Baked History: Yum-kin Pie
Happy Halloween-month everyone! No I’m not one of those people who starts celebrating holidays in advance – but I thought it would be great to theme the rest of articles this month around the holiday so many other people love!
Just a house keeping note, you all may have noticed the site’s been very busy as of late. I’m most certainly going to try and maintain that but Inspyre and I will be having some life changes coming up, so we may not be as consistent.
As usual, if any one has any comments, questions or article ideas, please feel free to comment below or contact us directly!
Today, we’ll be talking about the history of PUMPKIN PIE (my favorite dessert). The first pumpkins were cultivated in 5500 BC in Central America, making it one of the original American vegetables. Due to it’s age, it was one of the first vegetables that explorers to the Americas took back to Europe . By the late 1500s, the English were calling them “pumpions” and the French, “pompon”, both references to it’s roundness. Though original visitors to the Americas during this time may have been familiar with the vegetable, it most certainly did not gain popularity until much later.
As many Americans and Canadians are taught at a young age, when the countries were originally settled back in the 1600s, the Pilgrims and Natives shared….varying relationships depending on the location – more often than not, incredibly violent. When the first winter came around, and many Pilgrims died or realized they were going to shortly thereafter without help, relations improved. Legend goes that the Natives brought pumpkins for the pilgrims as a sign of good faith and to provide them with the necessary nutrients . Pumpkins are not only native to the Americas, but the Natives were fond of boiling or roasting members of the squash family for sustenance.
Eventually, the discovery of the pumpkin made its way to France, where Francois Pierre la Varenne wrote a cookbook that has the first written recipe of pumpkin pie included . This cookbook’s English translation made it’s way back to the Americas and Britain where the recipe began to evolve. In the late 1600s, a variety of British cookbooks began showing up with a different variations of what they call “pumpion pie”, and finally in the 1700s, the first American cookbook by Amelia Simmons was published, whose Pumpkin pudding recipe largely resembles our recipe today.
Amelia Simmons recipes :
Pompkin Pudding No. 1. One quart stewed and strained, 3 pints cream, 9 beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger, laid into paste No. 7 or 3, and with a dough spur, cross and chequer it, and baked in dishes three quarters of an hour.
Pompkin Pudding No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.
If you’re looking for a more modern recipe, I HIGHLY recommend either a Costco Pumpkin Pie or this recipe from Food Network !
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Flour for rolling the dough
One 15-ounce can unsweetened pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.
- Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.
- Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- While the pie shell is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices, and salt until smooth. Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling.
- Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm.
Well I hope you all enjoyed our Yummy article, and feel free to leave comments below!
Baked History: Tiramisu, I see you!
After a long hiatus, we’re doing another baked history article! Today, we’re doing an article on the mysterious beginnings of the Tiramisu, an international favorite. The word Tiramisu is Italian for “pick me up”, most likely an ode to the coffee component, and the oldest recipes refer to it as “Tirime su” or “Tirime on”. Layered desserts aren’t very popular in Italy, so this definitely stands out as a dessert. There’s a lot of disagreement on the particular region that the dessert originates from, but it could be anywhere from Treviso to Tolmezzo to San Canzian D’Isonzo to Tuscany to Torino . Basically, everyone has their own claim to the famous dessert! What we do know is that the dessert is a more recent invention, coming to the Italian public eye somewhere around the 1950s.
There’s a variety of stories with how Tiramisu was created. What’s clear is that this is a “restaurant” recipe, and not a familial one. The stories vary anywhere from a restaurant creating a similar recipe, and then somehow, over time the credit was “stolen” from them to an energy-giving treat for prostitutes working in an Italian brothel in the 1950s. Each region seems to have its own “indisputable” proof as well that they were the first to create it.
Treviso claims the recipe is theirs, having been created in the restaurant “Le Beccherie” in the 1970s by Ada Campeol, who created the recipe to give herself energy after giving birth to her son . (The restaurant closed inn 2014 due to an economic crisis). The region already had a dessert “zabaglione custard”, which may have been the inspired beginnings to tiramisu itself. The zabaglione was inspired by the “Zabaja”, having existed since the 1700s. In his book, gastronome Maffioli says, “The groom’s bachelor friends at the end of the long wedding banquet, maliciously teasing, gave him a big bottle of zabajon before the couple retired to guarantee a successful and prolonged honeymoon.” . “The zabajon,” Maffioli continues, “sometimes had whipped cream added, but in this case was served very cold, almost frozen, and accompanied by baicoli, small thin Venetian cookies invented in the 1700’s by a baker in the Santa Margherita suburb of Venice.”
Author and blogger, Anna Maria Volpi has provided this original recipe from the Le Beccherie, which she found in a Spring 1981 Vin Veneto magazine article.
Original recipe: 
12 egg yolks
1 lb 2 oz (½ kg) sugar
2 lb 4 oz (1 kg) mascarpone cheese
60 ladyfinger (savoiardi) cookies
Espresso coffee, as necessary
Cocoa powder, as necessary
She resized the recipe to fit in a 8 inch x 8 inch x 2 inch pan:
1 -1/2 cups (360 cc) espresso coffee
2 teaspoons sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 lb (450 g) mascarpone cheese at room temperature
30 savoiardi (ladyfinger cookies)
2 tablespoons bitter cocoa powder
1. Prepare a strong espresso coffee, about 1½ cups (360 cc). Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in it while the coffee is still hot. Let the coffee cool to room temperature.
