Saturday, September 26, 2009


If I could do anything I wanted to do, I would be in Culinary School. I would be a classically French trained chef! Sauces, oh how I love sauces. Any kinds of sauces of all colors and flavours. Sweet sauces, raspberry dotted around a single slice of chocolate ganache cake. Or savory sauces, puddled under a perfectly flame grilled filet mignon. Mild sauces and inferno hot sauces like one of my favorites, Serrano creme fraiche drizzled over my Roasted tomato and roasted yellow pepper cream soup. Cream sauces, pestos, or infused oils drizzled dramatically over perfectly seared scallops. The list could go on and on. Suffice to say, I would create culinary masterpieces, meticulously planning each and every detail to perfection. Gone are the days when I color coordinated the food on my plates, filling every square inch to sickening abundance. Although those times were not all bad. I knew I was having an off day when I discovered all the food I had prepared was all the same color. Pretty frightening when you sit down and look at your plate to find you are having a completely monochromatic meal. Chicken breast, with mashed potatoes and cauliflower. Or the really scary days... rare steak, beefsteak tomatoes and beets (who made me mad that day I wonder and was I safe to be around?). I learned an awful lot about myself during those times. Just because I could make it fit didn't necessarily mean we needed it there. Or maybe that thought "Oh look how pretty, I have six different colors on the same plate", was not such a great thing after all. So I have come to this place in my life that I am the human culinary sponge. I want to learn everything I can. One hitch, I'm getting to that age, will I be able remember it all? Unfortunately, life always seems to have limits of some kind. For budget reasons, I did have to cut back the 5 and 6 cooking classes per month to the tune of $50 to $115 bucks per class. I can't even mention what I spent on ingredients after those classes. Central Market probably had to redo their budget when I stopped going all the time. So from all those classes I did manage to build a huge stockpile of recipes and ideas that fill 12 three-inch binders, yep, I said 12. It feels like an illness maybe? If so I won't admit it. So I charge on, learning every tidbit or morsel(pardon the pun) I can. You never know, that one additional technique could change my culinary world as I know it. And that world is my Guinea Pig. Thankfully I am surrounded by wonderful family and amazing friends that are not afraid to try anything new I prepare. My dear sweet husband thinks I just have to have parties or people over all the time "you are very social" he says. It's really not that, okay just a little bit, but that I really just want a reason to dream up and create another meal. I will share some with you along the way, but here's the thing, I want constructive criticism. There are some family members (Jess and my mom) that just hate that. Dad gets it though. I want to break it down and critique it to get ideas and suggestions on how to make it better next time. I never get my feelings hurt, I really want to know. So last thing for now, it's 3am after all, did you see the movie Julie and Julia? I was miserable and in tears afterward. Don't get me wrong I though it was really cute and what an amazing accomplishment. Good grief, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, what a monumental undertaking! I just came out of the theatre knowing I had to do something to begin following my dream. I can't possibly be destined to spend the rest of my working days running an insurance agency. I mean seriously, have you ever heard the expression "watching paint dry"? It can be that boring. I mean wouldn't you rather spend your days hearing "Oh my God that's amazing" instead of "In 15 years I've never had an accident and now you want to raise my rates?!". Seriously, who wouldn't? So I embark on this journey, counting on your help, to see where it takes me. Who knows, maybe I can change the world as we know it with one really fantastic sauce!!!! It could happen.

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  1. I'm bringing home fresh Mahi from my fishing trip in Florida. My mouth waters thinking about a spicy sauce with crab and shrimp over a grilled or blackened steak of fresh Mahi. You and your great cook Mom will have to team up on this one. I can't wait. I'm on I-10 about half way back. See you soon. Love, Dad

  2. Leslie - you are an amazing person - I'm so proud of you. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BLOG. I cannot think of anything I could contribute but I will happily eat anything you prepare anytime. Daddy raved on about your writing and your creativity. What a daughter - and beautiful too, inside and out. It is never too late to begin anything in life - we will all have to help you find a way.

    I LOVE YOU, Mom


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