Writing is not therapy and whomever says that is too mentally healthy to be a writer. Nor is it a hobby and anyone who calls it that is no writer’s friend and usually thinks TV is a hobby.
But every writer has a hobby. For Hemingway it was fishing. Faulkner adored horse riding and training. For Harlan Ellison, it is litigation. However, I didn’t have one and I had a big zit of angst and rage that was ready to either burst or replace my head. When I finally admitted I was miserable to my wife, she suggested I pursue a passion that I had talked about for many years, but never really gotten around to.
I am a born-again Foodie. No matter how poor I was, I would scrape up enough shrapnel to dine at a local bistro or restaurant. The scent of butter-garlic overpowered the bitter herbs of poverty. I worked as a prep chef during my twenties but never really learned to cook.
Most people tell me I’m a really good cook and I retort that I’m a good reader. I can follow a recipe and know the difference between salt and sugar and that the flame belongs under the pan. However, I can’t tell if a steak is rare or medium rare just by touching it. My omelettes were runny monstrosities. I have created trout jerky, blackened french fries and pasta chowder. I didn’t learn writing by reading a book, but by learing from better writers and eating my own bad meals.
Walking into Willliams Sonoma makes me want to prostate myself in front of the $109.00 peppermills. The gleam of copper core stainless steel stock pots make my soul vaporize like finely diced garlic in reduced butter. Yet, giving me such instruments of pleasure is like giving a eunuch discount coupons in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. I wouldn’t know the first thing.
So, I bought Jamie’s Food Revolution, a cookbook for absolute beginners and people like me who want to unlearn cooking. My goal is to learn all the recipes. Also, to augment my goal, I will be taking classes in cooking basics like grilling, sauteing and baking. I want to cook a steak to perfection and make my rice fluffy yet firm. I wan’t to cook so amazing that I never go to a fine restarant again.
I will keep you informed on as I progress toward becoming a Gastromage.