Monday, February 24, 2014

An organized mind

I don't have an organized mind about everything.  I can never find my keys... or glasses... or phone... But when it comes to planning for a meal, it's like my brain is a card catalog.  I can rifle through various details about components, preparation and plating and I can picture how the whole process will play out, market to table, like a story.

I love that process.  The preparation, the anticipation, the creation and the satisfaction of a well prepared meal.  It's not that they all turn out great.  I'm no expert.  But I love to experiment and learn as I go.

During planning, I research my ingredients and methods of preparation and I could easily spend hours online navigating from making pasta to fixing a broken hollandaise to sous-vide cooking.  (I should mention that this sort of easily-distracted behavior is not limited solely to food websites.  Have you been on Buzzfeed?!  I start at '15 Life Hacks for the Kitchen' and next thing I know I've also read '12 Reasons We Love Beyonce', '25 Reasons Your Late Twenties Are Better Than Your Early Twenties' and '147 Things Your Cat Has Been Trying To Tell You And How To Reciprocate Communication Using Yoga Poses And Smoke Signals'.  That last one, obviously, was particularly informative.)

While I'm reading through articles and food blogs and recipes is when my imagination really gets churning and I start to panic.  There are so many foods to try!  When will I find time to try everything?  Sooooo, this is where eating out comes in.  As adventurous as I might get in the kitchen, I do not see myself ever cooking escargot or veal tongue at home.


Eating a great meal out makes me feel like I've gotten to be a part of something special.  A part of something that someone else has created and put out into the world to be enjoyed.  I'm rereading that and it sounds so corny, but I think maybe that chef has similar feelings of anticipation and satisfaction when they create a dish that I do and that makes me feel inspired.

My problem is that some time after the meal is over, no matter how much it made my taste buds dance, my memory of it begins to fade.  I suddenly can't remember those same details which the week before had seemed so organized or had gotten me so excited.  I want to remember these moments, to track my crazy dinner party preparation methods, to track the outcomes of my culinary experiments and the lessons I've learned and to track the great meals other people prepare that I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy.

So here we are.

The Amateur Omnivore: I'll eat pretty much anything and I can only pretend to know what I'm talking about... but I'll continue to learn as I go.


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