Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fancy Stuff Why I Cook It


This post has been simmering in my head since friday morning. I can no say why a brief chat on the street with a friend I did not expect to see in my neighborhood precipitated this but here it is.

If you know me on Facebook and you do if your any one you will know that I get both compliments and flack from food. Compliments from the few items I share with a lucky few friends and flack from the rest of the times when I was the only person to eat it but enough of a bastard to share it on Facebook. Though I would not call my food gourmet I do try to stretch my boundaries and have fun at it.
So the why of it. Firstly I just do like food and enjoy the experimentation and the act of both the cooking and the eating. I got raised in a home where improvised meals and variations on themes dominated over fixed recipes. This provided the seed for the try any thing as long as its not too complicated attitude I practice.

Secondly I spent a long time being functionally homeless. I was not a bumm, but from June 2006 to August 2010 I did not have a place of my own. From June 2006 to October 2008 the majority of my time was spent in the exploration camp at Discovery NWT. I certainly had the means to keep a place but with 6 out of 8 week spent in a camp there was no sense in it. After my a lay of I spent the tail half 2008 and much of 2009 on a cabin at the folks place. The cabin had minimal facilities but the absence of well plumbed sink turned me off cooking in there. I did some cooking during this time but it was not my space and its never easy cooking in some else's kitchen. This is where my first really sucky breads were made, the failures that lead to successes I have made more recently.

It was not until BCIT residence that I felt my cooking take off. Here at least the small slice cupboards was mine and the house had a good cooking culture. It was also under the pressure of the GIS program that I really started to value cooking as stress management function.

That brings us to now. Now I have my own place, simple basement suite in east van near lots of good shop. The unit was attractive to me the moment I walked in, it had a large kitchen, to be frank the main room is almost all kitchen. This was a pleasant contrast to the kitchen as after thought I had seen in other places. So now at last I can. But why do I and why the fancy stuff. Simply put I get bored.

Since completing the GIS program at bcit I have had an off again on a search for full time work. I have head my finances together with the fruits of two contracts, neither of which represent a direction I want to move in. The lack of steady work and a desire to feel I have done something leads me to cook and develop fancier dishes. The satisfaction of making a new bread or pasta work provides some of the satisfaction. Its a form of problem solving and creative expression.

Something I learned last year is something I enjoy. The one job, an unpaid practicum, that I enjoyed most of all was working for ESSA technologies on some software solutions. I did spend a great deal of time over my head and had to pick the brains (BRAINS!) of the team a fair bit, but I had fun. It was hard work often with my head banging against a mental wall but when I got things and managed to write some code and test , and eventually make it work it felt good. Cooking is easier then that but there is a similar satisfaction in making things work and building from scratch.

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