Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The frustration continues. So, I totally meant to write last Thursday, but as you may know I didn't. I didn't because I was frustrated and confused and all aflutter. You see, I went to my interview Thursday afternoon and I was fine. I was calm, cool and confident. I got into the interview and they asked questions and I answered and all was going well. Then just as the interview was wrapping up, they said “And now we need a writing sample. We'll give you 30 minutes to write a one to two minute congratulatory speech on the opening of the new Kia plant in Georgia”. Wah?! To put this in perspective, a one minute speech is about a typed page worth of words. I also know absolutely nothing about Kia. If I had a couple hours, I could probably have whipped up a killer speech about whatever they wanted (clearly I like to write) but 30 minutes isn't even enough time to type out 2 pages worth of material let alone research something that you know nothing about. Well, I researched a little online and came up with some interesting facts about Kia and the new plant they built (they are the only plant in North America to put wood floors on the production line, which is apparently easier on the workers). I had just enough time to write about 2 paragraphs and they came and said time's up. The sentences were disjointed and not cohesive, there was no flow whatsoever, and I hadn't even put any sort of closing on the speech. I was sweating bullets. I know I can write (although it's been a long time since I've written any type of formal speech). I know I can research, and I know that measly handful of sentences was not my best work; it wasn't even mediocre. So, when I got home Thursday night I was in no mood to write or really do much of anything. I spent this whole weekend kicking myself. Ok, so I spent the whole weekend kicking myself minus the time that I partying hardy at a bachelorette party, and that was only because I was too drunk to do so. The kicking recommenced Sunday morning with the added bonus of also getting to kick myself for drinking so much the night before.

Fast forward to yesterday... I got a call. They want to see me again Wednesday because the Consul General wants to ask a few more questions. Arg! How much longer can they string this along? The job is supposed to start this coming Monday. I suppose at least it isn't a no, but I'm not entirely sure what this means. My sister thinks it's so they can offer me the job in person (best case scenario). I think it's because they are waffling between candidates and want to ask more questions (most likely scenario). Of course, they could have been bored and decided to make a game of torturing me (worst case scenario). Meh!

So, needless to say, all I have been able to think about for the past several days has been this job. Clearly I will be thinking about it for a few more days. But... in the meantime you can make my newest recipe: Ranch Chicken. The guys liked it so much that they ran out (over 12lbs of chicken for 24 people).

Ranch Chicken
Serves 6

6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 packets of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
2 cups Milk
2 cups Low Fat or Fat Free Plain Yogurt
2 medium Tomatoes, sliced
12 slices of Bacon
1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Mix together the dressing mix, milk and yogurt. Flatten chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper until chicken breasts are an even thickness. Pour over the chicken and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
Remove chicken and shake off any extra dressing. Broil for approximately 7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Top each breast with a couple slices of tomato, a couple slices of bacon and a small handful of cheese. Return to the broiler and broil until cheese melts, 2-3 minutes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All We Ever Get is Gruel

I hope you guys had a pleasant labor day weekend. Ours was alright. We decided to make a trip up to Helen, Georgia to “tube the 'hootch” (the Chattahoochee River). We went the very first weekend in June and had a ton of fun. We had fun when we went this time too, but the fun was slightly marred by the serious traffic jam on the way up there. The only way in to town is by a two lane highway that winds through the “mountains” (having seen the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Tetons, I refuse to call the large hills in North Georgia mountains) and it was jam packed with tourists. I was afraid that the river would be bumper to bumper inner tubes, but for as much traffic as was heading into Helen, there were surprisingly few people on the river. I think it's because the temperature that day was under 90 degrees. In fact, it barely hit 80 in Helen, and people in the south do not get in the water unless it's above 90 otherwise it's “too cold”. The water level was a lot lower than it was in June and the river was almost unrecognizable. The June river was ice cold, fast and deep; the September river was warm, shallow and slow. We went around the rocks rather than over them (somewhat less terrifying). All in all it was a beautiful day and a lovely chilly night. Now I'm back at work and it's hot and muggy again with no reprieve in sight.

Because a week can't go by at the frat without some sort of drama, there's been some on-going drama at the frat. It all started at the end of my first week. Knowing how forget full and disorganized the guys are, I reminded them several times to get the paperwork in to the people that pay me so they would be sure to send a check this past Friday. Friday came and there was no check. Shocking! Needless to say, I was livid. Then, because apparently I wasn't angry enough, they said they had a new way they wanted to serve lunch. I guess they'd been having problems with people on half meal plans eating when they weren't supposed too and people taking more than they were supposed to; all of which led to some people not getting their meals and going hungry. Of course, who knew what meals the people on half meal plan were supposed to eat and weren't supposed to eat because they hadn't signed up for them yet and the steward hadn't gotten me the numbers. I had a number of problems with this. To begin with, it's more work for me (they told me this Friday right after they told me I was getting paid). Then, it is impossible to keep stuff warm once it's been portioned out. So unless people get there at 10:30am when I put the meals out, everyone will be getting cold food. Third, there are certain dishes that are impossible to portion out because it depends on the person's taste. For example, I'm going to have sub sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. I know that there are some people that don't like ham and there are some people that don't like turkey and some people that like both. I also don't know how each person likes their sandwich. Normally, I set out plates of meat and cheese and dishes with all the different condiments and veggies. The same goes for pizza or chips; do I put fruit and veggies on each plate. What if the person doesn't like fruit or veggies? I've considered getting a bunch of cheap dog dishes, writing each person's name on them and then just slopping food in. Perhaps I should just serve gruel. No one would steal that and it wouldn't matter if it was hot or cold because it's disgusting either way.

