Did you know that my parents (specifically my father) call me twice every week? Cause he does. And its not like he calls for some lame five minute conversation to make sure I'm still breathing. He calls and listens and talks to me. Tonite, we talked for an hour and a half. I love the consistency of it all - that despite it all, my parents have not forgotten me. Its something I really appreciate. That even far away they are taking care of me and me them. Its nice to know. A lot of time I think it comes down to feeling like someone hears you - really hears you. Often I just let my dad chat away and sometimes I think he needs these phone calls more than I do. Distance usually makes the fond heart wander. But not with family. Before I left to come back to school, as I was saying goodbye to my father at the airport, he hugged me and told me that I could always call him if I needed to and that other people may come and go but he'd always be my best friend. I love that level of loyalty, that level of love. Basically I love my dad.
Lindsey Jackson and I headed home after our Fixed lab to get ready.
I was super glad to have Lindsey, cause that meant I didnt have to show up alone.
Plus getting ready is more fun to do with someone else.
Lindsey voted for this little number.
I do alright.
And of course we would have an ice sculpture of a big tooth.
We are dentists.
(Me, Derrick, Mel, Lindsey)
(Lucinda, Me, Lindsey)
I was really glad that I had Lindsey, Lucinda & Dan and Derrick & Mel.
Cause getting to the party I realized I dont know very many people.
Mostly I was there for the food. The Hors d'œuvre were great.
Derrick and Mel are super funny.
Here they are with their flower napkins. Very classy.
The founder of our school's birthday cake. (which tasted pretty good)
(Shawn Groyeski, Elizabeth Merritt, Dan & Lucinda Barry, Me, Lindsey Jackson, Derrick & Melinda Call)
After dinner there was dancing.
It was hilarious to see some of our teachers and clinical instructors rocking out on the dance floor. HILARIOUS.
Like Dr. Cataldo Leone. He had quite a few moves.
And Dr. Jurasic - she's the most wicked preclin instructor... whom all the guys have crushes on and would be jealous they missed dancing with her. So we orchestrated it so that we could dance with her.
It was especially funny, cause here is Derrick, dancing between her and her husband.
She danced with us for like twenty minutes... it was so rad.
And there may have been a dance off between Lindsey and Derrick.
Derrick held nothing back.
In the end, Lucinda made off with one of the table center pieces.
Its ghetto and for awhile I couldnt remember what a frying pan was called.
But it gets the jist of it all across.
And I promise... I'll stop only talking about this one meal.
Ingredients(most things are cut up to be bite sized) 2 Peppers - cut into strips (or could be cut into squares) Four thin steaks (about 2 pounds of meat total) - cut against the grain into strips (easier to cut if the meat is frozen while you're cutting it) One large white onion - chopped Package of mushrooms - chopped Two green onions (scallions) - chopped up really small Six or seven Russett potatoes - washed, dried, stabbed with a fork and the outside buttered Package of provolone cheese - could be cut into cheese slices or grated Tablespoon of olive oil Montreal Steak Spice (Makes enough for six or seven large baked potatoes with plenty of topping)
Instructions Set oven to 350 F and wrap potatoes in tinfoil and place on a baking sheet for an hour and a half. Half hour to forty five minutes before you want to eat, set out two stove top pans with lids and set the burners to medium-low. In Pan 1 - throw olive oil and onions in and let cook until they are starting to go translucent. Meanwhile in Pan 2 - put meat strips in, season with montreal steak spice and cover till cooked well through - flipping midway through and seasoning the other side (if you have a lot of meat you might have to do multiple pans but the cooked meat can be set aside and covered to keep the heat). Once onions are mostly cooked, stir in peppers and mushrooms and continue to cook. When peppers and mushrooms are mostly cooked, take meat from Pan 2 and mix into Pan 1. Throw strips of provolone cheese on and when melted stir it all together.
Then you take your baked potatoes out of the oven, cut them open and put meat, cheese and vegetable mixture over top and eat!
(Brilliance and simplicity of this recipe go to the credit of Benjamin Rex TeWhiti Lowry)
I dont even know how its possible but I think my leftover steak, cheese and vegetable combo tastes even better today than it did yesterday. Its almost like it got to marinate in awesomeness in the fridge last night and so when I created a little burrito out of it, it exploded with tastiness.
"if ye are prepared ye shall not fear" - and as such I was determined to be ready.
I dont cook that much so I didnt know how long everything would take to do. But getting things done ahead of time seemed like the smartest option. Cause I would hate to have people show up and be no where ready for them. Because as lame as it is, I wanted this to turn out well, and to be impressive. I'm all about it being a casual thing, but casually impressive.
So I cooked, baked, chopped and washed until I couldnt do it anymore.
(FYI - chopping onions.. not fun. My eyes didnt appreciate it at all)
Then this afternoon I picked up the cause again.
I wasnt sure how the cooking part would actually turn out. But I threw it all into a pan and let it go.
And it smelled great.
And tasted good too.
What is it you ask?
Philly Cheese Steak Baked Potato.
I dont cook often, but even when I refused to be domestic as a teenager I always asserted that I could cook if I chose to. And well, its true. I just didnt want to be defined by the classic stereotype of a mormon girl, where being domestic was all she was known for. But I guess the irony is, while I wanted to be so different and rebellious, in the end I am here, in the kitchen. But I like to think that it doesnt matter. It doesnt change me and I know that I'm defined by more things, and I will happily add cooking to the list of things I enjoy.
As I prepared and cooked, I thought about whatLauren Henriesaid about the kitchen being cathartic. You cook and let your thoughts run while your hands stay busy. And at the end you look down and realize that you accomplished something great. Why wouldnt that be a good thing to do?
Dinner was fun tho. And I was surprised at how well it went. I expected alot more awkwardness seeing as we were all strangers. The only awkwardness occured at the very end when the missionaries gave their message - and part of that could be cause I had a guilty conscience about not giving Kellie a heads up that a message after dinner was standard. But during the actual eating, it was great. I looked around at these strangers and realized that I had reached out and people had reached back. The missionaries were hilarious and provided entertainment with their stories and personal quirks.