Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breaking Out of The 9 to 5

Years ago, when I was plugging away in college- training to be a chef with pastry, meat cutting and mixology classes- I never thought I'd be where I am today.
Part of the reason I wanted to get into kitchens so badly was because I had a hard time sitting still! I would fidget, get up, stretch, walk around... always thinking about the next thing to do.

Yet, here I am, years later and I spend my days at a corner desk from 9am to 5pm every single day. Lunch is at noon. Midday stretch is at 3. And every day for the past four years, I think how unnatural it is. We're given strong legs and feet to carry us around the world, a sharp mind to think both analytically and creatively, arms to reach for the impossible... and they aren't used here. In this chair.

A big part of the reason Great Lakes Adventure Travel is happening is because of this kind of passion. The kind that makes you feel like an ADD kid who can only think about skiing the minute that first snow falls. Or spending a week in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a backpack and a camera. THIS is what I'm meant to do. THIS is the reason we're creating this business.
Because I know I'm not alone. I don't know how the "business world" came to be this way, this 9 to 5 thing that it is. But I'd like to change that.

Business meetings are no longer sit-on-your-ass-and-sip-coffee-for-four-hours. They are out there- in the actual "real world". We'd like to create a culture where colleagues can discuss new business strategies over some kayaking in our beautiful lakes or with hot chocolate after a long day on the slopes. Like real people.

There's a lot I could say about what needs to happen or how the world needs to change. But instead, I'll choose to change it.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." - Maya Angelou

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Grilled Fish

After a few weeks of craziness... moving, summer vacations, buying a house and training a puppy... we're starting to get back into the swing of things. More trips are being planned, moving ahead with this business. The next to come will be a tour of Michigan wine country (specifically, Old Mission Peninsula). And of course, a Foodie Tour of Traverse City (recently voted the #1 Foodie City in America, What What!)

But for now, I will leave you with a fabulous recipe for a good summer fish...
Yellowtail Snapper from the Florida Keys
Have your fishmonger remove the scales and gut him first. If you aren't eating him right away, wrap the fish in parchment paper and place him on a wire rack inside of a baking pan. Place crushed ice on top (so the excess water will drain into the pan and not on your fish. Replace ice every 6 to 8 hours.

Chop a handful each of basil, dill, parsley and chive. Slice 1 lemon into thin wheels. Slice 1 onion into thin slices. Season the whole fish with good olive oil, salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with the herbs, lemons and onion.

Throw directly onto the grill (with the head closest to the highest point of heat.... er... the opposite of the picture shown). Since the tail end is thinner, it will cook faster.
Cook for 12 minutes on each side (or 10 minutes per inch of pre-stuffed thickness). While grilling, brush with melted butter and the juice from one lemon with sea salt. I really go at it- coating it liberally every two minutes. Just watch out for flame ups!
Serve with a really yummy Caprese Salad (fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and sea salt) and fried zucchini sticks (lightly breaded with cornmeal and deep fried). Enjoy!

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