Side note: My big interview is tomorrow. So, I would request that if you could pray/ keep your fingers crossed/ do a “get Kristy a job at the consulate” rain dance; I would appreciate it. I would really like a job that actually pays me and doesn't force me to serve gruel in dog dishes. Thanks!

P.S. I'll be posting a recipe tomorrow. I made it for the guys tonight and want to make sure they ate it and I didn't kill them or anything ;-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

She's Baaaack!

So I'm back at the frat. I don't want to be back at the frat. I really dislike that I'm back at the frat. It isn't better. It's actually worse. There's no internet. What am I supposed to do with my time if I can't look up mindless drivel and play Wordworm? Of course, there's already been drama. They couldn't decide when I started, and then they couldn't decide how often I was working. And of course they didn't know how many people were eating when (and they still don't), and they weren't terribly sure what the budget was. Oy... welcome back to work, right? The good news is, it might not be forever. I have an interview next week. Woot! But, I don't have the job in the bag yet. I'm only hoping... praying... wishing... crossing fingers, toes, eyes, the beams from my nuclear ghost-catching backpacks, etc. I would totally ask all of you to put in a good word for me at my (hopefully) future place of employment, but then I realized that you read my blog and probably think I'm insane. So, that might not be a good idea.

I did find something out about the boys; there are guys at the frat that like vegetables. They will actually take large helpings of all things green. I knew they existed! I'm even fairly sure they aren't just figments of my imagination. While hiding in the lounge (the kitchen gets to be over 100 in the summer, requiring me to find someplace cool) a couple guys came in and they actually requested that I cook more veggies like broccoli. Of course one of them also requested that I cook less pork. Eh, less pork is not a very viable option as the guys won't eat fish and there's only so much you can do with just chicken and beef on my budget. The new steward also informed me that the guys requested that I make mac and cheese once a week. They are going to get really sick of it really fast. Or maybe they won't, but I'm pretty sure I'll get sick of making it. Homemade mac and cheese is somewhat labor intensive; it requires a lot of steps. I also tend to burn myself on the cheese sauce pot every time I make it.

I've decided to make a change to the way I do the blog. It simply isn't feasible to put up a new recipe every day. So, I'll probably put up a recipe once or twice a week. I haven't decided if I'll still put up thoughts every day. I'm not sure you want to hear me babel that often. I'll have to think about it.

Torture: (v) 1. To inflict pain 2. To cause anguish 3. To sit in a room with a fresh out of the oven apple cobbler and vanilla ice cream in the freezer but not be allowed to eat it.

I made apple crisp today. If it tastes half as good as it smells than it turned out divine. I didn't really have a recipe for it (as per usual) so when I got groceries I just kinda grabbed what I thought I might need. I used to make apple crisp back in the long long ago when I worked at a grocery store deli in high school. I remembered making large trays of it using apple pie filling and making a sort of crumb crust on top. Well, I haven't been able to find any industrial-sized cans of apple pie filling and the little ones are expensive. So I decided to go ahead and make it from scratch. Yeah, I've lost my marbles, I know. It really didn't end up being all that hard to make. Sure, peeling 8-10 lbs of apples wasn't particularly fun, but I used a one of those little utensils that cores and slices the apple which cut the steps down considerable. The end result was a gooey apple filling with a lovely cinnamon-y crunchy top. (Ok... Ok, so I stole a bite...) Lucky for you I wrote down the ingredients I used and the amounts, so you can make it too.

Apple Crisp
Serves... probably about 8

For the Filling:
8 medium Granny Smith Apples, about 2 lbs
1/8 cup Lemon Juice
2 TBS Flour
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Allspice
¼ tsp Ginger
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Butter

For the Topping:
½ cup Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ cup Butter

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 pan. Peel, core and slice apples. Do not slice the apples too thin or they will disintegrate; slice the apples into 12ths or 16ths. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix lemon juice and sugar mix with apples until they are well coated. Spread the apples evenly over the pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the apples with it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the oat mixture. Using your hands (or a pastry cutter), cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over apples. Bake for 15 minutes then turn the temperature down to 350 and back for another 30 minutes. Crust should be golden brown and the apples should be soft. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.