Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Friends are Inspiration and Support

I've been feeling down about my day job (my pay job). I love preparing nourishing meals for people I love but it doesn't pay the bills like the CEO job does!

So I'm sitting in my room getting ready for bed and I clap my hands to kill yet another MFing fruit fly. At that moment, the electricity in my room goes out. This wouldn't be so bad except that it tops off four days of pleading with the toilet in my bathroom to flush -- just one more time -- PLEASE.

No, flipping circuit breakers doesn't work.

I'm pissed and feeling like the world is pissing on me so I decide to move my laptop and bedding out to the porch.

No sooner do I power back up when this appears in my inbox. (I had recently asked family and friends to describe my cooking style.) Thank you, Jean. I needed this:


I've never seen anyone cook like my friend MP. She cooks with ease, grace and style. She is clearly at home and happy in the kitchen, preparing meals with joy.

I think the most remarkable thing about MP's cooking style is that she is an incredibly intuitive cook. I'm not talking about improvising - anyone can do that. It's like she has this magical ability - akin to those brainiacs who solve complicated algebraic equations in their heads - she just knows what to do, how to do it, which ingredients to use that happen to be on hand, and voila, a little of this and some of that, and what results is a perfect dish or all-out meal that simply astounds me. And I can see that this makes her profoundly happy from deep inside . . . which in turn makes the food taste even better!

I'm a good cook. But I'm not necessarily a happy one. I fret about it, I can't stay calm.

After spending a week observing MP in the kitchen, I was truly inspired. I came home. I cooked straight from ingredients on hand and tried things I wouldn't normally try. I'm not the best at improvising and I have none of that intuitive power that I mentioned before. Man, you should have seen me go! I had a ball in the kitchen! I cooked with joy. I stayed calm and happy. I just kept seeing MP, that look of love on her face, the towel over her shoulder, her face a bit flushed, a women so totally in her element.

I often find myself asking "WWMPD?" (What would MP do?) when I come across a cooking dilemma. The answer usually involves another sip of wine and look at my spice rack. She taught me a lot about spices. Luckily, MP is at home in anyone's kitchen, so she will come to my house and cook when I need a refresher or a shot of inspiration. I've thought many times how wonderful it would be if she had the opportunity to share her joy and knowledge and style with a wider audience.

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