As with food, places have ‘people terroir ‘. The Oly environment grows certain types of women – the OlyGrrrl. There are a few different garden varieties of OlyGrrrrl – The OlyGrrrl Classic, the RiotGrrrrl, the OlyGrrrl au Natural and the OlyGrrrl Sport. In this short series I will be introducing you to the charming OlyGrrrl variatles, along with their culinary savvy and insights.
Let’s begin with the most common, The OlyGrrrrl Classic
The OlyGrrrl Classic can be identified by a few obvious and not so obvious traits. Firstly, she loves her job. The OlyGrrrl Classic is generally well educated and has chosen her line of employment from the heart. Teacher, social worker, small business owner, grant writer, director of a non-profit, nurse practitioner or mid-wife are typical lines of work. Secondly, whether she has a partner or not she is probably the mother of 1-3 children (natural, adopted or both). In fact, the OlyGrrrrl Classic can best be described as a strong woman with a soft heart. She has re-defined feminism, she strives for a work-life balance, she probably breastfed her children and gave birth at home. Although well traveled, she is not a wanderer. Her travel schedule has likely been a mix of adventure and comfort, preferring to save up and spend a good chunk of time living in a culture rather than standing in line at the Eiffel Tower just to say she’s been there. She is just as comfortable at the Olympus Spa as she is taking a whore’s bath in the woods. She is an excellent mother, artisanal home-maker, artist, career-woman, an adventurer and just a fun person to be around in general. In her retirement, you are likely to find her in spandex, biking with her life-long companion or adult child, working as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or traveling.
The OlyGrrrrl Classic is a life-long student. No matter what line of work she is in one of her goals will be to educate you in something. Because education is paramount in her life, she will expect others to be good learners as well. This includes her children, mates and friends. A man who says, “Don’t try to change me…” won’t last long with her. She damn well knows that change is the only constant and if you don’t change you don’t learn.
Her home will be a reflection of her and her family, not of the latest fashion trend. Although nothing in her life will be the latest version of cool, everything about her will reflect and in depth knowledge of historical cool. She is always on the cutting edge, continually moving on long before the rest of the world co-opts her coolness, yet also diligently hanging on to other things long after the cool factor has worn off. The OlyGrrrl Classic is so hip that she can wear a sparkle-kitty sweater from 1990, 1960’s horn-rimmed glasses and Converse Low-Tops and still look way cooler than you. She also enjoys mentioning that what ever you compliment her on (clothes, home, etc.) she got for $2. She is a Goodwill/Garage Sale shopper, not because she can’t afford Nordstrom’s but, because she revers quality and recycling. She is a pragmatist, a rational-ideologue and in her life history and modernity go hand in hand.
The OlyGrrrrl Classic is a design maven. She is stylish, but not always fashionable. She prefers to take care of herself with little indulgences like lipwaxing, pedicures or massages, because, like everything else in her life, she expects her body to provide quality, lasting transportation for her heart and soul for a good long time. The standard OlyGrrrl Classic look for the hair is the I Only Give a Shit About Twice a Year look. Generally this means some sort of haphazard ponytail/bun intersperced with a cute new do once or twice a year. If she has any fashion weakness it is probably for cute glasses, cute jackets, cute hats, cute shoes and comfy pajamas. (In fact, a cute pair of glasses is one of the best ways to recognize an OlyGrrrrl.) You will find lots of wool, gortex, silk and cotton in her closet. Her wardrobe will reflect her “think global, act local” outlook – practical and indulgent, timeless and hip, feminine and masculine, exotic and standard. Dressing up is an event for her, not an every day thing, and she will do it with a style that makes her stand out from the crowd.
Other ways to recognize an OlyGrrrl Classic are: by the tattoos on her shoulders, ankles or feet; by her smart, generally happy, self-styled and well behaved child(ren); the organic cookies she brings to the office; her spiritual but not religious beliefs; and her flexible and creative persona. She is a riddle, shrouded in an enigma, and wrapped in a whole wheat organic pita pocket.
Whats in her kitchen: You will find quality stuff in the kitchen of most OlyGrrrls in general, but the Classic variatial will be well stocked. You are likely to find back issues of Cook’s Illustrated, hand-me-downs from grandma, kitchen-aides, Henckels, Calphalon and some serious baking paraphernalia. She will have stock on hand like whole grains, flour, sugar all neatly stored in seal top glass jars and a freezer full of meat from the quarter of a local, grass-fed, free-range cow named Daisy she purchased. She will probably also have a CSA share and get her milk delivered fresh to her milk box on the door step.
Mates: The OlyGrrrl Classic has a fierce independent streak coupled with a warm heart and a staunch sense loyalty. This combination tends to be confusing to most men, as many of them think of strong women as unemotional. Truthfully, she really isn’t concerned with the type of guy she is with, she is concerned with his skills. Excellent communication skills are imparative. A love of learning, a passion for their job, adventurousness in many areas and loyalty are qualities an OlyGrrrrl Classic admires in a man. Even though her social nature and compassion draw her to relationships, she may be single by choice. She may enjoy or even want a man, but she knows she doesn’t need one. She doesn’t often concern herself with the question of being married or not married, but once she mates it is generally for life or a really good long time.
Sports and hobbies: Hiking, kayaking, sailing, camping, knitting, sewing, cooking, tennis, bike riding, swimming, yoga or dance, rock climbing, cross country skiing.
Transportation: Subaru, Volvo wagon, hybrid, scooter, bike, public transportation or walking.
Vices: Cigarette – no, marijuana – occasionally, wine and spirits – definitely, coffee and tea – likely.
Hot Spots: The Royal, The Mark, Trinacria, Bayview School of Cooking
Favorite meal: Homemade organic tomato, garlic and basil soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with hummus, fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzerella on locally made bread.
Tomato, Garlic and Basil Soup (ok, so I cheated just a little)
- Organic tomato soup stock
- Pearl tomatoes
- Garlic, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Good bread
This is pretty easy really. Cut your tomatoes in half and saute them in a little olive oil until they begin to soften. Turn off the heat and throw in your garlic. Let that cook for just a bit in the pan before adding it to your soup stock, salt and pepper to taste and toss in chopped basil just before taking it off the stove.
For you sandwich, smear it with butter on one side and hummus on the other. Put it butter side down into your pan on med heat and layer on the Mozzarella. Cover and let the cheese melt down a bit. Layer on tomato slices, basil leaves and your next piece of bread. Gently flip it over and cook on the second side. Such a sensuous, satisfying, practical and easy meal. Go turn on KAOS or listen to a Sleater Kinney album while you enjoy it.