2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until they become light and fluffy.
3. Combine the mascarpone cheese
4. Dip half of the ladyfingers in the coffee and place them in the pan in a single layer.
5. Spread half of the mascarpone cream on the cookies
6. Dip the remaining ladyfingers in the coffee and place them in the pan in a second layer layer.
7. Spread the remaining mascarpone cream on the cookies.
8. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for about 3 – 4 hours.
In Tolmezzo, however, there’s a very different story. They claim that there are not one, but two official recipes. .
The first is a classic recipe created in Hotel Roma di Tolmezzo by cook Norma Pielli. Tolmezzo claims the irrefutable evidence is a receipt dated December 13, 1959! The second is called “Vetturino Tirime su Cup” created by chef Mario Cosolo of Al Vetturino restaurant in Pieris, near San Canzian D’Isonzo, dating back to the 1940s. This second recipe, shockingly doesn’t include the ingredients we know and love today, but instead, sponge cake, marsala wine and cocoa!
The hotel Roma has been around since the 1880s, and in the 1950s was being managed by Bepi del Fabbro and his wife Norma Pielli. The dessert was originally proposed to “To cheer me up a little and to crow the flors” (respectively, the coffee and at the time, zucchini flowers in the recipe!). The recipe was so popular, it became a mandatory stops for skiers coming down the mountains. According to legend, residents from the town of Trieste suggested changing the name of the dessert to Trancia to Mascarpone to Tirime on (in the Trieste dialect, this means “pull me up”).
In Norma Pielli’s diary : “Tiramisu. Ingredients: 4 whole eggs, 300 gr. of white sugar, 500 gr. of mascarpone, 40/45 biscuits biscuits, 300 cc. of bitter and strong coffee left to cool, 100 gr. sprinkling of bitter cocoa. Prepare coffee (moka or espresso) in advance and let it cool. Place 3 egg whites in a bowl and whisk them with a pinch of salt. With a whisk, beat the 3 egg yolks and the whole egg together with the sugar then, using a spatula, add the mascarpone and mix slowly from bottom to top to form a cream. Finally add the whipped egg whites and mix everything by mixing very slowly, from the bottom up, not to remove the cream. On the flat bottom of a bowl or a baking dish lay a layer of ladyfingers, soaked in coffee, drained and lightly squeezed with a fork to remove excess liquid. On the layer of ladyfingers spread a layer equal to half of the prepared cream. Then spread over it a second layer of ladyfingers, soaked and treated like the previous ones. Spread over the remaining cream. Put the cake in the fridge for 12 hours and taste it after having dusted it with bitter cocoa with a colander.“
In 2013, daughters of Chef Mario Cusolo claim they found important evidence that their father is definitively the inventor of the dessert. In the storeroom of their house, daughters Gianna and Flavia found a portfolio containing photos that confirmed the Vetturino Cup had turned into “Tireme su” right after the 2nd World War . The portfolio contained photos and a poster, which has unfortunately not stayed in tact. The photos, however, show the poster displayed in the background of the restaurant. The photo is from the marriage of Tiberio Mitri and Fulvia Franco in 1950, and the poster states “The Tirime on created by Mario is worth more than what it costs” (note the usage of the Tirime on instead of su). The Cosolos also point to an article written in 1975 by Giorgio Mistretta, in “La Buona Tavola”, where he states “In addition to the many specialties already mentioned, it deserves a separate mention of the ‘tirame su’ served at dessert: it is a semifreddo made with zabaglione created in 1935 and the progenitor of a whole family of ‘tirame su’ that you can meet today in the Friuli restaurants” (translated from Italian).
For 8 cups :
For the sponge cake :
sugar (equal to the weight of 4 eggs with shell)
flour (equal to the weight of 3 eggs with shell)
baking powder ½ sachet (Author’s note: I’ve translated this as a total of 8g) 
the grated rind of 1 lemon.
For creams :
6 egg yolks
8-9 tablespoons of sugar
1 liter of liquid cream
80 ml of dry Marsala (a wine)
2-3 tablespoons of bitter cocoa.
In addition : dry Marsala for the bagna (Author’s note: this means bathing) as needed, bitter cocoa for dusting as needed
Sponge cake : in a bowl break 5 whole eggs and with electric whips mount them by adding the amount of sugar equal to the weight of 4 eggs with the shell. Beat for a long time until a swollen and fluffy mixture is obtained. Incorporate, sieving little by little, the flour , whose weight is equal to that of 3 eggs, together with half a packet of yeast and a pinch of salt (or half flour and half potato flour or frumina). Perfume with the grated peel of a lemon. Pour into a mold and bake at 160 ° / 170 ° C for 30/40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Creams : in a bowl with a concave bottom, whisk very well, with electric whips, 6 egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar: when it becomes a nice clear froth, 80 ml of dry Marsala are added, one spoon at a time. The container is placed in a warm bain-marie placed on low heat and continuing to whisk with a hand whisk, always in the same direction, the eggnog is thickened. When it is well swollen, ie at the first boil, it is extracted from the bain-marie, allowed to cool and then placed in the refrigerator. Add a liter of fresh cream, with a high percentage of fat (at least 60-70%). Sift 2 or 3 tablespoons of bitter cocoa powder together with 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar and mix in small doses to 400 g of whipped cream. Return immediately to the refrigerator. This cream can be made by replacing cocoa powder with melted dark chocolate and warmed. With a hand whisk gently incorporate the eggnog to the remaining whipped cream: the cream should be full-bodied and light in taste.
