Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chile Later--

I'm back. And, I told you that I got two amazing jobs here in Jackson. 1) I am a nanny for two families. Each of the families has one little boy, and they share my services. They boys are both 1 year old and super cute. Isn't he adorable? He's super cute and happy-- very precocious too. This is what I do 5 days a week. I love it because I have time to myself and I am able to read, write, or whatever.
This week has been so beautiful out since the weather has finally broken. We had 600'' of snow; which is alot of freakin' snow. I will be the first to tell you. ;) Speaking of snow, that refers to my other job. I worked at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as a ski tech for children's skis. I worked with my roomie from last summer there too. It was just seasonal as well, but I got my ski pass since I worked full time at the end of November and December. It is the most expensive pass in the nation. $1600. That's a savings, huh? I work alot, but it's rewarding. We pay alot to live here, but it's worth it most of the time.

Now, that you know what I do, my off time is spent outdoors usually. I guess that is what I chose because I had to live in such a small space in college, at my resort job last summer, and in this condo over the winter. I shared the loft--- Boy, oh, Boy, there is no privacy there!
But, I did do a good bit of cooking and some of my best work was there. I often shared because there was always enough too, and the girls just liked to try what I made. Adam made some pretty amazing concoctions as well.

Last night, we had Marinated Venison Medallions, home baked whole wheat biscuits, and a salad. The marinade set it off. Try this:

1/2 fresh lime; juiced
1/4 cup cilantro
1/8 cup basil
soy sauce
olive oil
1/8 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
a heavy dash of dry red wine (Pinot Noir)
Refrigerate for as long as possible and cook on hot grill or as you so choose.

The salad and biscuits speak for themselves... what a fun and easy dinner!

So, everyday I kind of attempt to prepare for every night-- that is, if we are cooking. I recently took a trip to Kaua'i, Hawai'i with one of the families' for whom I work, and the cuisine there is amazing. Poke', sushi, Ahi, are influenced by essences of Polynesia, Thailand, and Japan. I have heard this type of cuisine called fusion. The family had a personal chef come over to the house and cook and amazing meal. We had op ah fish with coconut rice and watercress as our main dish; a raw fish salad with cucumber salad; and for dessert a banana caramel flambes'. It was incredible. So, one of the night's that I kept the boys, I took some things that I learned from the personal chef and tried it out.

I took Jasmine rice and cooked it regularly.

Then, I saute'ed garlic, sweet maui onions, red peppers, and grape tomatoes in a pan. I let them break down alittle where they were soft, but not mushy. I then added some cilantro and sweet basil. I mixed some coconut milk with a little sugar just to taste alittle sweet, and warmed it in the pan. (It wasn't very thick, but the flavors the milk took on where layered. I just seared Ahi in the pan... It was marinated in ginger, lime juice, and soy sauce for about 1 hour. I like it on the raw side, but cook to taste!

Here's just a picture of one of my dinners while in Kaua'i. SUSHI! :)

Who I am and what I am about:

Hi! I am embarking into the journey of my life. I graduated college 1 year ago, and I moved away from my home and alma mater within a few days of graduation. I left Memphis, Tennessee headed West for Grand Teton National Park. I crossed the great Mississippi and traded for these rugged, jagged, majestic mountains ----->. I lived in the Park and worked at a resort as a housekeeper-- what a job for a recent college grad, huh? Well, it was wonderful. I wasn't there for the job as you well know. I was there get out there and hike, camp, kayak, trail run, horseback ride, canoe, whitewater raft, and sit and admire the view. You hear about and often read people's experiences where they simply conquer the outdoors or have some experience that is life changing. My life is very different, but I think I am different because my appreciation for the ability to do these things is so great. I left a flat, hot, humid town and this is what I got. I met some amazing people, and I worked hard. I was able to transition to this place through the resort lifestyle because my housing was taken care of. When the summer ended, some fellow workers and my roommate and I found an expensive two bedroom + loft condo that we would live in during the winter. Boy, that seems like forever ago.

Last summer, I was able to do things inexpensively. I lived in the most beautiful part of the country. The sad things is that it is often looked over- flown over- or never even heard talked about. I embraced it, and fell in love. I am here to stay for alittle while. I met a good man whom I fell for; I got 2 better-than-housekeeping jobs for the winter in town (Jackson, WY). And, I was able to make the move of a lifetime away from Memphis.

My boyfriend's name is Adam. And I met him on the 4th of July last year at a great live music party at a place called 43 North. We danced to the Dead, Johnny Cash, and other covered music, and we just lived the moment. He left for St. Loui' the next day and we didn't really chat at all. On his way back to the Cowboy State, he called and left me a message that just simply said- " Hey, What's up? This is Adam. I am on my way back, and I wanted to give you a call. I have been with my sister's and such while I was home, and I understand if you didn't want to talk, but I would like to take you out. " I called him.

He cooked me dinner the first date, and the next night we went to Targhee Mountain Resort for a bluegrass festival where my favorite band played. Yonder Mountain String Band. It was wonderful. We camped out that night and I saw so many shooting stars. It was beautiful and natural. We let things go.
This is in the National Forest at our favorite camping spot called Lightey Lake. It is close to Togotwee Pass. Isn't it beautiful?
So, after the "season" is over, most people take a vacation for this "off-season." Adam took me to meet his brother who lives in Chile. I hadn't been abroad since I was young, and I was super excited. For two weeks, I visited my family in Tennessee and then November 1, 2007 I left for St. Louis to see Old Crow Medicine Show and Warren Haynes with Government Mule. November 5th, we left for Chicago to fly to Miami and on to Santiago.... Chile is so different from America, but it has such a rich diverse culture. Being in this place with Adam gave me a new enriched view on life. He told me he loved me in a place called La Boca on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was indescribable.
So, I have more to tell about my last year of life. Especially about this trip... I will add more pictures too.