I am reading a book about an early blog writer, a cook with a foul mouth, a New Yorker who decides to, in her spare time, cook every recipe in Julia Childs book Mastering the Art of French Cooking in her tiny NYC apartment. I am loving the book, dreaming of finding my own year long crazy adventure and wondering how on earth she had the time and energy.
I had ideas when I started this blog that I would be trying and recording many new things from local adventures to exotic recipes, but my last post was on, of all things, painting my house.
Where is the adventure, the trying of new things?
In the book Julie cooks while moving, while working a full time job, while enduring frozen pipes, overflowing pipes, discouraging family and friends, live lobsters and her own fear of eggs.
I am fighting a cold that started the day we moved, studying for a real estate exam I take this week, unpacking and trying to settle into our new house. That is all.
Today I unpacked boxes of teaching materials, books that represent a life I gave up by moving here. I had just started grad school and was enthusiastically teaching Spanish to college freshmen when my out of work husband found a job here, in a new state. I finished one year, but didn’t want our family apart for more time than that, so now those boxes represent the old life.
I moved to another box, this one full of books I had used while homeschooling my children, another stage in my life that has ended. Next I opened a box full of travel books. It was too much, and I took a nap.
Now I am writing while cooking supper. I wanted a familiar food, a comfort food, so I am boiling manicotti shells to stuff with cheese. I found an old bag of kale that I had planned on using for lots of exotic recipes, and was now starting to wither. I boiled some of the better pieces of kale and chopped the leaves into small pieces. When I mixed the cheeses I added the kale as well. I stuffed the manicotti shells with the cheese and kale mixture, layered the pasta and spaghetti sauce in a dish, and baked for 30 minutes.
While baking I started working on the boxes of cookbooks waiting to be put on shelves. I could not imagine cooking through one of them, and no cookbook I own has as many complicated meals as Julia Child’s book. I would love to create my own cookbook, as a matter of fact I have started a book with recipes from Costa Rica and full of (hopefully) very interesting memories. That project is right now hiding somewhere within my computer memory.
While feeling sorry for myself, the lost teaching, the travel and adventure I am missing, the interesting meals I am not creating, I smell my kale manicotti cooking in my new oven, and it smells good!
This blog was written last night, and after that wonderful meal, a good nights sleep, and after passing the real estate exam, I have a new outlook. I have the horrible habit of comparing my life, my plans, my writing, my everything, to other people. I have my own life, my own projects, and they are good. I may no longer be teaching, but starting a new career is always an adventure, and I feel like working in real estate will be very interesting. I plan to cook through a cookbook after all, my own cookbook of Costa Rican recipes. Stay tuned for that adventure, and for a few tasty meals as well. All of our lives are full of doors that shut and other doors that open. When a door shuts we turn away from that garden path, but the next door and its path may be even more interesting. And so, I step out, one foot on the path, looking ahead and not behind, at the distant view of adventure waiting out in the haze.