Where Is...?

17 October 2015

Further North and Happier for it

I am now working for the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine. Steven and I moved into a little cottage after several weeks of living in an almost 200 year old farmhouse that was up for sale. That was hard because we knew it was temporary and we never got too comfortable. Now, I feel like this cottage is home. 
It was built in the late 1920s, it has 3 rooms, each one smaller than the next, all with adjoining bathrooms. The kitchen is dinky, but I can stand on one place and not have to move far when I am cooking. It also has more storage space than the last place in MA. There's a basement, washer and dryer and the landlords pay the heat and snow removal. Everyone seems to be adjusting. 

I think it looks like a Hobbit should live here, or an Elf Mage. 

Things at work are changing slowly. I am making changes and people are welcoming. There are always challenges, but that's for another time. I have already executed one President's Dinner, and excited for the end of the month Board of Regents. I have a dinner for the local hospital's employee recognition dinner too. I love cooking, creating menus and making money. They've never seen a style quite like mine before... real. Real butter, scratch made sauces, attention paid to flavor and balance. One thing is that the company and school are totally committed to sustainability. We purchase so much from the surrounding area, and we finally got approval to use a Maine meat purveyor--local grass fed beef, lamb and free range chickens... there is a difference. I'm working on a local egg solution now too--since the Avain flu has taken out a lot of the large producers, I think buying from the community would be ideal, and safer. 

Chicken Breast with Saffron Risotto, and Balsamic Reduction
with Olive Tapanade


I love it here. Although after winter, I may change. The sky is amazing. I have been trying to take a picture everyday of the sunrise. I started taking them when we were up on Canton Mountain.
You could literally see the sky change when summer ended



Now the trees have turned, especially since the last few nights have been colder... tonight is supposed to be 24...degrees and not centigrade. Time for sweaters, boots and an extra blanket on the bed. 



These are all taken by me, no filters in the last month. I can't wait til I see the Northern Lights. Don't tell me about "colors not found in nature" anymore either.... they are all here.

09 June 2015

Another Chapter

The years just seems to pass by so quickly. I am finishing out my first and only year of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. It was a very hard year, getting to know how these East Coasters work and talk and how to assimilate myself into their culture. Very Hard. Not to mention the fact that we lived through the worst winter this area has EVER seen... ever. 

I have now accepted a position with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Downtown Boston. I will be commuting by train and learning the healthcare side of things. Something very new and very different from Education.... spreading my wings. 

So, this is my last week with Stonehill... we have the President's Dinner and Reunion Weekend and all next week to prep for it. I'm tired. And I don't want to do it. See, I was told... that my  "personality is too robust", that I am "too intense". Things that I am almost certain would never have been said to a male chef. I do feel like I have been discriminated against. However, they did let me know it wasn't working out and gave me a chance to find something else... I think because it wasn't anything I DID per se, and we moved all the way across the country. So, I won't make a stink. Cest la vie! MOVING ON....


We have been through a lot in our last 9 months. Just learning about the area and taking a ton of pictures. I haven't been cooking much because I usually go to work when it's dark and go home long after the sun goes down. I have however, been learning quite a bit about cooking lobster and fish. I have made "Nantucket-style" Cod, as well as Maine Lobster with drawn butter. Honestly though, most everything is pretty standard. 

There are items I have brought with me, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Chai Cheesecake, my Brown Sugar-Brandy Cured Salmon as well as my particular style: hair under a bandanna, the Ipod plugged in with Pandora blasting The Pixies, but mostly the care that goes into fostering relationships with my food and my staff.  
I love what I do. I am thankful everyday that I get to do it. 
I miss my California. The fruits, vegetables and locality of it all. I miss my family and friends, but growing up and moving away is LIFE. 
I look forward to more adventures with Steven, our
#stonerroadtrips and #newengland. 
You can follow my photography on Instagram at
"notthebeardens"
I've been pretty lucky with some of the shots:

Early Morning Deer at Stonehill


Paul Revere Square


Flea Market Caboose-no filter
So, I am opening another chapter in my life... moseying down the path of least resistance. Growing older.... but certainly NOT up!!