Fresh Pepper?

*** abandoned ***

spice of life
Pushing 30.
Practicing law.
Saving for culinary school.

E-mail Me

salt of the earth links
G. Flasher
prarie b.
Sarah B.

Frank Bruni

old spice?



Sometimes they work

I'm a free-born man of the U.S.A.!

Transfer is available to the 1, 7, 9, A, C, E, N, R, Q and W trains.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Insane Mind Games Move Quick Like Flames

Yesterday in culinary school was strudel and phyllo day. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died before my strudel came out of the oven, so you're stuck with a picture my cooking partner and I brushing the strudel dough with butter.

I was paired up with a wonderful guy. He's a shrink from the Upper West who took the class to relax a little and learn as much as he could.

Yesterday he asked me if I ever considered leaving the law to be a chef.

I said, "I think about it every day. I'd like to cook for as many people as possible every day. Ideally, I'd like to be the chef at a camp for troubled girls."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Puff, Puff, Pass Muthafucka

Yesterday in culinary school was puff pastry day. I made feuillettes with crème anglaise and whipped cream flavored with a little Chambord.

Actual comments made by my chef instructor while rolling out the dough:

"When you're rolling out the dough, try not to touch it because the heat from your hands melts the butter in the dough."
"Fresh, you're touching your dough again. Use a scraper."
"Fresh, stop touching it."
"Fresh! Keep your hands off of it!"

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Have You Ever Been Experienced?

Yesterday in culinary school was pie day which I thought would be useless but I actually learned a lot. I made a blueberry pie with fresh blueberries and even though the filling bubbled over part of my crust, it still came out pretty well.

Here's a culinary school tip from Fresh Pepper:

If your chef instructor asks you:
"Have you ever made a lattice crust before?"

The answer is NOT:
"Nigga please."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'll Take You To The [Pastry] Shop

Yesterday at culinary school was pâte à choux day. I made cream puffs and éclairs.

One of the great things about working in a commercial kitchen is that everything is
huge: huge bowls, huge pots, and rolling pins that make me feel completely inadequate.

The rubber spatulas are so big you can clean a bowl in two swift swipes. Holding
one in my hand yesterday, I marveled at its majesty.

Fresh: I love these spatulas. I want a girl to spank me with one of these.
Girl: [aghast]
Fresh: Should I be keeping these thoughts to myself?
Girl: Please.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Today Was A Good Day

Yesterday in culinary school was tart day. My partner and I made a chocolate hazelnut tart, a lemon meringue tart, and a fruit tart with an apricot glaze.

It was great to cook in a kitchen that has 20 ovens, huge steel tables, and someone who does all the dishes.

After school I got drunk with my friends Princess and Fluff. Then we went to see Les Paul play.

It was pretty much a perfect day. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some cunnilingus with the Jets game on behind the girl's head, but I don't want too get greedy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

We've Got The Dreamers' Disease

2005 was a rough year for Fresh.

I screwed up a couple of good relationships. I got a crappy raise at my job after thinking I was doing well. Injuries to my knee and wrist made working out a hassle. I discovered that I don't have nearly enough money to buy a decent house.

But I was determined to end the year on a positive note. I took the entire week off from work and enrolled in a pastry class in the local culinary school. I've always dreamed of going to cooking school and I figured it was time to do something about it.

Five full days of pastry.

Maybe the problem with all of my relationships was that I made too many cakes and cookies and not enough pastries. I'll fix that.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

You're A Mean One

After baking a batch of oatmeal raisin and a batch of butterscotch oatmeal, I decided it was time to resurrect my mom's tradition of making butter cookies on Christmas. We used to make them every year but we haven't made them now for at least five or ten years.

But this year, I took over creative control. We used real, unsalted butter. We used
the KitchenAid mixer. We rolled out the cookies with confectioner's sugar instead of flour and we rolled them out on Silpat instead of on the counter.

My mom was fine with all of the changes until I caught her aggressively scraping the cookies off my All-Clad cookie tray with a vengeance and I said, "Please be gentle!"

