Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Sharper Your Knife

I just finished reading, "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," by Kathleen Flinn. In this book, the author chronicles her time at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, France. It reads part memoir, part cookbook. Each chapter concludes with a recipe - either a recipe learned at Le Cordon Bleu or a recipe crafted by Flinn or one of her culinary friends. This book was a great read - I'd recommend it to any foodies out there! Especially if you are curious about what it is like to attend Le Cordon Bleu! It sounds like quite an intense, intimidating experience - it's definitely an impressive accomplishment to add to a resume!!

I guess you could say that I am a culinary-wanna-be. I've really only started to branch out & try to make things besides spaghetti during the past year. I am easily intimidated in the kitchen and always doubt my ability to successfully execute a recipe. I come from a family of amazing cooks, but I somehow missed out on the culinary gene! I don't want to be the kid that always shows up at the family gathering with a box of crackers or a bag of chips, so this is a skill that I am working on developing!! The recipes in this book are downright intimidating... but when things slow down a bit, I might enlist my aunt Barb's help, and see if she'll do a culinary boot-camp session with me. The woman can cook anything, so I am sure she won't be intimidated by the recipes!!

The book had a wonderful message to it - throughout the book, the Chefs at Le Cordon Bleu instructed the chefs-in-training to "taste, taste, taste" - they cautioned against plating a dish without tasting it throughout the cooking process. By tasting, the chef will be able to make adjustments to the dish that will enhance the taste of the finished product... and possibly prevent a train-wreck from occurring. It is difficult to fix a dish once it is plated and presented to the Chef for judging. This "taste, taste, taste" concept should apply to all aspects of a person's life. As Flinn says, "you can't wait until the dish of life is done."

On an off-topic note, I'm still feeling so drawn to France... I really think that sometimes, God puts these passions inside of a person for a reason. So I am going to follow this passion. I finish grad school this spring, and plan on taking a break from classes. But after a summer and possibly a fall off, I have decided to take French Language classes. There is a branch of a great international organization, Alliance Francaise, here in Minneapolis. They offer a language lessons, cultural events, lectures, etc, so I think this will be a great place for me to develop my language skills. After all, if I am going to return to France eventually, even if just for a vacation, it will help to have a better grasp of the language! I'm sure my mom is sort of chuckling as she reads this... I always proclaim that I am D-O-N-E with school and never intend to return... but here I am, 7 weeks from graduation, and already planning to take more classes in the future. What can I say? I love learning - especially when it's something I am really interested in. I mean, learning about financial derivatives is great and all, but it's not nearly as interesting as learning how to speak another language.


Marlys said...

I will admit that my eyebrows did raise when I saw that you want to take more classes but completely understand. We must never want to stop learning no matter how old we grow!

Unknown said...

May I borrow the book? And, you are on for the boot camp suggestion!!!