Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Pork Love Story

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Once upon a time…on a fateful but enjoyable Sunday…pork met a myriad of delicious food to become the ultimate union of yummy eats!

May I present to you Mr.Smoked Pork and Mrs.Braised Cabbage along with their respective families of Potato Wedge and Sweet Carrot.

On this special day our groom was smoked for an hour and a half on the barbecue, filled with the aromatic smoke of mesquite wood chips after being brined overnight and sported a smashing dry rub of herb and juniper berry.

Our bride was stunning in a crabapple juice, red wine vinegar, honey, brown sugar, juniper berry gown and accessorized with pan-fried bacon, shallots, leeks and garlic to create the ultimate culinary experience.

The guests from the carrot clan were steamed and pan-fried in butter, honey and seasoned well.

The potato family was tossed in olive oil, rosemary, pepper, salt and baked in the oven then sprinkled with chili pecorino cheese. Obviously they were competing for good looks and taste over the carrots.

After hours of preparation, a couple of heated situations in need of some rest time and a quick trip from the flame to the plate, the ceremony went off without a hitch.

Today we shared our love of food with our new roomie Mary and her awesome man Rory. Thanks for doing the dishes!

Stay classy,

~E

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Happy Friday Folks

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Oh hello there! Fancy meeting you here on this magnificent last day of the work week. Since this is such a good day for me (just because I drank 3 cups of tea already) I thought sharing the positivity would do some good. Here’s where to go to keep the happy ball rolling.

To feel the positivity from an awesome blogger lady with cute baby pictures and other smile moments.

For a profound outlook on life.

I think the world needs more of….

Sing out loud and proud!

Everyone should have a brain break now and then.

All the pretty places.

Having a movie night but not wanting to go out?

Music and dancing can break a lot of barriers.

Speaking of dancing! Looking for some comedy?

With Fall on the doorstep, stay cozy!

Last but not least, remember to smile.

**As a sidenote: I know my posts don’t always correlate with one another. Sometimes they are simple rants and ramblings of a person trying to discover their niche, and other times I go on about the amazing food Mike and I make. However, I then realize I never want to be defined by one minute aspect of my life. Why? Because I live to discover new things. I love experiencing something I have never heard of. I enjoy the thought of the unknown. I am not satisfied with my life entirely because if I was…would there be any reason to go on searching for the new and exciting? Nope. I think not.

So get up off your couch. Wait in anticipation for the final hour of the work day. And run (or causally stroll) outside with determination and a child-like curiosity when looking at our world. Appreciate this life. This is the only planet and existence we have.

 

Stay classy,

~E

Feeling extra chipper today! (please note the sarcasm)

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**I was asked by an acquaintance about what it takes to go to school and pursue a career in Journalism. Here was my response, which of course is my personal opinion on the matter because I am in no way a highly experienced professional but this is what I have learned since pursuing a career as a journalist/photojournalist:

I’m going to give you the hard reality of my profession.

1. Deadlines always matter and life should not become cluttered in the process if a person is efficient and prioritizes properly.

2. Don’t do journalism unless you are willing to make minimal money for the first few years and be constantly on call while working for any daily publication or news source such as radio, TV, social media. Just because you are sleeping does not mean news has stopped happening.

3. The job market is exactly the same for someone who has a Bachelor in Journalism versus a Diploma in Journalism or someone who has had more field experience than your entire age. Granted field experience in my opinion is the number one way to get hired. Yes those fancy classes look oh so pretty on a transcript, but don’t think this is going to get you a job right off.

4. No one cares you know a photoshop system or video editing software backwards and forwards unless that’s all you will be doing. Wrong. As a journalist your job will be everything short of speaking the words of the person you are interviewing. Print journalism is a dying art and news media companies such as Post Media (look them up) have their hand in more than one media cookie jar. What does this mean for the journalist? Let me tell you. It means we need to know radio (recording to editing), TV (recording to editing to writing up the ‘script’), print (everything under the sun), social media (know your shit or you will fail), html coding (sometimes they want you to be a web page editor and/or designer so you MUST know what the backdoor coding means and how to create it), photoshop (this shit will save some very shitty photos), indesign editing, microsoft, all adobe softwares that could somehow pertain to our job in the most minuscule way. You name it and most journalists will know it. The only exception to this are the older than dirt people who have been working this industry way before degrees mattered.

5. Journalism is never a one-stop shop. You need to be up on every social media platform. If you go into a job interview and name Facebook and Twitter as the only sites you know how to use…don’t expect a call back. Go ahead and get the degree but don’t for one instant think a job is waiting on the doorstep of graduation. The media world is much smaller, tight knit and cut throat than most people know. If you fuck up once during school and it gets published somehow or a professor realizes you’re not cut out for this field, don’t expect a shining recommendation.

