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Shoemaking

May. 16th, 2008 | 12:19 am

You know once upon a time I thought there was one way to do anything.

Now I know better.

I know there is one way to do something right. A way that will result in a consistent, preferable, high quality result time and time again.

And then there is shoemaking. Shoemaking, for those not in the know, is a culinary term for... punting, halfassing, faking, making and in general just getting by. You didn't have time to properly reduce your sauce to the correct thickness? Add some gelatin. Don't have the time to let the sauce thicken overnight? Add a little roux - most folks will never be able to taste the difference.Don't have time to make a roux? Add a cornstarch slurry(cornstarch diluted in water). Don't have time for that? Well didn't have time to make the sauce? Use gravy granules....

As you can see this can be a slippery slope. Once you are willing to take the easy way out in one way you are invariably willing to take more shortcuts. Now there are shortcuts and there are shortcuts. Gently grinding your Parmesan in the food processor instead of grating it by hand will, typically, not end up a damn bit different in most usages. Running out of your slowbaked chutney and needing to add raspberry sauce, fresh blue berries and some water to get by - THAT right there is shoemaking at it's finest(worst).

In every chef is a little shoemaker. At least the successful chefs. You can't work in a business that throws as many curve balls as cooking without knowing and being able to implement 'make things work' solutions on the fly. Almost every job has at least a small aspect of shoemaking. The important part is where you draw the line.

For me? I won't serve anything that will get someone sick or that isn't worth their money. Yeah I'll stretch and skimp but you won't get that green fuzzy steak that no one is willing to throw away out of food cost. You won't get something dropped on the floor, you won't get a teeny tiny portion of halibut because my chef forgot to order fish. I should hope airplane mechanics draw their line at safety, I should hope police officers draw their line at important crimes.

Everyone and everything has a line. Sometimes you have to do things and put things out that you aren't happy with. Sometimes you have to shoemake.

Even in religion. There I said it. Sometimes you need to shoemake in religious ceremonies or in spells. You don't have ____ then you substitute __(because, of course, you know what you are doing and why it still works). Sometimes you can't wait for the right time or right place, sometimes you can't spend and hour offering praise and sacrifices first. Sometimes you can't give your god the whole cow he wants.

Shoemaking.

But what matters is where you draw the line and whether or not you can distinguish the shoemaking from the proper way. The right way, the proper way to do something almost always yields a better, more consistent result. This is the way you should chose - the way you know is right. But deep inside of each of us is a little shoemaker, just in case.

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Well, Well, Well.

May. 10th, 2008 | 05:51 am

It's been a long time since this MacFeegle left her mound. It's hard to leave the fire on cold night with the dark pressing round you and the wolves howling at the doors.

Well perhaps not wolves.

Three years of hard work pay off to see me a respected chef, already! I parted from this and many other online communities because I felt a need to redefine and rediscover my religious roots. It seem as though it's when we look furthest afield that we find what we need right under our feet. Working hard 14 hour days, 6 days a week pushed my religion into a very practical sort. It, if anything, drove even more of my patience for bullshit away.

I showed me exactly what I look for from my religion and my gods. What I need in terms of my kith and my kin.

Every night I come home beat, my arms scarred if not freshly wounded and my mind racing with what has yet to be done. And in this I found something approaching peace. Not the mindless sort, no. The peace of knowing that your destiny is ruled not by gods out there but by your hard work with your own two hands. Do the gods have influences? Undoubtedly. Would I like to cross the gods? Fuck no. But I think I might be happy never having to ask anything of the gods.

My time in the desert is over, my journey not completed but clarified.

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Although...

Jun. 5th, 2007 | 02:03 am

... I'm rather short on time recently I just have to smile. Why?

Because some deleted journals on servers owned and maintained by a private company is ABSOLUTELY the same as the attempted extermination of a culture. Why when they deleted that incest fanfic community they might as well have gassed all the members and moved their relatives into ghettos. Right?

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On life

May. 27th, 2007 | 07:18 pm

Wow, it's been a minute hasn't it?

Life gets to be like that sometimes. Graduation and mothers day conspired, once again, to drive me insane from the sheer amount of pressure and numbers of people. We did about 600 people over two days. For a crew of 4 cooks that's not too shabby. Then my computer died taking everything with it. Then we got new computer parts. Then the Man got a fabulous new job. Then my mind went craft and art insane and I've been up to my elbows in paint and clay for the last three weeks.

Fuuny how that stuff happened eh?

I lost my email information when the old machine crashed(and I swore I'd never let that happen) so if you've sent anything to the Desree42 account it's been lost to space pirates. If you need my new email address for something drop me a line here and I'll get it to you somehow :) (Yes "Jaden Kor" I'm looking at you with that one).

I'm offski for more delirious craft and art inspired fun. Bleach stencilling is quickly becoming a dangerous addiction and my most recent sculptures are making me squeel in joy. Good times.

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(no subject)

Apr. 13th, 2007 | 12:35 pm

Another point is that I like that many of our Deities don't have detailed myths and histories because it leaves me free to know them today.

