It’s Autumn! Misanthropy is in the Air!

This is a whiny post, feel free to skip. I always get this way this time of year. My birthday has become tiresome (old age suxxx). I still feel like THIS POST, even though some things have gotten better. But being tired of hoomans is not one of them.

Nick got a new, better job that is 15 mins from here. It will be similar to NuVision in that he’ll be doing the prepress thing AND IT for the neglected Macs and network there. It is a good fit for him and I think it will be just fine. The money will come. He is happy with it and there are no obvious problems.

I got a p/t job doing prep that I really enjoy. BUT me being me, OF COURSE it has turned sour. The restaurant steals time from employees, which I cannot abide. I have to leave there and I’ll have to report the wage theft, too. I can’t win for losing. First I get a job with EVIL management that accuses me of riding the clock, then wants to discuss how I pee and poo – and now THIS MESS.

SO, I’m foul.

I need to gtfo of here for a couple of days. Gotta get through my fucking birthday first. I foolishly got tickets to the fucking OPERA at COBB ENERGY CENTER ON A FRIDAY. WTF was I thinking? So now it’s going to be a nerve wracking who the fuck knows how long of a drive and it’s going to suck. I’m already over it. I am refusing to drive, that much I’m sure of. I’ve ruined my birthday all by myself, now at least I shouldn’t have to fucking drive to fucking Cobb county. UGH.

Shun (knives) is having a warehouse sale Wednesday, and it starts at 9am PST, which is JUST GREAT. I’ll be at fucking work. I originally thought that was good, because I ALWAYS forget that PST is BEHIND us. I was thinking, YAY, I’ll get up early and get a deal!! But no. Oh, hey, I’ll just take that break they are docking me for and shop then. Have to use the phone, which will SUCK, but I’ll try. I doubt I’ll find what I want, tho. That would require GOOD luck, of which I have NONE.

I just have to get through this week. After that, perhaps I can get out of here BY MYSELF for an overnight somewhere. I just have to keep my shit together. Which is becoming very difficult indeed. GDI And, like Hulk, I’m always like this; sometimes I get tired of pretending I’m not.

It’s That Time of Year!

Halloween and my birthday are looming. Temps have dropped and leaves are turning. Aaaaaah!

For us, it has been a season of much change. Nick got a new job at a large format printing company and will be doing much of the same things he did at NuVision back in the day. It’s an all Mac shop (as it should be!) and he’ll get to do IT as well as prepress work. The pay is only $20 to start, but this will go to $21 in 60 days, with another evaluation at 6 months. We are confident that he’ll get towards the rate he should be making within a year or so. He’ll never make $75k like he did at NVG, but being around the $55-60k mark would be about right for what’s left of the print industry. He’ll be doing two jobs, after all, so compensation will be commensurate.

I picked up a p/t prep job at a nearby cafeteria. It’s simple work: veg and salad prep. I’m making $15/hr, which is pretty much minimum these days. The place is on autopilot – there really is no leadership at all. The line cooks run the kitchen and the food they cook is MEH on a good day. They do a few things right, but overall the food is bland and boring. One really funny thing is the “mac n cheese”. I put that in quotes because they do NOT make mac n cheese. This guy makes some sort of abomination that is egg, (YES EGGS IN MAC N CHEESE!!!) milk, cheddar cheese and elbow macaroni. It breaks when it’s cooked (no binder such as flour) and it is NAISTY. I dunno where he learned THAT recipe (yes I do, it’s from S&S cafeteria, GROSS), but that is NOT mac n cheese! Aside from nasty food, the work is fine. Since there’s no management, I come in and manage myself. PERFECT! No one bothers me, no one asks me how long it takes me to poop (YES this happened at TJX) and I enjoy observing how the kitchen works. One thing this job has also done for me is to confirm that I do, indeed, know a LOT about running a kitchen and overall restaurant ops. I work a coupla days a week, but the manager has already detected that I can work pretty much any position, so he’s asking me to pick up shifts outside the kitchen. I like being an all purpose employee. Variety suits me. :) [Unfortunately, they steal wages. I have to leave. And I have to report them. SIGH.]

