Sunday, September 23, 2007

Time for some distractions

Okay, so I've got about two years to wait. What to do in the meantime?

I missed the deadline to complete my application to the college I wanted to attend (but because an old college did not send my transcript on time, not entirely my fault). So, I'm doing something else I've been wanting to do for a while: I've signed up for Amber Ludlow's photography class (I think there are a couple of spaces left - come join me!), as I would love to know what to do with the manual settings on my new camera. Plus I've always loved photography and have been told that I take good pictures, but my pictures are nowhere near the quality of Shelba's or grrlTravel's, and I'm very jealous.

I also spend time lusting after dreamily gazing at other people's kitchens online. I have got one terrible kitchen, and it just is very depressing to spend a lot of time there. I can't afford to replace it right now. Believe me, it needs to be completely replaced. No getting away with "refacing" and getting new countertops. Uh uh. It needs to be gutted to the studs, and the layout needs to change. I've got one of those houses where the previous owners were do-it-yourselfers who did NOT know how to do things properly. I've cleaned up after most of their jobs (replaced the bathrooms for one thing), but to do the kitchen properly I'm going to need a LOT of money. We have an adoption to pay for first though, so it will have to wait. (sob)

In the interim, I've discovered new kitchens to drool upon enjoy. I'm hoping to find some options I like so I can at least come up with an idea of what I want. Epicurious, one of my favorite websites, has a new section where they film celebrities in their kitchens. Check them out!

I was first lured in by a link to Isaac Mizrahi's kitchen. I've always found him entertaining, and he has such fresh design ideas that I thought it would be interesting. His kitchen is not actually that eye popping, but he's very funny and has great appliances (I'm not going to be able to afford any of them). Check out Isaac Mizrahi's kitchen.

After wiping off my keyboard (that ice cream looked good!), I went to the homepage and saw that there were two other kitchen tours.

I never heard of Colin Cowie until I got cable and saw commercials about him on WE or LifeTime or some other woman oriented channel. Apparently he's some sort of amazing party planner? He must be big in England or something. I love to have people over and frequently have many family members at my house, especially for the holidays, so I thought his kitchen would be interesting. But I have to say, looking at his kitchen will make you gasp, then cackle maniacally, because you know you will never be that insane. I will only mention one thing to you: 6 drawers of different sized ice cubes. No, I am not kidding. I was laughing so hard that I had to pause the video and start a blog post. Please go watch it.

I'm sure they'll be adding more celebrity video tours, but there was only one more, so I went to that one as well. Besides, the word "healthy" caught my eye. I've really been trying to improve my eating habits and diet, and am always interested in resources that will help me.

Gabrielle Reece (why is she a celebrity? Is she a tennis player or something?) was the only person who actually showed the contents of her fridge. I liked her immediately when she said "if I'm going to have sugar, I'd rather it be chocolate". A woman after my own heart! The rest of the video wasn't that fabulous, and really did not show much more than her fridge, but her dining room table is really cool, and I love her hand-made dishes. See Gabrielle's kitchen.

Now, I must go back to what I supposed to be doing...making my menus and shopping list for yet another "3 day Yom Tov", i.e. two days of a Jewish holiday followed or preceded by the Sabbath.

I know most of you are, like, "What? The High Holy Days were over yesterday". Not true! The wonderful holiday of Sukkos/Sukkot is upon us this Wednesday night. This is a joyful holiday (we're done with the fasting for a few months at least), where in the time the Temple was built we would make a pilgrimage to the Temple to celebrate the harvest. We can't do that any more (it's still the most popular holiday to visit Israel though), but we still have special prayers and remember the protection G-d gave us during our exodus from Egypt. One of the most visible mitzvas that we do over the holiday is to dwell in sukkot, temporary booths.

You got that right. Now that it's officially fall, we move out of our house into a temporary structure that my husband and father-in-law are building on our deck...and it doesn't even have a roof. Unless you consider branches or bamboo mats a roof. For 8-9 days, we eat in the sukkah and spend most of our time there. My husband even sleeps out there. I stay inside where it's warm, and there are no cats.

So...I who enjoy cooking must dream up menus for 6-7 festive meals. It's actually harder when we have fewer guests, as I hate serving leftovers and have a hard time cooking for just two. Plus, as mentioned before, I'm trying to eat more healthfully, so it's a bit of a challenge to not splurge on some fabulous traditional foods. And they're all going to be meat meals, as my current kitchen just does not allow me to do large dairy meals gracefully. Have I mentioned that I need a new kitchen?

I must go back to my menus now, as I have to get at least some advance cooking done today.

There's a whole lot more to the holiday; I've just given you a very small taste. More information about Sukkot can be found on Aish (they even has an Asian style holiday menu), Wikipedia, and the OU's website.

I was inspired to start a cooking blog, where I will probably post as infrequently as I post here. But I eventually hope to be able to feature dramatically shot pictures of my food (courtesy of my photography class. heh.). Come visit me at PinkDevoraCooks.


Shelba said...

I hope you post some pictures for us to see!

lisa said...

I would love to join you in the class-but first I need to get a new lens for my camera, so I probably need to wait until I get back from China.
I hear you on the kitchen thing-adoptions first though! ~lmc