Looking Back Moving Forward

My WordPress year-end analytics tell me my most popular blog post continues to be my exploration of the Fluffernutter sandwich from 2012. I never would have guessed that, but I get it: people love a fluffernutter. Somehow, the Cro-Nut just couldn’t compete. But, what’s next?

Since my last post about Niagara Falls and the Moosewood Restaurant much has changed for Bean Pie. It was time for me to leave Maryland and go home. I drove cross country arcing through the northern part of the United States — no shortest-distance-between-two-points Interstate 80 for me this time — and was pleased to see, amongst other things, parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota (the unfortunate and extremely untimely National Park closures notwithstanding) and Utah, if only from behind the wheel (most of my camera roll for that trip was shot from inside the car with one hand on the steering wheel. Shhhhh.).

I did finally try a Waffle House…

Waffle House, Toledo, Ohio

Waffle House, Toledo, Ohio

…and stopped in Madison, WI and was impressed with what they had going on:

And who could forget the National Mustard Museum (home of “the Condimental Divide”)??? They had thousands of kinds of mustard, plus a mustard tasting bar and the tiniest little hot dog buns I’ve ever been privileged to see.

Oh, and the Corn Palace??? The Badlands? Mt. RushmoreSalt Lake?

There are so many amazing things to see on the road. But that journey ended and a new one has begun. My coordinates were set for Sacramento, CA and I made it safe and sound. After a whirlwind few months of half-unpacked boxes, hectic online classes, and substitute teaching, things are settling down a bit around here. Time to take stock and set my sights on the future.

Right now the near future involves more online classes, more substitute teaching, fewer unpacked boxes, and some job searching. Lots of job searching, in fact.

Baby, it’s cold out there.

My plan was to get some cool part-time gig — you know, catering prep or cake decorating (you’ll remember my huge success with piping buttercream under pressure) —  I could do in between subbing and classes to get some recent retail or other food industry related experience while I get my foot in the door on the way to my Future Fabulous Job somewhere involving training, buying, or coordinating.

Enter the reality of a post-recession world where even the person who hands out samples at grocery stores has to have an intensive marketing background and three years of previous experience putting cubes of toaster-ovened food into paper cups.

When I put in an application at Sur La Table for seasonal sales — a job I would find truly interesting and a company I sincerely like –  the salesperson smiled at me pleasantly (the way people who already have the job are wont to do) and told me that they receive over 150 applications per week for their store alone which was a pretty nice way of telling me not to hold my breath.

Cold, indeed.

Well, these things take time.

So what does a newly-transplanted foodie do once the kitchen is (somewhat) in order, the books are (somewhat) unpacked and life is on (somewhat) of a more even keel? She explores.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento declared itself “America’s Farm to Fork Capitol” in 2012 and the following year Sacramento’s mayor declared 2013 the “Year of Food.” Something is happening in Sacramento’s food scene, folks, and I aim to find out what it is.

So let’s you and I start scouting the scene, casing the joint, finding the pulse of this crazy hot state capitol that appears to be throwing off the heavy mantle of the Bay Area food scene which has hogged all the culinary oxygen for too long.

Sacramento has plenty of sun and it’s ready to shine. There’s got to be something in this town at least as interesting as the history of the Fluffernutter. Let’s see what we can find.

Suggestions on where to start?