Then she stormed out of the room. And that's what the holidays are all about.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tremendous Cream, Fuck A Dollar And A Dream

Last night my mother announced that everyone had officially canceled on Christmas and there will be a total of five people eating Christmas dinner at our house.

This, as I was pulling 15 creme brulees out of the oven.

At least I won't have to spend 20 minutes torching them all on Christmas day. But I was kind of looking forward to that. I even bought a new canister of Mapp gas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sawed-Off Shotgun, Hand On The Pump

Gargoyle: Ever come on your face when you're jerking off? Like when you didn't jerk off for a few days and you're not really paying attention...

Fresh: No -- do you think trajectory has something to do with penis length? Like a sawed-off shotgun as opposed to a sniper rifle?

Fingers: Why do I eat lunch with you guys?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

If You Grew Up With Holes In Your Zapatos

I had to travel with a partner yesterday. He's a nice guy and I like him a lot, but I think after 20 years as a partner you forget that you were an associate once.

"You've never been to Hawaii? My wife and I love it, we go every few years. You should go."

"So my wife wanted a bigger house but now I'm stuck owning two houses. You know how tough it is to sell a house in the winter?"

"We always have three cars because my wife and I both drive and it's so much easier to have that third car if one of them needs work."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I winterized the Jeep: I took the wiffle ball and bat out of the back and replaced it with a pair of sleds.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Let It Snow

I have dandruff.

I've never had dandruff before and I was horrified to discover it. Isn't this something that only happens to people who watch daytime TV? Does this mean I have to give up my Aveda shampoo and conditioner? Is this what happens when you get old?

I went to a CVS miles from my home last night to peruse dandruff shampoos. Shopping for a shampoo in a pharmacy -- the horror! And for something that indicates a personal hygiene problem! I'd be less embarrassed to walk into the leather man and purchase twelve ball gags.

Monday, December 19, 2005

If This Is Going To Be THAT Kind of Party...

You would think that because the leftover Boston Market mashed potatoes congealed into a rubbery, shiny gel I would throw them out instead of eating them.

For breakfast.

But you'd be wrong.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ten Years From Now We'll Still Be On Top

I made a double batch of blondies and a double batch of pecan puffs for a party last night. After I set them out, somebody came to the party with a small plastic container of store-bought rugelach and put it ON TOP OF MY DESSERTS.

I almost lost my fucking shit.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Trigger I Pulled, His Face The Yoke

I went to my brother's house last night to help him do some cooking for a German-themed Christmas party he's throwing tonight. I personally drank two entire bottles of Pennsylvania Dutch Brand Egg Nog. Good stuff.

While making the German potato salad:

Fresh: Should we make the third pound of bacon or is two pounds enough?
Brother: What does the recipe say?
Fresh: Let's see... it says "five strips of bacon."
Brother: Yeah, make the third pound.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Oh Baby I Like It Raw

My firm scheduled a bunch of meetings to brief all of the employees on changes in the new health insurance plan.

The 70-year-old secretary that sits outside my office came back from the meeting with a bunch of papers. I asked her if anything changed that I should know about since I wasn't going to the meeting.

"Yeah, now contraception is covered. Not that it really affects me."

I replied, "Sadly, it doesn't really affect me either."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

These Are The Things I Can Do Without

I went to Baltimore yesterday for a deposition. I was concerned: I was traveling with a partner who yells at me constantly. It's not that he's a bad guy, his normal voice just happens to be a yell.

But as soon as the deposition started, he was the calmest, most docile man I have ever seen. It was as if he was holding the witness in his arms watching the sunset on the beach. The witness wanted to talk as much as a kid in Santa's lap wanted to talk about his Christmas list.

Afterwards, I told him how impressed I was and confessed that I was nervous because he "usually yells so much." He said, "I never yell or talk loudly at a deposition. I'm capable of not yelling. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop yelling at you."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Every Chain Has a Weak Link

I've been on an e-mail chain with people I don't know for about two weeks.

The first e-mail started with the following sentence:
"Thought that everyone might like to know that today daddy told me that he hasn't had any vodka since the day that the couches arrived."

The e-mail was sent to about 10 people with the same last name as I, so I was obviously mistakenly included. But how can you not respond to that? I wrote back stating that I had bought "dad" a case of vodka for Christmas. I also informed the sender that I was included in error.