We saw Weird Al on Friday night. We don’t recommend this tour AT ALL. Emo Phillips opened, and while I’m glad I can say I saw a set by him, it was overall, very sad and not funny. As for the Al part, when the band came out and SAT DOWN, I knew this was not going to be a typical Weird Al show – and it wasn’t. This tour is pretty much all B sides, so no one knows the songs. The crowd was not very engaged and we left early. Nick had been overserved, was not happy with the music and became agitated, so we bailed. The good news is that we earned enough $ this weekend to cover the cost of the Weird Al debacle.

That’s really all I got for updates. We dealt with a LOT of anxiety in the weeks before Nick was hired and now we’re getting through the last week of his MM employment on the other side of town. The new gig is about 15 minutes from here with NO INTERSTATES!! That alone will make all the difference. Well, that and his having a REAL job, not just some shitty print shop where it’s all about volume and he’s just a brain attached to a PC.

My birthday is Nov 11th and I don’t want to discuss the number. It freaks me out a little. Suffice it to say, I don’t look it, I don’t act it and I certainly do NOT feel it.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!

Happy Halloween, y’all!

I Survived Captain Trips!

I tested positive after DragonCon this year. Not a shock at all, but an inconvenience.

This current strain is very transmissible, but also pretty mild. It was like a very light flu. I had a low grade fever for about a week with some light congestion and cough.

Nick got it, too, despite his getting a booster right before con. All the booster did for him was make the tests give a false negative. He’s a couple of days behind me in recovery.

I’m on day 9 today. I tested positive yesterday but no fever since Thursday, so I think I’m done. The rules are unclear and most places have given up trying to control the spread. I put off starting the p/t job until I at least had no fever, so with that done, I’ll be starting on Monday. I’ve got a jury summons for Monday as well, but if I get called, they’ll give me a 3 month waiver due to the Covid infection.

I’m happy to have a p/t job – gods know we need the money. Nick is also pursuing two jobs that pay better than MM and are on this side of town. I really hope he gets one of them! Even a buck or two more without an hour long commute would be excellent. [He did! He will start at the new gig on Halloween!]

So, I feel a bit more positive than I have for a while. At least money will be less tight with me bringing in a coupla hundred per week. I got a notice from Macy’s Northlake that they want to hire me, but I think I’ll go with TJX even tho there’s a commute. For some reason, that store appeals to me. WE SHALL SEE. LOL I give it 2 weeks before they get on my last nerve. [YEP, 2 weeks is all I could stand. The horrible management did me in. After being accused of riding the clock, then grilled about how long it takes me to pee and poop, I WALKED. No more retail for me, it has become less desirable than fucking fast food. UGH. I began a prep job instead and I love it. See next post!]

That’s the state of the Weasels on this fine September day. Mercury Rx has been a bitch, but hopefully it will not interfere with Nick’s job hunt. It didn’t hurt mine. We will likely drive to Buford tomorrow to fix a game at the skating rink. It’s been put off due to the plague. Need to get that out of the way. Then we need to get the bathroom painted. It is disgusting with mold growth despite our best efforts. Sigh.

So I can definitely say “I Survived Captain Trips” now! I’ll wear my shirt with pride! LOL Get yours at Tee Public!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Print

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

By roasting the squash, you concentrate its flavor. Also, using full fat buttermilk adds a really nice tanginess that works well with the sweet squash.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author misangela

Equipment

  • stick blender or counter blender

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed 1" cubes about 2-3#, 4-5 cups cut up
  • 1 small white onion, diced about 2/3-3/4 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbl butter add another Tbl if you like!
  • 1 Tbl flour heaping Tbl!
  • 1 Cup Chicken stock water is fine, you'll need more seasoning
  • 1.5 Cup full fat buttermilk sub half n half, but do try to use the buttermilk and make sure it is FULL FAT, not low fat
  • 2 Tbl EVOO
  • S/P to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg fresh if you have it
  • 1 tsp dry rubbed sage +/- to taste (fresh is great, use sparingly)
  • water as needed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cut up squash and place on large sheet pan in one layer. Drizzle with EVOO and season with S/P generously. Toss to ensure squash won't stick. Bake for about 40-45 mins until squash is soft and slightly browned.
  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, add butter and sweat the onions and garlic until translucent. Add flour and cook a couple of minutes. Set aside.
  • When squash is done, add to soup pot along with stock (or water). Put on med high heat and stir to break up the squash. This will be thick! Kill heat. Add add buttermilk, so you can blend with a stick blender (or counter blender).
  • Once puree is smooth add nutmeg and sage.
  • Adjust thickness with water and check seasoning.
  • Serve with roasted pepitas.

