Brie, again.

I found these fantastic little dishes called “Brie Bakers” at a recent sale.  It’s basically a ceramic dish with a lid, that you bake brie in. I thought they were so brilliant that I scooped up a few of them to give as gifts.  Since that time, I’ve seen ads for them everywhere.

I love brie.  I rarely have it.  Having said that, I’ve served it twice in the past 3 weeks.  The first was the Brie with Caramelized Apples.  The second was a recipe that came with this handy little Brie Baker.  It called for slivered almonds, dried cranberries and a splash of maple syrup.  Pop it into the oven (the directions state “hot oven”; I set the temp for 275 F) and voila – 15 mins later you’ve got another delicious (artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising) appetizer.

If you’re interested in picking up one of these marvels, check out the following retail links:

Kitchen Stuff Plus
Cayne’s
Golda’s Kitchen
Amazon.com

Life: It’s about clean lines

I’ve been painting a bedroom and as it was a large room, I had much time to think while I worked. I drew several parallels between painting and life.

It turns out that everything I needed to know, I learned from Bob the Builder. There’s a Bob the Builder song called “Right Tool for the Job”. If you’ve got the right tools, your job is easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re painting, managing a project or planning a party. With the right tools (resources/people/technology), you can get the job done and get it done right. If your tools are people, make sure they’re coached and supported adequately.

Ask for advice even if you’ve done the job previously. Consult anyone else who has performed a similar task or your neighbourly subject matter expert. You’ve done this task so efficiently you could do it in your sleep. Why ask anyone else what their experience has been like? Because you might learn something and it might be useful/make your job easier.  You might even find out (gasp!) that you’ve been doing it the hard way.

Clean lines take lots of preparation. You can just jump in and start painting but it’s always a good idea to minimize risk in whatever you do. Put down your drop cloths. Move furniture out of the way. Get the ladder that is the right height for you to reach comfortably. Imagine any venture that isn’t planned.  Since the holiday season is here, imagine a holiday party without planning.  Don’t invite me.  I’ll expect food and drink and you won’t have planned for any.

Clean lines take patience. Go too fast and you might end up crooked. Good work takes a reasonable amount of time.

Clean lines take humility. Don’t get cocky. If you get arrogant about your line, karma will visit before you’re finished and you’ll end up with a smear or a jag. Everyone likes to celebrate your successes with you; no one likes to hear you brag about them though.

Revisit your work. You’ve just finished writing a document; now what? Put it aside and then revisit it and edit it. Touch ups are worth it.

Finally, check the bottoms of your feet before you leave the room.  If you’ve stepped in something, clean it up before you track it all over the place.  Hopefully, if you did step in something and track it everywhere, you’ll notice it before anyone else does.  If anyone else does see it?  Take responsibility for your actions, clean it up and move on.

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