Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introduction: The Power of the Prep

Thursday's work day came and went without much consequence. There were emails to send and papers to file, sure, but nothing felt particularly demanding or immediately important--in short, a perfectly ordinary day. This is fairly standard for me: I need a ticking clock, a major deadline, to feel like what I'm doing matters.

But when I got home, there were fresh garbanzo beans to shell...
There were tasks to be taken on--dough to squeeze into a ball, garlic to dice, strawberries to husk, and rhubarb to peel...

I used my fingernails to pull long strips of rhubarb skin off the stalks, making long silky ribbons of red skin and turning my fingertips bright pink.

The work felt real, the efforts I was putting into it felt real, and the rewards felt real.
This summer, I'm undertaking an experiment that will hopefully be an exercise in something valuable: cooking, every day, in a real restaurant kitchen, and channeling my everyday joy of cooking into a semblance of a real vocation.

The challenge: one month, cooking, every day, in the kitchen of The Inn at Ship Bay, under the supervision and guidance of chef Geddes Martin. Whatever work he gives me...chopping veggies, churning butter, butchering pigs.
The challenger: A fledgling cookbook editor, a foodie for life, a former fat girl, who's dumb enough to pool all her vacation days for a DIY cooking school experience. And there's no better way to learn than to get in the kitchen.

Project begins in one month. Time to get to work. Chop, chop.

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