6. THE MOST IMPORTANT fact is that all professors in the program are also industry professionals. My photojournalism prof worked for Canadian Press, my Mastery Reporting prof had been with us since year one and she works for the Edmonton Journal and my radio prof had been all over the country with various news stations. If they don’t like you or think you treat some part of this as a joke and you might as well write that prof off as ever recommending you. They are the people who you will have to keep in contact with after graduation and they could very well find you a job in media. Word of mouth and opinions matter the most.

7. Excuse me while I blatantly laugh at the thought of having achieved my media goals. My doe-eyed goal was and still is to work as a photojournalist for a magazine travelling the world. I’m 21 and definitely not ready to settle down into a job where a cubicle is my work world for 8 hours a day. You have got to work bloody hard to get a job in media. Sure you can get an entry-level position as either an unpaid intern or possibly paid but with no job security, but don’t bank on the dream job right off. Smaller publications such as community newspapers are sometimes easier to get into because there isn’t as much competition. Not many people want to live outside of the city and write about Suzie’s prize puppy winning first at the local fair.

8. If you think you will ‘get off’ on just reporting and writing to stay afloat (not sure what you meant entirely by that) you are sorely mistaken. I never wrote for a publication that paid me until a year after I graduated. You can try if you are good and can balance school with some media publication but the most you will probably get is freelance work. I paid for my schooling and living expenses by having two jobs during school and three jobs in the summer. I also worked for the website our class ran called West Edmonton Local but it was a requirement of the program. We created the content and maintained the website as one of our classes. This doesn’t mean we got class time to go out and find stories. Nope. We had to go out on our own time and interview the people, write the story, upload to the website and manage the content. Every week someone else had the job of monitoring the entire website. So good luck on having things like that and trying to make money writing and reporting. Also, all news publications in the city will know you are a student which means they won’t give you the exciting stories while you are in school because they know your attention is split between school and side-work. I call it side work because taking journalism is like having a full-time job. You could be like every other student in university and get out of your 3-hour class and have a beer or hang out. However, after 3 hours of class in journalism you still have to go out and get that story while other assignments pile up as well.

9. What to expect:

*long hours

*little sleep

*not a lot of appreciation for your work unless it is outstanding

*multiple assignments that sometimes overlap if two prof’s feel it would be a good learning *experience to take video of a story and then not only edit it for the assignment but also tweet *about the story while taking video and interviewing Joe Schmoe

*expensive textbooks

*the requirement that you MUST buy a MacBook Pro laptop and the latest version of whatever *Adobe software they stipulate ($approx. 2500.00)

*recommendation to also buy a voice recorder, camera and whatever else that would ‘aid you *further’ (we have a technology library but it is on a first come, first serve basis for everything     unless there is an assignment that requires a specific piece of equipment)

*brain overloads on a regular basis

*all classes have required attendance

*prof’s are not lying when they say you will be 3 classes behind if you miss one day

*other student’s don’t understand the amount of different work this field requires (It is like taking a technical degree at NAIT because everything is real world and applied to reality on a regular basis)

10. The new program (ie: Communications Degree) So, I graduated in two years with a journalism diploma. Now, the four years is made into what is essentially Professional Writing, Journalism and probably Public Relations as well. However, this means half your class will not be in the same field as you. Year one and two are general studies classes with maybe one or two specific to degree classes. Year three and four is when the students split off into their respective fields and enrol in purely degree based classes. I’m not sure how great the new program is because I was never in it. However, this is what my prof’s told me: “These first couple years are the guinea-pig phase,” meaning everything is new and being tested out to see what classes should be kept for students to enrol in and what ones should be scrapped due to not applying enough yatta yatta yatta. They advised me to wait until three to five years down the road if I wanted to come back and enrol because by that time the kinks in the degree program would be worked out. People in the program I have talked to have mixed reviews. Some hate it. Some love it. The ones who hate it are usually the students who were already in the two year program and decided to continue on for a degree instead of a diploma. The ones who love it or tolerate it are those who are fresh and don’t know how the old system ran. As a program, professional writing and journalism both used to run out of the Fine Arts and Communications Campus on the west end of Edmonton but now everyone is in the City Center Campus. Mixed reviews about that as well. However, the new arts and communications building should be built by 2015 right by Grant MacEwan Residence so that would be a better place to be for the students to learn and not have to put up with the business and nursing people who sometimes don’t want to play nice.

So that in a nutshell is my experience as a Journalism graduate. I should also add I took a year of Open Studies to further my education which overall helped me keep a well-rounded view of the whole rigmarole of being in an intense but great program that offers a lot of potential for growth. I know the bulk of my response was negative, but after three years of school and the hassle of knowing I would not have a guaranteed job, the reality sets in that journalism is a freaking insanely tough field to stay in. I’m sure the Communications Degree is much more in-depth but yet again does not promise a career at the end of it unless you shine like a sparkly unicorn during school and maybe one of your prof’s will snatch you up to go work at their news publication. I would advise you to also take a look at Public Relations because I took a class in it and it was truly an eye-opening time where I was able to expand my thoughts on what it means to be a media career person. Really great class to take as well if it is offered in the Communications degree.