Prepare the cups . Place the chocolate cream on the bottom of each (about half cup); above is placed a square of sponge cake soaked in Marsala; then it is covered to the brim with the zabaione cream. Decorate the surface using a sac-à-poche with a 10 mm curly nozzle. Finally sprinkle with plenty of cocoa. Store in the refrigerator for a few hours. This dessert should be savored “vertically”, collecting all the layers of the cup with a spoon.
And who could forget Tuscany? More precisely in Siena , where on the occasion of a visit by the Grand Duke Cosimo III de ‘Medici was invented a sweet called “soup of the duke” or “Zuppa del Duca” . The dish was successful particularly among courtesans, who found it both stimulating and an aphrodisiac, enjoying it before their “trysts”. The dessert shares some characteristics to the current tiramisu . However, there are some discrepancies in this legend because both the sponge biscuits and the mascarpone were little used in the Sienese pastry between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Marscapone, in particular, could hardly be preserved and transported quickly from Lombardy to Tuscany.
And finally, Torino. The legend says that during the unification of Italy a famous pastry chef prepared a special, potent dessert for Prime Minister Cavour, something that would sustain him in his difficult work of unifying the Italian peninsula. The coffee and liqueur mixture helped perk him up . At the time, however, food preservation wasn’t great, to say the least, which presents the same problems as the Tuscan legend.
Torino Tiramisu 
3 egg Yolks
¼ cup Heavy Cream
½ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Marsala
½ cup Mascarpone
9 tbsp. Espresso (regular coffee can be used too)
3 tbsp. Kahlua
50 g Lady Fingers
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, until cream is formed and sugar is slightly dissolved. Whisk in marsala, continue to beat for a minute or so, and then take off heat. Let sit to cool.
- In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a larger bowl, fold the mascarpone into the egg yolk cream.
- The mascarpone is folded into the egg cream.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Fold the creams together.
- In a small bowl, mix the kahlua and espresso together.
- Crack 1 & 1/2 lady fingers into a small cup.
- Lay out your cups. I like to use these little espresso cups. Tiramisu is rich, so it’s the perfect portion!
- Pour coffee mixture over lady fingers until submerged.
- Pipe the cream on top.
- Dust with cocoa powder.
Well I hope you all enjoyed this special, way-longer-than-I-thought-it-would-be article about Tiramisu!
If you have any questions, or suggestions for the future, please don’t forget to comment below or contact us directly!
4. Giuseppe Maffioli, Il ghiottone Veneto (The Venetian Glutton). 1968.
Honeymoon 2017: Bletchley Park (Day 2)
Welcome back everyone!
Today, we went to the Bletchley. If you’re familiar with the movie “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this is where it all took place. Bletchley is considered the home of famous cryptologist and father of the modern computer, Alan Turing, during WWII. I would say this is a must-see for any computer nerds, cryptologists, or WWII junkies.
On Sept. 3, we woke up at 6am, ate breakfast downstairs and headed off to the tube across the street. We took it from Gloucester Road to Green Park and transferred onto the Victoria Line all the way to Euston station. We got there at about 8:00 which is when we bought tickets for “National Rail System” Train where we took the London Midlands Line all the way to Bletchley Park (BP). That took about an hour and we arrived at 9:30 to the station, which was literally a 5 minute walk to the Bletchley campus.
BP was absolutely amazing. First of all, the estate is sprawling, which is interesting because it’s essentially an expanded farmhouse. Inspyre and I had anticipated there wouldn’t be THAT much to do there (we were still under the impression it was just a farmhouse), but we were sorely mistaken. We were there from opening to closing (5:30 pm) and I would argue we still didn’t get to see all the exhibits we wanted to. We did take a tour of the grounds, but the tours fill up VERY fast.
***A word of advice: Sign up for your assigned tour first thing in the morning, and then have lunch right after the tour is done.
You can spend the rest of the day seeing the exhibits on your own time. That being said, we were going from exhibit to exhibit so much, we actually skipped lunch.
***A word of advice: Don’t skip lunch. With all the walking, I only noticed when I almost fainted.
By the time we did notice, it was tea time, and the restaurants on campus had stopped serving entrees.
We left BP at 530, boarded our train back home, and I promptly fell asleep, pretty much not walking up until we got back to the hotel. I ended up taking a 3 hour nap until about 9:30, which basically killed the rest of the day. I recommend NOT doing that. Drink plenty of coffee instead.
Tomorrow, Inspyre and I go on our first planned day tour – Stonehenge, Bath and Strattford-upon-Avon!
Be sure to leave your comments below, or feel free to contact us with any questions! Thanks and see you next time!
