Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Au revoir to bottled salad dressing

Never have I been as excited to pay for my groceries as I was today - I felt like I accomplished something monumental, something that seemed impossible became possible today. $110, right on budget, and my cart is filled with organic fruit, fresh herbs and fish, bacon, and flour - all the *good* stuff which is, in my mind, a treat for a very special occasion. What I don't have is packaged food, although yogurt and cheese may or may not apply.
Today is the beginning of a new journey, a very personal and somewhat unique journey... the sprouting of my diy culinary school. I love food, good food - simple but full of colour and flavour. I love the idea of fine cooking, the passion that goes with it, and the endless possibilities to express one self. It has seemed like a far away dream, however, since I have been at home with my kids the past 7 years. Living on one income and feeding small children soft, mild foods, never mind the thought of paying for culinary school or having time for it in the first place! So for the past few years, my family has eaten well plated casseroles, fun finger foods and plenty of pasta. As my girls begin their own lives at school and independently brush their teeth, I suddenly find myself with time on my hands and a need to fill that time. Working an hourly job somehow does not appeal to me, college is still too expensive - and so I began piecing together what now is my next year or two.
A few weeks ago I went to the movies with a good friend to see Julie and Julia. I was on cloud nine for two hours as I watched these two women do amazing things with their lives, and with food. How inspiring! I am sure I am not the only one that walked out of the theater that day with a burning desire to create beautiful food and share it with friends. If Julia can do it, then so can I! My journey is slightly different, as I am not following one particular chef, but instead I have purchased two very large and very heavy cookbooks from Le Cordon Bleu. My goal is to master professional cooking and to understand food, all within my small 12 x 12 kitchen (and small weekly budget!).
My cookbooks have not yet arrived in the mail, but I do have a few recipes from the Culinary Institute of America. A sort of a prelude of things to come this year, I am attempting my first step away from basic family meals with poached sole in a creamy wine sauce with haricots verts.. I do find myself making a few adjustments here and there, as I don't have a stainless steel saucepan, but your average non-stick pan. Today it's all about learning new techniques and perhaps acquiring a few new kitchen supplies along the way.
Writing this blog in a way makes this all official to me. I am hoping to be able to grow a third arm so I can document my progress with my camera. I imagine fine cooking will require the attention of my other two arms!


Tanja said...

Moni! I love this and i can't wait to follow up on each and everyone of your entries!
Your writing is very smooth and easy to read, nice!

lukrisi said...

How exciting! I can't wait to read my way through your journey!!! I agree with Tanja, I think you have a gift for putting your thoughts to words! Looking forward to reading along.