After several failures in the kitchen (including continuous failure with trying to flip eggs), I think I was due for some sort of marginal success. Let it be known that I can make risotto.
True, I already knew I could make risotto, but this was a win I needed desperately. I was self-conscious and defeated in that commercial kitchen and running low on pep elsewhere. Wild mushroom risotto was a nice confidence booster. I've made risotto many times, so I get the basic premise of feeding the oiled rice aromatic stock periodically and massaging it with a spatula into creaminess. This by no means meant that I had the risotto in the bag. In my group of three, I was solely responsible for the risotto, which included simmering stock, roasting garlic and making parmesan crisps all in less than three hours. The list of ingredients was extensive and involved three different kinds of mushrooms (dried morels, porcini and buttons). But I did it. The rice was creamy and flavorful. The mushrooms added just the faintest sweetness, which I learned to enhance by adding lemon juice. The steamed soy beans and the mushrooms gave the dish an Asian depth to a traditionally Italian item. There was so much I learned: like how easy it is to make parmesan crisps (bake a pile of parmesan cheese until it melts together), about homemade stock (it doesn't take as long as I thought), and the incredible importance of mise en place (another extra fancy French word that basically means preparation and which I basically suck at as a general rule). Maybe, just maybe I can do this.