Sunday, April 20, 2008

finding my happy place

let me begin this posting by saying that i have found my happy place. i just finished watching a movie with beautiful dancing. it was a very interesting documentary with very interesting characters. i'll probably be thinking about it for a while. under normal circumstances, i probably wouldn't have even seen a movie today because usually watching something like the forbidden kingdom would keep me in a happy state for a few days...if not an entire week. how could it not? it has jet li! jackie chan! and jet li vs jackie chan! fighting! oh goodie goodie. it was completely worth my ten bucks. the choreography in that movie was also a joy to watch.

however, i was severely evicted from my forbidden-kingdom-induced-happy-state this morning at about 5:25am.

we awoke to some continuous tapping...and no, it wasn't a raven or the tapping of fingers on a keyboard. it was the tapping of droplets of water hitting hardwood floors. water was leaking from the ceiling to the office floor. after checking it out and quickly grabbing a couple of stock pots, i quickly assessed the situation. the water started moving started to flow as if someone had installed a water faucet into my ceiling and turned it on. the situation was not conducive to being in a happy state. happy state went bye-bye.

a half a dozen phone calls and about an hour later, i had the building manager and two contractors in my place checking it out. it appears that a water pipe broke and they would need to bust open parts of the bathroom walls to get to it.

as the contractors got to work, i got to the business of distracting myself from the symphony of demolition, electric saws, and the lilt of spanish spoken with an indian accent. (i kept straining myself trying to figure out what lanague he was speaking until i realized it was spanish...but not the spanish i'm used to hearing...that's for certain)

why didn't i leave?

perhaps it had something to do with them coming and going and me not wanting the pets to make a run for the door. perhaps, it also had something to do with the fact that by this time it was about 6:45 am on a sunday and despite being surrounded by them...i'm not the church-going type....or how about i don't like leaving the house unless i've had a shower and well, showering wasn't an many reasons abound.

anyway, back to distracting myself from the construction influenced orchestra. ...some folks reach for a hidden bottle of well aged scotch when presented with situations such as these. what did i reach for at 7am this morning? i reached for a tin of mariebelle spicy hot chocolate that i had been saving for just the right occasion.

this was definitely the right occasion. just knowing that i was going to have this treat brought some color back into my day. i decided to make it with whole milk and used a heavy hand with the chocolate.

so i drank my ultra creamy and rich hot chocolate that calmed my frazzled nerves. i savored it. drinking it in small sips. sigh. so nice.

after i finished the cup of hot chocolate and reading fray, i thought...hmmmm.... what now? i still needed distraction from the in-house symphony. then inspiration hit. i could make an early lunch! i could make a lunch with mushrooms! as i have mentioned before...'shrooms have the power to transform not so great experiences into lovely ones.

so i did my roasted mushroom on toasted upstairs bread thing. as i was in some dire need of distraction, i extended the experience by having a lengthy photo shoot. perhaps i'll post a slide show of the shoot at a later time. i bet the contractors were wondering what all of the beeps and clicks were about. it is very likely that most folks don't take a hundred pictures while cooking mushrooms. i bet you think i am exaggerating.

i decided to season the mushrooms differently this why not? it keeps it interesting. i seasoned the ca shiitake mushrooms with kalamata olive oil, roasted hazelnut olive oil, sage, cayenne, and kosher salt.
i wanted to use the sage and roasted hazelnut oil to under score the earthiness of the mushrooms. i also decided at the very last minute to add a few whole cloves of garlic as well.

then i roasted everything at 400 degrees until ready.

then i put it aside

while i got the upstairs bread ready for toasting

and then assembled everything...including slathering on some brie... once the bread was nice and toasty.

yum yum. this variation was a success! almost heavenly. under normal circumstances, this was a pretty decadent start to the day. yet, who doesn't need a bit of pampering when awoken by an incoming flood and emptying out an all-clad stainless steel stock pot every 15 minutes for an hour...wondering...when will the cavalry arrive?

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