Well.. I am still suffering from post-Thanksgiving lethargy and bloat. I saw on Oprah that people gain ONE pound on average during the holidays. Only one pound? I haven't been on a scale yet out of sheer fear, but I am sure that the slight uncomfortable tightness that comes from my jeans indicate more than a one-pound gain. But what else are you supposed to do during the holidays? Not eat? I don't think so!
So, flying back to Northern California was nice over the holidays. I don't really consider NorCal my home -- LA and Korea will always be my home and the bay area will never really ever take its place. But I was still excited about going back. Maybe I've only been in New York for only 3 months so I haven't really discovered even the tip of the iceberg yet -- but there is a lot I miss about the bay area and in particular, Berkeley. The food is cheaper and might I say tastier. The dearth of good restaurants around Columbia is really starting to annoy me. But I am not discouraged. I am sure if I look hard enough, I will be able to find a salad that is as fresh and bountiful as the salad at Cafe Intermezzos and with all the 4-star restaurants here in New York, I am sure I can find a restaurant that I will love and revere as much as Chez Panisse. There is one thing that New York will never be able to replace and that is In N Out. Its become somewhat of a tradition for Al and I to have In N Out as our last meal before we fly out of California:
That is In N out fries animal-style and cheeseburgers animal-style for you. I'm sure the burgers here in New York here are fabulous (some that I've had are) and I like to say that the burgers that I make are pretty tasty also -- but nothign can replace In N Out. Fast food just does not get any better than this. Look at the juicy tomato, grilled onions and crisp lettuce thats in that burger. The patty is moist and cooked to perfection. And in terms of corporate social responsibility In N Out is everything that Micky D's is not. In N Out -- I miss you!
I enjoyed Thanksgiving. Two years ago, when I hosted for 15 people I was slightly stressed (but still having a lot of fun). This year, my mother-in-law handled everything like a pro and I was able to mostly relax and help out a little bit here and there. I even made the stuffing from scratch without a proper recipe and trussed the turkey -- how chef-ly is that? My most proud creation, however, was my platter:
For somebody that doesn't really consider myself artistic, I thought this platter looked really... pretty. I followed Barefoot's principles to a tee -- huge blocks of color, soft cheese and hard cheese, etc. I wish I had some lemon leaves.. but I still thought it came out pretty good. It was impressive enough that people didn't really touch it in the beginning -- so I decided to get the ball rolling my planting myself next to the platter and helping myself, which turned out to be not a good idea with such a big dinner to come.
And here comes the big update... I've decided to quit my current job. I've lasted all of.. six weeks at the job. I've had people trying to convince me that I should stick with it longer and give it a chance. I agreed at first. I mean, how lame is it to quit after a month? But after six weeks I've realized that this job was slowly sucking the life out of me. The work itself was just really boring and it was making me dumber and dumber everyday. So I quit. Is it scary? Yes! I feel like I've failed in many different ways -- how could I have been so wrong in terms of choosing a career? I've never hated anything so much in my life -- how could I let myself choose something that I hated so much? But I think I made the correct and courageous decision to quit and not waste my time doing something that I dislike so much. I'm interviewing for some other jobs and am in the running for a job that I would enjoy very much, but I'm still waiting. And while I wait.. I will finally have time to cook again.. and that makes me very happy. Seriously.