Saturday, December 20, 2008

Peace Out my job as a Sous Chef. I'm no longer employed with "the other company." Hooray for being off work and home and ready for the holidays. I shall find a theme song for my mood today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


That's how I'm feeling right now. Two more days of my job, which I'm ecstatic about. All in all, it has been a good experience and I felt extremely blessed to hop right out of culinary school and into a Sous Chef position. I learned a lot. Drove a lot. Washed lots of dishes. Met some interesting people. I was given lots of really great, expensive wine by rich hostesses, as they pitied me carrying loads of trays and such to my car after their parties. I would have settled for their help in carrying some things, but the wine was even better. I broke some crystal, dropped food, slipped, got cut, burned, and bruised...locked out of my car, brought great leftovers home, and went many days without seeing my husband at all. I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to work as a personal chef while I created my own company on the side. It really was the perfect job to accompany me through that life phase. But I'm ready to move on.

Besides work, we are pet-sitting for our friends' dog, Reagan. She is a Golden/Lab mix, about 5 years old, and A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. Marlow has really enjoyed having a friend to play with. I just wish the weather would have been better today. It was so dang foggy outside and the ground was too muddy to take them to the park. Reagan makes me want another dog. I'd definitely be in for getting one, probably a smaller pooch, if we had a bigger house/more yardage. Canines are fun creatures and wonderful friends to us humankind.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Bonsers

Dear friends and family,

It has been an adventurous year for our little family. Here are some highlights…

Singapore and Thailand

In January I was sent to Singapore again for work, so we decided to cash in some airline miles and get Carey a ticket. For less than a road trip to Indiana, Carey joined me for a week in Singapore and then five nights in Thailand. We ate lots of good food, saw the symphony orchestra at the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens, rode elephants at an old Thai capital, climbed the Temple of Doom, participated in a Thai cooking class, and enjoyed being together and being married.

The Adventures of Marlow

It’s been a crazy year for our dog. You might think we are irresponsible pet owners when you hear this list but here it goes anyways… This year he has gotten himself bumped by a car, lost in the 800 acre Austin Greenbelt for six days, blistered the pads off his feet, and jumped in a fire. Each event comes with its own story, the most dramatic of which was when his panic in the Greenbelt resulted in us leaving for the night without him. After six days of fliers and searching, we found him two miles from where we lost him but only a few blocks from where we normally enter the park. I’m convinced my pee on the trailhead helped him find his way home. Carey is not so sure. Needless to say, we are very thankful to have the little guy back. We are not sure what he ate for six days but we know he is a good hunter. So far his kill count from the backyard consists of two rats (killed), two birds (killed; one brought into the living room), and two squirrels (both catch and release).

Taste and See

This year has been an exciting year for Carey’s business. It has been exciting to see her grow in her skills as a chef (yes, I am the most spoiled man ever) and to see her learn how to run a business. She has picked up her first corporate client, learned how to market herself, and her webmaster (me) finally got off his tail and posted a website. In case you are wondering, the name came from Psalm 34:8; “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Our prayer is that whether you live in plenty or want, whether times are joyous or difficult, whether in times of health or illness, that you might taste and see that the Lord is good and that all things in this life pale in comparison to knowing Him and living in His grace.

Peace and grace to you this Christmas season,

Chris and Carey

Sunday, December 14, 2008


After sleeping literally all day long (I woke up at 5:00pm), I feel like I'm a bit recovered from our Christmas party last night. 35 people replied "yes" on the Evite, 14 "maybe." So I prepared for 50 thinking not everyone would come that said they would. We counted 65. Yes, 65 people crowded into our 1400 sq. ft. home. It was a ball. I felt honored to be able to give that gift to our Austin friends. I realize that we know a lot more people than I think we do and we have been extremely blessed with friends since we moved here. It was cool to see the different groups that intermingled; AMD folks, old church, new church, and neighbors. I served a buffet of food that was devoured and left nothing behind. Always a good sign. I think everyone had a great time. I haven't started cleaning up yet and really don't have the energy to start picking up the mess, but we have an inspector coming on Tuesday morning because we are trying to refinance our house. Thus, I must get started.

I'm gearing up for my last 6 days of work, expecting 12-15 hour days this week. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a bug. Too much work and physical wear on my body. But after Saturday, I'll have a lot to be happy about since I won't be working for "the other company" anymore. We are also very excited to see family during the holidays. Marlow can't wait to see snow.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sleepy Time is Calling My Name

In the last 2 days I've worked about 30 hours. I can't even tell you how tired my body is. In the midst of it, I really regret not wearing some kind of support hose because I feel like I can tell when my veins are bursting from so much time on my feet. They feel like they are on fire and my knees still ache today. I know I shouldn't complain, especially when some of my readers are nurse friends who understand long hours of standing and the physical demands on your body...but I hear you guys get something called a break. What is that?? I woke up early so I could sing again at church today, which was super-fun, but I left right after the 'amen' and came home and slid right back into my covers. I love, love, love naps. I feel a bit more rested now although I had to peel myself out of the wonderful, little, dark sleeping cave I had going on underneath my blankets so I can sleep tonight.

The menu last night was:

Asparagus baked in Parmesan Pastry
Bacon-wrapped Shrimp with Pepper Jack Cheese
Zucchini Cups with a filling of Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta
Corn Pancake Chalupas with Avocado Cream and Queso Fresco
Chili Beef and Sweet Potato Skewers with Chimichurri
Cheve Tartlets

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes with Marsala Mousse
Iced Sugar Cookies
Brownie Bites dipped in Peppermint White Chocolate
Bite-Size Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

And as lame as it sounds, I might duplicate the menu for the annual 'Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with the Bonsers' Christmas party on Saturday. I overbought on some of the products, so I'll get to use them and feed my friends. I wish I could stop menu planning in my head (and dreaming of it, too), but I have to press on until business is done for the season. Rest will come.

I have the day off today and all I want to do is be a couch potato and watch Christmas movies with an ongoing cup of hot tea. But you should see my house. It has been neglected and looks abused. Laundry baskets are overflowing. This desk I'm supposedly using looks more like a landfill, piled with junk and mail and notes and...oh yes, the stack of addressed and stamped envelopes waiting for the Christmas letters to go inside. We alternate every year who writes the letter and this year is not my turn! :) You'll get one eventually.

Merry Christmas, folks!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Countdown Begins

Yes, folks, it's true. I gave my two week's notice today and will officially be no longer working for 'the man' (or in my case, 'the woman.'). 16 days left. I am thrilled. The goal, of course, is to be self-sustainable so that I don't have to get another part-time job, but I'm guessing I won't have enough clients ordering weekly meal service, which is consistent income for me (as opposed to one-time catering gigs), so I'll have to find some kind of supplemental income early next year. Nonetheless, I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have worked for "the other company" for two and a half years, which isn't all that long, however, I started it while in culinary school and learned a few tricks along the way which helped me form my own business plan. And it taught me a lot about what not to do, too. I can't tell you how happy I am to be counting down. Celebrate for me, will ya?

Work has again been consuming my life. Working for myself is very rewarding and I have seen an 82.36% increase in business this year compared to last. What Black Friday does to the retail world is what December does for my business. I earn the majority of my income for the entire year within one month. It's exhilarating. I am so thankful God showed me this path in life. I have a deep love for all things edible and especially enjoy sharing my gift with others. Speaking of which, I am catering a party for 50 this weekend for a bunch of ladies from my church. It's always more fun to work when you're serving people you know. They seem to appreciate the work more.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving Week Pics

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy December!