Monday, May 30, 2011

This is What Happens When Mom Gets a Full-Time Job

I know you're wondering what happened to me.  Give you this Thanksgiving teaser and then fall off the face of the earth for a while.  To brine or not to brine?  - Give you the answer?  Well, first, let me sing you a song of  meatballs and jarred sauce.

Because this is what happens when mommy gets a job:

Trader Joe's and take out.  

That's right, right after Thanksgiving was the run down to finals at the University, and then, job over.  I'd already been informed that there were no jobs for me there.  I'd sent out resumes galore and had gotten no response, I was looking forward to a leisurely spring filled with lots of time and monetary anxiety.  Lots of monetary anxiety.

I prepared and read finals.  Christmas showed up.  I created a decent Christmas - and I wanted to blog about it - I really did - but I was paralyzed with anxiety about my future jobless existence and looming bills.

So my advice is to be careful what you wish for  - Cuz I got me, at the last minute, not one but 3 classes.  And when I say the last minute, I mean I was hired with less than one week to prepare for 2 of the classes and 24 hours to prepare for the other.  Yeah, you read that right, 24 hours.  So, as an old employer of mine used to say, I was behind the airplane (yeah, it makes no sense, yet the image has stayed with me).  And I remained behind the airplane an entire semester.  Which meant that including the month I was paralyzed, I have not contributed to my blog for 6 months.

That's a long time to leave people hanging and wondering about brine.

So let me talk about Trader Joe's for a minute.  I love the freaking party meatballs there.  And here's a tip, if you have a leftover jar of Rao's Marinara, and a left over jar of Newman's Own Alfredo Sauce, and 3 cups of leftover cooked pasta and a bag of those party meatballs, and if you dump them all into a large and wide sauce pan and heat the whole thing, your daughter will tell you it's the best meal you've ever made.  Never mind you create fantastic recipes OUT OF YOUR HEAD - 2 kinds of jarred sauce and mushy pasta will win every time.  Here's some more good things (hello Martha) about Trader Joe's.  The pot stickers.  They are amazing with rice noodles and a little soy sauce.  And those suckers can be cooked up in less than three minutes with a glass of wine in one hand.  You know what else is good from there?  This pizza with artichokes and goat cheese.  Kids eat the plain pizza, Smith and I chow that one.  I could go on, because we spent the last six months alternating Trader Joe's food, with rotisserie chicken and frozen vegetables and take out from Elevation Burger - because I had lessons to plan, man!

I'm coming out of it now.  The girls have a couple more weeks of school - all the grades have been turned in for one of my classes, and I just have a couple more weeks for the other 2.  I made dinner - a real freaking dinner - the other night for the first time in ages.  (more about that later) - and Smith and I are finally starting to organize the crap we've been throwing in  straighten the guest room.

And so, to brine:

In the end, the brine won.  I brined and roasted turkey number one - and it was succulent and tasty and before I could take a picture of it, it was reduced to this:

The grilled turkey also tasted incredible, but it was dry.  It looked better though, crispy and a little charred, it had an excellent smoky quality and it took a lot less time to grill than I anticipated. - I think maybe this year, I'll brine and grill the turkey.  Then again, this year, we are thinking of bagging the whole Thanksgiving thing and heading to Disney World.