Saturday, May 24, 2008

A day in the life of - me

It seems that the most common, albeit rhetorical, question I have been getting lately is "where do you find the time?" and "do you sleep?" I have to agree that is has been pretty crazy lately. And I will also agree that I tend to take a lot on and have a hard time sitting still to just rest. But while my days seem busy - I'm always very satisfied by the end of them when I've gotten through so many things.

The pastry cream, at left hiding between the layers of strawberries, was my late-night project tonight.

Today was one of my busier days and it unfortunately started out with a morning at work - yet again. At least the atmosphere in the office on these Saturdays is an upbeat and fun one. There's music - good music - and food (*sigh*) and a lot of laughter in between the cursing of failed test cases and defects logging.

After putting in 3 hours, I fled the office just before noon for an [oh yes] deep pore cleansing facial. Facials, while sounding relaxing to an untrained ear can actually be quite painful. Or perhaps I am just particularly pore-clogged. But it felt good to have the cleansing even though my poor nose is actually sore now!

With a shiny, glowing face I then braved the crowds of shoppers scouting the Macy's and Nordstom's Memorial Day sales. Oh and let's not forget a trip to the adult cook's Toys-R-Us: Williams-Sonoma for which I had a gift card, perhaps left from last years birthday, burning a hole in my purse pocket. I was pretty proud of myself for walking out the door with an object that cost only 83¢ more than my gift card - these cute quiche pans which I'm going to use to make tarts and mini-pies. Oh and maybe some quiches too?

Next stop was a snack date with a friend at a brand-spanking-new Red Mango! Yul Kwon, famous Bay Area Asian and also perhaps the most popular Survivor winner to date, has started with a couple of friends, to open branches of this Korean frozen yogurt chain all around Northern California. The yogurt was fanastic - and perhaps my favorite of this style of yogurt after having tasted rival Pinkberry in LA and many of the other local similar style yogurt shops.I swung by my neighborhood camera shop for some accessories - and my neighborhood grocery store for some dinner ingredients. Pulled some aging cherry tomatoes out of the fridge, clipped some parsley from a pot on my patio and very shortly thereafter had Salmon with tomatoes, green onions and parsley baked in parchment paper:

Dinner going in.......Dinner coming out

My lack of sleep from the week almost caught up with me as I watched a [truly God awful] movie "Georgia Rule". But celebrating Mom's birthday on Monday was looming in the back of my mind. And I wanted to get a head start on prep for the cake I was planning to make for her. This is typically when I do most of my baking - LATE at night. I'm talking after 9pm or 10pm and usually finishing around 1am. Tonight wasn't an exception.

It usually starts with a tidying of the kitchen - in order to have an orderly workspace. And then I get started... tonight was:
Dorie Greenspan's Vanilla Pastry Cream from her book Paris Sweets

Letting the vanilla bean infuse the milk; Chilling the mixture after adding the yolks; Whisking in butter

I knew I'd have plenty for my cake so what harm would it do to sample some tonight? I had these beautiful strawberries too. They'd certainly taste better with a dollop of pastry cream, right?...

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