Friday, January 29, 2010

Telling Tales out of School

While I doubt I'll share many of my homework assignments with you as they're mostly organic chemistry formulas and microscopic pathogen life cycles, I was doing this for my professional cooking class today and it felt more like I was writing a blog post. So because I feel so pressed for time and don't know when I'll squeeze out another, I offer to you my introduction paper to my Chef. He wanted us to present ourselves as if we're seeking a position as his assistant on a cooking show. It kinda sums up the last few years...
Dear Chef Smith,
I have been a fan of your show, "Cooking is Real" for some time now. It has come to my attention that you're seeking an assistant and I think I would fit the bill perfectly.
For many years I considered myself a pretty good cook. I loved to flip through cookbooks and peruse the gadget aisles at fine cooking stores. I watched "Good Eats" with rabid excitement, but when it came to actually preparing a meal, more often than not I'd find a less-than-stellar shortcut or complete the meal with the assistance of Ore Ida.
Then about five years ago, my (now ex-) husband came home from a meeting claiming to be on a very strict diet. I looked it over and was happy that he was making a solid effort at dropping the extra 100+ pounds that he'd been carrying around for years. It was a plan based (for the most part) on sound nutritional principles. Lots of veggies, some fruit, a smidge of dairy, limited carbs and reasonable portions of meat. I was also feeding three children at the time, so many of our old favorites continued to grace the dining table -- quesadillas, pizza and plenty of pasta. But as the weeks passed and the pounds dropped, I began spending more time in the kitchen, cutting sodium from all of our diets and enjoying more fresh, minimally processed foods.
And by virtue of a few healthier meals a week, plus walking away from a 20+ year diet soda addiction, I effortlessly dropped 10 pounds.
After he lost those 100 pounds, (which I later was told he lost so he could leave me!), my interest in diet and exercise continued. I acquired my own grain mill with which I milled wheat for breads, pastas and other baked goods (I have a thing for muffins), as well as corn for the best darn cornbread you'll ever taste. My kids soon became food snobs as well, expecting fresh flavors and nutritious balance.
When the truth came out that my husband was no longer happy in our marriage, I gave up at-home-momming and sought employment. After a few months of searching, an ad seeking "Not Your Average Cook" popped up and I thought it to be a perfect fit. Luckily the chef thought the same. I soon began cooking for a 16 bed HIV/AIDS nursing facility. Unlike most nursing homes, we enjoyed flexibility with our menus as well as recipes. We shopped the farmer's markets, eliminated typical convenience foods and introduced new flavors to our residents. I worked with varying dietary restrictions and continued my strong interest in nutrition. After several months, I finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. A dietitian.
I quickly looked up nearby programs and enrolled within days at a local college. I will graduate in Spring of 2011, and following an internship, I'll be a proud member of the American Dietetic Association. But for now...I'd love to assist you on your show.
What else makes me tick? I drive a minivan named Hot Red Speed and a sassy Italian scooter named Vivianna. I keep roller skates and knee socks with me at all times for an impromptu spin around the cul de sac. I'm training for a marathon. Natural crunchy peanut butter makes me swoon. I have a mannequin torso in my living room.
What do I bring to the [prep] table? A passion for healthfully prepared foods with minimal processing. An avid interest in bettering my technique. And a blank-slate attitude where it comes to learning from you.
I hope you'll consider using my services as your eager assistant. I think we'd make a great team.
I omitted the brain damage and my gluten fussiness. I figure both will inevitably come up sooner or later in class. I've gotta leave something to keep him on his toes...

1 comment:

Mark Logan said...

Wow. I don't know about being a cooking assistant, but I'd like to date you. Oh wait, I already am.