For the past three-and-a-half years or so, I've been mostly unemployed, through no fault of my own. (Actually, that's probably a story worth telling in its own regard, but that will have to be another time.) It's been during this time where I've had a lot of time at home that I really ended up developing my skills, talent, and passion for the kitchen. Sometimes it can actually feel weird to look back and realize that six years ago, I didn't even know how to cook.
Things have changed a bit this past month, though! I have gotten a part-time job that may be working into a full-time job soon. The thing is, I only work a few days each week, but on the days I do work, I can be gone from the house for twelve or fourteen hours. And the first week, I worked four long days out of five, for training, which kept me away from the house (and the kitchen) quite a bit. Because the job has me working with expert doctors, I don't even get to pack the nice bento lunches like I used to--I'm supposed to buy lunch for myself and the doctors during the clinic (as a reimbursed business expense)! I understand that this is kind of a perk to have my lunch paid for by the company, but I liked my homemade lunches. My poor bento boxes are getting neglected now.
recipe was from my new Food Network Magazine, naturally.) I hadn't had lentils outside of lentil soup before, and my sweetie was a bit skeptical of what curried ones would taste like, but we both agreed afterwards that it was a delicious dinner.
I've also been using my grill a lot this week, what with the record highs in the Pacific Northwest; I made some really awesome strip steaks, some sausages (with Girl-Scout-style foil-packet potato hash!), and of course hamburgers. I'm still planning some shrimp on the grill, and maybe some more cedar-planked salmon.
And then on Saturday, it'll be time to go back to work. I really can't complain, though, I do love my new job. It's just going to take a little bit of adjustment, as it does for any change, to find a new balance, and not make plans that are too big for the energy level I have left after a thirteen-hour workday.