Memories of hot pot have always involved family and friends around one or two boiling pots of broth on hot plates, set upon the dining room table and enjoyed over conversation, often during the holidays such as Lunar New Year. Sometimes, it was simply the way my mom handled a meal when there were going to be a lot of people coming over for dinner. Raw cut meats, vegetables, bean thread noodles, and tofu were laid out on the table, waiting their turn to get dunked, cooked, then retrieved before being dipped into a personal bowl of XO sauce beat with a raw egg, and eaten.
New Jersey’s Buddy Valastro, whom you may know as TheÂ Cake Boss,Â just became aÂ New York Times best selling author.Â He’ll also be appearing live at The Orpheum next Wednesday, November 17th,Â on the Los Angeles stop of his “Bakin’ With The Boss” tour. It’s going to be a family-friendly evening of stories and cake demonstrations inside one of the most beautiful venues LA has to offer.
So how, exactly, do you get to spend an evening with the Boss of The Learning Channel?Â You can see about ticketsÂ here – and/or enter my giveaway for two ticketsÂ (value ~$100). Make sure you do BOTH things below to enter. If I pick your name and you haven’t done both to qualify your entry, I’ll haveÂ pick another one:
Leave a comment below (make sure you use an email that you check regularly so I can easilyÂ contact you) with your favorite cake flavor in the whole wide world andÂ your Twitter account or Facebook URL (see #2).
Either Tweet the below:
I just entered to win 2 tickets to The Cake Boss @LAOrpheum on 11/17 by @estarLA http://estar.la/e/93
Growing up in a family with no sisters and three brothers ultimately had a big impact on my life. They are all significantly (9+ years) older and thereforeÂ had all left the nest by the time I was in junior high. Actual memories I have of them wereÂ from my limited, prepubescent personal interactions with them. Hiding in trashbags, a badminton (or flimsy volleyball) net in the backyard, complaining about mowing the lawn, houses made of couch cushions.
After they left, my parents – and I – would fill in the following blanks as to who they were; that is, with my being the audience. That is the thing about filling in the blanks. When you don’t really know anything about a person, others can make them out to be whomever you want them to be. You can also project on them any sort of role you feel they need to fill and they won’t be there to dispute that portraiture. So though I never knew them as well as even one of their high school acquaintances, there was an extremely high bar that their absence created – even bars that weren’t true to life. But they were created for me to overcome. When I did – I got the violin scholarship, played last in the piano recitals – it would prove that I was worthy of being loved. I even fulfilled their role as lawn-mower, as I probably mowed the quarter-acreÂ lawn more often than my Dad did after the brothers left the nest.
The absence of my brothers created aÂ need in me that went created yet unfulfilled. I have always had the love and approval of my Dad, so I wouldn’t say I had your stereotypical “Daddy Issues” you always hear about in women’s magazines regarding sexuality and equating the aforementioned with approval. Also, my mother is not the girliest of the girly so female sexuality for the most partÂ went repressed – or, shall I say unexplored for the moment. Instead,Â I had “Brother Issues.” I have had, for most of my life,Â a need to be accepted by men as peers – whether I admitted it or not. It wasÂ something I had never had,Â but wanted. It was something I could see beyond my reach. Continue reading →