In search of inspiration

I haven't posted in a few days for a few reasons.  Prime among them is my recent struggles with macarons.  Tricky confections to make, indeed.  I've never experienced heartbreak like this in the kitchen before, or for that matter such a thrill from success.   I'll have a post on my efforts with these prized Parisian cookies soon (as well as a posts in the works on spherification, a meditation on variation and simplicity in cooking).

To be honest, I'm not sure where all my efforts will ultimately take me.  The constant questioning and self-criticism makes me wonder if I can really strive for what inspires me and succeed.  Do I have the energy and imagination for the kitchen?  Seems like a calling for the young.  34th birthday coming up.  Maybe subconsciously that's driving this self doubt.  I mean, I read about 24 year-olds working in Michelin starred restaurants and think...what the hell am I thinking?  Am I crazy for wanting to do a stage in a restaurant here?  At my age... 16 hour days of hard labor...yeah right.

Yet, there are small victories.  Silly thought it may sound, I derive great pleasure from handling my knife better and better day after day.  The ability to cut effortlessly, quickly, and unthinkingly is a manifestation, small though it is, of progress.  The tray full of macaron success was a high point.

And then there is the French Laundry.  Unlike others who are doing great work, I am inspired by what goes on there.  A lot of times I see what some people are doing with their art and think...fuck me, I could never do that.  But somehow, one of the greatest evokes the exact opposite.  The simplicity and flawless execution makes me think I can do it.   I guess that's what makes the French Laundry so great in my eyes.  They make it look easy, but the more I learn the more I know, this shit is hard.

Today is another day.  Time to push a little further.  Practice a little more.

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