For about a week, they refused to believe I wasn't the intended recipient. Even after they caught on, they still kept hitting "reply to all" and I kept getting the e-mails.

Now I love the e-mails so much, I look forward to seeing how "dad" is coming along after his surgery and how he's adjusting to his new low-cholesterol diet. You know dad! He loves his fried food!

I even tried flirting with the women in the chain by saying that they wouldn't have to change their names if they married me. No luck yet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm Not Crazy, You're The One Who's Crazy!

When the ex left me, she told me I needed therapy.

I wrote an e-mail to three of my former girlfriends asking if I needed therapy. I told them that I would post their answers on the blog. Their answers are reproduced below verbatim. I have dated each of these three women for over a year (one in college, one in law school, and one as an attorney) and honestly I'm a better person for having known all of them. Two of them are now happily married.


Baby, you're no good...

Yes, you need to talk to someone. You are much better at being a friend than a lover for the following reasons.

You are:
Afraid of intimacy
Verbally abusive

For instance while you were away at law school:
You: I have such a horrible cold. I feel awful.
Me: You need someone there to take care of you. You need to be kissed and hugged.
You: Yeah, I am on my way to the bar to find someone right now.
Yes, maybe you should talk to someone about this stuff if your relationships have not improved over the past couple of years.

No. You're an attorney and, in general, I have found that being an attorney speaks volumes about an individual's personality. I think you are going to run into problems with women as long as you date non-attorneys. (Of course, I am making a huge assumption that your latest love was not an attorney.) Anyway, in my personal experience, I have found that non-attorneys just can't ever really understand the law school experience, the hours, the competition to make partner, the entire firm culture which (unfortunately perhaps) has such a profound impact on who we are. (I will concede that this may be a situation of which came first - the chicken or the egg - in that maybe the law attracts a certain type of individual, rather than the legal training and environment really molding us into who we are.) In any event, most women that date you probably can't ever really realize or appreciate this about you, unless she's an attorney herself. This is why, in my professional opinion, you need to find another attorney to date. Now, I'll wait for your post and for all of your commentors to trash my theory... I will also add that I am speaking generally and based on my own personal experiences and am not speaking for all attorneys or for all relationships involving attorneys (how's that for a fine print disclaimer??).


Short Answer: Yes.

But see Sigmund Freud, "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." (about the Irish)

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Freaks Come Out At Night

I made blondies and brought them to my grandmother's house yesterday. I was so hung over from the wine tasting party the night before that I didn't even try my own dessert.

My cousin said, "You think you had a rough night? The dog woke me up at 5 this morning and I was so drunk I couldn't find her leash. So I tied her to the cord at the end of the iron and walked her around the block holding the iron.

"AND the dog was wearing the pajamas we bought her for the party a few weeks ago."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oh I Think They Like Me

I went to a great party last night. I brought a bottle of wine, homemade crab dip, and homemade clam puffs. Here are some excerpts:

Fresh: Actually I made the hors d'oeuvres in my parents' kitchen, since I live with my parents.
Hot Girl #1: That's ok, so do I! I just didn't want to say it!
Fresh: I love you.
Fresh: What was the last CD you bought?
Hot Girl #2: Coldplay.
Fresh: That CD fucking sucks. I've never heard it.
Hot Girl #3: Actually I do a lot of needlepoint in my spare time.
Fresh: Have you ever done any X-rated needlepoint?
Hot Girl #3: ...
I went home alone.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Throw Your Guns In The Air

Signs spotted on the side of Route 222 during my road trip this week:
  • "Ca$h for Guns"
  • "Rabbits for Sale"
  • "Quilts this exit"
  • "trailer full of sparkles just ahead"

Friday, December 09, 2005

I`ll Set Em Correct With The Effect Of The Gas Face

I got my raise yesterday. To say I was disappointed in my raise is an understatement. I've gotten higher raises (by percentage) when I was a paperboy.

So I've decided to give myself my own raise. Of course, I can't pay myself more money, but I can give myself more time.

