Monday, August 2, 2010

no job yet, but good eats

I am still without a job, but still plugging away. The NYU Faculty Resources job is not yet filled, according to the website; I never got called for a second interview at the Franklin Report; and none of my references have been called for any jobs.

I did go to the first employment agency of the current job hunt, and was pleasantly surprised that they now seem to understand corporate culture. I used to tell agencies that I would do anything except banking, finance, etc., and all they would send me on were banking and finance interviews. I never got any of those jobs, and I did go to those interviews on my best behavior and in my black interview suit.

But the woman I spoke to today seemed to get it when I said I didn't want a corporate job, interviewed for some and didn't get them, temped at some and didn't like it, that I wouldn't be happy at one and they wouldn't be happy with me and it wouldn't last long. She seemed to totally get it. (In fact, when I took the typing test, the text they used was about how to understand the corporate culture of a workplace when you're interviewing.)

Sidebar: when I say "corporate culture," it means the feel of any employer: large or small, conservative or liberal, friendly or all-business, formal or casual dress. When I say I don't want a "corporate" job, I'm referring to banking, finance, hedge funds and the like, places that have a very stiff, conservative, formal corporate culture (and generally a strict dress code).

I did not wear my black suit today. I hope never to wear that black suit again. It's been my interview suit for maybe a dozen years. Today I wore Tienda Ho, but solid colors: a black top and a nut-colored skirt, nice flowy cotton/rayon stuff, and my gold Mephisto sandals. I'm sure that said a lot to the interviewer about the kind of place I'd like to work: a non-profit, something artsy or media, a small office. Ironically, I probably looked neater and tidier than I do in more formal office clothes; because of my build, skirts droop at the waist and blouses untuck, making me look fat and messy. The drapey top over the drapey skirt was more flattering and didn't lose its look, plus it was very comfortable. Mission Canyon uses a heavy rayon, and Tienda Ho uses a cotton/rayon blend that they call something like Moroccan Cotton. The two feel very similar, and the way they drape and move is just fabulous.

I did a huge supermarket shop in the past week, plus went to *two* farmer's markets (one on Cadman Plaza in downtown Brooklyn, and the big one in Union Square), so the cabinets and fridge and freezer are absolutely stuffed. I made blackberry-blueberry ice cream today.

Monday nights, Barry generally goes out to a blues jam in the Village with his friend Felix. I encourage this because he doesn't have many guy friends, and needs his guy-friend-time, plus I need some alone-at-home time. One of the best things about a night at home alone is that I can cook and eat whatever I want. I made some kale the other night, with turkey bacon and shallots and olive oil, which didn't go over too big with Barry; despite all of the flavoring, it was too bitter and too crunchy for him. So tonight, I chopped up the leftover kale (which still had quite a few shallots and bits of turkey bacon), and put it in an omelet with jack cheese, and ate it with a side of kimchi. Hoo boy, was that good! I bought the kimchi at Union Square today, and it must have been made special for "round eyes," since it was in no way as painfully hot as it was when I had it at a Korean restaurant. (Kimchi is a Korean condiment which is a fermented vegetable, usually cabbage, with a lot of hot pepper. Koreans eat it with everything, and family recipes are particularly treasured.) So the kimchi I got was made with napa cabbage, and I would have liked it even a bit spicier (I'm into hotter foods these days), but it's basically like sauerkraut with a slight peppery kick. But another lovely relish, like pickled lemons or chutney. I was hoping to score some chutney at Union Square today, but the vendor who makes it wasn't there. The Zapricot and the Cranberry Lime are amazing, and you can mail-order it. The savory jellies, like garlic, are fantastic to cook with (brush some on chicken before baking). (Just checked -- they're only at Union Square on Fridays and Saturdays).

I also bought several varieties of plums and some Jersey apricots and some donut peaches, all small, which I keep in a bowl in the kitchen and I usually eat one whenever I walk by. I always forget how much I love those teeny, juicy, sweet plums, much much better than what you find at any regular vegetable store. I bought some first-rate salad greens (red lettuce, beet greens, and another kind of kale, which I hope passes muster with you-know-who). There sure are a lot of kinds of kale. There are even a lot of kinds of basil (I bought opal). I bought a kind of summer squash called avocado squash, which is indeed green and pear-shaped, and supposedly less watery than other summer squashes. (An old college friend used to make something he simply called Veggie Dish, which was made by steaming one or more vegetables, then baking them in a casserole with worcestershire sauce and mozzarella cheese. His Veggie Dish almost always had broccoli, but since I have a non-broccoli eater living with me, I may make it tomorrow night with that avocado squash.)

I bought heirloom tomatoes (I live with a tomato maniac), and three colors of string beans -- green, yellow, and purple -- since I live with a bean lover. He loves all kinds of string beans and pod beans except that he won't touch edamame. I don't think he's tried edamame, but he won't go near it. I bought some wildflower honey from upstate the other day at Cadman Plaza, but if I'd waited until today, I could have bought NYC rooftop honey. I also bought yellow and purple bell peppers. Maybe I'm forgetting something, but that's most of it. Oh -- I bought some way expensive artisan gouda with caraway at Cadman, but it was worth every cent. (We are both in love with gouda with cumin, which you simply cannot find in the US. We had it in Aruba. Our friend Eddie, who lives there, once visited New York and brought us an entire cheese, maybe ten pounds. We love Eddie. We eventually ate the whole thing.) Barry tends to like soft, mild cheese, but I also love ripened cheeses and goat cheese.

When I had my first apartment, I cooked a lot of eggs, usually scrambled with sausage and cheese. I was 18, so I stayed amazingly thin. I don't remember much of what else I ate in that apartment, but I remember the huge pans of eggs. In my third apartment, I made enormous salads for dinner, with vast numbers of ingredients; I still have that salad bowl, which I now use to make salads for two rather than a humongous salad for one.

I should have bought cauliflower and broccoli to eat tonight. Maybe next Monday.

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