Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stamppot-off

Last night I had a samppot-off at my place.  There was a great battle between Som and Joyce and much trash talking that led up to the actual event.  Little did I know that I would not be getting two traditional stamppots but actually two very different ones.  This made the judging difficult.

 First, Joyce made one with sweat potatoes and chorizo and some other things, it was very good and quite an interesting combination of ingredients.  Never would have thought of sweat potato with chorizo but it went together well.

Second, Som made a somewhat more traditional one but it was still different as well.  His used regular potatoes but also in it was cashews and wasabi!  The wasabi was a nice touch for sure.

Judging for Andi, Patricia, and I was difficult, but Joyce ended up winning buy only one vote.  Congrats Joyce.

I figured I would make desert since I was getting two free dinners so I tried chocolate pie for the first time.  It turned out really well!  I still can't figure out how do get meringue not to get a layer of water underneath after cooking, but I was able to get most of it off once it cooled.  When I make this pie next time I will definitely use a more traditional crust made with butter.  This one called for oil and milk...never head of making a crust that way, it was good but could have been better.  Filling was amazing.  Here is what I made:
http://homesicktexan.blogspot.nl/2008/09/grandmas-chocolate-pie.html

Was a great night, I need to have people over more often.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Driving

I remember when I used to love driving.  I wanted to drive everywhere and could not wait to get my drivers license.  Now that I have to do it every day, I despise it.  I value public transport so much more.  Give me a train, bus, metro, tram, etc. any day over driving a car.  It is over-rated!

When being away for my brother's wedding and Christmas, I only drove a car once in the time period from December 7th until January 2nd.  It was great!  A funny thing happened though when I drove for those first couple days...I actually enjoyed it again!  Maybe it was because the sun was out, maybe it was that I was not used to it anymore, I don't know, but it was a nice feeling.

Right now, I am back to the point where I don't really like it again.  It just gets old, going i back and forth every day to the same place, dealing with traffic, not being comfortable in the car while wearing a coat and scarf, having to concentrate on the road and not being able to relax.  I just don't like it.  I think of the time that I wast on it every day and it just does not make me happy.  At least if I was on public transport I could be doing something constructive like reading.  I really despise having to work in Uithoorn, I like my job, just not the location of it.

I've been doing this drive now for almost three years and for some reason I just cannot get used to it.  I miss the 67H in Pittsburgh.  10-15 minutes each way walk a couple blocks and that was it.  Plus you got to know the people at the bus stop and on the bus and it was nice.  You don't have any of that with driving, just a whole bunch of frustration.  I miss talking to Carrie and Ashley and all of the other people that I did not even know their names.  I miss listening to interesting conversations going on around me, I miss being able to rest my eyes and not worry about what's happening on the road so early in the morning.  I miss working in a city!!!  I miss working and living in the same city.

I think this year I need to come up with some kind of balance between going to work and working from home.  Just to keep my sanity.  Driving to and from work ~30 km each way every day is really getting to me and I am not a happy person when I am doing it.  I don't want to know ever go into work, that would be really boring, but maybe I could negotiate some kind to flexible schedule where I only physically go to work a few days a week because lets be honest... I can to pretty much my entire job (at least the part of it when I am not in Amsterdam or Clichy) from anywhere in the world as long as it has an Internet connection.

Has anyone ever tried to do this at their job?  If so, how did it go?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wedding and Christmas

I'm back!  Did you miss me?  Probably not, but I'm going to write something anyways.

What a three weeks.  I got a lot in.  The marriage of my brother, working in GO and staying with Erin, and of course Christmas.

The first week totally revolved around the wedding, my mom had every minute planned with stuff that we had to do.  Was crazy but at least the wedding ended up being fun.  It was really good to get to see everyone in my family even though I did not get to spend as much time with everyone as I would have liked.  Also really cool to have a sister now!

The next week I stayed with Erin and worked Downtown.  That was a nice change of pace.  Got to see a bunch of friends and go to some good restaurants.  Was also good to see people at work as well.  Wow were there a lot of things I had to get done the first few days of working there!

Next +Shawn Sutton and Kara got engaged at Hemingway's!  I don't think I've ever seen the back room of Hems look so fancy.

Christmas was also good.  Check out our new pajamas!  haha

All and all it was a good trip, but if you want more details you will just have to ask me...too much to try to fit into one blog post.