I am not Feri and as such I would be unwelcome in the community this is originally posted I'm sure. But what an odd sentiment. Slightly disturbing even.

Would it be better to not know my mother's or my fiance's past so that I can know them better now? Is it better to only know and understand someone in the here and now in the faces they present to you as oposed to the faces they may show others or have shown in the past? Why would a god be any different?

I love lore. I love the stories, the myths, the legends and the ancedotes. I love them just as much as I love the old war stories my grandfather used to tell, or the stories my mom told of dancing, or the stories my fiance tells of growing up. These stories(this individual lore) allows me to know them mroe then I ever could from just my interactions with them. It makes us closer, it gives me an understanding thatcanot be gotten from just one on one occasional interactions.

The lore is also not set in stone - it's stories like any others. My great aunt Plyz used to tell stories about how another of my great aunts was foolish, stupid and annoying; how this other aunt was always causing trouble. They weren't all true. In many ways the Lore is the same. You have to understand context and history, grudges and vendettas. But this doesn't make it any less useful. Without the Lore as it is written I would not have met my gods, I would not have the understanding that I do of them. I would not have made the connections I have.

Lore is just one way we know our gods. But it is a useful and intregral part. We are who we are because of our histories, why would our gods be any different?

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Crazy week is crazy...

Apr. 8th, 2007 | 07:30 pm

..good but crazy and it always seems to happen at the most inopportune times.

It was a good week overall. Surely I am a soulless evil devil(DEVIL I SAY!) for serving rabbit at the restaurant during the easter holiday but, come on, it's really tasty rabbit. And the Peter Cottontail and Easterbuny jokes write themselves. But it was good, my food is, as always, bringing in the crowds and insuring my continued means of support. There is, as always, opportunities on the horizon but they are so tenuous that to describe them may make them vanish into smoke so we won't ok?

Rushing Valente back to the vet because of issues with the internal stitches was a blast. Thankfully since it was a complication and I'd already reamed them a new asshole it was not expensive., Which is good because rushing Felsenthal to the emergency vet late monday night/early tuesday morning for, get this, falling off a garbage can and gashing his head open, was very expensive. They're almost like kids sometimes only they'll never learn. At least Felsenthal is afraid of the garbage can now and most likely won't do it again.

But, overall, it was just a crazy busy week. Good but just one of those weeks that comes along once in a blue moon and makes your head hurt. I'm glad it's over but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I also appreciate the lessons learned from it. Now I just need to return emails and communications that I so rudely dropped earlier this week - if you sent me something or asked me something I'll be getting to it over the next few days.

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Ranks

Apr. 1st, 2007 | 10:44 am

It's funny. The first thing many 'I don't need other people telling me what to do!!!' pagans pull out of their asses once they get their own blend of crap going is that they and their religion simply MUST have ranks. And when you ask them why? Well it's always the same things "They allow us to grow in our religion".

No. They give you a rank and percieved respect. Let's be honest here. An arbitrary rank system, using, myseriously enough, the same system as lineaged long term religion, allows on to claim rank. Allows one, in certain circumstances, to try and waltz in and gain artificial respect.

It's really odd to me that so many who claim that their religion is big on personal responsibility never take that to the next level. See if personal responsiblity is important then respect has to be earnedfrom other people by showing one's personal responsibility. But there's always this rush to find a shortcut to respect. And, interestingly enough there's just always this rush for respect.

I am beginning to think that most people become pagans because they percieve it to be a shortcut to respect. They percieve it to be a easy way to gain rank and acclaim. Because for all the bitching and moaning preists and preistesses you styill can get rank and acclaim. Far more then you can get being a cog in a wheel in a big church. AND you don't have to follow any rules or make any sense or effort at your religions because, hey, Paganism is whatever I want it to be. Plus you still get to celebrate all your old holidays and light some litle candles at meaningless new ones.

Right on.

Maybe I should have signed up for that.

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Pesto Mousse...

Mar. 29th, 2007 | 08:55 pm

... yes, you heard me. Pesto Mousse. I.am.a.GENIUS(and modest too).

Today was served bruschetta red snapper with pesto mousse. I took pannabella(a crusty bread) and sliced it into triangles, brushed it with butter and grilled it til it was slightly charred. Then I brushed it with a lovely locally produced organic wild flower honey. Setting those at angled on the plate I placed a bruschetta mxture(tomatoes, red onions, garlic, basil, and olive oil) on the bases of those and placed the grilled red snapper on that. Finally I finished with a lovely scallop shell pattern of pesto mousse as a sauce for the fish.

I really could have charged more then 26.95 for this. Freaking GENIUS!

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Drunken goat cheese crusted red snapper

Mar. 29th, 2007 | 10:48 am

Drunken goat cheese crusted red snapper with red wine mushroom sauce, horseradish garlic mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus.

Crusting was achieved by mixing the drunken goat cheese with bread crumbs, capers, scallions, and ghee until it stuck together then pressing this onto the lightly floured fish and baking until the fish was done.

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(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2007 | 10:51 am

Grilled Mong Chong with Yuca pancakes, baby braising greens and a garlic red pepper paste broth.

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