1) pre- holidays = anxiety due to lack of hours, money, and friends in the current position, debate of whether I should stick out my contract date of March 10th.
2) Christmas= tons of people at the hotel, parents+ Kurt come to visit (so much fun, skiing everyday), full-time hours, everyone in good spirits because of the holidays, loved it.
3) New Years Eve= still a lot of people, fireworks, free alcohol in the bar, also a good time.
4) New Years Day= trains cancelled because of derailments/avalanches/mudslides (meaning people canceling their trips to the Inn), our first power outage.
5) post-holidays= at least one power outage in the dorm every single day until January 7th. The longest was 22 hours. After the power came back on, the pump to our well broke. Was broken for more than two days (I left and went to Whitefish).
Yes, it has been a roller coaster of power outages, meaning that we could neither cook food, sleep warmly, or use the toilet in the dorm. In fact, it seemed as though every time I wanted to cook, the power went out. Then, just as I was leaving for work, it would come back on! Ohhh the irony! When the well pump didn't work, I gave up. I went to visit Amanda and Nicole in Whitefish, for a hot shower, warm place to stay, and friends. While there, I realized that I need friends! There is no one here!! I love the skiing, it is a beautiful location, but in order to keep Essex as a good place in my mind, I realized that I have to leave. And honestly, I'm not making any money, so I may as well be unemployed for a while.
So, I'm moving to Whitefish! I am so excited. I don't know what made me think I would be fine being alone all winter... but I have changed my mind. I've been here three months, and I've given it a shot. Perhaps it is my inner city-child, but I am excited for things like: a coffee shop, a grocery store that is not 60 miles away, bars, learning to snowboard, a library, and friends! And, though I don't have a job yet, there are a few leads that sound promising, and if they don't work out, I can always work at Super1. Not like I'm trying to climb any corporate ladders.
And, in other news, I am going to Costa Rica for a month come March! Ahhh, warmth and beaches. More on this when I figure out more than a plane ticket.
I know this is a cooking blog, so I should probably put up some recipes. This week's recipes: Cardamom Bread and Gorgonzola Yam Pie. The Cardamom Bread recipe is actually Emily Peterson's, and it is the most fabulous one I have ever used. All others that I have tried turn out much too dry. It's so much better than the Swedish Bakery's (in Chicago). The recipe makes so much that I had a loaf for everyone at Christmas! The Gorgonzola Yam Pie was an experiment that I wanted to make when going to Whitefish for the UTexas/Ohio game/ hot shower last week. I thought it wouldn't work 1) because I made it up, and 2) because the power went out two minutes into baking it. But it did work, and was quite good at that. Nice as a side dish.
Swedish Cardamom Bread
(makes approx. 4 loaves)
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 c. whole milk
1/2 lb. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
20 cardamom seeds (crushed) or 1 1/2 tsp powder
8 c. flour (or 3c wheat, 5 white, 2-3 tbsp extra sugar)
pearl sugar for topping
- Scald and melt sticks of butter in milk, cool to lukewarm
-Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tsp sugar, add to lukewarm butter and milk
- Add sugar, egg, salt, cardamom, and 4 c. flour- mix
-Add 3-4 c. more flour and knead for 8-10 minutes. Be very careful when adding final flour, you don't want the dough to be dry! This is the disaster that happens to a lot of cardamom breads! Leave it very elasticy, sticky, but not too sticky. I don't really know how else to explain it.
- Let rise for 40 min, or until doubled.
- Knead again, cut dough into 4 pieces, and each piece into 3. Using your hands, roll each piece into a log about the length of a bread pan. Braid three pieces together so that you have 4 braids altogether. You can either put the braids in bread pans to rise, or let them rise on baking sheets. I lined up 4 braids in a 3 in deep baking pan and the loaves were perfect.
- Let braids rise 2 hours.
- Bake 35-40 min at 350
(i'll try to put a picture up when my internet connection is better)
Gorgonzola Yam Pie
(side dish for about 6?)
3 yams, peeled and cut into 1/4" rounds
1/4 c. flour
7 tbs butter
1/2 c. gorgonzola (or more, if you like)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 c. walnuts (or more, if you like)
- In a large mixing bowl, coat yams in flour
- Melt 6 tbs butter, toss with yams
- Grease a 9" round baking pan/ pie pan
- Layer half of the yam slices, covering the entire bottom of the pan (about 3 layers). Add a layer of half of the gorgonzola, a layer of all of the apple slices, another layer of gorgonzola (remaining amount), layer the remaining yam slices, and top with walnuts.
- Melt remaining 1 tbs butter and drizzle over the top.
-Cover in foil, bake at 400 for about an hour, or until tender.