I know, I know… it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. But I’m going to pick up from where I left off as if no time has elapsed. Cool? Cool.
My free time has given me the opportunity to think about what I want for my life. If you’ll remember my previous blog entries about my first two (of three) goals:
Goal #1: Speak (at least) three languages fluently: English, Spanish, French.
Right now, I’m working on making #1 happen. I’m in process of finding a job abroad, specifically in Paris. Yes, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Moulin Rouge PARIS! I’ve already applied, and I’m waiting for their response. And, I bought a discount subscription for a livemocha.com account, so I’ll probably use it to practice Spanish via skype.
Goal #2: Learn to sew / tailor well = start a fashion company.
I’ve been working on clothing brand names along with logos, but I’m still in the very pre pre preliminary stages now. Ultimately, I’ve put Goal #2 on hold because I know that once I start a company, it’ll be like my baby, and I’ll be solely responsible for growing it. Thus, sequentially, Goal #2 will be a work in progress, and its fruition will be attained at a later date. For now, I’ll be thinking up ideas, drafting designs?, getting inspiration etc.
Goal #3: And now… lets hear a drumroll, please… it’s probably something you never thought I’d ever say… Goal #3: Cook (well) so I can feed myself / a family.
Last August, during my three-month Europe / East Coast adventure, I visited my friend in his hometown on the Eastern border of Switzerland. My friend’s dad, being ever so hospitable, always asked what and when we wanted to eat etc. He asked me if I wanted to help cook, and I told him I don’t really cook. Slightly disapprovingly, my friend’s dad said in his German accent / broken English, “Let me get this straight, you’re so well-educated etc. but you don’t even know how to cook???” I was a little embarrassed to be honest. In my defense, and hoping for redemption, I baked my mom’s famous apple pound cake, which seemed to appease him. He couldn’t stop eating it! “Great, Lew, no longer in the negative point column!” Success. Ha!
But deja vu…
Shortly after Switzerland, I met up with my good Norwegian guy friend from study abroad in Paris back in 2008. He flew from Oslo to meet me in Denmark to hang out and sightsee. In one of our many conversations, we started talking about food and cooking. I mentioned that I didn’t really cook, and he asked me incredulously, “Lew, how are you going to get a guy if you don’t know how to cook??!?!” We both laughed pretty hysterically, but what he said, coming from a guy and a good guy friend at that, made me stop and think back to the previous conversation I had in Switzerland.
Those two questions played over and over again in my head throughout the trip.
When I returned home at the beginning of October, I questioned myself, “How did I make it 25 years, and I barely (*know* how to) cook??” I found myself at a crossroads with only two options: continue not knowing how to cook OR learn to cook.
Well, my choice, the road less traveled by, was obvious: learn to cook.
My choice was pretty easy for a number of reasons:
1. I had time to learn. 2. My mom is an expert cook, so I could learn from her while I was at home. 3. I love to eat. 4. I’d save a lot of money by cooking. 5. I could control what ingredients went into my dishes. 6. Cooking (well) would give me a leg up on the competition! (Lets be honest, the way to a guy’s heart is largely in part through his stomach!) 7. It’s a necessary life skill not only for myself but for my future family.
Here’s some background on my experience with food.
I grew up in a house full of good food. My mom cooked every night, and she catered to, and still does, to our preferences. (I used to be a super picky eater when I was a kid. I don’t know how my parents put up with me!) My mom can cook anything, and when she creates her own recipes, none of her dishes ever taste bad. If fact, they taste good. I also went to a private high school, which had gourmet food. And, in college, I ate out a lot - I was a bit snobby, and still am, about the food I put in my mouth. To borrow a line from the Ratatouille food critic: “I don’t like food. I love food, and if I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” LOL. Ultimately, the accumulation of numerous good food experiences has shaped my perception of what food should taste like and what it represents in my life.
First, I think the majority of food that we consume should generally be nutritious and delicious. Secondly, I think food is extremely important because of what it allows we, as human beings, to do. Not only does it give us sustenance to live, but it brings us together as people - to bond and share life experiences.
I attribute the breakdown of family life and American health to a number of issues, but one cause can definitely be linked to food. It seems like in America, we’re too busy working (which is another cause in itself), and as a result, we don’t have time to sit down at the dinner table and share a family meal. We lose the opportunity to talk about our days and share our lives with each other.
Moreover, what and how you eat growing up shapes your prevailing attitude towards food and affects your future family. If you don’t think food is more than energy to fuel your needs so you can continue to work, that’s how you’ll treat it. You’ll eat (unhealthy) on the go, claiming that you have “no time” to sit down and enjoy life with your family. Your health will suffer etc. And well, America, one of the richest countries in the world, has so many obese citizens. But access to health care and food etc. is a completely different issue, which I won’t tackle in this post…
In my next job (fingers crossed!), I’ll be responsible for child care and cooking, which will be the final building blocks of my responsible adult persona. After I return from Paris, I will be ready, more or less, to start a family. That is, once I establish a stable career (business owner?) and have a steady income. Oh yeah, and I guess find a guy. But my cooking skills are bound to aid in that, right? ;)
At the end of the day, I do believe I can bake my cake, and eat it, too, both figuratively and literally speaking. I believe I can accomplish all three goals: fluency in three languages, starting and operating a fashion company, and cooking for and raising a BIG family in the next few to five to seven years! Bon appetit! Cheers!