I am an empath. I am a nurturer. I am a care-giver. I got into the culinary world for many reasons and honestly, at the time, none of those three were directly responsible for my decision–yet they had everything to do with it. I now know those were precisely the reasons I got into it. . I was in journalism for many years and in my 20’s and 30’s, had a severe case of wanderlust. It was not uncommon for me to wake up one morning and decide to move to a new city, or half way across the country.
I gave up my last job as a writer to move to Austin. I had won an Associated Press award for a series I had written and thought pretty highly of myself–I could surely get a job with no problem. How wrong I was. I went months looking for work. I decided I would never go through that experience again. I decided to get into something that if I picked up and moved, I could get a job the day I got to wherever I landed.
I saw an ad on TV for a culinary school and decided to check it out. No matter where you go, you can get a job cooking somewhere–even if it’s only fast food…you can get a job. I applied to the school, got a student loan (I don’t recommend that route,) but, it got me started and the rest they say, is history.
What I discovered was I have a gift for it…probably inherited from my Momma, her sisters and her Mother…fabulous cooks every one of them. More than that, though, is I love to make people happy. I love to see the looks on their faces when they taste something I’ve prepared. The fact is, I can’t just throw something together. I may say, “Oh I just threw it together,” but the truth is, I put ME into everything I cook. I can’t help it…it just happens.
I once worked with a chef from Mexico City who once asked me if I knew why my food was always so good. “Why?” I asked.
“It’s because of your secret ingredient,” he replied.
“My secret ingredient?”
“Yes…your secret ingredient is your love and you put it into everything you cook. If you are angry, your food will be bitter, but if you cook with love, it will always be sweet. Your secret ingredient is love.”
What I hope to accomplish here is an extension of that. Part of it will be sharing stories, part will be sharing recipes and other (hopefully) useful information, and part will be sharing what I learn as I continue to look into alternative methods of healing and nurturing my own body, mind and spirit.
Cooking can provide instant gratification (even if it takes days to prepare). Cooking is perfect for someone who is OCD–I can’t serve you something if it isn’t the best I can do. You could say I found my purpose when I started to school. Cooking is caring. Cooking is giving. Cooking is loving.