Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never say Never

     Well I did it, I went ice skating , definitely wobbly at first. But as I got my sea legs under me, I started to do better, felt a bit more confident, and thus enjoyed myself. There is something about gliding free along the ice, cold air hitting you in the face, that smacks the child awake in you. I felt just like the kids that were enjoying their last hours of Thanksgiving break, I was in the moment, I wasn't dwelling on the past, I wasn't worrying about the future, I was just skating! I think that everyone should reconnect with things that made them happy as children.
     Skating made me happy, I remember figure skating on Lake Minnetonka in the dead of winter, with my sister and having the time of my life. Nobody mentioned that when you become adults, and I mean the kind of adult that has little ones that you are responsible for, that you lose some of the magical pixie dust that allowed you to let your guard down, have fun and laugh. We are so unnecessarily wrapped up into what others think about us, that is paralyzes us from doing what we really want to do.
     I have made a promise to myself today, no more sitting on the sidelines, with the should haves, could haves, and would haves. I am wasting precious time. Time that does not get a "Do Over". Perhaps I might have had an epiphany today. My eyes are open, I am listening, and life has my attention. The secret to happiness, has been right under our noses all along, and that is seeing the world as your child does. With no expectations, just letting life play out as it should.
     I knew at a very young age, that I wanted to be a chef. I can't even really tell you why, it just felt right. It is not most glamourous job, don't let Food Network fool you. Sometimes it is closer to Hell's Kitchen, you never know when you will cross paths with a megalomanical chef, who reaps entertainment  from driving you past your limit.  It is part of the atmosphere, if you are scared and the Executive chef can sense it, he or she will use it to either push you out the door, or push you to do better and grow a backbone. You sweat non-stop in the summer, you smell like a french fry 90% percent of the time, and no one recognizes you in street clothes. But you learn valuable lessons that are very important in life. You form important bonds with people that help you along in your career, and you grow in your craft by the people that you surround yourself with. Don't be afraid to try new things. Remember that it is only food, and fear stops progress. If you have always wanted to cook a huge roast beast, or a spectacular seven course meal, you can, you just have to believe. What follows is my recipe for black bean hummus, which is great with those new artisan roasted garlic and black bean tortilla chips, or if you are comfortable with frying,you can fry some jalapeno cheddar chips using fresh flour tortillas.

Black Bean Hummus

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 healthy shakes of hot sauce
1 tsp dark chili powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
5 cloves fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar

In a food processor, place all ingredients, and blend on medium speed. Might have to stop during the process to redistribute the hummus to get a smooth final product. If it seems dry, add more olive oil and lemon juice to achieve a smoother hummus. Place in a bowl and top with the cheddar and serve.

Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work for the soul, and good for either is the work of the other. ~ Henry David Thoreau


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