Monday, October 4, 2010

A Bird's Habit

I'm sure other people get overwhelmed with the life that is swirling around them just like me. This past month has been a doozy. There has been so much new stuff to digest. I consciously gave away the comfort of knowing exactly what to expect at my old job. I could sit in cubicle, edit things when I felt like it, I knew where everything was, I knew everybody (and I liked them), I could listen to music all day long, I went on my walks around the industrial business park and that was good enough to get me through most days. Now I have this job at a pastry shop and cafe where there's something new I haven't been told every single time I go in. Not to mention the humilty of serving people their food and cleaning up after their mess. And that doesn't even touch on school. Culinary school is completely new. I'm used to reading and regurgitating. When it comes to academia, I can be a star. This is not so in Culinary Foundations. Typically, I can run or do yoga or bicycle or go climbing at the gym to burn off some stress, but not so when you have a lung that doesn't quite expand all the way. Simple things like sleeping have even been a physical challenge in the past couple weeks. As my friend Alexis says, "I've got a gypsy's heart with a bird's habit."

I've thrown out my old familiar ways for an exciting new path, but I'm grappling to find a routine that sets my racing mind at ease.

Thursday night I was pleasantly suprised that I could still come back to my own kitchen and lose myself in the preparation for a meal of roast chicken with vegetable risotto. The world was quiet while I rubbed salt and pepper all over the skin of young hen. I rhythmically diced carrots, peppers, mushrooms, (my favorite) onion and garlic into haphazard squares that flavored a creamy rice risotto. I could think of nothing but the moment--the smells, the sights, the sounds, the taste--which is the way I wish I could live always.

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken:
1 whole chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, halved
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff with lemon, garlic, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Bake on roasting tray for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until juices run clear. Let sit for 10 minutes before carving.

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