It's a really odd thing for me to not have a job to go to in the mornings.
I've never been unemployed in my life, and there's a part of me that knows that I could get another job at a law firm through a temp agency as soon as I decided to do that, but there's another part of me that really believes I should try for something different. I would get paid less, but I do think I'm better off trying to cook for a living, or doing something else that would involve vegan food, health promotion, and/or diabetes education. I could go in a lot of different directions at this point.
I also realize that I need not stay in Pittsburgh to do those things. I'm free, I can go anywhere I want to go. That's an interesting feeling. It's not that I want to leave Pittsburgh, it's just that I cannot say I wouldn't leave if there seemed to be something worth leaving for. So I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. I'm the kind of person who learns so quickly and without struggle, who can pick up almost any kind of skill with just a bit of effort, and who thinks about complex problems and quickly comes up with workable solutions to them. I think there's a lot I could do out there. I'm open to suggestions, people!
In the meantime, I'm just basically writing articles to get started freelancing and eating simple food. I've made plans to move to a two-bedroom apartment with my friend Mary so we can both save money in February. And I've done some hanging out, too, which has been great! I'm excited for when I have a regular schedule again, but it's been great to have time off.
My friend Morgan and I even hit up the vegetarian dinner special at Brillo Box last Sunday! Here is the gemelli with kale and walnut pesto from last week.
When I ordered it, I asked if it was vegan, and the bartender said it could be made vegan. So I asked what they change to make it vegan, because I didn't know really what sort of a dish it was going to be yet, and there are other vegan options at Brillo I can choose from if I think that it sounds like a crappy substitution. The bartender answered me, "Ummm, a lot of vegans come here." Ha! Well, OK, rude awesome cool bartender. So I said, "I'm just trying to figure out, like, do you just not sprinkle cheese on it, or what." And he said, "Yeah." Way to be info-tastic, bartender. Turned out, mine had some nooch on it, which is completely unnecessary, as far as I'm concerned, but, hey vitamins are cool, so it's fine, but maybe he could have just said, "The vegan version has nutritional yeast sprinkled on it instead of cheese" -- is that really so difficult?
It tasted pretty good, but I thought it needed a little something. I liked that it had kale in it, but I would have liked more. Of course, I'm one of those healthy, veggie-heavy vegans these days, so OF COURSE I wanted more kale. When I took the leftovers home and reheated them, though, I didn't add more kale, opting instead for some chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and I have to tell you, it really took this dish to the next level.
Man, if I had a restaurant, I'd make sure everything was as delicious as possible, especially if it just took a small change or addition. And that my bartenders weren't being weirdly rude. Ahhh, whatever, grumble grumble grumble loathing loathing loathing.
Hey, remember I said I've been eating simple food? My friends Eli and Lisa went apple picking and gave me a whole bunch of apples, so I've been making the Apple Pie Smoothie from Practically Raw a whole lot (the complete recipe is here). And I've been using the suggested variation of adding spinach to make it a green Apple Pie Smoothie. Epic.
Also, I love to make my own trail mixes because, first of all, I never buy salted nuts. I can't believe I EVER bought salted nuts. Especially, say, pistachios. They simply do not need salt. Trail mixes you buy have too much salt, and also, they tend to have whole almonds. I prefer sliced almonds so that I get a bit in every bite. Here is a very simple, off-my-shelf trail mix with peanuts, chocolate chips (that have a bit of whiteness to them because I keep them in the fridge), sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, and cherries. I sprinkled just a tiny bit of salt on them.
Trail mix is a wonderful thing, is it not? This is as simple as it gets, but it's more fun if you have, like, wasabi peas and sesame sticks and all kinds of other stuff. But this one is good and inexpensive and satisfying for me.