My week has once again been filled with food, ephemera and other adventures. The breakdown:
Education: Week one in the kitchen brought knife skills, at which I am apparently total crap. Menu and recipe math, I don’t blink about. Consistently chopping tuberous and true root vegetables into gratuitously tiny shapes? That is a challenge. But I unapologetically pride myself in stretching my lack of coordination to day 3 before acquiring one small nick. (Watch out for those paring knives. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you). We were thrown into the quick pace of a crowded kitchen to apply knowledge not yet imparted to the creation of culinary bases – stocks, soups and sauces. I made it through hand whisked mayonnaise without gagging and hollandaise without dousing everything in it. The difference, you ask? Butter, my friends. It’s all about the butter.
The garden club promises to be both interesting and entertaining, and I have modest hopes of not killing anything as I learn.
Food: This week took me to Café Malta. I walked into the aesthetics of my dream. Small. Charming. Tidy but inviting. Simple but well executed. Papered tables that somehow felt classy instead of cheap. Maybe it was the properly folded napkins and set flatware… something about not unrolling your utensils, or picking them from a bin changes the whole feel of a place. (Silly? I don’t think so. We like to think big picture, but we live in the details, don’t we?) Malta had far more to offer than a pretty face. The impeccable gulf striped bass and garlic broccoli made the hectic edges of the day blur. I now know they host weekend brunch and monthly themed dining events. I’m in love. Remember my face, Malta. You’ll be seeing it frequently.
Spring: March is full blast, and I have begun to feel I take my morning drive to school through a Hitchcock movie set. Birds, everywhere. Multitudes gather on wires, swarm the skies low over my rooftop. They inspire in me Tippi Hedren-worthy unease. They are grackles, and reportedly show their numbers fully in the autumn, and at dusk. I have confidence my 620 a.m. commute will condition me, but for now, I take not the two miles between the house and their gathering for granted.
April first ushers in a new baseball season. My beloved/wretched Braves, once a mere six hour drive from me, will likely only see me in person once this year. I plan to make up the time by investing in Texas home teams. I am now conveniently located between two teams to whom I have always been happy to lend fan support. It’s a beautiful game, a new season, a clean slate. I chomp my bit and wait less than patiently.
Local ponderance: Maybe I’m a little more granola than I once thought. I specifically chose my educational institution because of its certification and teaching in the area of sustainable food. That’s no secret. The appeal is simple and feeds directly into my business philosophy. I find myself lightly landed in the south of a city that embraces that idea and so many more. Because of my purposefulness in location, it took only a breath or two for me to automatically feed the recycling bin rather than just the trash, and welcome the city ban of plastic shopping bags in favor of reusable and recyclable materials. It’s only mental effort, really. In a town that makes it painless, there is no excuse to be anywhere but on the bandwagon, knowing full well it’s the beginning of personal practice for what I hope to one day do with business.
Nerd Alert: South By Southwest kicked off this week, and I am picking and choosing my involvement. I rushed today to witness the full scale model of Johnson Space Center’s Webb telescope. It is an awe inspiring moment, the realization of our technology, our abilities. The real deal will be hauled into space to discover things we have yet to dream. Also, I asked approximately 4 bajillion questions… but they were good sports. My night holds a telescopic viewing of the PANSTARRS comet. All the fires in the sky, in perpetual states of kindling and snuffing, will forever hold a marker in my head and heart.
History is always hurling pieces of itself our way, if only we bother to look.
Title quote: Lucretius
Photo credit: Chris Gunn, Webb Telescope Model SXSW 2013