A little more than a year ago, I began to develop an interest in cooking. It might have been the collision of watching Julie & Julia and interning for editors of cookbooks that burgeoned this fascination. And after a year, I'm reading Thomas Keller for fun and baking/cooking from scratch every other day. I even baked Irish soda bread today in spirit of St. Patrick's Day!
Sometimes I think about how strange my newfound interest is. Me, who could only make instant foods, scrambled eggs. And maybe bacon. Me, who thought that the only bread worth eating was Wonder bread. Me, who thought that Denny's was fancy... Oh, how times change.
And now I can braise and roast and make reductions and sieve! I can tell the difference between oregano and thyme! I can fold and whip and knead! I know what cake flour and clarified butter is!
As stupid as this may sound, my developing culinary interests really make me believe that (just about) anything is possible! What happened a year ago is that I stopped living in the delusion that abilities were black and white and that I could cultivate skill. Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect is unattainable. But practice makes us closer to perfect, and all I had to do was try. To be interested and try.
So I can cook, yes. Which makes me wonder what else I am capable of. Anything, I suppose. But I can't bring myself to imagine that I can enjoy heavy metal music... Or using Porta-Potties.
17 March 2011
I just came home from a day spent in San Francisco and I am pondering over thoughts that were latent throughout the day.
While I was in New York, I learned this faux extroversion that I cloaked myself in when I found myself in quiet situations. I thought that silence was considered awkward, so I fought it at every chance I got. Whether it be with strange antics or arbitrary questions thrown out, I wanted to keep the ambiance active. But with my innate introversion, this is a very tiring thing to do. And I have to ask myself: what's so wrong with silence? With the right people, it's the most comfortable thing there is.
Also in New York, I discovered an occasional spontaneity integrated into my daily routine that sparked up the day. Things like walking down SoHo to get a cup of coffee at Dean & Deluca rather than riding the subway back to my dorm. Things like sweeping into Strand to browse but buying a rather unneccesary copy of Peter Pan instead, since I already have two copies at home, but books are so lovely! I love the tiny spontaneities sprinkled amidst plans. I think it's a good reminder that not everything can be controlled in a rigid structure and some things just have to be dealt with head-on, right when they're in front of me. Even if it might be sea foam sweeping onto the beach or a BBQ joint inside a gay bar. Life just seems more lovely, more colorful, with these surprises.
Silence and spontaneity aside, I am beginning to know — know inside my heart — that everything and everyone changes. But I suppose that that isn't always a bad thing. No, it isn't.
Posted by Eunice Chung at 12:04 AM