Honeymoon 2017: London (Day 1)
Hello Lovely Readers,
So a few opening points. Firstly, if there’s something I think readers should absolutely be aware of, it’ll be demarked with “***A word of advice”. Be sure to read those for important tips! Additionally, on every trip we take, we download maps of the cities we’re going to be in in advance. The app is MAPS.ME. This is basically a MANDATORY app. It is SO important and useful. It’s basically the only way to guarantee you won’t waste ages of time getting lost. Please head my advice. Additionally, any photos, unless otherwise noted are my own. Please ask for permission before use. Moving on!
So, Inspyre and I left from LA to England at 8:30 in the morning on American Airlines. Overall, the flight was rather poor with no food or entertainment. There was a 2 hr layover in Philadelphia, at which point we got onto our second, international flight. There was at least in-flight entertainment this time, but the food was some of the worst food we’ve ever eaten. Neither of us could finish it. On the plus side, we did land an hour earlier than anticipated at Heathrow.
***A word of advice: Heathrow is known as one of the busiest airports in the world. That includes the security lines. Be ready for at least an hour of waiting in line, and bring some snacks.
Heathrow is well prepped for tourists and has an entire section after security ready for tourist-y type tickets. Most of the tickets we decided could be purchased through our hotel concierge, so we only bought Oyster Pass tickets at the airport.
***A word of advice: Oyster Pass is basically mandatory if you’re in London. It’s the cities transit system, but most importantly, their Metro. 99% of attractions are available by Metro. GET THE OYSTER PASS.
After getting the Oyster Pass, we immediately used it to take a metro to our hotel on Gloucester Road – Millennium Gardens. When we got there, we were told our room wouldn’t be ready for another 4 hours, which was incredibly inconvenient. We decided to use the time to drop off our luggage with the concierge and wander the city. We decided to wander in the direction of Kensington Palace, which we were a stones throw away from. However, Inspyre, who’s never been international, had jet-lag hit him like a bucket of rocks in about 30 minutes. We headed back to the hotel prematurely, without really having seen anything.
At this point, I informed the reservations desk that we were on our honeymoon, and Inspyre was basically hallucinating from jet-lag. They informed us they could have our room ready in an hour! I convinced Inspyre that we could get some food in the meantime. We went to a Starbucks across the street, and then went directly to Nando’s, which was right next door.
FOOD REVIEW: Nando’s absolutely lives up to it’s international reputation. Although the menu isn’t terribly complex, it has perhaps the best chicken I’ve ever had. Inspyre and I shared chicken thighs, garlic bread and mashed potatoes.
We then headed back to our hotel at 12:15 pm. Not only was our room ready, but because it was our honeymoon, the hotel upgraded us from a Standard room to a Superior room, complementary! Inspyre then proceeded to accidentally sleep for 4.5 hrs.
HOTEL REVIEW: Millennium Gardens was a PERFECT hotel. It is very centrally located, 2 minutes walking from the nearest Metro station, and absolutely beautiful. The staff are incredibly helpful, and in particular the concierge desk is one of the most valuable resources I’ve had on any of my vacations. Furthermore, they even serve breakfast downstairs every morning. Not only was it always delicious, but there was a wide selection in their buffet. 5 star review.
By the time he woke up, it was about 5:30. We went across the street to Nero’s, a very popular coffee shop in Europe, and continued to explore. The first thing we did was find a shop that would sell us a universal adapter for our appliances (laptop, phone, etc.). The store we found was a little hole in the wall, Kensington Communications, that sold it to us for 20 pounds instead of 22, because we paid in cash.
***A word of advice: Bring a universal adapter. Bring cash.
We were close to the palace grounds at this point, so we wandered to Kensington Palace. The palace is known as the last place Princess Diana lived, so the whole place is basically a memorial to her. Inspyre and I decided not to do a tour, as we would rather see one of the palaces that focus more on history than on a single person. Instead we wandered the grounds for hours. By the time we decided to stop, my feet were aching and I felt ready to collapse.
***A word of advice: Wear sneakers. Definitely wear sneakers.
We headed back to the hotel, where our concierge David makes his debut! David was one of most knowledgeable people, I’ve ever met in regards to London. He knew every restaurant, every travel tip, and even customized his recommendations based one what things we liked to do (he was the one who suggested Kensington Palace might not be up our alley). Inspyre asked David for a good Italian restaurant and David recommended Da Mario or Il Borno for Italian food or if we decided on Mediterranean food, MK Market. We settled on Da Mario.
FOOD REVIEW: Da Mario’s was fantastic! We started off appetizers with a buffalo milk Mozzarella Caprese, followed by meals of Inspyre’s pizza and my gluten free Rigatoni da Mario. They had gluten free options for everything on the menu! Inspyre also got some Rosé, and we followed it up with some great Chocolate Sorbet. The whole thing cost about 56 pounds. The restaurant is a little unusual in that theres an upstairs and downstairs level. To get downstairs, there’s a very cramped and tight staircase. But it feels like you’re going into a speakeasy, so it’s not terrible. If you want some authentic Italian food, this is the place to go! 4 stars.
When we got back to the hotel, we bought tickets for “The Big Bus Original Tour” and talked to David about how to get to Bletchley, which was the plan for the next day.
Stay tuned for Day 2, and be sure to comment below!
Travel: Honeymoon 2017
Hello! So this post comes a bit late, but as many of you are aware, Inspyre and I got married July 2017. In September of 2017, we went on our honeymoon! So if you need any ideas, or have questions about the regions in general, feel free to peruse below, or contact us directly!
