Julie Anne Rhodes
I’ve already written about my quest to find the computer, which still continues as the plot thickens. I’m not at liberty to discuss that part at this time, but I would most definitely make a great detective if all else fails. My inner detective is having a field day, and my imagination is running wild. I may have the beginning of a novel (or perhaps I’ve read a few too many John Grisham and Dan Brown books). I’m always looking for that silver lining!
This post is about the boring part. In case, God forbid, you lose your computer too – you will know what to do. I’ve spent days changing every password, canceling credit cards, closing online accounts, registering the serial number with Apple as stolen, making police reports, filing insurance claims, registering fraud alerts with the credit bureaus and with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Call me paranoid, but identity theft would be a much larger problem.
Who knew losing a computer would be a full-time job on top of rewriting recipes for the cookbook, writing and promoting the blog, preparing for another guest chef television appearance, and my day job of cooking for clients? I am failing miserably at trying to squeeze in some semblance of a social life for balance, although a very generous friend did kidnap me for a few much needed hours at the spa last week. Y.M.C., you are a saint!
Frustration by Tatjana Rhodes

You have no idea how much of your life is on a computer until it is gone. I thought I was past the grieving stage until I learned my external hard drive is faulty. The grief soon morphed into sheer frustration. The last back-up did not complete, so I lost more photos and work than expected, and what is on the drive, is a mess. It has taken literally days to retrieve about 85- 90% of my data, plus it will take at least another week or two to individually sort the 868,000 files into folders again. I had to “back away from the computer” several times this week to keep from sending it crashing through the window. Proof positive that I am not always that cheerful, positive gal you have me pegged to be. I am human, with flaws glaring boldly at the moment. I’m experiencing a major lesson in patience and letting go.
Moral of the story: Always back up your data regularly, and on to two hard drives in case one fails. Do I even need to mention “don’t leave you computer on the back seat of a taxi” too?
Jewels lesson in patience

A deep breath, back to work, and “this too will pass.” I want to say thank you to all of the people that have offered advice, kind words of support, and to those that sent precious pictures to help compensate for the lost ones. As aggravating as this has been, you’ve helped keep me buoyed throughout.
The mini-miracle of the week is that the camera shop managed to rescue about 50% of my lost New York photos from the camera’s memory card, even though I had wiped it clean to make room for new photos. The WIE Symposium photos are sadly gone, as were my favorite pictures from the MoMA’s Modern kitchen exhibition, but all the rest are safely restored.
Cooking up some comfort

Feeling rather shell-shocked by the enormity of everything involved with losing my computer, I decided I needed a bowl of my favorite healthy comfort food.

Escarole & Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped; or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ pound escarole, cut into ¾” inch ribbons
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

  • ¼ pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons panko
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant; 1-2 minutes. Add escarole, stir well, and cook covered for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, orzo, and carrots and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine meatball ingredients (turkey through granulated garlic) in a large bowl. Form mixture into meatballs approximately 1 inch in diameter.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes (meatballs will not be cooked through yet). Transfer to soup and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Serving suggestions:Serve with fresh crusty bread or with a mozzarella and tomato relish sandwich with pesto on ciabatta.

« Previous PostNext Post »
  • October 4, 2010
    9:08 pm

    Hugs to you jewels… So happy you are getting through this … that is awful… Glad you were able to recover some of your precious nyc photos :-) … just a little tip… i use HUGE storage SD cards since i do professional photography… I find SanDisk Xtreme cards to be the best … get yourself a nice 16 or 32GB and you can have thousands upon thousands of images on the card at the same time :-) . This is even at a 10 megapixel maximum resolution size images :-) . They have a couple great ones that are safe/fast and fabulous for HD video as well :-) Hugs and big blessings to you… lots of loving thoughts xxx

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    9:10 pm

    Great advice, Jewels. hubby and I were victims of ID theft 15 years ago, and it's a nightmare that even today continues on occasion. Someone stole our mail, and with that had our lives. We even were paying her car insurance. Somehow due to a loophole in the law, she walked. (facepalm). We on the other hand had to file bankruptcy because of the costs, not in what she bought, but in all of the legal things we had to jump through, lawyer fees, etc, and then going to court when she sued us for pain and suffering (She lost, but we had lawyers fees. Don't mess with the possibility of id theft…it's better to spend the time now than later!! I just ordered a 2nd back up hard drive too…

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    9:22 pm

    I'm going to have to take your tip of having two hard drives not just one and I'm NOT taking my laptop to NYC over the weekend, no matter how hard I'm tempted to. Wish you were demo'ing at NYCWFF – but I'm sure you will be there next year!That picture by Tatjana is amazing!!

