the third time in anticipation of the July 15th premier of the 6th movie. I realize that this is in the middle of the week and that I will not be able to attend the midnight showing (small tears!) but Hubby has promised me that we will take an overnight trip to the main land as soon as we can so that I can see it. No one tell me how it is, I want to experience it for myself. I'm such a nerd.

Monday, June 15, 2009

All Moved In

Well, we've been away from NC for almost a week. We got to the island Thursday morning and unpacked the car. It was cold as wizz that night. I really think it was in the 40s that night and we had no heat on in the house and only one blanket on the bed. Friday we got up and headed back to the main land to shop ' til we dropped for house and office supplies. By Saturday afternoon we had Hubby's Subaru packed to the roof with $1,500 of supplies bought on the club's dime. That included some BEAUTIFUL flowers to spruce up the porch with and a couple of tomato plants for hubby. See below:

Office chairs and my new desk while it was in the box. Hubby put it together Sunday morning while I unpacked and put away our clothes. It's pretty super. I felt like I was on Design on a Dime or something!
Printer and chair mats. We just got the printer up today but it's still not hooked up to the computer. I've got to figure out the wireless networking.

The rest of hour household wares. I got to spruce up both bathrooms with new rugs and such, update the kitchen a little with some gadgets, and have SO MUCH FUN buying office supplies. Wee Hoo!

Here are Hubby's tomato and pepper plants. One is a Pineapple Tomato plant named "Pina", one is a Boxcar Willie Tomato named "Willie", and a Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper named "Hungry". We're so creative.
Here are my flower boxes. I've always wanted to have flower boxes filled to the brims with everything that looked pretty to me in all different colors. I can't wait to get them clamped up on the porch rails.
We started working today getting the Golf Club cleaned and organized. The dish machine was down and the Hobart man is coming in the morning. We've still got a large amount of stuff to do and all kinds of help coming in the morning. I finally ordered my wedding pictures today. YAY! It's about time! They'll be here next week along with my Harry Potter books (paperbacks of 1-6). I can't wait!
Well, Mommy's on the phone and Roxy has had a very bad hair day. :(

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Travel Journal

It's day 2 of our journey to Maine. We are currently in Lewiston, ME at a very inconspicuous TraveLodge. It was SO inconspicuous in fact that we passed it twice before we found it. You see, the sign out front is a HUGE green sign saying "Chalet Somethingoranother" and you can only tell it's a TraveLodge if you happen to catch the red blinky sign underneath when it happens to say: TRAVELODGE. Silly us thinking that it would have a normal sign.

Anyway, back to the travel journal. We started out yesterday leaving our beautiful home in North Carolina behind. It was sad, I cried for half an hour. But, once we crossed into Virginia I put on my big girl panties and my Dirty Dancing soundtrack and trucked on down the road. The drive was nice. There was very little traffic and beautiful scenery. I saw a shopping center made just for men. There was a Tractor Supply, Camping World, and Gander Mountain all sharing one parking lot. All they need is a Harley Davidson dealership! The farms in Pennsylvania are to die for. If I could move my entire family and have my own Sundrop bottling plant and Bojangles on site, I'd move there forever. We hit a very nasty storm complete with hail when we crossed into Maryland but we stopped for a few minutes and avoided the bulk of the hail and then it was on the road again. Our stop for the first night was Scranton, PA. It was kind of a run down hotel but the employees were friendly and the room was pretty big so the animals had lots of room.

Today began with a bit of a rough start. You see, my cat is not a traveller. We purchased some tranquilizers for him to make the trip a little easier. But Satchel isn't a pill taker so the first one today was kind of a struggle. He only got about half of it. So, we gave him another one and then he was loosey goosey. He didn't give two hoots about getting in his pet taxi which was a stark difference from yesterday. The problem was that he was so loose that he urinated all in the pet taxi during the trip from the hotel room to the car. So, we stopped at a gas station down the road and Hubby went inside and got a newspaper (to line the pet taxi after it was clean) and a pair of gloves to keep us from getting icky. Hubby held Satchel up while I poured a bottle of water over him and the pet taxi. Cats do not like water. Cats that are drugged out on tranqs don't like water either, but they don't fight as hard. Now, I'm sure this was quite a sight to see in a gas station parking lot. Obviously a bottle of water isn't going to get a pet taxi completely clean so my car smelled slightly of cat pee all day. We did get an air freshener at a truck stop so then it smelled like pina coladas and cat pee. Also, the further north you get, the more inconsiderate the drivers. I had to learn to drive like a Yankee and I have to say, I don't like that side of myself. I tailgated. On purpose. Lord, I apologize and be with the starving Pygmees.