The trip will be outlined in a series of articles, that will focus on each location. Inspyre and I left LA, California and flew directly to London, where we stayed for a couple of days. From there, we left for Rome where we began our 7 day cruise around the Mediterranean. The cruise concluded and we spent another couple of days in Rome before ending the adventure of a life time! With this introductory article, we’ll be releasing the London article, with a different location coming out every week!
Thank you to our readers as always and feel free to contact us with any questions. Don’t forget to leave comments in the section below!
Expert Advice: On-Again, Hopefully Just Off
Hello My Friends! It’s been a while since we’ve done a proper advice column, but we had a new question come in!
“Hi RB. So there’s this guy at work who I’ve been dating on and off for some time. We both know this isn’t going to work long term, but every time we cut it off, we somehow manage to end up back together. We have great chemistry, but our goals just don’t align. What should I do?”
First of all, thanks for the submission! There’s definitely a lot of moving parts here. Let’s identify those first.
- Someone at work
- On and off again
So in my personal opinion, it’s almost never a good idea to date someone at work, especially someone you come into frequent contact with professionally. I find it’s always helpful to think of a worst case scenario, and in this case that worst case is that you have a blow-up break-up, and the professional relationship is irreparably ruined. That’s a really bad worst case scenario. Now this isn’t going to apply if the individual is someone in a different department, or you don’t have mutual work friends with, it should be fine.
Secondly, the “on-again-off-again” phrase, is always a bad sign. I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions to the rule, but for the most point, this is a bad idea. A personal example of an exception is when me and my now husband starting dating, I had significant commitment issues due to coming out of a series of bad relationships. Therefore the most logical thing for me to do of course (heavy sarcasm here), was to break up before anything got too serious. After some extra consideration, I realized this was a bad choice and I was just running away from my emotions, and we got back together. Fun fact: 1 month later, he proposed.
Now this might bring up the question, why was it ok to get back together? A few things, but most importantly, tying into point 3 we had really great chemistry, professionally, spiritually, personally and every other -ally you can think of. Our long term and short term goals aligned, but I think just as importantly, we had our own interests and had a balanced amount of differences. I would argue this is just as important as the similarities because personally, I don’t want to date myself. It’s important to have different perspectives in life.
In relation to the aforementioned, I once read a fantastic quote: “If you break up, and get back together again, you should both be treating this as a completely new relationship”, and I find myself heartily agreeing. For the most part, when people break up, it’s not on a whim, but because deep down, they know something is wrong. One of those few times the fast emotional response is the correct one. If we give ourselves time, we tend to try to rationalize out any real problems, and convince ourselves we over-reacted (you probably didn’t). If you decide to get back together you’ve decided 1 of 2 things: Either those issues are no longer present or you’ve grown as a person and those issues will no longer bother you. If neither of these apply, or you’re saying any of the following: “If you love someone, you can ignore small problems like that!” or “They’ll change as they get older, this won’t always be a problem,” then I respond with a NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Bail hard and keep yourself from talking to this person at all because you’ll likely make a stupid decision. Now that’s a lot about point 2, so let’s move on to point 3. Before I end this, please read our article about the importance of the “Flag System“, and use it to help you rationalize why to not get back together.
Chemistry. It’s a completely illogical force, and usually a force of nature to be reckoned with. There’s not much to say on this other than yes, physical chemistry is important. But that’s really your brain just telling you the other person has bacteria and anti-bodies that you need (pheromones). I know not everyone can do this, but I’ve trained myself to not pay attention to physical appearance at all, because at the end of the day it really has 0 impact except on maybe how much sex you initially have. What you really want to focus on are emotional and mental chemistry. Do you feel emotionally supported? Do you feel better after talking about how your day went with each other? Do you smile and laugh more than usual with this person? Do you feel your conversations are invigorating? Do you feel this person pushes you to be the best version of yourself, intellectually and morally? As general advice, if you answered no to any of the above questions, there needs to be re-evaluation on what’s important to you in a relationship and are you happy? But once you feel you’re emotionally and mentally connected, the physical stuff doesn’t matter. Case in point with a lot of military: See the 1 million stories of a soldier who’s barely alive after countless hours of plastic surgery after a bomb went off, and comes home to have 9 children with spouse. Physical chemistry will always follow after the more important stuff, so don’t worry about that or try to force it.
Hopefully this helps our writer and our other readers as well! If you have a question you’d like to submit, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t forget to comment below!
Expert Advice: The Flag System
Hello My Friends! We have an exciting article today about what I call “The Flag System”.
To pique your interest, I’ll describe this as a 100% foolproof way to know when to end any relationship with ease. Interested? Great! Let’s go.
In our everyday life, we as humans are constantly re-evaluating people and wondering if we should continue to maintain the relationship. Hundreds of points and counter-points come into our mind. Sometimes we make the wrong decision after thinking about it for days, and sometimes we make the right decision on a whim. So how are we to know if the decision we made is the right one, long term?
I’m going to preface this by saying one thing that is very important to keep in mind: People hardly change their core principles. That is to say, the ideas that keep us moving on a day to day basis, that we base all of our decisions on, those don’t really change no matter how much time passes. Unless there’s a life changing event, people largely stay the same. So if you break up with someone, or call off a friendship, chances are in a couple of years even, you would face the same problems.