Notes

Tip: foods often need more salt after they've been refrigerated! This soup will likely need more salt due to the dairy. This soup is not freezable. 
If you cannot find full fat buttermilk, you can use low fat, but be careful with the amount used. It is thinner than full fat, you might need less. 

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini

Print

Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini stuffed with Israeli couscous, fennel, marinara and cheeses. This dish was born of leftovers as many of my recipes are, but it's so good, I had to share!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword fennel, israeli couscous, marinara, mozzarella, parmesan sauce, zucchini
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela

Equipment

  • 1 9x13 baking dish

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and scooped out Find straight ones for easy cutting, leave 1/2 inch all around to hold filling
  • 1/2 cup fennel, finely diced Sub onion or celery
  • 1 lg shallot, finely diced Sub 2 Tbl onion or omit
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced About 1.5 Tbl
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, fine chop
  • 1 cup prepared Israeli couscous Or more if you like
  • 2 cups marinara sauce If you don't have your own, buy the Mezzetti brand. It is the best! Or you can make my recipe, search 'marinara'.
  • 1 Tbl dry marjoram Or use basil, oregano or all three!
  • 1 Tbl fresh thyme Or 1/2 Tbl dry thyme
  • 2 Tbl fennel fronds, fine chop If using fresh fennel
  • 2 Tbl sherry vinegar Sub red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ground parmesan The dry kind found on the Italian aisle or you can use a little shredded
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella You can use fresh, but I think shredded works best here
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs Mixed with 1 Tbl EVOO
  • S/P to taste You'll use more than you think
  • EVOO Used in various places

Instructions

  • Spray baking dish with food release and preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cut ends off zucchini, hollow out with a spoon leaving 1/2 inch all around and at the ends to hold filling. I did not use the flesh, but you could if you wish. Just chop and add to filling and adjust seasoning. Place boats in baking dish, drizzle with EVOO and season generously with S/P. Remember: zucchini is bland!
  • Prepare couscous as directed on package. DO NOT use any flavourings that might be in the package, you want plain couscous. Make sure it's seasoned with S/P. You need to layer your seasonings since veg dishes need more seasoning in general.
  • In a skillet over med heat, add 1 Tbl EVOO and sweat the fennel, garlic, shallot and mushrooms. Once veg is soft, add about 2/3 cup marinara and the herbs.
  • Add in couscous and reduce heat to med low. Allow to simmer just a couple of minutes, then turn off heat. Add vinegar and ground parm, then allow filling to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the filling to check seasoning - you want it well seasoned. It should not be too dry, adjust marinara if needed.
  • Fill zucchini boats with filling, fill them as full as you can get them and allow couscous to cover the tops completely.
  • Add the rest of the marinara, making sure the ends of the zucchini are covered and the couscous has plenty of moisture. Keep on top of the zucchini, it is not meant for the squash to cook in sauce. Some overpour is fine, it will make a lovely crisp!
  • Top with parmesan, mozzarella and finally the panko. Again, any overpour will create a nice crisp at the bottom! (See photo.)
  • Cover with foil and bake at 375° for about 45 minutes. Check the zucchini's doneness with a spoon. You want it cooked, but still strong enough to hold the filling. When done, return uncovered to the oven, under the broiler to brown the panko. Watch this! Panko goes from raw to black quickly!
  • Allow to stand for 10 minutes or so, then serve. One zucchini is a serving, but 2 is fine. It's veg, dig in!!

Notes

Do get the fennel for this dish! It is delightful. If you hate fennel, celery will work. 
Fresh mozzarella could be used, but I like the dry shredded better. It doesn't form a blob and is not as bland. 
Many stuffed zucchini recipes call for sausage, which is fine, but I like how this turned out without it. It is light, but very satisfying with the fleshy zucchini. 
Of course this can be made vegan by using vegan cheese.