Wednesday, January 4, 2012

< Insert name here! >

Ever feel like your life is a recipe?
<insert ingredients here>
A dash of salt, 3 eggs, 2 lbs of butter.
Before you beat the eggs, make sure to grease the pan.
<insert order of operations here>
Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
<Insert method and time requirements here>

Apparently if the recipe is followed to perfection, then the result will be that which is desired by the baker and those eating the concoction.

Y U M!?--

I almost forgot, not everyone uses cook-books.
Are those people who are guided by instinct any less talented? Are their creations any less savory?
Who is to judge; when taste is so nuanced, so relative, so contextual. 

Chefs consider themselves artists.
To become great, they need to be unique.
Once they’ve obtained a certain level of success, they write cook-books.
Others flock to purchase these books and attempt the recipes.
<insert Steve Jobs’ biography here>

But it never quite tastes the same.

When you live your life as a pseudo-chef, a recipe follower, a chaser of <insert life milestone here> can it ever taste as good?

Some of us would argue that it’s impossible. That creativity is the foremost ingredient.

While others do it every day, and pretend it is more than possible, desirable even.
They are successful at judging the palates of others, and convincing them that their taste buds are de rigueur.

But I can’t pretend to like the taste of egg, anymore than I can force emotion.

Never been one to follow directions, instructions, recipes…..
but then again, I rarely cook

Maybe I need to cook more? Truth is I’m a little frightened of the oven…it’s hot… permanent… I’ve been burnt you know. Still have the scar, seems to be fading, but it’s not quite gone.
Perhaps if I cooked more, I’d understand that ad-hoc cooking is never a guarantee. Then maybe I too would be scared into following<insert fear here> recipes.

For now, as an inexperienced chef, I will scoff at those who follow recipes, at those who dare not add an extra dash of salt. Maybe they are prudent not to waste ingredients, perhaps their cholesterol is high, or they can’t afford to dine at a restaurant in the event that the recipe goes awry….but that’s their problem, not mine.

<insert ridiculous regimented lifestyle here> so that I can traipse over it with my authenticity…..maybe even have a picnic on it.

But I certainly won’t beat the eggs <insert metaphor for your life> until they reach the desired consistency.

Because I have never quite understood what ‘desired’ means.

Runny? Stiff? Fluffy?

Only you know the requirements of your own recipe….and secretly you know that following Martha Stewart’s simply won’t do.

In the meantime see how many chocolate chips are required to fill the chip on your shoulder, because you really can’t be a good chef with that type of physical hindrance.

Your attempts at reading recipes are futile.
The number isn’t written anywhere.

It’s something you’ll figure out for yourself. Likely you won’t get an appointment with a physiotherapist till after you’ve already taken out a mortgage to purchase a restaurant….and by then it will be too late. The restaurant will own you and your recipes, both actual and perceived.

Don’t worry, you can still wear the tall chef hat, for some people it’s enough. Appearances aren’t always what they seem, but for some, they’re sufficient.

Sadly, for you they are foremost.

So enjoy your beautiful casserole, but don’t forget that after you’ve eaten it <insert gastro-intestinal illness here> you’ll need to eat something of substance….and be located within close proximity of a toilet.

<insert middle finger here> but it might be too late. You may not make it that far.

In life <shit> happens.

Enjoy the journey or suffer the consequences.