Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moving, both physically and metaphorically.

The universe is moving around me. I can feel the breeze as it swirls around me ... With all of this movement I feel motivated to find my own way. It is easy to have lofty dreams of bright futures. That's how most of us get anywhere at all. My dreams are lofty for sure, but they are elevating me to places I hadn't expected ... and when all of this excitement comes careening out of me, I get frustrated that more of it isn't coming faster.

I threw a dinner party for some friends that I adore. They are two of our very best and they just bought a new home. It is lovely with a kitchen I could be buried in. So I helped them throw a dinner party. The dessert was provided by another dear friend, Charm Camacho. She is a genius in all things sweet and satisfying. Here are some shots Hubby and I captured during the height of the festivities.

If I could do this for the rest of my life, I could die feeling accomplished and satisfied.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Until recently, I hadn't spent any quality time in a busy, working kitchen. The only kitchen I ever had training in was my own. I did have a stint as an early shift baker at a local coffee shop when I was younger. I had just moved back from living direction-less out West. It was satisfying while it lasted, living out my own "final frontiers," but Yankees always end up where they started.

My job as a baker needed me to get to work just before 4am. I would prepare boxed mixes of muffins and pastries, grind and brew coffee, jump-start the regular clientelle. There was little to no skill involved in the job. The real skill was getting enough sleep to show up for work at 4am the next morning. It didn't pay very well, but I got out of work early enough to get to happy hour at the bar across the street. That was what mattered at the time; that I got paid and still had time to hob-nob.

At one point in my adult life I heard that working in a kitchen required a certain set of skills. Handling knives and knowing ingredients are the least of these. Self deprivation, debauchery ... this is the stuff of kitchen staff. Motley crews who work all hours. The people who work while the rest of us rest. The people who dump out on to the streets after the restaurants are tucked in and prowl the early morning hours in search of their own forms of rest. I was hesitant to believe such things, but where there's smoke, there's fire ... my first opportunity with real kitchen work has proven more than I would let myself believe. It take rugged and dogged souls to feed the rest of us.

I'm not sure where I fit into this schematic yet. What kind of "chef" (if I can even use the word) will I become? I know what I love. I know what I don't love. At least I have that going for me.

This adventure into pursuing my dreams of becoming a food proprietor has been, for lack of a better descriptor ... Interesting. I know that's vague. The good and the bad are present every day. My ups and downs swoop and dive on a regular, and daily, basis. If I had my druthers I would be working closer to home in a kitchen with consistency. But then again, no one every came to anything great by being comfortable the whole time. Quality of life doesn't always come in large quantities. The days where we sigh to ourselves and say, "My God, this is what living *really* is," ... how often are those days? In my own personal experience, I've found that I get to say that often- and that is a blessing. Sure, my commute is long. The pay isn't great and the people keep me guessing, but this is how my story is starting out. This is how the path to a future of my own standards has started. You can't argue with that.

And that's how I'm going to convince myself that all is right with the world: It's supposed to be difficult. That's how you get down to the quality stuff. The things that keep us sighing "Thank you" under our breath.