Monday, December 17, 2007

My At-Home Cubicle

Oh, the joys of the last day before a vacation!

I worked from my mom's house in San Diego today, awaiting a plane trip out of Lindbergh Field tomorrow, and the view of a lawn and blue sky from her kitchen table are decidedly more enjoyable a view than polyester gray cube walls.
Even better than the view is the opportunity to put an oven range to use instead of the office microwave come lunchtime. One of the great aspects of SD's food scene is there numerous health food grocers. My perennial favorite is Henry's for its farm-style produce (as opposed to the test tube stuff of the supermarkets or the gilded produce of Whole Foods), and organic meat. The butcher counter produces top-notch sausages, and we picked up their chicken basil variety. They are plump, juicy, un-greasy, and perfectly seasoned.

I sauteed them until the skin had a crispy finished, then removed them from the pan and tossed in leftover mashed potatoes so they soaked up the juice, and got a little smokey flavor.

Call it a Californian bangers and mash. To cut the fat and leave a clean finish on the palate, my beverage of choice was a bottle of DRY rhubarb soda.

The home office has its advantages.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Cubicle Christmas

For an office that had a contest at Halloween to see who could devise the most fiendish cubicle decor, there has been surprisingly little Christmas effort put forward amid the third floor prairie dog farm this month.

But in my cubicle, the internet radio is tuned to all-day Christmas tunes, and the lights blaze for all to see. I've wrapped a couple strings up the posts at the back of my cube that carry the power and ethernet cables, hoping it would inspire a little Christmas cheer amongst my work-weary co-laborers. While compliments have been many, I have yet to see any trees, garlands, or nativity scenes spring up elsewhere. Granted there was one person who did her whole cube in wrapping paper before I got my decorations up, but that's immaterial to my ranting.

What the office lacks in decorating spirit, they've more than made up for in seasonal sweets. Every day there are bonbons, chocolates, cookies, candy, and all other manner of winter-coat inducing goodies. The baker in my group brought in a plate of assorted red and green chocolate cupcakes with lush cream cheese frosting. It's red velvet and green ... moss?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Happiest Day

I haven't posted in a long, long time. But, hey, it's not like November is a big eating month, right? No big food-preparation events in that month, no sir.

Kidding aside, I was on a restricted diet of only liquefied foods for a month (A MONTH!!) due to a jaw issue I've been having. It turns out that eating all day, every day, can give you an arthritic jaw. It is the carpal tunnel syndrome of food lovers. It is a potentially life-altering diagnosis. It is a plague that has unseated kings from their thrones, caused the downfall of the American textile industry, extinguished suns, and dashed the hopes of world-famous sports stars like my hero, Takeru Kobayashi.

Needless to say, you fine readers wouldn't have been too interested reading about the instant Cream of Wheat and smoothies I've been living off of.

However, I'm back in the saddle, and so hungry I could eat the horse out from under it. The doctor has given me the go-ahead to eat foods fit for the above-toddler age range.

Imagine my joy when rumor of brownies in the kitchen started floating around the office a few minutes ago. I was more than ready to sink my teeth into some chewy, fudgey, cocoa heaven. Where I had been expecting a small plate or tin of someone's homemade confections, there was a ginormous gift basket full of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter cookies ... and a hundred employees swarming around the basket like bees about a hive.

Where did it all come from? Who cares? My belief is that there are food gnomes hiding in the walls, looking out for us all ... or fattening us up to be eaten. Whatever.

I managed to snap this shot after the carnage passed, and there were only a handful of cookies left. But I got my brownie. I'm back and ready to eat.