Jamie's Kitchen and other cooking related musings

This is the entry I wanted to write earlier! I remembered it!

When I say the name Jamie Oliver, Brits and many other Europeans will think of a young chef with light hair, big lips and excessive use of interdental consonants. He has been on TV for several years now, being one of Europe's celebrity chefs. I remember watching some of his shows and I have to admit that I have used more than one of of Jamie's tricks and ideas in my own kitchen adventures. And so I was happy.

A few weeks ago I discovered a new side of Jamie Oliver. It had to do with the Hungarian Ministry of Magic Education put together a list of items that should be/will be banned from school snack shops (though not from school lunches... hm...) Some of it included (alongside the evil chhocolatebars, hard candy and chips/crisps) every Hungarian's beloved Túró Rudi, fruit yoghurts, most nuts and cereal bars. In a parents' forum online someone linked to Jamie Oliver's site and his Feed Me Better campaign. Jamie made headlines with wanting to reform school meals--getting rid of the processed junk and replacing it with healthy and tasty school dinners. He actually got a promise from the British Government for cash injection for school meals.

Jamie actually has a DVD called Jamie's School Dinners, in which viewers can follow Jamie as he takes over a place that produces something like 20K school dinners a day. I saw one of the four episodes, so I would love to have that DVD!

Another show with Jamie Oliver that I grew to enjoy (though I tend to miss at least half of every episode, is Jamie's Kitchen. It is more of a documentary than a cooking show, touching the category of reality shows, in which Jamie takes in 15 unemployed young people to teach them to become chefs and work with him at the restaurant he was about to open. I don't know why I was so captivated by this, but I just fell in love with the show. Maybe because secretly I always wanted to be a chef. Yep. I always loved the kitchen, always loved good food, new things and just being able to create something that people will like. I never dared to tell my parents about it, they would have flipped. They thought that working in a bookstore was below their status, so they denied that I was actually working there when they were asked by a friend of theirs who had run into me at the store. So me cooking as a profession was something that could have never happened.

Yet when I moved here I had a small side business that I quite enjoy doing when it comes up. It is catering. It is pretty easy to do for me, to plan and organize events like that and I quite like doing it. It is not so much me working in the kitchen and doing everything that I can do the best, but getting everything rolling and still doing some of the cooking things myself is my favourite thing.

When I'm home I bake an insane amount of cookies. Craig takes them to school, or the twins take them to the nursery. We take them to Church and to community events. And my neighbours buy them off me by the dozen. It is a very exciting things, when the wealthy neighbours who could buy the expensive (and very yummy) cookies that are sold at the grocery store come to me and offer to pay more per piece than the professionally done and marketed cookies. Not that I actually charge that much, but I love the little extra I can save for fun, or for school supplies or even some seafood!

With all the cooking shows on television these days, I have met some different kind of people who cook and can share tricks and tips. There is Jamie Oliver, and Keith Floyd and the two fat ladies, the former news anchor, the chef and the actor together. What I don't really like in these shows that they always rely on the most well-equipped kitchens and many times on pre-prepaired veggies and stuff. That alone often makes me frustrated, because when they say the preparation time is 20 minutes it takes me around two hours just to chop some veggies! Even with using the very limited modified equipment everything takes a lot longer for me and it often becomes really frustrating. I think I made my point about how frustrating it all can be!

I'd love to see Jamie Oliver have a cooking show when he cooks with some people with disabilities. There would be a lot of people interested in that, too. I mean using a kitchen can be a challenge to someone who has control of his arms and hands but uses a wheelchair. Not to mention someone, who has limited use of their arms/hands! Or an upper limbs amputee... or a blind person. I think I could learn a lot more from them now than from any celebrity chef. I can read and usually recipes are quite easy to follow, but I have no idea how to chop tomatoes. Well, I know. I ask Kevin to do it, but that is not always an option.

One of the things I have learnt about cooking is that the key is not giving up. Yesterday I finally gathered my courage to go to the kitchenette at the end of the corridor and to my surprise I found a grill oven and some burners that are quite low, so I can use them as well. Since Kevin was coming to bring me some clean clothes and a book or two I made a very yummy omelette for him. The onions weren't finely chopped, the bacon wasn't thin enough, the mushrooms were rather oddly shaped, but it still tasted great and Kevin ate it all.

And I didn't need Jamie Oliver for it.
Boy and tiger

On losing thoughts and the weather

Last night as I was already in bed a great idea for an update crossed my mind. I was too tired to try to make any note of it and I forgot it completely. Oh well. Maybe it will come back later.

