Archive for November, 2008

Applesauce & Thanksgiving

This was not the easiest year.  It was my first full year without my grandfather, who was hugely important to me. The hole in my life is a big one, its hard to pass a day without feeling the effects of his not being here.  People close to me experienced painful losses in their families.  I lost my job, and so did some friends and family members, and we watched as many others also did.  I know only of a small handful of people who have been able to find work since being laid off, so I know I’m not alone in my frustration.  Its very hard to keep my head up and not feel very defeated or hopeless, but I know if I keep looking and keep applying something will work out.  

That said, I’m pretty thankful this year.  I’m thankful that I have my health and so do the people I love.  I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  I’m thankful for my wonderful boyfriend and his fantastic family.  I’m thankful that because I’ve been unemployed I have been able to travel to see my closest friends who are scattered across the country.  I’m thankful for their support and friendship.  I’m thankful that Obama won the election, because even though I’m a skeptic, I still have hope.  

I was originally going to make a post about turkey, and how most meat eaters I know tell me that they kind of hate eating thanksgiving turkey, and don’t really like turkey very much as a meat.  Having never eaten turkey, I can’t sympathize, but I can tell you that generally speaking that makes me even more sad for the senseless and cruel raising and slaughtering of 45 million turkeys for this holiday.  I mean, I can understand people saying “yeah yeah I know that the meat industry is pretty bad but I love meat too much to stop eating it.” (even though I disagree), but its almost insulting that people would think so little of the animals they’re eating that they continue to support the industry even when they don’t like it.  Have you ever driven by Jandl farms?  BDs mom lives right by there, and let me tell you that place looks like hell on earth.  Anyway, I decided that I won’t dedicate my whole post to this topic, so I’ve said my piece and now I’ll move on.


In my family, our thanksgiving tradition is making applesauce.  My dad is the one who always makes it and my sister and I would help out.  Now I make my own, and this is our recipe.   Continue reading ‘Applesauce & Thanksgiving’

Risotto in South Bend

So tonight was my last evening in the Midwest (probably).  Yesterday we spent the day over on campus at Notre Dame, which was every bit as beautiful as all the pictures and movies make it out to be.  Admittedly I was pretty creeped out by some of the over the top Catholic facilities, but can appreciate their existence, at least from an aesthetic point of view.   Continue reading ‘Risotto in South Bend’

A Day in Chicago: Chicago Diner and The Handlebar

So, I am on a trip to the midwest in which I am seeing a few of my long lost ladyfriends (perhaps a post for another day).  I’m staying in South Bend, Indiana, with my brilliant and entertaining friend Claudia – who is in the process of getting her PhD here at Notre Dame.  Yes, I’m envious also…. 

Anyway, yesterday we went on a little trip into Chicago to visit another amazing lady friend, Linette.  Other than the weather, Chicago is my favorite city that I’ve been to.  I love how beautiful it is, I love the way the city is laid out, I love the neighborhoods, and especially, I love the food.  Luckily, every time I’ve come to this town, I have had Linette and her boyfriend Bucky to show me to all the great vegan eateries here, and there are MANY.  Yesterday, we managed to fit in two in one day!  Continue reading ‘A Day in Chicago: Chicago Diner and The Handlebar’

lunch on the go

I’m leaving for the airport shortly, on my way to the midwest, and BD and I decided to have a very quick lunch before he drops me off.  I suggested the cavatelli from last week, the recipe for which can be found in this post, only we used broccoli instead of peas.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide a visual before we head out.  

A Story About Job Searching

So I, like almost 3 million other Americans, am unemployed.  

Recently I applied for a job at a small company which provides awareness programming around issues such as sexual health, body image, diversity, dating violence prevention, etc… totally up my alley.  They are also affiliated with a nonprofit which promotes awareness of sexual assault/violence, and this job would have involved both.  So, I was excited.  I was even more excited when the director called me and explained that she wanted someone brainy and skilled and creative and passionate (that’s me!) who is interested in working towards positive change (again, I’m just exploding with ideals and naive hope for a better world).  So I thought “hey here’s my chance!”  We scheduled an interview for this Friday.

THEN, in my email, I receive a “questionnaire.”  I opened it, intending to fill it out right away and return it.  I was kind of startled to see a long three-component document, most of which has been obviously copied and pasted from various sources into one piece.  The first section was normal enough, she asked me to rate my capabilities on a variety of tasks.  I finished that and then moved on to section two.  Section two was a little bit more eyebrow raising.  It was a personality test.  As I was reading, I realized this was not just ANY personality test, but a particularly absurd one.  So I googled it and I found it online:

In case you wanted to take it yourself, go here.

