Martha Thinks

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On food, plans and life.

Last year's New Year's resolution was to go back to cooking school.  I enrolled, got my uniform, textbook, knife set, small rolling suitcase because I could not carry it all, guts to be in "school" with many half my age...tried my hardest, really I did!...but only lasted 6 days in a professional school.

Undaunted I carried on and devised my own curriculum to learn at my own pace.  I enrolled in a 4 week session of "Intro to Baking", one day a week, 4 hours a day.  It was delightful and perfect in every way.  I learned more there with just 8 students than at my full-on classroom of 29 students in the professional school.  The chef was warm and understanding.  I also found an amazing cake decorating class at a bakery, again a very encouraging and happy experience.

So one thing I would have to say I learned from last year is that there are no rules to achieving your goals.  When you get to be a certain age and something doesn't feel right you don't need to sit in the puddle and wait for it to stop raining.  Put up the umbrella and move on.  You've earned it, it's your right, it's your life!
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Oh yeah, and learned how to make fried mozzarella sticks.  So amazing that you will impress yourself, your family and your friends.  That amazing.  A little work, but go for it.  Totally worth it.
So I didn't end the year working in a professional kitchen, but the passion for food, taste and presentation has only gotten stronger.

The art and painting side of my life bubbled up again and I taught two children's painting classes and have been asked to teach another session.

I was able to enjoy my middle son's high school graduation and give him a party which I never would have been able to do as a full-time student.

I helped my youngest plan and finish his bedroom where he will hang out until he is off to college - and it came out great.  And although I didn't get the "perfect job", I made it to the final 5 candidates from a pool of 80.  And that makes me proud, too.

The funny thing about life is although we have our lists and notebooks, sticky pads and date planners, there is still much out there out of our control.  I plan to keep moving forward, one day to the next, keeping the recipe books and the paint brushes within arm's reach.

And lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who don't judge, just encourage, as we all see what's in store for the always unpredictable year ahead - is lucky enough. 

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