Speak Up

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waiting Sucks

I hate when people try to convince me not to have kids [yet]. I guess they are just going to be really disappointed when I do. I mean I do partially agree with them. Yes, I can always wait until there is more money, more space, more family support, more whatever. But there will never be enough money, or enough space, and my family sure as ever isn't moving to Jersey City to watch my kids while I work. I choose to rent a one bedroom apartment, I choose to be married to a chef, and I choose to live here in JC near absolutely no one. And I'm going to choose to have kids. How much longer should I wait anyways? What would I even be waiting for? More money? HA. Teachers do get pay increases each year if the district is smart, but come on: a couple grand more each year isn't much. Should I wait for my support network of family members to uproot themselves from Ohio. Fat chance. I know! Maybe I should wait for Erik to change professions, and start working a 9-5. HA. HA. HA. Waiting sucks.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Should Get 10%

Has something ever just hit you? SMACK right in the brain you realize something and make a connection. A memory resurfaces that has been buried since Kindergarten. Some call it an "ah-ha" moment. Well, today I had one of those moments. Very enlightening, so I'd like to share.

I hate to admit it, but I pressure my chef. I'm always getting on his case about going to casting for food TV shows or telling him to chit chat more with the PPX dinners that come into Perry St. I've been begging him to do Iron Chef for years now. I don't know what it is-I guess I just want to promote my chef so everyone can see how fabulous he is. Maybe he'll schmooze with the right PX and end up writing a cook book or designing the menu for Leonardo DiCaprio's next birthday bash. You never know.

The "ah-ha" moment came today when my mom told me that my little sister was nominated for prom queen. WHAM! It almost knocked me out. When I was a senior in high school I nominated Erik for prom king. I can't believe I almost forgot about that. He totally wasn't into my pimping him then either; I think I may have even done it behind his back. In the end he never went on to the second interview that determined finalists. I'm sure he was so mad at me too. Damn, I've been promoting this guy since we were 18! What's up with that? Why do I do that? Please, someone, anyone, tell me that I'm not the only one. Maybe there is a false sense of need. I think he needs me to do all this stuff, but does he really? Everyone wants to be needed. If I make myself think he needs me to do whatever it is I think I do, then I feel like I'm contributing. I don't want to be left out of this exciting chef thing he's got going on. But I've got enough exciting teacher things going on so I'll lay off him for a while.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Giveaway!

I'm giving away a one year membership to Zagat.com! All you have to do is leave a comment answering the following question: If you had to eat the same meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? And no topping changes or condiment switches. If you choose a double cheeseburger and fries it can't be with mayo one day and pickles the next. The winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, May 2. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their home address, or I'll pick someone else who is more attentive to their inbox.

Zagat.com has much more than restaurant reviews and searches. The site (which is mobile phone enabled for all you Blackberry and iPhone addicts) boasts discussion boards, nightspot, hotel and attraction guides, as well as menus and virtual tours.

I would eat burritos for the rest of my life. Shredded chicken, black beans, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, and hot sauce wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla. I'm go glad I grew up in Mexico Southern California.

Good Luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Many Thanks

It was so nice to be supported for the spring auction at my school. Thank you to Alyssa Palombino and her chef husband Mathieu Palombino of Motorino in Brooklyn for their generous $100 gift certificate. Thank you also Jessica Conant Park and Susan Conant for their signed book set. And thank you to Jean -Georges and Johnny Iuzzini for their signed cookbooks. The auction is going to be successful because of you all!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ciao Italia!

Vacation with a chef is a rare and thus extremely sacred event. Not only was my chef able to take off work (thank you JG), but we were able to save up for such a wonderful trip to Italy. Sometimes I'm glad Erik is the spender and I'm the saver. I would have never given myself the gift of Italy. So there we were in our first hotel after a 30 minutes taxi to the airport, an 8 hour flight, and a 3 and a half our train. Ahhhh...and nice sigh releasing all the stresses of actually getting to Venice. Our hotel window looked out over the main canal and we heard the splashing of the water all night. But the open window had its drawbacks. Mosquitoes live near canals. Mosquitoes bite people. Mosquitoes bite me 7 times....just above my nose! The only part of my body left exposed to them! So I spend the rest of my trip with 7 red dots on my face. It's much funnier now for some reason.

It was so easy to get lost in Venice with all the canals and winding around, but it's so small that getting lost isn't a bad thing at all. Florence was our second city and getting lost wasn't an option there with all of the large monuments to use as landmarks: huge piazzas, bell towers, and the duomo among others. We stay just on the the other side of the Arno river next to the Ponte Vecchio. I liked that side of the river, it was quieter and there was a fantastic restaurant that would "fly in NY" according to Erik. I'll be sure to give them the proper credit in a post of their own.

The food was a little ...dare I use the word...underwhelming? It wasn't bad, but there were just so many hidden prices on some of the menus, we definitely got ripped of once....in each city. But we learned our lesson and stuck to restaurants that the locals would eat at. The thing is, Italians in Florence don't really eat out a lot because they hate the tourist traps too.

Overall, the trip was a 10. I can never complain when I've got 7 days with my chef, no matter where we are.
Enjoy the slideshow!

