First of all: I’m really terrible at this “blogging” business. I don’t actually have any readers at this point, do I?
Okay, thought so. But I have excuses! First, I went to Seattle for the summer. I lived in an efficiency downtown, in the shadow of the Space Needle, with a two-burner hotplate and a couple dozen fantastic restaurants within a fifteen-minute walk. Then I came home; to a new home, in fact–a charming old house downtown that my roommates found while I was gone. I also came home to my lab, which I missed very much after three months of simulations. And I quickly realized that 10-12 hour work days plus race/tri training are incompatible with my hell-for-leather pursuit of domestic self-sufficiency. I had to pick a hobby. I picked cooking.
The long and short of it: I love my job, I haven’t touched my fabric stash in eight months, and this blog will continue will crappy iPhone photos only (because getting pictures off my camera is just not happening).
Now that that’s out of the way, may I wax self-congratulatory for a moment?
Oh, right. I guess that’s a yes. So, that two-burner hotplate? It taught me how to cook without a recipe. Or, more accurately, it showed me that I don’t need them like I used to. I would pick up something beautiful at Pike Place Market or Whole Foods and let it guide me to its best use. At first it was really difficult, until I realized that it wasn’t. I’ve finally cooked enough meals to have an internal database of flavors and methods, of ingredients and ideas, that I can mix and match according to whim or weather. It took me a long time to get to this point; but when you consider I’ve only been cooking for seven years (not twenty-five), and only got serious in the last three, I think I’m making fair progress.
The whole summer was like that. I came back different, but not because I changed. I came back different because I realized I’ve changed. I’ve grown so much since I left college, and I think I’m making fair progress here too–fair progress towards the person I want to be. And I don’t think I would have understood how far I’ve come, in my kitchen or in my life, if I hadn’t skipped out on both of them for a while.