From now on, I'm going to take 2 additional days off per month. Considering my billing rate and my average hours per day, every day I take off costs the firm well over $2000.

I have also resolved to never work another night or weekend ever again until I get a substantial raise. I'm taking the Goodfellas approach to overtime:

You need that by tomorrow?
Fuck you, pay me.

You want to meet on Saturday?
Fuck you, pay me.

Oh, it's an emergency and the client will lose all patent protection unless we file by tomorrow?
Fuck you, pay me.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Washed Off The Soap And Brushed The Gold Teeth

I don't know how my dad managed to raise three kids on his salary, let alone take us all on vacation. But he did it every year. We never stayed in horrible hotels, but I distinctly remember being told to duck down in the car while my dad checked in because he only got one room and didn't want to pay extra for the kids.

We used to pack sandwiches when we went on vacation. But we were still excited and always had fun.


Last night when I checked in to my hotel and went up to my room, I was appalled to discover that this particular hotel stocks Pantene shampoo. I was relieved that I had packed plenty of my own hair care products.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

I got a BONUS yesterday!

I don't want to disclose the exact number, but it's big enough to buy a fucking car.

Well, maybe a used car.

Maybe a used Korean car.

Without a radio.

But still, BONUS!!

I'm traveling to Nowheresville, Pennsyltucky on business for a few days. Because I doubt the hotel will have Internet access -- I'd actually be surprised if they have indoor plumbing -- I'll be back on Friday. I hope you come up with of ideas on how to spend my new money.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Do You Think Your Wu-Tang Sword Can Defeat Me?

I talked to pink a little yesterday since I'm still a little hurt about my recent dumping and he's been through a divorce so I thought he could offer me some good advice.

pink: Why haven't you tried to just show up on her doorstep with flowers?
Fresh: I think she would stab me.
pink: What makes you think that?
Fresh: Well, the last time I talked to her, she said, "If you show up on my doorstep, I'll stab you."

Monday, December 05, 2005

I Spent My Last Dime To Refill My Fat Belly

I made an almond torte yesterday to bring to my grandmother's house. She was recently told that she needs to lower her cholesterol and fat intake, so I made a light dessert (it's made of egg whites, confectioner's sugar, and ground almonds).

But one of my cousins showed up with a dozen doughnuts. Then another cousin showed up with a tiramisu cake. Needless to say, the almond torte didn't get a lot of attention.

I would think that they are trying to accelerate her death if she wasn't completely poor. Maybe they know something I don't know.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Girlies On Standby Waiting Just To Say Hi

I haven't spoken to my parents' neighbor in about 20 years. She's not a bad lady, she just kept to herself when she wasn't accusing my mother of stealing her garbage can lids.

Last night I was running to my Jeep, late for Mass, with two cookbooks under my arm because I had to shop for ingredients after mass, boots unlaced, and she says to me, "Hey Fresh! What are you doing with your life these days?"

I yelled out without turning around, "Wasting it."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

See You At The Crossroads

coworker: What do you know about living wills? I want to write one.
Fresh: Nothing. I have "do not resuscitate" tattooed across my chest.
coworker: ...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Manic Depression Is Touchin' My Soul

My buddy Docks once said, "If I were a superhero, I'd be Mediocre Man. 'In today's episode, Mediocre Man buys a sweater!'"

I've given it some thought and I've decided that if I were a superhero, I'd be Mood Swing Man.

In today's episode, Mood Swing Man makes lunch plans with coworkers:

"Sure, I'd love to have lunch. We don't hang out enough. I love you guys. No, I don't want Chinese. Don't you remember two weeks ago when we went out to Chinese and I said I didn't want to eat Chinese food ever again? WELL WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU THINK THAT MEANT?"

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Between The Turntables Keep The Vodka And The Mixes

The other night when I bought a bottle of Kahlua to bring to a party, I got the holiday gift pack that came with four little bottles of Stoli: Raspberry, Orange, Peach, and Vanilla. I brought the Kahlua to the party (along with a bottle of Skyy and a gallon of milk) but I kept the little bottles thinking I would maybe make some fancy drinks with them one day.

Last night I poured all four of them into a glass and drank it.

And that was the high point of the day.