Warning, there may be music on it, so turn down your speakers if the boss is near!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It's feels so good to be home. As much as I pride myself on being an open-minded adventurous person, I am so glad to be home in quiet Newport Jersey City. The trip was amazing and when I'm able to convert my body from Celsius back to Fahrenheit I'll be able to write more about the trip. But for now my eyelides are weary so I'll leave you with some highlights:

1. Over 500 pictures! What beautiful cities.

2. Held hands with my chefhusband. Like high school all over again.

3. Italian MTV is 240 million times better than US MTV.

4. Found one of very few non-tourist restaurants and ate there two nights in a row.

5. Got lots at least 6 times and loved it.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

What a holy day! I hope everyone has a blessed day with lots of family around. My mom called today firing off turkey questions to the chef. We're off to Italy in a few short hours. Happy Easter All!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Meet the Feet

NOT my chef's feet.

Dry and aged are great words to describe wine and cheese, not feet. Have you ever taken a close look at your chef's feet? They are nasty. After 12-16 hours standing and sweating on a them those bad boys take a beating. And my chef claims that he does this pivot thing to get to both sides of the line. So adding that in, his feet would be a perfect candidate for a foot creme commercial-the before shot. And I know Erik is not the only one because I just got an email from a chefgirlfriend who claims her chef's feet are hopelesss. I'm a fan of the pumice stone myself but I just can't get Erik to use it consistently. Maybe some of you have a secret to foot relief. Do the plug in foot baths work? Cremes? Special orthopedic shoes?

Oh, and don't get me started on the stink. Just one of many things that make chefs unique and oh so lovable.


Friday, April 10, 2009

To B(aby) or Not to B(aby)

I'm faced with one of the toughest dilemmas I've had in several years. I'm ready to start planning a family, but Erik isn't. I feel as if we've hit a brick wall. We've been together since freshman year in high school and married for 3.5 years. I'm 26 years old. I just feel ready. I always knew I wanted to have children, but Erik and I super-planners. When we couldn't afford children with our time and money we put the thought out of our mind. I don't know exactly what is different this time around, but I am ready. I know it's going to be tough. I know my life with change. No more Sunday date nights and getting up at 1AM for my chef. 1 AM will be reserved for the baby. I know my apartment is small, but I'm telling you-I'm ready.

Sometimes Erik is really excited about it too. We talk about furniture, space, names, possible problems and solutions too. But then sometimes I'll say something like.."when the baby comes..." and then he acts like we've never talked about it. I'm stuck! I don't want to pressure Erik, but I worry that if I left the decision up to him, we'd have our first child at 32. I'm not waiting that long. I feel like I've waited long enough and my heart is aching for a child.

I'm realizing now that Erik is going to read this and freak. He'll probably be mad that I'm sharing something so personal. But if I can be honest about my life and share true trials that I have, then this blog will be more authentic. I can't be the only women who feels conflicted about children.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Holy Cannoli!

What was I thinking??? Why did I let Erik plan this vacation? Well, he plans all of the vacations which seem to make up for the lack of housework and bill paying he does. LOVE YOU.

We are leaving in 4 days with NO DIRECTION. No plans, no maps, no translation dictionaries. Holy Cannoli. We are in for it. Flying into Milan Sunday/Monday. 2 days in Venice. 3 days in Florence. It's going to be quick, but memorable. I can't wait, but I'm scared because we don't have a plan. Well, we have 2/3 hotels, but no train tickets. Last year we went to Costa Rica-you don't need a plan for Costa Rica. Beach, sun, sand, hammock, read, hang out with monkeys. The year before that we went on a Caribbean cruise- you don't need a plan for a cruise. They plan the whole thing for you. But Italy-you need a freakin' plan!!

So far this is all I have:

1. eat

2. drink

3. chill with my chef BEFORE 2 AM.

Any suggestions?


Monday, April 6, 2009

I Need Your Help

The WONDERFUL charter school I work at in Jersey City, NJ is having its annual spring auction. Because we are a charter school we only get 65% of the funds that the failing public schools get. Completely not fair, but that's a topic for a different blog. The auction is such a fun event because the students are not allowed to come and the parents get really excited bidding on items that have been donated. Some things they bid on, Yankee tickets, a Nintendo Wii, dinner at local restaurants, and so much more. I know that times are tough for most people, but I truly believe that all selfless acts are rewarded. If you, or anyone you know would like to donate items for people to bid on, I would glad accept them. I'll also give you our tax ID number so that you could deduct your donation. Perhaps your chef wrote a cookbook? Maybe you can get a hold of a set of pots and pans. Anything that is new is welcome. My classroom is making a themed basket of picture frames, albums, and anything else related to photography. I would also take things for my classroom basket. Thanks so much!!

Please email me if you would like to donate or learn more about my charter school. desperatechefswives@gmail.com


Friday, April 3, 2009

The Sunday Rule

It seems that there is an unspoken rule in the chefwife world-the Sunday Rule. With my chef working so much during the week and the better half of the weekend, Sundays are sacred. I never make plans with anyone but my chef on Sundays or Mondays. I'm never available for haircuts, meetings, or parties on those days. Never. I spend my whole week wishing my chef were home more and that wishing certainly isn't wasted. I know I'm not the only one because when my chefwife pal, J and I try to make plans we always skip over Sundays. We never have to say why, but we know. And we don't even call each other on Sundays. That last goodbye squeeze late Saturday night is like a final farewell until the next Saturday. The invisible "do not disturb" sign is hung. It's chef time now.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chef Mumbles

It's been a while since Erik has said anything in his sleep so I was beginning to wonder if stopped dreaming about work. I found out this morning, that is certainly not the case.

"Can you drop one more egg re-fire? I know I'm dreaming. I know I'm sleeping. But we need one more fried egg. "