There was a beautiful storm last night. The weather has become a lot more user friendly during the night. The temperature has dropped from 38°C (100.4°F) to about 14°C (52°F) and while it might climb up a little it will be a lot cooler at last. And there is some kind of a breeze and that is just awesome. Unfortunatelly it is bringing on a migraine for me, so I guess after this entry is posted I will give in and get back to bed, will hav ethe curtains shot and preferrably get some mighty antimigraine drugs in my IV and shell rest for several more hours.

The weather this summer is not behaving the way it should. Well, it was messed up all year round. We had a very mild winter, with maybe two weeks that were really cold, but those were super cold. Then the rest of the winter was very nice. And then it hit hard in March. Yes. March. First week of March. There was a nasty snow storm that forced the kids and Kevin home from work because not even the autópálya (motorway) was safe to drive on!

Then in May the Summer hit with full force. It was unbelievable. Then come June 15th and end of the school year... rain, cold, miserable autumn weather. And then heat wave. And then miserable autumn weather. And then heat wave... Do you see a pattern?
Boy and tiger

Of Shirts and Skin

I was just looking at some of the photos of an LJ friend. They were of her daughter from two years ago. There was something about those pictures and some others that suddenly reminded me of Tim Miller.

I got Tim Miller's Shirts & Skin from a friend a few years ago. I read that book and I suddenly became painfully aware of what kind of a gay man I never wanted to become. I felt that Miller was more of the bitter-activist style. I could never see myself as an activist, or in the bitter-opressed minority role. With all his Pride and anger Miller still locked himself into a box, I felt.

The wonderful artist that he is, however, still captivated me pretty much. He seemed to know what he was doing and why and he was not ashamed of using his body as a piece of art and as a tool of art simultenously. I am very intrigued about what he does, and I just recently had the chance to see a video recording of one of his performances. I think I am in love with his work while I would never be able to friends with the man that I got to know though Shirts & Skin.

I also had a chance to read Body Blows by him, but it was not nearly as influential for me as Shirts & Skin. I should dig it out from my boxes and take it along to camp to read it.
All the wonder

Morbid thoughts on death and some Catholicism teasing with a generous side of Pope bashing

Last night I was having a conversation with seadolphin that started with me saying that I wanted the picture posted in the previous entry to be used in my death announcement when I die. And from that on it went on a downward spiral as far as sanity and reality are concerned but became über fun as we ended up talking about my canonization. More on that later.

When I mentioned that I indeed wanted that picture on the death annoucement we started to talk about the legalities (like who will have guardianship of the twins, a will and what I want as far as funeral goes) and I told her that most likely I'd like to be cremated along with a notebook and pencil so I can take notes and kept on thebookshelf next to the marzipan frog. But I also shared one of my secret ambitions: I'd like to become a skeleton in a high school biology lab.

You see, I always wanted to be an organ donor, but I can't become one because of the cancer thing and because of the gay thing. So the second best thing for making sure my body wasn't exactly going to waste once I leave it would have been the skeleton thing. But with my right leg partially missing, I think only a very low-budget high school would buy my skeleton, as I am sure it would be discounted. It would be such a cute skeleton as well.

(Yes, I expect that you will never look at a skeleton the same way after this!)

I, for a while, also considered being turned into buillon cubes, but then I heard that the last cannibal on Fiji had died. Does anyone know of any other cannibal tribes anywhere? One that eats soup?

In case I ever start performing miracles and the Catholic Church decides to canonize me, I want to be the patron siants of gay writers. (And that is not only because I love Wilde, Verlaine and Rimbaud.) St. Derek. Well, that looks kinda funny, but then again, I am not sure I really want to be a saint. Saints were mostly ascethic, boring and skinny. Except St. Francis of Assissi, who was somewhat nuts. Today he'd surely be a PETA member. Not that St. Francis is not my favourite saint like... Ever. OK, maybe St. Cecilia is my real favourite, but it will be a tie.

Maybe I should start preaching to Nolan? I could teach him the first discussion (anyone LDS or ex-mo here?). That would kinda be preaching to the beasts?

Just please no one tell Ratface that I am a) gay, b) not quite pious and c) I like Harry Potter!

Well, another week, another entry

I really need to update here more. I am also planning on going back to the simple embedding layout and just adding the permalink... if I can find out how... and also putting in a new tagboard. But for now I'm staying with this layout.

Yesterday I went on a picture hunt for good Lance Armstrong photos. I found one that I especially love, and you will have to put up with it. (And that is after I changed the site banner to him in the sunflower field!)

So yeah, Lance Armstrong did it again. He won the Tour de France. He keeps inspiring people. I am so glad he does it. He sure does inspire me 90% of the time. The other 10% I hate his guts for having everything I don't. Primarily for being healthy. Oh well. I think I'm just being my shallow, greedy self again.