Although the questions were copied verbatim, the format changed.  When you take the test online, the idea is that you place yourself somewhere along the line between the two statements.  In the email it was an either/or scenario, as in “pick one, black or white.” I decided it would be better to save this section for later and moved on.

Section Three was the killer… I’ll just copy and paste it here, because I can’t do it justice any other way.

Please answer the following about yourself:

Do you have children and their ages? 

Are you married/Domestic Partner and how long you’ve been together?

Do you attend religious services weekly?

Have you missed work/school because of sickness? 

Would you be willing to work up to 80 hours per week if you knew you would be making $50,000+ in 3 years?

Do you plan to have children in the next 3 or 4 years

So, where to begin?  The ONLY question that isn’t illegal to ask is the very troubling question about working 80 hours a week for the chance to make $50,000 three years from now.  I mean, I’ll be honest.  I’m not really interested in working 80 hours a week, period.  I’d have gone to law school if that was the case.  I also borrowed almost $100,000 to go to college, where I received an outstanding education, and I did so in part because I bought into the idea that a college degree means that you can make a better living than not having one.  Even if the question was “would you work 80 hours a week for a $50,000 annual salary, starting this year?”  I would still say no, in part because that’s about $12 an hour.  Don’t get me wrong, in this economy I’d take a $12/hr job and count my blessings twice.  But I wouldn’t work 80 hours a week for it!  

Every other question asked was illegal, and violates my civil rights and the civil rights of any other applicant for the position.  I almost felt like it was made up because I feel as though even if you have NO knowledge of HR, you still know that you can’t ask questions like that.  

But apparently it wasn’t, because after returning the questionnaire with those questions left unanswered (I did explain that I was leaving them blank for a reason and that I’d be happy to discuss it further with her in the interview), she wrote back and cancelled my interview, telling me I am no longer being considered for the position.
The end.

veggie haters

BD’s brother is a notorious vegetable hater.  I asked BD if we could invite him over for dinner tomorrow before bar trivia and he said, “well, he doesn’t eat anything we eat…” which, from what I know of him, is true.  That said, I feel as though I am up to the task of making a vegetable dish so delicious that even the most stubborn of vegetable haters would ask for seconds.  I don’t know if this blog has any readers yet, but just in case some readers show up sometime, I was wondering – do you have any “no fail” veggie dishes?

Homemade Cavatelli

I made that post the other day about making cavatelli for my grandmother, and that night I used frozen Cavatelli – its relatively cheap and you can’t beat the convenience.  This afternoon though I had some extra time and was trying to inventory what’s in the kitchen before I go to the grocery store this weekend.  I noticed that I still had leftover ricotta cheese that was getting to the point of “use it or lose it,” so I thought I’d try to make some cavatelli by hand.  I’ve seen it made before, so I knew it would be pretty fast and simple, and I have to say it was a pleasant surprise.  It only took me two tries before I got it right! Continue reading ‘Homemade Cavatelli’

What good fortune: Dinner at the Farmhouse

I must be doing something right, because tonight BD and I had an amazing dinner at The Farmhouse.  With the exception of a few top notch gourmet vegan restaurants in big cities, I often am reluctant to plunk down a big chunk of change for a meal because as vegetarians our options are often pathetic and insulting.  I’ve been to The Farmhouse before, so I knew that wouldn’t be the case, but was still surprised at how great our meal was.  Thanks to Rodney, the sous chef at The Farmhouse, and to Briana, our friend and Farmhouse waiter extraordinaire for accommodating our dietary restrictions.   Continue reading ‘What good fortune: Dinner at the Farmhouse’

Risotto and Writing a Cookbook

I don’t know exactly what this blog will look like in terms of content in a few months, but I know that the main reason I am starting it is that I need to practice writing recipes.  I don’t cook with them really, so by forcing myself to blog about what I’m cooking and put up the “how to,” I will make a new habit, a habit of consistency.   Continue reading ‘Risotto and Writing a Cookbook’

Cavatelli & Peas

Last night my boyfriend, known to this blog and friends as “bd,” went with me to my grandmother’s house for dinner.  My grandmother is an exceptional cook.  Nothing that has ever come from her hands or kitchen has been anything other than delicious, and she always inspires me to try new things when I am cooking.  I try to go to her house for dinner at least once a week, because luckily for me, my family rules and I like to hang out with them.  In any event, last night I decided she deserved a break from cooking, and came up with this very simple, mostly healthy, and quick to make dish that I could make for the four of us (me, bd, my sister, and my grandmother). Continue reading ‘Cavatelli & Peas’