Finally we got to Lewiston. We have two more hours of driving tomorrow to get to the ferry as well as a trip to the grocery store. Then, we'll be in our summer home. What a nice ring that has. It so masks the fact that we are the paid help. No matter what gets me there, I still have a better view than a lot of people for the summer AND I don't have to pay for it. YAY! Well, it's almost bed time for tonight. To all my friends I left behind, I love ya!!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Creatively Off the Cuff

Many of you may remember that back in November I participated in an ACF sanctioned culinary competition. I was very nervous about it and prepared ridiculously for it and still came in last place. That was OK, there were quite a few chefs in the group who had much more kitchen experience that was much more recently used than mine. Not to mention that it was a "market basket" style competition where they give you a few surprise ingredients and you have one hour to make four servings of magic. My downfall was that I had 2 whole flounders in my basket and I had never worked with whole fish before. I did my best and, had I had more time, the chefs said that they really would have liked my plates. My components just didn't really have time to finish cooking because I took so much time taking apart those dadblatsted fish.

Well, tonight was another "cream of cabinet" night and had I had this conglomoration of ingredients and about 2 hours I would have rocked their socks off. Please forgive me that I don't have pictures to accompany this blog but I got in such a creative frenzy that taking pictures would have seriously cramped my style.

First was a pot of soup. I had rice, a can of chiles, a can of chicken, some fajita strips of beef and many many frozen veggies to work with. Of course they all got dumped in the pot. Now I'm not one to just add ingredients to water and let them go. I needed a base, some broth, some stock, some SOMETHING! But, I seemingly had nothing. Then I got to looking around and there were some chicken boullion cubes donated by Jennie's mommy. In the pot. A can of tomatoes. In the pot. Some tomato paste. In the pot. Some ketchup. In the pot. A can of somewhat tasteless Progresso Light (what was I thinking) Vegetable & Rice soup. All of that together with some water and voila - yummy soup. Of course I also seasoned with a few cloves of garlic and a couple of bay leaves. It's simmering as we speak for supper when Hubby gets home from work.

Then I made a broccoli rice casserole. This was simple enough. I boiled some rice and steamed some broccoli. Then, when those were done I combined them with some cream of mushroom soup, milk, and the last of the wedding pimiento cheese. I needed a topping so I found some whole wheat bread in the freezer, toasted it, and ground it up with the last of a pack of saltine crackers for bread crumbs. I then combined those crumbs with some melted Country Crock and Lawry's and baked at 375 degrees for an hour. Totally tasty.

My most prized creations however are my two ice box pies. The first I'm calling "Zero Dollar Pie". It turned into my loose rendition of "Million Dollar Pie". First I made a graham cracker crust with my last pack of cinnamon graham crackers and melted Country Crock. As that cooled I mixed up some vanilla pudding and added a little snack cup of pineapple tidbits I had. I spread this over the crust for layer number one. Then I mixed some up some Dream Whip and added about a cup and a half of flaked coconut. That became the next layer. Then as a garnishy type topping I smushed a 100 calorie pack of Honey Grahams and chopped up a Palmer Chocolate Orange and sprinkled it all over the Dream Whip Layer. I haven't eaten any yet but I think it should be tasty and plan to bring it to Briana & Jake's pool party this weekend.

The next pie I would like to call "Elvis Pie". I made a crust with crushed 'Nilla wafers and melted Country Crock. As that cooled I took all of the open peanut butter jars in the house and put them into the Kitchen Aid bowl to whip with lots of confectioners sugar and a little bit of milk. Once the crust had hardened I smushed this down over it as the bottom layer. Then I mixed some banana cream pudding and spread it over the peanut butter layer. See, peanut butter and banana was an Elvis favorite! Then I rounded up all of the stray Reese's cups I could find in the house (there weren't too many, they don't last long in these here parts) and chopped them for a topping. Then, as if there wasn't enough peanut butter in this lovely creation, I used the last of the chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz sandwiches from last weekend for garnish by standing them on their sides around the pie.

I was a cooking fiend tonight and I cannot wait to try the fruits of my labor. Not to mention I packed my lunch for tomorrow with various stray foods from around the house and came up with not only lunch but breakfast too!

Addendum: When trying this at home, don't get so excited to blog about it on the front porch that you forget about the soup, let it boil over and smoke up the house, completely burn the rice, and ruin. Just thought you might like to know the hazards. :(