Overshare zone!

13 Nov

We’ll start in the kitchen, where most things start out anyway.

I haven’t forgotten about the blog, I haven’t even been particularly unmotivated. I’ve been cooking like crazy, looking for comfort in simmered stocks and baking projects… the truth is I’ve been avoiding this little corner of the internet. It’s hard to know how much to share to a public audience when your writing is about food, and as much as you try to make your life about food, circumstances come up that make you think about things that aren’t as pleasant or easy as throwing a roast in the oven. This summer was a rough one that raised a lot of questions and forced me to make several big, shaky, scramble-yer-brain decisions in order to maintain some semblance of sanity. To begin, I left my job and started working in a new kitchen.

I wasn’t getting the kind of cooking experience that I really wanted. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I felt any talent I had in me was going to waste there. That, and sometimes you just have to say fuck it and take care of yourself, because you certainly can’t depend on your boss(es) to do that for you, as was proven to me time and time again there. As some form of catharsis it’s tempting for me to spill everything on here, but for posterity I’ll leave it at that. I got an opportunity to work in a new kitchen, (which I’ll brilliantly just call Kitchen from here on out- creativity points!)– the kind of kitchen that embodies my food ideals. You know the drill- all locally sourced, organically grown, made from scratch comfort food that has none of those terrifying manufactured food shortcuts that are used in plenty of restaurants. I also got the chance to work with dough, which was something I’d never gotten to do before, so on some days I wake up early and hang out in the kitchen by myself, where I roll baguettes and form perfect little buns, get elbow deep in biga and totally destroy my hands in the process. It’s lovely, and I’ll probably never be able to wear nail polish again. C’est la vie.

It had been a few years since I was the new kid in a kitchen, and it’s funny to be in that spot again. I’d forgotten what it was like to consistently fuck things up and have to apologize for it. It can be frustrating, because no matter how proficient you feel you are in the kitchen you will inevitably screw up some major things simply because it hasn’t become an engrained process. Every kitchen is different, and you come to rely heavily on muscle memory to get your timing right and not totally lose your cool with the exceptional multi-tasking that the longterm staff make look easy.

Being new in this kitchen and watching myself falter and fail on a regular basis is pretty damn similar to what’s happening in the rest of my life right now. C and I ended our relationship, which I won’t get into here. Between that, my love life, my dad and his sickness and my family relationships, what I’m left with is one big pile of questions and uncertainty and sadness and nostalgia and excitement and weirdness. Just like at Kitchen, with that pile of stuff I have try to come up with solutions so I don’t lose my shit completely. I reconfigure how I go about things. It is clumsy and painful and half the time I think I look like a jackass. I might accidentally boil 12 pounds of radishes instead of beets. I might make twice as much dough as I was supposed to. I might knock over a pot of perfectly diced vegetables that represented a two hour project I now have to shortcut and re-do completely.  As any of my friends will tell you, I might well up and cry for no apparent reason, or I might crack up and dance around and smile at babies and be a happy, well-adjusted person for a moment.

For awhile it was hard to write about food because I wasn’t eating. After I started eating again, I eventually started cooking again. But still, writing wasn’t coming to me. I’m building myself back up block by block, and creative output is the last thing I’m coaxing back to the surface (besides, you know, general happiness and coping strategies. Life!).

Also, what the what is UP with it being dark All. The. Time!? It blows, and since I refuse to build a light box and only enjoy photographing food by natural light that means I have to eat at like, 4 pm at the latest to get a decent photo. Well THAT’S not gonna happen since lately I stay up until the wee, wee hours in the nighttime and that means I eat at 9 or so. Clearly I just need to eat out more, preferably lavish meals where I can get on about cream and butter and salt. In the meantime, bear with me. Soon enough I’m sure I’ll get my sea legs back. Er, my kitchen legs. Er… life legs. Here’s hoping.

4 Responses to “Overshare zone!”

  1. Matt November 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Hang in there Sal- you look so great doing it! How are you not famous yet? In all seriousness, if some nouns were switched around, you could have practically described my summer, too… But you have a grace and poise, in meeting Life’s challenges, that i’m not sure I’ll ever have. What’s more, I just realized that you may very well be a better writer than me, as well! You really are amazingly multi-talented. So here is just a thought:
    If it ever gets to the point where everything is easy and you never feel scared or overwhelmed, then I’m pretty sure you’ll be Done, and not coming back for another round! 😉 But inasmuch as we all have moments of terror and despair, you handle yours with aplomb. I am proud to be your brother, and I want you to know that you are doing just fine. Better than most.
    Changes come, and life is beautiful. I love you, Sally, and you know I’ve always got your back! 🙂
    Love, Matt

  2. Sue Wolff November 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Oh Sweetie Sweetie, missed this post and reading two weeks late. Wish I had the courage and discipline to write as you do. Even though I’m your mom, I am humbled by your frank and funny voice, and ever and always touched by the gift of your words. … would say inspired, but then, where are MY words…just cannot manage the sharing lately. Thank you thank you for putting your experience of life out here. 🙂

  3. Nora April 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Heya this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or
    if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    • wolfsoup April 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Hi Nora! I am HTML illiterate, so I just use a template from wordpress, which seems to do the trick. Honestly… I don’t know what WYSIWYG is– because I am computerally crippled.

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