Friday, April 06, 2007

Heaven in a Pot of German Dumplings...

My Grandma Shanahan used to make the best German Potato Dumplings.

God rest her soul, she was a good cook.

My sister requested a special dinner for her birthday: Pork roast and German Potato dumplings.

Doh! My heart sank. Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance=No wheat, oats, barley, etc.) I have had to give up many of my favorite foods.

However, I refused to watch my family licking their lips and digging into dumplings the size of softballs, covered with gravy and served with tender pork! So I took matter in my own hands.

With my trusted Sous Chef (my husband), we change my Great-Grandma Miller's recipe substituting wheat products for gluten-free products.

The end result? Absolute heaven!

I will try not to eat them all before our special dinner tomorrow.

Granted they aren't 100% like Grandma Shanahan's.

No one cooked like her. No one can duplicate her leaning on the cupboard stirring a pot, chatting endlessly with us. The smell of caraway seeds rose to your nose as soon as your cut open these delicious potato, bread and flour morsels. We would sit at the kitchen table devouring our meal and Grandma would bring out a hot bowl of fresh dumplings. No one could duplicate the lighthearted banter between Grandma and Grampa during a meal. "Sit down Jeanne!" "Can you get (insert item here) Jeanne?" "For God's sake Jeanne, sit down!" "Jeanne, we need more gravy". "Jeanne, could you sit down and eat already?" They were a hoot!

You may be able to substitute the wheat products but you can't substitute the love and history that Grandma put in her food.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Job Interview Don’ts…

I went to the mall today to pick something up for my sister. I bought a sweater for my niece, as per her request, and stopped at the mall Starbucks for a quick cup of “Joe”.

Sitting at a table, belonging to Starbucks, were two young ladies. One was maybe 21 and the other was maybe the same age or slightly younger.

I couldn’t help noticing the two of them. One had her hair pulled back neatly in a pony tail. She wore a light blue button down shirt and a pair of khakis. She held the job application in one hand, the other hand a pen. She was obviously a part of the hiring team for whichever mall store she was employed at.

The other female at the table was a stark contrast to the one running the interview. She sat in the chair across from her interviewer sitting cross-legged, or as we call it in our home “criss-cross applesauce”. She looked like she would have been more comfortable on her couch at home or maybe yoga class. She was eating a bag of chips, loudly from where I stood, and with her mouth open. Could this person be seeking a job interview with this behavior? To say it was unprofessional would be an understatement.

I was trying to wrap my mind around this scene. It was obviously a job interview but I must have been missing something.

My question is this: Do some young adults have so little respect for future employers that they present themselves in the same fashion as when around their friends? When I was a teenager I curled my hair, wore my dressy outfit and planned out my interview in my mind. Sit up straight. Don’t laugh nervously. Look my interviewer in the eye and present a firm but friendly handshake.

I called my sisters and told them about what I saw. One replied “Why do you care so much?” All I could think about was: “These are the same people managers are hiring to take care of me in the stores”.

These are the same “employees” that talk on their cell phones with friends while I have to wait to ask a question. These are the same people who wear inappropriate clothing or use language fit for a sailor, when they think a customer is not near. They talk about their nights out with their friends and proudly declare how “trashed” they got. They are the same people who complain that they have to work a 6 hour shift.

Maybe the Miss who was being interviewed was having an “off” day. One has to give others the benefit of the doubt. But nonetheless, I couldn’t believe what I saw at the mall today. It was a definite job interview “Don’t”.