Intentions, Master Chef Junior, and the Reason I'm Here

New Year's Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the anticipation of a fresh start and a blank canvas. I love having a day specifically dedicated to looking back at the past 12 months and looking at everything that's made up the fabric of my life. It's a chance to take a step back and look at everything I've done and at everything that's happened to me. It doesn't matter if looking back makes me think, "Glad that's over with -- good riddance!" or "Holy shit, I can't believe I was doing xyz only a year ago" or both.  What counts is being able to take stock, close that chapter and look ahead to the next 6 months and get excited for all the possibility of a new year. 

I make intentions at the beginning of every year. I keep them purposefully vague. I find the more specific I am with an intention, the more I set myself up for failure. Keeping my intentions conceptual allows me to be kinder to myself. It also give me room to evolve my ideas about my intention.  

This year, my intention is to nourish myself. Right now, that mostly means staying active (taking walk breaks at work, doing yoga at least twice a week), eating better, and carving time out for my writing and creativity. 6 months from now, my idea of nourishment might be completely different. 10 months from now? Who knows. 

***

At the beginning of the year, I was watching Master Chef Junior and marveling at these young humans who, at the ages of 6-12 years, have more cooking & baking skills and knowledge than I currently possess after being alive for 30 years. They were asked to make their "signature dish," which meant "putting themselves on a plate." 

I asked myself what my signature dish would be. What would my signature dish look and taste like? What would it look like to put myself on a plate? 

***

I love to cook. That doesn't mean I'm skilled at it. It just means that I love to do it, and I injure myself a lot in the kitchen in really weird ways. I love the idea of baking, but until recently, it's not something I've had patience for. I'm at a point in my cooking/baking life where I can go off-recipe and not panic. I can make substitutions and not panic. Something in the course of my cooking/baking adventure can go terribly wrong, and I can take steps to fix it without feeling like the world is ending.  

***

All this is to say that this website is part of my intention of nourishment. I'm going to keep the mission statement of this blog loose; I'm going to let it evolve. Right now, I'll write about my food adventures and injuries, and I know it will lead to the intersections food has with memory. I'm also going to write about whatever else I want -- the books I'm reading, the movies I love, the things I'm nostalgic for.   

So, here's to 2016 : the year of nourishment. And, I guess, it's also the year of putting myself on a plate. 

***

Why Medusa Ironbox? I'll save that for later. One thing at a time. 

 

On sassing my recipes & making a childhood favorite with a stranger's recipe

On sassing my recipes & making a childhood favorite with a stranger's recipe