Monday, April 20, 2015

Juggling Motherhood Chef Style....

Juggling Motherhood and Management~ Chef Style..


   Well it has been well overdue for a blog post. Many things have happened since my last post. My life has changed many folds over. I am a dog owner now, of a wonderful Boston Terrier named Dibbit, which incidentally was named for my father-in-law's best friend. Wish I could have met my father-in -law, it might explain the ticks and quirks of my boys that leave me scratching my head.

Look Easy?
     Beyond that, my life has entered the surrender and transformation phase. Wow, wish that my older self could have told me that when I was walking around with rainbow leg warmers. There is a tremendous amount of truth to the statement " Hindsight is 20/20" this applies to me, five minutes after I have opened my mouth, in the present tense. All I can say is, that I am human, a work in  progress.


   Learning the Cooperative Way is like thinking outside of the box as a chef. Chefs are used to butter, cream, shanks ,sugar ,fine cheeses and artisan wines. So when we are presented with tempeh, tofu and nutritional yeast we learn fast how to make a feast! Somehow I don't think it has anything to do with food at this point. but more to do with the people. I am learning people at this stage in my life.

      For those of you who have no idea what it is like to work in a professional kitchen it is not like my present situation. A professional kitchen with a brigade is nothing short of a shark tank. There are people who are ready to step on your head literally, to get the attention of the Executive Chef, and the Chef relishes in that twisted power. This was how I learned to function for many years. Now, I am working in a Cooperative situation, where my voice, LOL my voice suddenly matters.

      Managing humans has been a huge learning curve, because each human comes with a different set of needs, and trying to fulfill those needs eventually leads to productive happy humans. The conundrum lies between that point and the outcome? Someone once told me that managing people, in a way is like teaching a kindergarten class. At first I wasn't so sure that I agreed with the idea but now I understand. Kindergarteners are full of excitement, energy and ideas and imagine 25 of those powerhouses moving in 25 different directions! Where's the Tylenol?

     In August my oldest son will be going away to college. I was very fortunate to have him home for a year, post graduation in June of 2014.  They call that a gap year,  my father called it farting around! (sorry Dad). I can honestly say that I am excited for him, but when I turn off the lights at night. I am sad to see him go, I have taken care, nurtured and looked over him for 19 years and somehow it is hard to turn that emotion off. Life at some point sped up, maybe when I stopped to smell the roses, or perhaps it was when I was distracted by boo-boos, fights or laughing fits either way as I stare at that picture to your right I am humbled by how fast time goes by.

     There is a cake that I would like to share with you, one because I live in the apple capital of the USA, and just recently I have read posts of friends whom have started the intricate process of pruning and two because I always end my posts with a recipe and a quote.


Heirloom Apple Cake 

8oz of softened cream cheese
4oz softened butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg5.
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 apples (Cortland) peeled, cored and diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts

 In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine, set aside. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter, until light and fluffy, gradually add the sugar, scrape the bowl down and add the eggs combined with the extracts, scraping the bowl down again, add all the flour mixture and mix on low to combine. Stir in the apples, cranberries and walnuts and pour into a well greased 10 inch cake pan and bake in a 350 oven until when pierced with a toothpick the pick comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes. Cool and invert and garnish with powdered sugar.

  “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.” – A Bug’s Life








    

 

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