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    9:24 pm

    Oh JulieAnne, I'm so sorry to hear about your laptop. I can totally relate to your experience. My husband left his laptop at Gatwick airport last year, hanging from the trolley hook – we didn't notice until we got home. He jumped in the car and went straight back to the airport but to no avail and the laptop never turned up at the airport's Lost Property. His laptop is his office so you can imagine how upset he was – thankfully he had a back up of everything but the hassle of cancelling passwords, etc… well, what am I going to tell you!What you may not believe is that it nearly happened again back in June this year. One would have thought we learned from the previous experience but when you're tired, things can go wrong. Our return flight from Spain was very delayed so it was 2am when we got home. I took our little one to bed whilst hubby took the luggage in but he left behind his rucksack, which contained his wallet, mobile phone and, yes, his new laptop. This time though, God took pitty on us and a lady walking her dog at 5am saw the rucksack standing by the front gate and assumed it was ours, so she took it inside and left it in our porch with a note.When we found it the morning after, we could hardly believe our luck!!! We really couldn't be more grateful to the lovely lady.I am keeping my fingers crossed so your laptop turns up.Marisol xxx

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    9:33 pm

    Dear Jewels! I know how you feel I truly do and it will take too much time and spice to explain why. I still keep my fingers crossed that you'll get your computer back eventually! One small advise: Apart from storing your data on two hard drives consider backing up on online storage. Lets you access to your data from everywhere and it can't be destroyed. I do that on top of my external back up drive and I'm perfectly content with it…HugsRicarda

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:48 pm

    You're well-loved. :-) Lisa Lederman

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:49 pm

    I think my computer would have been out the window, if I'm honest … HUGSJustine Owls

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:49 pm

    Great advice! I really hope you find your computer soon.Lara Coker Hayes

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:50 pm

    Great blog!Eileen Ikuta

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:51 pm

    Seems like Tatjana got it right on w/ "Frustration", wowCarly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:51 pm

    Oh man, what a mess indeed… you reminded me that I need to copy all my photos on dvds… I better do that soon!Isabel Ortiz Bernad

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:53 pm

    Do it now for sure Isabel! Thanks everyone – the cyber hugs have helped.

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:59 pm

    just ♥Cynthia Occelli

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    10:59 pm

    me 2!Marpessa Hennink

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    11:08 pm

    I have an extrenal HD back up, but now I am not trusting it so much!Isabel Ortiz Bernad

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    11:08 pm

    Put everything on back up, I am shocked my hubby has only 2 megabytes for all the photos he's done (on this comp anyway). We are putting EVERYTHING on the disks this Wed. I have to many family and concert photos to lose alsoCarly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    11:10 pm

    Stellar advice from Ricarda:"Apart from storing your data on two hard drives consider backing up on online storage. Lets you access to your data from everywhere and it can't be destroyed."

    Reply
  • October 4, 2010
    11:16 pm

    Suggestion … more work but that's what technology demands.Set up a free Picasa account, pony up 5 – 50.00 for literally unlimited space and voila, not with the convenience of neat jpegs lined up in events or files, but 100% saved if all goes to hell because it's like your gmail account – stored on google not on your equipment.Strangely, my two 24" macs lost both hard drives in the last week of apple care; replaced and incredibly easy with some glitches to restore. Seriously taking the time to have a failsafe system for docs, photos and music. At the moment, favoring offsite storage in addition to hourly timemachine backups, photos and music stored on my computer as well as in a separate external and then the computer backing up.There's no going back and the cost of recovery is immense.But seriously – do not count on your external hard drives exclusively. One hard power stoppage gone awry can wreck that. Do seriously consider what can be stored online and cheaply. Mailing each blog to yourself, each chapter, etc … it's in one more (free) place besides the computer and your externals.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    1:22 am

    Only you could go through this and make it into a life lesson for the rest of us. I admire your grace and diligence to carry on and make things work despite all the inconvenience it has caused you. One more piece of advice for those buying laptops – you can get them with a tracking device installed much like the ones installed in cars. Then when your laptop is stolen, as soon as the person turns it on, it is located and police can be dispatched. I don't know what the cost for this is, but knowing that you have a better chance to get your computer back is a good thing and priceless. Tatjana takes a great picture of you, and despite the seriousness of the situation, you look great as always.Big cyber hugs to you! The rest of the year can only be better, right?