So what is the flag system? It’s a system used to rate an individuals actions in an unbiased way to establish whether a continued relationship is beneficial. As humans, we’ll always try to argue away why a specific action wasn’t that bad. This system takes away your ability to do that.
Based on an individual’s actions, you’ll rate that particular action as a Red, Orange or Yellow Flag. The color can have a corresponding size of “Baby, Medium or Large” if you prefer a more exact system. Now, to assign the color, you can only take a one sentence description of what the individual did, WITHOUT USING THE WORD “BUT”, and you would rate that as though your friend had told you someone did that to them. For example: “My boyfriend cheated on me, but we were in a gray area and he wasn’t sure if we were together and… blah blah blah”. Great story, very touching, but the phrase we’re looking at is “My boyfriend cheated on me”. If you’re trying to give me context on why the sentence isn’t as bad as it sounds, you’ve already answered the question. In this particular case, this is a red flag which means you IMMEDIATELY break up, no questions asked, no conversations to be had. I’ve listed the breakdown of the flag system below. Flag sizes are an optional implementation:
3 Yellow = Break up
3 baby yellows = 1 Big Yellow
2 medium yellows = 1 Big Yellow
2 Orange = Break up
3 baby oranges = 1 Big Orange
2 medium oranges = 1 Big Orange
1 Red = Break up
2 baby reds = 1 Big Red
1 medium red = 1 Big Red
So just to provide a few more examples, what’s a Yellow or Orange look like?
Orange: “My SO told me they had an STD test, but they hadn’t. They told me before we had sex that they hadn’t had the test done and they lied and they were going to go get one done immediately”. This is a clear lie and had the individual not told you the truth, it would have been a red flag. However, because they told you the truth and got the test before you had sex, it means their conscious kicked in. A bad trend that makes you doubt the person, but depending on what traits you place most value on, this may not be grounds for immediate termination. A “slippery slope scenario” lands this in the Orange category.
Yellow: “My friend and I keep making plans to hang out together, but they cancel last minute every time. Most recently, my friend bailed on coming to my wedding.” This is a great example for 2 reasons. One, it illustrates how a small problem can snowball out of control, but two, it shows where there is and isn’t room for leniency. Technically, your friend constantly bailing to hang out isn’t an indicator of a bad friendship or even of needing to cut things off. It’s maybe just very annoying. So you either give yourself some space from the person, or you have a chat. Maybe things don’t improve, that’s a series of small yellow flag, because again, you’re just aggressively annoyed at this point. Then some more important events come up like weddings or baby showers, and they do the same thing. This earns them a big Yellow flag, and now you stop inviting them to events. Now maybe they realize they’ve messed up, and offer to throw you a birthday party, which of course (because people really don’t change like that), they forget to do or its a complete disaster. Well, now they’ve ruined your birthday and that’s another big Yellow flag. You don’t have time to deal with this kind of irresponsibility all the time, so maybe it’s time to terminate the relationship because now you’ve got 3 big Yellow flags. So this shows that a series of seemingly small, insignificant items can snowball into something that exhibits a behavior you just need to get rid of in your life.
I hope this has been helpful! We’ve had a variety of questions come in that get answered using the Flag System, so hopefully, this answers the questions for a lot of our readers! If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com or comment below!
Alisandra Tzara. She kept repeating her name as she looked out at the plains sprawling in front of her. Who was she? Alice’s mind kept running in a stalled loop – that is to say, she felt her mind was spinning around in circles on the same thing, with no progress being made in any direction. A feeling of being completely stopped in your tracks but having built up the potential energy to run for miles, and being unable to release that energy. In a shorter description, Alice was experiencing extreme mental discomfort. But Alice was too young to understand these ideas. She just knew she wasn’t happy, even as she looked out at her clan, running across the plains.
Nadia looked at her daughter across the fire, clearly sulking. “Pui, what’s wrong? Are you thinking too much again?”
“Nothing Mama.” Alice sighed.
“Pui, clearly something is wrong. You know what I’ve said before, ‘If you have time to sulk, you have time to talk about your problems and fix them’”
Alice sighed again. “It’s just…I don’t know who I am or what’s right and wrong. Bunica says that our way of life is a peaceful one and that we must live one with Tudi. But Tata and Uncle Stephen say that the Outsiders don’t respect the rules of Tanjo and that if we don’t protect ourselves, we will go extinct. I feel as though….both sides make sense but I don’t like either answer. And I don’t want Bunica or Tata to be wrong. So who are we? What do we do?”
Nadia sighed and then smiled and her baby girl’s astuteness. This girl was beauty as well as brains, but unfortunately, in their world, neither particularly mattered. It was power and strength that matter, and Alice was average in both. iI’m thinking again, Nadia pondered as she started to scowl. How were they going to find a suitable marriage for Alice? At 6 years of age, they were already late in arranging her match, but no one had asked for her hand. Stephen was their best bet with his son Nicolos, but he had yet to ask. Of course, it was a difficult decision for Stephen and they had innumerable other prospects; Nicolos was to be the future head of the clan after all. Of course, Seiryu willing, that wouldn’t be for a couple of hundred years at least. Nadia sighed again. Either Alice would have everything or nothing…but there was an excessive amount of sighing and thinking happening today and she wasn’t going to put up with it anymore!
