dependent on the heart
Early on, when the stay-at-home order was first issued, we had lots of talks around our dinner table about how this is a new normal. We would not be falling into thinking this is a vacation, nor would we waste our days with copious amounts of screen time.
We would not, I declared, unravel into a stereotypical frat party house lifestyle.
It is true: there is more time. We challenged our kids to think of something they wanted to learn with the extra time, to consider something they wanted to accomplish. “What have you always wanted to learn or do?” we asked.
Jordan is working on becoming faster.
Sam is developing his airbrush weathering techniques on train cars.
Hannah is writing a novel…and reading a lot of books.
I’m learning to up my game when it comes to food presentation, including creating menus with side dishes and desserts that go together. Because of restaurant closures, Andy suggested I send lunch to his work once a week. I quickly agreed. I started trying my hand at developing menus. Not only did I prepare the food, but I challenged myself to consider the presentation, too.
It’s been about five weeks of sending in weekly meals. I’m having so much fun. Sometimes the food is pretty, mostly it is in practical containers for transporting food to a lumber yard. I’ve learned so much about prepping and presenting. I’ve started considering things like textures and colors. I take extra time with things like lime slices and piping bags.
Cooking reminds me of writing, at least, it reminds me of the way I write.
If I try and calculate so that things are just perfect, it typically goes haywire. I can get lost in planning and research and planning. I can jot and jot and still not have a draft, just like I can season and taste and still not have a meal. Simmering and macerating and cooling cannot be rushed — in cooking, writing or life. The presentation matters and everyone likes a bit of whimsy, an unexpected creative approach.
I think what I’m discovering is that cooking, like writing, is depending on the heart. Although, I might be discovering more than just something about cooking. Perhaps, what I’m discovering is that I like to live a life dependent on the heart.
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