January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

So this is what happened to me this morning, in this order:

-I ‘ran out’ of underwear.  (Totally my fault).

-The internet didn’t work (vis-a-vis did I remember to pay that bill??)

-I got in my car and as I pulled out noticed the top half of my side-view mirror was missing.  I seriously thing it broke off in the cold, judging by the break line on it.

-The gas light goes on about halfway to work.


I get it, universe, I get it.

How to Mise Tip #5: Oranges.

January 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ok, I must be on a fruit thing today.  Coincidence?  The fact that there’s no natural growing fruit within hundreds of miles?  You decide.

I just finished my iced tea with lemon (from the entry before) and it was delicious.  Although part of the way through I realized that the lemons had kind of dirty skin…so an addendum to Mise Tip #4: Lemons would be if you are going to be nice enough to offer lemon to someone definitely make sure to wash it first.

So now that my bevvie is finished I’m hungry and all I brought to work today was fruit…odd.  As I was peeling an orange I started thinking about how you can’t peel an orange in front of someone else without having to offer them a piece of the orange once you’ve gotten your fingernails all yucky from peeling it.

A lot can be said about the quantity of orange you offer someone who is watching you peel it.  A coworker offered me half of her orange yesterday – it can be truly said of her (in non-orange-related experiences) that she is generous, genuinely interested in other peoples’ stories and problems and is a funny person who I love being around.  Halfers come in three groups:  the selfless-giver of ‘the bigger half,’ the fair and balanced evens-stevens immaculate separator and, finally, the realist who understands they did the work to open the orange, they bought it, so gosh darn it they’re going to give you the slightly smaller half.

A quarter of the orange is an acceptable proportion.  It’s a light snack for the recipient and it’s a clean enough proportion that no one feels left out.  This is the portion I usually give.

Conversely, in large groups it may be necessary to dole out several portions.  This calls for the doubled-up two slices method.  You can give a part of your orange to 2-3 people and still have a third of it left for yourself!  Very generous, indeed.

Social nuances are bizarre – how on Earth do we all perceive these things, compute them and form miniscule judgments based on interactions?  Generally we gloss over details and don’t realize how these minutia group together to eventually form a whole picture.

BE WARY the orange-peeler Scrooge who offers you ‘some orange’ and hands you one, stinking, waggly piece of orange.  The One-Slicer.  The miser.  This person should just not offer in the first place because now their fingers have been on BOTH SIDES of your measly slice, instead of just on the bookends of a chunk.  They might be selfish, but they know its wrong so they relent their citrus fruit in embarrassing proportions.  If you meet a One-Slicer:  head for the hills.

Here are some more interesting things about oranges you probably don’t need to know:

-In 1st grade I had a serious aversion to oranges because we did a project around Christmas where we recreated ‘colonial times Christmas.’  This involved 7 year olds punching whole cloves in to thick, Maine-winter oranges.  Uhhh.  Child labor?  Possible allegations of torture?  My hands killed and smelled like hipster cigarettes for weeks.

-My first live-in boyfriend had a proclivity to orange-scented cleaning products.  Is this normal?

-It drives me .absolutely.bonkers. when people peel the pith off their orange.  Shut up and eat it, jerk!  First of all, the pith is kind of an acquired taste:  I find it delicious.  So the mere waste bothers me.  Count on top of it the fact that the pith contains almost as much Vitamin C in it as the flesh (I read that somewhere that looked reputable, so I believe it).  Also, when you make orange marmalade you make a sachet of the pips and the pith to extract natural pectin.  That’s a nice way to have Paddington Bear over for tea without boiling horse’s feet or any crap like that.

-‘Pip’ is possibly the best name for anything, ever.

How to Mise Tip #4: Lemons.

January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

This concept totally sprung itself on me this morning – does that ever happen to you?  One minute you’re sleepily driving to work, blindly and sadly going to Dunkin’ Donuts because you don’t have enough money for the good coffee shop this week, then BAM!  Idea!  Observation!  Reflection…

We got these amazing little coupons at my house, about 24 of them and half of them reasonably good deals at Dunkin’ Donuts.  So, for the last few days, I’ve been throwing my hands up, admitting my fate as a member of the ‘upper-lower class income’ bracket.  Man, throwing ‘upper’ in there even sounds snooty…a recent development but I DO miss the street cred being at the poverty line ensures.  So I’ve been going to D&D.  No worries.  We used to go there sometimes when I was a kid and not a total food snob – I got the chocolate frosting-filled powdered sugar pita and Dad always got a small black decaf (ew, gross Dad) and if Dad thinks something’s alright it probably is.

I woke up this morning with a squinty, pinchy, pounding sinus headache.  So when I approached the nice lady who has been accepting my little coupons all week I felt like I was in a bubble.  I ordered a medium, unsweetened peach iced tea.  She’s asking me a question…concentrate…would you….would you like lemon with that?  POP!  Bubble broken.  Yes I would, I would very much.

Let’s be honest – lemon in water might be divisive in some crowds (to wedge, or not to wedge?) but asking customers if they want lemon in their beverage is pretty much the epitome of customer service.  Why?  Because, first of all, cutting lemons is annoying.  Lemon slices are not so bad but wedges are really quite a pain.  But we do it because there’s something about it that’s just so right, so refreshing.  Secondly, when you are a bartender or a server or working in a coffee shop, in order to add the lemon to the beverage hygienically takes a bit of skill.  At the restaurant I worked at we had tongs, but the lemons stick together and can be tricky to extract.  Then I worked in a small shop and we kept the rarely-asked-for lemons in a plastic cup and used a fork to get them out.  Had to keep them locked away!  Otherwise there would be coffee grounds all over them.  Very cumbersome.  So to ask me if I wanted a lemon, at Dunkin’ Donuts of all places – floored!

I should take this opportunity to mention that I am NOT a huge fan of the lemon-infused water option at restaurants.  This is, for lack of a nicer way to say it, the swill that results from a pitcher of water (once cool and icy) with melted, rank ice and marinated lemons that have almost developed a film over them.  That kind of water is gross.  If you love lemon so much, Restaurant, why don’t you treat it properly and just add a small slice when you pour the glass?  Or just leave it out altogether.  That would be better than drinking osmosis.

I also hear that lemon is good for  your digestion.  When I was in my early 20s and had some anxiety/intestinal/embarrassment problems my Dad recommended that I drink a glass of lemon water every morning to even out my system.  This is not medical advice, FYI, and the only reason in this world that I very strongly believe lemon water is good for you is because my Dad so.  But remember – he’s also the one that shared regular D&D trips with me and, remember, as long as Dad thinks it’s ok, it is?  So seriously, people, drink a glass of lemon water in the morning, for God’s sakes, or you’ll die!  Or at least poop your pants.

For me, now, sipping on my great big unsweetened tea (D&D has a sugar problem.  You ask for ‘1’ and they’ll usually scoop in ’10’…just add a ‘0’ behind the number of sugars you request…) with not one but TWO hunky lemon wedges, I am a happy girl.


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