about

If you are reading this, let me say “Thank you!” and “Welcome!”  Every blog & website I’ve ever loved had a kick-@$$ “About” page, so here’s my attempt…

I’ve been a blogger for 12 years and a diarist for twice that time.  But for the last 7 years, I kept everything off the Net for a bunch of dumb reasons.  While I owe inspirational credit to many, Learning By Fire would still be a slow burn in my head if not for 2 very special young ladies: let’s call them sugar and spice for now.  From the day they were born, they’ve managed to bring a fresh perspective to my “semi-charmed kinda life.”  They’re now embarking on their own exciting journeys, and serve as my mirrors/sounding boards/bull$#!+ busters/stars in my sky.  (For the record, they’re not my children, LOL.)

But back to me! ;-)

I confess, I’m a walking contradiction.  I take comfort in tradition and (certain) conventional things, yet I can’t stand being generalized & often go against the grain.  I’m rooted in 2 countries at once.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, but somehow manage to be very guarded.  (Did the 7-year hiatus give me away?)  My mind is always in the kitchen and yet I spend the better part of my week in an office.

Aaaaaaaand we get down to business.

The phrase “learning by fire” really exemplifies a lot of facets in my life.  Much of what I know has been learned in this way, although I managed to excel in academia for a while too.  But for most of my life, there has been a constant flame burning for my love passion of food and cooking, which I danced around for far too long.  “Unstable”, “no fall-back”, “no money”, “too late”, “too expensive”…the usual rebuttals I would hear before (and after!) the advent of Food Network & the foodie phenomenon.  I let myself get talked out of it time and again, made strides on my own “on the under” to learn about this world I love so much. And now I made a decision to stop turning my back on who I am and what I want out of life.  So I created this space to talk about what happens next.

Let’s not get it twisted — I’m a realist. (Part of the reason it took me so long to get here!)  This is a gamble.  I’m older than most of the pros I admire, with no formal training (that will change soon).  I’ve spent limited time in professional kitchens, yet the exhaustion at the end of a busy service is still palpable.  It’s not all gloss and flash.  But I love and dread the rest with equal measure: the pressure, the heat, the honesty of food and cooking.  Because at the end of the line, there are two things that make me happiest: what’s been produced for the plate and the person whose hunger is getting sated.  Hunger for nourishment, a renewed memory, a reason to come together, wish fulfillment, you name it.  Food does it.

The path ahead could divert in infinite ways.  Worst case, I could be chopping veg for a caterer or proofing bread in a year.  But the path in itself gives me hope.

Can we say “terrifying”? Or “exhilirating”?

For me, putting this story on a blog makes it Real, by adding a “put up or shut up” component.  This will not be a short story by any means.  It will take time, and as much as I may refuse to…I might fail.  I may not be in a position to ask, but hope that you, Dear Reader, can come away from here with a smile/laugh/new way to look at your day.

(My) Do’s and Don’ts

  • I do appreciate the time it took you to read this. :-)
  • I do speak my mind, sometimes at the risk of being unpopular.
  • I don’t have an über fancy camera (right now).  But I love taking pictures, so I’ll do my best to provide visual aids ;-).
  • I don’t know all the “rules” that exist in this subculture.  I learn new ones frequently.
  • I don’t always talk about food.  (Seriously!)  Nor do I blog every day or on a predictable basis.

For better for worse, here we go!


2 Responses to “about”

  1. Your “about” is a good read. What variety is that tomato? Thanks.

    • Thank you! It was an heirloom from my local Whole Foods Market last summer – they didn’t specify in further detail, and it was mixed with chocolates and other varieties.
      I wish I could say that I bought it from a charming tomato farmer or grew it myself, but no such luck. :o) The flavor was sublime! I sprinkled a little fleur de sel on it & drizzled some Stonehouse olive oil.


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