Friday, June 13, 2014

"The Container Garden Experiment" Scallions from clippings

You must have seen it by now.
Growing your own food from kitchen scraps.
SO COOL, right?
It is awesome.
One of the easiest ones I have found is regrowing scallions from the ends leftover after you have bought them from the grocery store.
The question is,
WHY have I not done this sooner?

There are many different methods out there,
but it really doesn't take much.
Heck, you can grow them in a glad of water!

Here is how I grew mine, READY?

So first I took the leftover ends.
(When you cut them, try to leave a good portion on the bottom, it will help them grow a little faster.)

Then I stuck them in a pot of soil, with a little room in-between each end.
But they really don't mind getting cozy! ;)
(Leave a little of the top exposed.)

In a few days they should look like these little shortys below.
(this was a 4-5 day growth.)

in a few weeks....
BAM these guys!!!
(You don't need to water them like crazy they are pretty easy going,
I'd say every few days -once a week when they are little, and around every other day - every few days when they are bigger.)

When you are ready to harvest them,
just snip a stock off just above the root.
They will just keep that yummy goodness coming.
(They are also pretty hardy, I started growing mine indoors in the late winter.
You can have scallions all year round!)

This is a fun (and yummy) science experiment for adults and kids.
There are more food scraps I would like to experiment with.
(I'm currently trying out a large yellow onion.)
I think my next one will be celery... mmmmm!

Thanks for stopping by,
have fun growing and experimenting.
There is nothing like the pleasure and satisfaction of growing your own food!
(Especially when you don't have to have much of a green thumb for this one.)

<3 always
Holly Lynn Clark

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Job Posting: Chef Spous/ Partner WANTED (Jealous, High Maintenance types need not apply)

Good evening all.
As of late I have really fallen off my blogging wagon.
And aside from the fact that there have been
many major life events that have occurred 
in the last few months,
the biggest reason of all is, 
(Buckle in, this is going to be a long one. I think I will do this in two parts.)
you ask,
WELL, let me explain.
I very rarely write about my husband's job,
in fact,
I think I barely mention it.
In general my blog is my space,
the place that is all about me.
But i think I'm ready to talk about the charcuterie hanging in the room.
(YES, awesome cheesy pun!)
That might sound a little selfish,
perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself.

My Husband works in a kitchen.
His roles have fluctuated over the years,
being a sous chef at a catering company, to a line cook, to a sous chef on the line,
back to a line cook but at a fine dining restaurant. 
No matter how you slice it,
(YES other cheesy pun intended)
his life our life revolves around the kitchen.

He spends more time in a stainless steel box, 
filled with other sweaty men (and women),
for at least 50, 55, 60, sometimes 70 e.t.c. hours a week,
than he does with me.
(But it's not as bad as it seems?)

Ok, now that we've got that out of the way.
Let me continue.
When my husband and I got married,
4 years ago in July,
he had a very different job than he does now.
He was a sous at a small catering company.
He worked long days and had a spastic schedule, but aside from the weekends, was home at a reasonable hour.
In fact, at the time I was the one working mostly nights and responsible for the late nights up waaay past bedtime.
Then I took a job as a cake decorator.
I was now working mornings!
It was awesome,
for this glorious short period of time we both left the house roughly together, 
and for most nights in the week, could even eat a meal together.
Then he took his first line cooking job.
It was really fun at first,
we were truly excited.
The others working the line with him were some really talented amazing cooks.
(Most of them chefs just hanging out between exec/ sous gigs.)
We were going out for drinks with the staff
we were newly weds super in love,
we were popular in our new crowd, life was good.
Then slowly but surely,
it started to ware on us. 
I was really tired from working in the morning.
I felt like I could never really relax, 
because I had to wait till he got out of work so I could go pick him up.
The nights got longer, and longer.
Some of the people became harder to be around, sometimes being a little too drunk and obnoxious to hang out with, 
and with some of them, the respect that we were married started to wain.
The second year for us was much harder.
We were trying to get used to the whole married thing,
but we were doing it in a pressure cooker.
A ticking time bomb filled with lack of sleep,
minimal communication, and an overall sense that the other didn't understand or care about the struggle that the other was going through.
ALL the ingredients for a divorce.
A common product of a marriage in the industry.
But we knew we loved each other!
So why was this happening to us?
We weren't like every other sad and crumbling chef relationship
we had heard cautionary tales of.
We were us.
WE were better than that.
But we weren't. 
Sad to say, we were heading down that path.
It makes my heart heavy to admit we threw the ugly D word out there many times over that year.
Marriage is hard enough.
Never mind trying to figure it out,
living our lifestyle.
It became very apparent that I had two jobs.
My day job,
and my job moonlighting as a chef wife.
A job description I wish someone had handed me when we got married.
I think the MUST's would have read something like this:

A spouse who is willing to work long hours.
MUST have a flexible schedule.
MUST be willing to go solo on social occasions.
MUST take on most decision making and household duties.
MUST be willing play a politician's spouse role and socialize with obnoxious people on occasion, because it is good for your partners career.
MUST be willing to deal with an overworked (sometimes cranky)
partner who doesn't want to talk about the day when they get home.
Even though you have not had adult conversation since you left work.
MUST have some vague interest in food or you might not be able to have a conversation at all.
 MUST be able to entertain yourself at the end of the bar when their shift goes a little longer than expected and your are already there to pick them up.
MUST avoid jealous, needy tendencies of any kind.
MUST understand that radio silence is a HUGE must, and to not get angry when you don't get a response in under 4 hours.
You will be responsible for most meals cooked in home, or a bag of chips will be considered dinner.
YOU MUST except shots of fernet when offered (It is the industry hand shake. It would be rude not to.)
MUST not e.t.c.
MUST deal e.t.c.
the list goes on!

It sounds negative, but it isn't.
I maybe would not have listened,
but it maybe would have given me a little more insight and understanding.
Not to say that he was blameless.
(Because there were sometimes I wanted to kick him in the balls because he was not being very understanding of MY role.)
But understanding where the other is coming from is key in ANY relationship.

All that being said,
here are some of the benefits and perks that come with the job.

Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be awesome, as these are the days you will usually have off together.
You can go do your errands without the rest of the 9-5ers around.
On the rare occasion they do cook for you, it will be amazing
You WILL meet some really cool people who DO understand the gravy boat your in.
(I can keep the puns going ALLL night.)
When you DO get to go out and have a meal together at a restaurant,
they will probably know your partner and you will probably get spoiled.
On occasion there WILL be events you get to attend TOGETHER, restaurant openings e.t.c., that no one else will.
Your partner is probably not your average bear, and will keep life interesting.
The good ones WILL know the meaning of loyalty and teamwork, it just takes a little extra effort to be able to execute it on their level.
They WILL appreciate little things in life that others overlook,
such as the importance of serving others and not yourself.
(It just might seem like they aren't serving you at times. Hang in there.)
At the end of the night, they will be happy to see YOUR face,
because they have been in a stainless steel box with sweaty men and women all night.
And your face is a sight for sore eyes. 
THEY WILL appreciate how cool you are when you say you understand that they have to go into work on your day off together.
(Even though it won't be easy for you to say.)
They WILL open your eyes to new foods and places to eat that most people can't even comprehend.
and most of all
THEY WILL give you the opportunity to be apart of a special club that is unique, and exclusive, and interesting, and intense, and passionate, and not for the faint of heart.
It will honor the strong, independent person you either are already
the one you can become if you put the work into it.
They will give you the opportunity to be your own person in a partnership that is tested for every weakness.

(The pros and cons could go on and on but they are always unique to individual situations.)

So, I say all that, not to discourage or warn anyone coming into a relationship like this, 
BUT MORE as a public service announcement so you understand the whole picture.

I am VERY happy to say that we worked through the toughs spots,
and I feel we are the stronger for it.
We figured out how to change our recipe (ZING again) 
so our relationship could be a success.
It wasn't easy, and it will always be a work in progress,
but we are on our way!

My next post on this subject will be to the chefs and the cooks to remember when they except our applications for this job, what it is that they are really, truly asking from us.
While we are close ;) ,we are not super humans and we have needs and "MUST's" that should be remembered also!
(You could also apply all this to any position in a restaurant from the mangers, wait staff, to the bartenders.)
I just wanted to be honest about our life in this post,
because it is just our little life, it is real life, our's is just life squeezed into a aioli bottle!
I hope you enjoyed my little sharing moment.
I promise not to let my second job keep getting in the way of this one!
(My THIRD job hehe)
Thanks for stopping by,
and stay tuned for the second half of this segment!
Love always