“Alisandra Tzara! Copii your age should not be thinking. In fact, that’s a skill you’re going to need to start hiding a lot better.” She kneeled to face Alice directly. “Pui, you should be thinking of important things – honing your power, increasing your strength, how to be a good wife. These are the skills that will help you in life. You know I love you, and I love your beautiful little brain,” she said and she tickled Alice. Alice let out a loud giggle. Good. She’s cheering up. “But this thinking, this hobby of yours, it is not a trait you will need in life. Your husband will not care for it, and you know we still need an offer for your hand. If other copii or stramosi see you like this, we’ll never get an offer and you’ll end up like the Outsiders. I would never want something so terrible for you.” She held her daughter’s head into her breast, tightly, not wanting to let go. To protect her baby forever. If only I could…No more sighs!
Nadia stood up quickly with an assuredness. “Now, go get the rabbit from your Bunica! We’ll have them for dinner tonight,” she stated and she slapped little Alice on the butt. Alice giggled again, most assuredly in a better mood from the teasing. Alice scampered off the camp site, running towards her grandmother’s tent in the distance. In the distance, she saw Alice halt to speak to Nicolos, grab his hand, and run off in the complete opposite direction of the campsite. This girl…. she thought as a concerned mother as Alice and Nicolos went to go run in the plains. Nadia got up and started walking towards Bunica’s campsite herself. Alice had completely forgotten her task, but Seiryu willing, she would eventually grow into the skills to become a good wife. I just have to wait, Nadia thought as she looked off into the distance of the great plains.
Isa looked around. The whole area was infested. She should never have come to Nmaksom. These vain fools would be useless in her plans. She sighed. Well, perhaps she might be able to fulfill a different goal. Isa looked around again. The loudest sounds seemed to come from behind her. Time to see if she had completely wasted her time, or if something could be scraped from this waste of a trip.
Isa went in the direct opposite direction of the majority of the sound. When judging where to go, always go away from the fools. Her mother had been wise in at least one aspect. If only she had listened years earlier… But it was too late to think of the irreversible past. Never do anything you would regret telling your children about. Well, that had gone out the window as well. If only she had been smarter as a youth.
“AH!” Isa yelled, frustrated by her mind constantly taking her back to her dark past. She needed a drink, but she knew better. Quiet place, quiet place, quiet place Isa kept repeating to herself. She found herself running in the streets, seemingly trying to outrun her past. She knew better than that, but her feet always kicked in instinctively at times like this. Her subconscious did as well apparently. Although lost, she suddenly found herself at the place she wished for most – a library. She breathed a sigh of relief. Before stepping into the magnificent, pillar held building, she looked around again. The fools carried on as though they had not a care in the world. She smiled, knowing none of them would be in this haven; none of them could grasp the importance of such a building.
Isa walked into the library. Dead silent, just as she expected in such a place. Nmaksom was a sultanate technically. However, the Sultana had largely lost control to the native population of Undines. These disgusting creatures manipulated the masses and took control, thinking only of what was most convenient for themselves. Isa hated them. She hated them to her core. They had accomplished what she had been unable to thus far – power. The Undines, manipulative as they were, were not intellectually based, and thus, their power was only temporary. Isa had larger aspirations. She instinctively walked towards the back, where the thickest books were usually held, untouched for decades.
She suddenly stopped. An unlikely intruder in this hell hole – a man. And from the looks of it, a learned man. He sat at a table, with at least 10 books laid around him, with an even larger pile sitting behind him. He seemed deep in research moving from one book to the next, feverishly writing in a notebook. Perhaps there was something to be gained from this trip after all.
Hours had passed. Sometime after Isa had walked into the room, the man had noticed someone watching him. He seemed startled at first, but quickly opened up. Isa said nothing, yet the man had already told her in depth about his research regarding the Black Turtle. The man had been hopping from land to land doing research on each areas largest deity. They were currently in the Land of Water, where the largest organized religions told of a god, black as night, but who swam in the “Gen Sea”, the largest fresh water supply on the continent. This turtle, the man told her, is said to keep the sea fresh and fertile, giving life to all creatures, but taking life away as well. The locals, however, feared and revered the turtle, and felt that he could take their life as well, should he so wish. Most of the natives, the undines, were originally came from this sea, and generations back were said to have lived alongside the Great Turtle, the Turtle having sired all children of the Undine. However, when the women moved to the land, they lost touch with the ways of their ancestors and no longer gave birth to “true Undine” – those untainted without outside blood. As such, the Turtle forsake his blessings, and since, the women have always been fighting with infringing peoples in their land for power. Thus far, the local Undine have managed to keep power and using unknown magicks, subjugated harems of men for procreative purposes. These men lived in dungeons deep under the palace, under a deep hypnotic sleep under which they could take orders, but not act on any free-will.
Mithal told Isa all of this with great gusto, stating how although this was all rumor and lore, there is always truth to any outrageous story and how he was here to get to the core of the facts. Isa contemplated on this thought. She also added the phrase to the long list of phrases her mother had taught her. Every story, no matter how ridiculous, sprouts from a seed of truth. However, if there was truth to this story, that might mean hoards of unconscious men, lost in their own dreamworld, were being held captive in the city. This might also be the kernel that was the exaggeration in the story. There was only one way to find out, and Isa smirked as an idea came to mind.
