Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Heat

Well hello blog, how ya been.  What a summer I'm having, how about you?  Despite fighting the good fight, the company I have worked for quite a while is calling it quits.  Slowly co-workers faded away into new lives.  My last day came and with it new duties to occupy my time.  Applying for unemployment, trying to find affordable health insurance and of course, looking for a new job.  My home computer decided that it had also had enough and fired me also.  Oy.  So while I'm trying to figure what I want to do with the rest of my life, I keep myself busy with Projects.


I'm not quite ready to reveal what exactly this involves but I will say that here in the Midwest we've been experiencing triple digit heat and drought.  In late June.  My poor little garden is still kicking but it's definitely confused by the earlier than normal heat and humidity.  The peas were the first victim of mother nature.  I'm scared to think what August will bring.  It could be worse for me.  I have the good fortune to have two towering oak trees in my front yard that provide the most wonderful sunscreen for my house.  My HVAC system is eternally grateful.  So it hasn't been all doom and gloom.  Action Jackson got to go to work with me the last few weeks since I really didn't want to be the only person in the office and now he gets quite a bit of human time while I transition.  This is a good thing because we're going to attempt to pass a pre-certification test to be a Pets For Life team. I think we'll be good as long as no one is wearing a live squirrel necklace.

I can't say I've been cooking too much.  Attempting to do strenuous outside projects while it's 104 degrees does not lend itself to put too much energy or thought into dinner.  Mostly it involved tomato sandwiches on some wonderful whole grain bread and good mayo.  However I was lured out of my Project Zone by a new butcher in town. The Local Pig.  You know I'd have to check this out.  They supply fresh antibiotic, hormone and steroid free locally sourced meat.  Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, goat, duck and rabbit.  They make their own sausages, franks and chorizo.  And not just the typical brat-like sausages.  Curry and eggplant or Thai peanut.  There's pâté and foie gras.  There's bacon, eggs and stock.  (Be still my heart, duck stock)  There are in house tamales and Farm to Market Pretzel Rolls.  There's honey.  There's even dog bones.  So I made a little trip and spent a little money.  Because here's the other thing, I have some fantastic mustard that deserves some excellent tube meat to slather on.

French Maille mustard1
I houes sit for some folks who travel to wonderful places.  Red Rocks Arizona, Ireland, Paris.  When asked if I wanted anything from Paris, I drew a blank.  I've been to Paris but I knew that these particular good people are chocolate fiends.  Asking for chocolate is just asking to get an empty french box.  But then I called on my go-to Answer Chef, Virginia Willis.  She's spent quite a bit of time in France.  A quick email and she provided the perfect answer.  "Maille mustard shop at place du Madeleine. They have a mustard keg, like  beer. Tell them to get that, not what's already jarred. It's amazing."  Oh hells yes.  I love mustard and good people that they are they went to the mustard shop and brought me back a jar of Moutarde en grains à l'Ancienne au Chardonnay.  So I grilled up some Local Pig beer bratwurst with cheddar and slathered on this wonderfully grainy and complex mustard.  And it was good.

French Maille mustard2

The brat is full of beery flavor and the tang of melted cheddar.  The mustard seeds pop and crunch with hot spiciness.  Even though the mustard is French the combination calls to my long lost German heritage.

So there you have it.  Anyone out there with a job opening feel free to keep me in mind.  Girl's gotta eat.


the dogs' mother said...

Well that's just no fair. Going to cross fingers and toes for good job hunting news.
I'm sure Action Jackson will pass with flying colors - he has Abby's testimonial (she had her coffee and dictated it to me) feel free to use it.

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Froggy. Can use all the fingers, toes and dog paws you got.

MakingSpace said...

The brat and the french mustard look amazing.

You deserve a wonderful job. Sending constant vibes in that direction...

Susan said...

fingers, toes & paws all crossed here ... we're big believers in one door closes and a better one opens wide. Hopin' your new job has something to do with food. Much love Susan + Gang

Big Shamu said...

MS, the brat was amazing and the mustard is just an earthy wonder. Now I wanna try and make my own pretzels to dip in that mustard.

Thanks Susan, I'm hoping for that outcome also.

Dani said...

The pets for life sounds awesome! Sending many hugs your way and good job thoughts. :):)

Buzz Kill said...

That is some serious looking whole grain mustard. I think I would like that.

You seem to have a good attititude toward your "job change". Good luck with that - something will come along.

I have a ton of outdoor projects to do now that The Mrs.' addition is done. But we've been having a string of 90 degree heat, so I'm not too anxious to start anything. Besides, I'm going to Boy Scout summer camp for the rest of the week. Maybe I'll start next week.

Dani said...

We loved the mustard you sent to us the year before last. It was really great stuff.

moi said...

You got mad photo skillz. Just sayin'. Best to you. Let me know how it shakes out.

chickory said...

i think a door will open - creativity will be your salvation.

squirrel necklace. grherhaha

good luck!

Big Shamu said...

Dani, I'm hoping we can get him trained up to do the kids reading to dogs program, that would be awesome. And didn't I make that mustard? Making mustard is fun and easy.

I'm hoping you're right Buzz and thank you for the good thoughts. I don't know about you but the heat is killing my work output. Just sucks the soul right out of you.

Moi, still haven't found that great paying job that exploits my skill for putting heads on the bodies of other people or putting birthday hats on the heads of chickens.

Chickory, I would love something that challenges my creativity. I'm not joking about that squirrel necklace, the Boy is all bidness when out of the house.