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    3:01 am

    Hi Ruthee – I just bought Lojack for my new computer. It cost around $90.00, and while the idea is the police are dispatched as soon as someone turns a stolen or lost computer on – I wouldn't hold my breath unless you live in a sleepy village where the police have nothing better to do. Retrieving computers is not normally top of their priority list. The real benefit is you can remotely wipe your computer clean, so the thief does not get into your personal information.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    1:28 pm

    Still praying for its safe return. Thanks for all the advice on backups, something I never even think to do. Suppose I should get my head out of the sand on that, huh? The soup looks amazing. I will have to try that. It's chilly here in Alabama this morning, and I think a pot of soup is just the thing to let simmer on the stove today.Love you & I'll give you the play-by-play when Terry and I take Chef Joe D up on his lovely offer.Morgan

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    5:11 pm

    The older you get, the more beautiful you become. It's just not fair!!Jennifer Clason

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    6:15 pm

    Looking goodRachel Day

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    6:17 pm

    Ooooooo, the corn pudding recipe! Gotta try that one…."grammy" jules… xoxo

    Reply
  • October 5, 2010
    6:18 pm

    Aw gee shucks, thanks.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    3:13 am

    Ok the only escarole I can find is escarole lettuce. I hoping this is the same stuff??JoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    3:13 am

    Yes ma'am. It is in the endive family, and it's high in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    5:06 am

    I have a VERY old Italian soup recipe that my family brought with them when they immigrated to the US moons ago~ Escarole and a white bean soup~ TO DIE FOR~ xoxo I can share it if you like~Anitra DeLorenzo

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    5:07 am

    Yes, of course – please do!

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    6:40 pm

    I love olive oil, I use it to cook everything inCarly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    6:43 pm

    I started making olive oil 'my fat of choice' to cook with when I was in my twenties. I'm sure that had a huge part in why the surgeons found the arteries in my heart "squeaky clean."

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    10:58 pm

    Woo hoo – tried it and it came out great! almost messed up when I didn't notice at first that the recipe only called for 1/4 lb turkey lol I had to add everything x4 and then only used 1/4 of the meatballs. In the end I added extra broth (i had made 6 cups yesterday that gelled up nicely) extra garlic & rosemary and doubled the amount of meatballs (the whole lb of turkey made 28)JoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    10:59 pm

    hmm thinking adding a bit of baby spinach, crushed red peppers or cilantro would also be good…?JoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

    Reply
  • October 6, 2010
    10:59 pm

    Not sure cilantro would work so great, but the spinach and crushed red peppers would. I use spinach in place of the escarole when I can't get it.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2010
    5:36 am

    how sad my huband had to tell me what orzo is, though it was a rice, thank goodness my husband deals in foodCarly Guerrero

    Reply
  • October 7, 2010
    4:06 pm

    Backing up your Desktop or laptop is a good idea also just incase said machine decides to die on you like mine did. I back up all the time now. I am fanatical about it and I store all my photos online at Kodak so at least I have them there and I can refer back to them.Just so sad to hear that you have lost so much, I can imagine the frustration of losing things, I lost my family tree work and could have sobbed but I have thankfully got a copy of it now thanks to a relative. That was bad enough but your work, your job…….my god it doesn't even bear thinking about. I agree with identity theft though. A few years ago we were victims of an internet fraud and a lot was swiped from our accounts BUT we were lucky in that the bank spotted it, sorted it and informed us that they had sorted it. I really hope that everything now is starting to come together, the stress is less and that maybe there will be a result soon.And if you need some you time……..go spa….

    Reply

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