Joda Goes to a Bar
She walked into the bar in the middle of the forest. The place had a musty stench, just like the humans who occupied it. She looked around at the drunken men, poorly trying to entice women to their side. To her right, she saw the yang, lonely men who sat at the bar, drinking their woes away. Both groups were disgusting, but she preferred the quiet to the idiocy.
She walked toward the barman on her right, and gruffly ordered a beer. The tone of her voice caused a few stares in her direction. She stared right back. Not many men could handle a solemn stare by a woman, especially in these parts. The crowd looked away, feeling embarrassed but not entirely sure why.
Joda knew why. Men were weak. So were women. And when confronted with someone as un-apologizing as her, well, that usually went in one of two ways. With only two options however, it was unlikely she would ever find her equal.
As she drank away her sorrows with a beer as disgusting as how she felt, she looked over at a rowdy group of men by the door. They laughed as though they had no cares in the world, catcalling women, and happy whether they were rejected or not. Idiots. They would never notice a woman as strong as her of their own volition for the true beauty she had. One of the men however, stared back at her with an eerie quietness about him. Looks like option 2 was about to start.
She stared back, unflinchingly, ready for the man to pick a fight with her. She quickly began to assess him. He seemed strong, and had rolled up his sleeves showing off his muscles. His face was heavily bearded, with a solid scar going down from him forehead to his cheek, covering his right eye. He wore overalls, with a red checkered shirt underneath. However, his hair seem well maintained, cut short and clearly groomed, as opposed to the rest of the slobs in this bar. Suddenly it hit her, he’s not drunk. What? A rugged man in a bar in the forest, surrounded by his friends, but not drinking? Something was up. He clearly was used to having bar fights, and apparently not gentlemanly enough to keep from fighting a woman. She was prepared now.
He stood up and began walking over to her, as she refused to break eye contact.
What? Why was he greeting her? This was an unusual start compared to most of her fights. She didn’t respond.
“My name’s Rizer. I saw you observing me from across the room, and I thought it would be more polite of me to offer you a drink, as recompense for having to look at my ugly mug.”
What? Her confusion intensified. What was he doing? None of his behavioral patterns made sense. He was almost treating her as she’d seen other men do to women – with decency.
“My name’s Joda.”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you Joda! What kind of drink can I offer you? It seems like your beer is almost out. If I may be so pertinent, there’s a house brew the offer, but it’s never on the menu. You have to ask for it. It’s got a great bodied-flavor! Lucky you ran into me, huh?” He winked at her.
There was no way she was going to be able to analyze this situation properly. His stance was not one of a fighter, and he just kept talking to her, without any seemingly duplicitous reason.
“HO HO. Looks like Rize found himself a woman as pretty as him, if you can call her a woman.” One of the men from the table Rizer had came from bellowed. Rizer threw him a glare.
“I think that’s rather uncalled for and unkind of you Gerth. I’d have you apologize to the lady here. I’m so sorry Joda; I have no words to excuse his actions.”
Joda’s glare switched swiftly from Rizer to Gerth; looks like she had just misjudged where option 2 was coming from. She knew she shouldn’t have let herself get comfortable. The barman put the House Beer in front of her. She chugged it, keeping eye contact with Gerth the whole time. He seemed displease.
Gerth stood up, and ambled over, with a man who clearly tried to convey he had confidence, but was only just compensating for his insecurities. These were more like her usual brawls. She was prepared.
“Well, well little Missy. Seems like you caught our boy here. Though with what, I’m not too sure. That robe of yours ain’t too becoming, and you ain’t done yourself up nothing either. MAYBE” he started off, increasing his voice so the whole bar could hear, “WE GOT OURSELVES AN ENCHANTRESS HERE.” A gasp and some murmerring followed. Accusations such as that were not taken lightly here.
Several years ago, rumors had spread through the region like wildfire, of an enchantress who had become the item of worship for a cult over the mountains. One day, something angered the enchantress, and she murdered her entire following. This was hardly surprising to the townsfolk. After all, enchantresses weren’t to be trusted. But the gravity of the accusation still stood.
“You’re taking this too far Gerth. Back off” Rizer said standing up. He evenly matched Gerth in height, another fact that seemed to bother Gerth.
“Back off man. Let’s take this outside lady, where we can discuss in private. Maybe you can provide me with some service, and see if these accusations don’t go away?” He said with a smirk, befit of disgusting human like himself. He unexpectedly pushed past Rizer, to grab Joda. He never knew what hit him.
Joda grab his outstretched arm, and twisted herself under his arm, forcing him into a flip in the air. He would’ve landed badly on his back, had she not been faster. She kicked him from the top of his back forcing him up. She snapped back his arms, which promptly forced him to land of his arse. His back facing her. She grabbed his head between both her hands, and snap. The threat was gone. Option two was always the more fun option. Got her some exercise on her slow days. She knew what would come next. The open mouths and gasps of the crowd behind her. She turned around. Rizer had the same look on his face. She sighed. She knew there was no one there to be her equal. She looked away and walked out of the bar, without paying her tab of course.