i stopped by the video store on the way home last night to see if they had any more of "the tudors" season 1 (aka the johnathan rhys meyers crazy bug eyes show) and instead, left with discs 1, 2, and 3 of "battlestar galactica" season 4, which naturally meant that i didn't go to yoga last night and instead sat in bed knitting and catching up on cylon-human relations and the search for earth with the dotytron.
the way i rationalized it to myself is that tonight is not going to be fun...it's a working friday night. we've (or rather, i) have designated tonight as PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL PLANNING night - we're basically setting up timelines, budgeting, and figuring out the menu with the caterers and all that jazz and also setting up a financial plan for the coming year (or what we know of it.) buoyed AND galvanized by my newfound mastery of basic (read: remedial) excel spreadsheets and formulas (before, i used to basically use my excel spreadsheets as charts, doing the calculations on a CALCULATOR and entering the pre-totaled figures into the cells - dr. dum-dum in the house!) i'm attacking fiscal responsibility with a renewed fervor.
anyway, if i stay in budget, i'm due to be finished off paying my osap 19 months from now and my line of credit should be clear by the end of march. assuming my employment situation remains stable (i had a very encouraging talk with my supervisor today that she *should* be getting the okay to cover my colleague's maternity leave, which would make my status here okay until september or october 2009...and who knows if the job interview next friday will make things look up even further), i hope to be back to saving a healthy chunk of change from march, on. my goal is 25% of net income into savings. i haven't figured out how i'm going to divide the long-term/short-term savings yet...maybe i'll try to push it to 30% of net income into savings and split long-term and short-term equally down the middle.
guys, i can't EVEN TELL YOU how titillated i get talking about how much of my net income i'm planning on putting into savings. it's absolutely THRILLING...it's like my heroin.
in other news, i'll feel much better once i have a timeline and fixed budget in place for the performance - right now i kind of feel like we're in limbo...once i have the menu and the catering set...then it's mostly the small(ish) details. i had dinner with someone recently who helped me put the whole performance thing in perspective, in a pretty macabre kind of way, but still, i found it helpful. basically, their father had passed away suddenly, from a heart attack, and he said to me, "we basically planned the funeral in 2 days - that's why i don't get how weddings are so complicated or people plan them over a year" is it tasteless that i found comfort in that? i can't tell. i mean, i obviously felt for him and his loss, but that statement really helped to me situate this event. if anything, you should spend a year planning your funeral, not your wedding...the funeral is the last "event" of your life...you kind of want to go out with a bang.
anyway, it'll be nice for me and the dotytron to sit down and talk things out (let's hope things stay civil - he already made me promise to be relaxed about it last night) and figure out what's important, what we can ditch, etc. funny story, when we first got the venue, the dotytron was like, "it'll be nice to put some decorations in there and personalize it" and which point i went all apoplectic on him and started shouting, "WHAT!!?!??! WITH WHAT MONEY?!!! WE DON'T HAVE A BUDGET FOR DECORATIONS!!!!$#$@#@" and he kind of meekly and forlornly replied, "oh. i was just thinking...streamers or something" lol!!! sometimes, i really really really like that guy (and feel really sorry for him that he has to deal with me). streamers are TOTALLY in the budget. in fact, i've been researching them online and you can get 500 FEET for 3 dollars! amazing! aside: is there anything more tragic than a forlorn dotytron? i don't think so...i'll do well to remember that the next time the ides of lagerfeld threaten to push him into such a state.
tonight for dinner we finally cracked into the bottarga we brought back from italy. here's a definition of bottarga ripped straight from wikipedia:
"Sometimes called the poor man's caviar, botargo is the roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet, or sometimes swordfish. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. The result is a dry hard slab, which is coated in beeswax for keeping. It is usually used sliced thinly or grated. In Italy, it is best-known in Sicilian and Sardinian cuisine; its culinary properties can be compared to those of dry anchovies, though it is much more expensive. Bottarga is often served with lemon juice as an appetizer or used in pasta dishes."
we made a sardinian style pasta, consisting of spaghetti (not the more traditional chittara - guitar string-cut pasta), tossed with a chili-breadcrumb-garlic mixture, and topped with shavings of bottarga. really easy. i'll post the "recipe" (rough guidelines) below. we had it with the ever-reliable olive garden salad. tasty.
spaghetti alla bottarga
1 lb. spaghetti
2 T. unsalted butter
1 c. of dry breadcrumbs (i use panko)
1/4 c. olive oil
7-8 roasted garlic cloves
1 T. minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 t. dried chili flakes (we also used some of T's peppers, sliced up)
3 oz (approx) bottarga
1/4 c. chopped parsley
salt and pepper
- heat the butter in a pan and add the breadcrumbs, toss over medium heat until the breadcrumbs are browned and crispy, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- get a pot of boiling salted for the pasta, cook pasta until al dente
- near the end of pasta cooking time, heat the 1/4 c. of olive oil with the roasted garlic (smash the cloves up a bit), the minced garlic, and the chilies, cook over medium heat until garlic and chilies are fragrant.
- grate in some bottarga, add the drained pasta, and a touch of the pasta cooking water to loosen.
- stir in the breadcrumbs and the parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve, topped with more bottarga grated on top.