Every year starts out the same.
I get this burr in my bonnet to be better or learn something or find some new thing to master.
One year, it was brewing beer.
Of course, once I had done it and realized I wasn’t going to be immediately able to play with ingredients like I do cooking, it lost its appeal. Not that that was a bad thing, cause my husband took over the brewing supplies and magic was born.
Another year, I decided to learn Italian. I am killer at asking where Marco is, but after that, things get a little shaky. Scusi, moi!
This year was no different. I decided tonight to not only restart my social marketing specialization class, but, quel suprise! restart learning Italian. Ciao Bella!
It made me think about all the other things I would like to learn too.
I would like to learn how to bake.
I can make a mean potato leek soup, and my soufflés are pretty good, but I can’t bake. Really. My cakes turn out flat, my biscuits turn out like hockey pucks and let’s not even start on my breads.
I think it has something to do with needing to really follow a recipe.
My mom used to tease me that I only knew two temperatures to cook with – high and off. I’m thinking I also only know two ways to cook – wing it or order out.
Following a detailed recipe precisely aside, I think I’m also pretty tough on doughs when you get right down to it. I mean… I don’t think something is mixed properly until it no longer resembles a group of ingredients, but rather one big mass of other stuff. Like, when I make eggnog, I don’t necessarily FOLD the egg whites into the rest of the mixture… I keep stirring it in until the whole thing looks like yellow fluffiness. It just makes sense to me to do it that way.
But apparently, you’re not supposed to do that with all doughs. Who knew? And then there’s this whole “let your dough rest” thing… what a crock! It’s just sitting there as it is while I do all the hard work of kneading and rolling and cutting and mixing – heck, I’M the one that needs the rest!
Speaking of resting, I think I also want to learn how to workout without actually working out.
I know that sounds stupid, but since I have to have my hip replaced sometime this, I need to figure out a way not to balloon up to a million pounds while recuperating without starving myself to death.
Surely there is a way to do something resembling exercise while lying in bed. According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, I won’t even be allowed to reach down and grab blankets from the end of my bed, let alone cross my legs, so I’m just wondering what I’m going to be able to do that is going to burn off any appreciable amount of calories. Other than eating celery all day, I’m stumped.
I think I would also like to learn how to make my own cheese and sausage. These two have been goals of mine for some time, but I never really got the chance for one reason or another.
For one, I haven’t been able to find unpasteurized cow’s milk to make cheese with.
My husband got me a meat grinder/sausage making thingy to go on my mixer, but the only clues I can find to make sausage are kits from Academy sports – and honestly, it just seems like this whole sausage making thingy shouldn’t be so complicated it needs to be dumbed down and in kit form.
Of course, I haven’t really looked that hard either.
I mean, how difficult can it be to insert meat and spices into a blender and come out with yummy goodness?
The impetus for all this cheese and sausage making came from a dream where I was stranded in the wilds of North Dakota trying to make my way back home from Vegas after a terrorist invasion of the U.S.
It was a very vivid dream and the sausage and cheese making came in handy when the troop of stragglers I was with landed at an abandoned farm.
In hindsight, I hardly think that cheese and sausage making would have helped me and my little posse of survivors flourish. Instead, I am thinking it would have led to heart disease and high cholesterol, resulting in our untimely deaths, meaning, of course, the terrorists would win.
But, if I recall the dream correctly, it did engender me in the eyes of the rest of the merry band of troopers, making me the important one that must be kept for their culinary prowess.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
I still want to learn how to make them though. How cool would it be to serve an anti pasta platter and say “Oh, DO try the mozzarella – I just made it last week. I’m working on perfecting the capicola, but you MUST try this summer sausage I put up last year. It’s simply divine with little hints of wood mushroom and arugula…”
I used to put up a list of some 734 impossible things I’d like to accomplish each year like write a novel, or get more involved in your community.
I’ll write regardless. And I’ll find ways to get involved and make a difference, so putting that on a list of accomplishments is like putting “write to do list” on your “to do list” just so you have something to cross off.
So… let’s limit it to things I can learn. Italian. Baking. Exercises that aren’t exercises. Making cheese and sausage.
Seems easy enough. Right?
Lo capisco! Arrivederci e buona gianata!
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2016
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