|"What am I doing?"|
I had turned the simplistic recipe of frying thinly sliced shallots in hot canola oil until just before golden brown delicious, then removing and placing them onto a landing pad of towels, spreading and salting quickly... into a four page long description.
I have decided I should never write a cookbook.
My terrible addiction to long descriptions and emotional observations wouldn't allow me to even reach a description on cooking a dish, let along an ingredient list. More than two pages of the original "shallot crunchies" story was an owed to my friends and co-workers, trying to fit an individual story, reference, thanks or admiration to them all was causing me to write a book, a task I although one day hope to conquer, but not now; nor in such a way.
I will however comment on the major metaphor that was the point of the original story. Making shallot crunchies requires few ingredients, little technique, but full attention to details and nuances. Some of the best chefs in my kitchen struggled with them at first, and even after mastering the task, fucked them up now and then; myself included.
So here I am, after over two years in Seattle surviving my two first kitchen jobs (one of which I believe turned me from a cooking enthusiast to a line cook that could hold her own) heading back to my roots. I find myself reflecting on what how I've grown, and who I've become.
So who have I become? That is a question is one I've been contemplating a lot already since I left the city. I've been traveling the country by truck with my parents, stopping at monuments and parks, eating shitty food, them gambling and me reading and sleeping.
I have become fried, like the shallot. I've lost my ties to the real world, work being my only focus, my life slowly dissipating from me the way the moisture cooks out of the shallot. I've also become caramelized in the best of ways, pushed to my limits, slow and low; creating a chef who is not only sweet and savory, but powerful and confident. Lastly, I am seasoned, having to do endless tasks to perfection, while multitasking and fighting for space. I can now hold my own in a way I never thought I could.
Luckily, I wasn't fried to the point of bitterness. I sadly left many
co-workers whom I now consider mentors, friends, and family.
So thank you to the city and the people in it whom changed my life in such a wonderful way. I wish you nothing but the best in all your future endeavors; especially your shallot crunchy game.
Now I get to continue my journey, returning to friends and family whom supported my flee to Seattle years ago. I look forward to see how they have grown, and remind myself why I fell in love with food in the first place.
ah suh dudes.
photo credits to my dear friend matt