To add a note after this email was sent, I would like to reaffirm what I stand for and what I think about my career. Yes, communications is a hard field to become successful in. Yes, there may not always be reward for your work besides a pay check. However, I feel empowered. I enjoy being challenged every day. My job is never boring even during cubicle hours. I absolutely love the opportunities I have encountered along the way and the people I have met. If there was ever a way to make me believe in humanity it is through my job. I have a front row seat to witness change and also have the power to become part of the change. Communications and Journalism is a field full of potential and has a multitude of positions to be in within one single career. I can be a photographer one day and a writer the next; but I am never simply one or the other but a collage of all of the things I have learned. Journalism is a great field to be in. Honestly. I will always be able to say my job is interesting and never boring.

Stay classy,

~E

The Sunday Chronicles Continue

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The Sunday Chronicles Continue

Of course our story starts at the downtown market at the Ocean Odyssey seafood vendor. After much deliberation we decide to buy a piece of fresh tuna and another piece of fresh salmon. Onto our lazy sunday of being not so lazy and way more creative. In all honesty Mike got creative and I did laundry. The joys of domestic adult life.

Back to much more exciting talk!

Please admire, drool over, crave and share with friends this picture of deliciousness.

This is the first of I believe a couple more dishes Mike decided to create today.

Random question time with Mike! Of course he doesn’t know I’m typing this up to make this post extra awesome and engaging. I’m always asking him questions anyways haha journalist in me never stops working.

Q: Do you find cooking calming?
A: I would say so, yes.

Q: Why do you like to cook at home so much?
A: I like to eat good food.

Q: Don’t you ever get tired of cooking?
A: *laughs at me* Sometimes its cereal and toast before bed. Sometimes its pasta and tomato sauce, but even then I chop up some shallots and fresh herbs.

“Nothing beats grilling a steak at two in the morning with beer in hand when everyone is sleeping.”

Q: What’s the one dish you couldn’t live without?
A: Pasta and bread. It warms ya up and fills ya up. It’s homey.

Q: Where’s the number one place you want to travel to experience food.
A: The French came up with a lot of cooking techniques and discoveries so that would be cool.

**Ironically Mike works at a steakhouse but has not cooked one steak dish at home yet! This will be rectified before summer has completely ended.**

Enough bugging the man when he’s making food! Back to the dish at hand…and in my tummy.

Pan-seared ahi tuna on beet greens with pickled beet strings and crispy fried fennel pieces with honey-drizzled multi-coloured carrots accented with basil oil and chili oil drops finished off with a healthy sprinkling of Black Cypress Flake sea salt.

Stay classy,

~E

Duck Dynasty ain’t got nothin’ on this! (excuse the painful grammar)

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Duck Dynasty ain't got nothin' on this!

Hello duck breast!

Cooked breast side down on medium heat in a nice glob of duck fat. Mike said scoring it first helps with the cooking process. Accompanying this fine piece of meat are herb marinated grilled vegetables (purple & green cauliflower, corn, potatoes). Everything on the plate is home grown goodness. Thanks to my grandparents for the plethora of potatoes we now have to cook with!

Duck courtesy of Green’s Eggs and Ham.

Stay classy,

~E

Happy Days!

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Happy Days!

I absolutely love sleeping in on the weekend. You wanna know what’s even better than sleeping in? Eating bacon!

My friends this is what dreams are made of. Or at least my dreams haha

Mike once again made a yummy meal for us to share in the morning. Perfectly cooked pancakes, bacon, fruit salad and caramelized peaches. Awww yeah!

Stay classy.

~E

Farmer’s Market Haul

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Farmer's Market Haul

Now to give a little bit more background on what we do at the Farmer’s Market i’ve got to say we go almost every Saturday and sometimes Sundays to another market for our weekly produce.

Saturdays are mainly devoted to the Downtown Edmonton market and sometimes the Strathcona market.

We have only gone on one Sunday to market after I discovered a French Market in the heart of the Edmonton Francophone community called La Cite’ Francophone over by Bonnie Doon Mall. It was a lot of fun with French music playing, a small bistro/cafe’ and an area to sit and enjoy the morning.

This picture is of our haul from one of our days going to the downtown market.

Here we have:

~concord grapes
~fresh garlic
~medley of wild mushrooms
~carrots
~yellow watermelon
~peaches
~yellow beets
~cherry tomatoes
~red plums
~yellow and green cauliflower
~zebra tomatoes

One of our best produce days yet!

Stay classy,

~E

The Finer Things In Life

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The Finer Things In Life

Excuse me while I devour this dish…om nom nom nom! This salmon masterpiece is of course brought you by Mike.

Keeping up with tradition, we had yet another epic meal for Sunday dinner. Why do we do this? Well first off, we both do not work on Sunday. Secondly, we have the day to laze about and do whatever we want. Thirdly, because we’re just cool like that!

Here’s the breakdown: Grilled salmon with a grilled salsa consisting of peach, pineapple, tomato, lime and cilantro on a bed of farm fresh yellow and green zucchini.

 

Stay classy,

~E