Cooking Up The Good Life!
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Cooking Up The Good Life!

I really enjoy watching the Food Channel - especially the shows where chefs compete against each other. They are usually given a number of ingredients that I have never, ever used such as pickle juice, marrow, flavoured milk powder, tofu, chickpeas or kumquat. While the clock is running, they need to turn these into a gourmet dish that is better than their competitors.

Many people would likely throw up their hands in defeat, complain or not finish by the deadline. If they did finish, they probably would not use the same language as those on the shows to describe what they had made.

The chefs passionately describe their creations to the panel of experts who will critique them. With pride they say "Today I have put before you... " and then use interesting phrases such as "I glazed the pan", "enjoy a whimsy of", "to cleanse your palate I introduced", or "I infused flavor into the stock'.

The panel of judges then slowly sample the food and comment on presentation, portion size and flavor. Often they suggest ways that the chef could have done even better with a touch of anchovy paste, cooking to el dante, or using more green. The meals that they like are described as rustic, aromatic, exploding in flavor or succulent.

But the part that gets me is that it's still pickle juice and flavoured milk powder!

The chefs have just learned how to make the best of what they have been given, add things from the fridge and pantry, and then describe everything in a positive manner.

Each of us has experienced things that surprise or baffle us. At times we feel overwhelmed or discouraged. We may not know what to do and can't possibly imagine that we can be creative enough to ever get to the desert round of life!

There are several lessons we can glean from the Food Channel shows:


    1. Learn some good skills. Take a course, find a mentor, do some research and you will develop expertise that will help you.
    2. Take a chance! No one knows what life will hand us but going into retreat usually won't help. It is better to try and fail than to never try. (At least you will have experience to fall back on for the next time!)
    3. Build a supportive community around you. It is usually more fun and productive to do things with others who are interested in the same things. The Food Channel has created an environment for like-minded people and you can do the same.
    4. Be open to critique from the experts. Their recommendations will likely change your perspective and provide options that you would otherwise never have considered.
    5. Learn from your mistakes. There is an old expression that states: "Insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result!" Study what you have done, consider your options and do things differently net time.
    6. Think and talk in a positive manner. Life is a balance of sweetness and crunch (not just trouble, gloom and doom)!


I hope that this week offers you bold and assertive flavours that you can incorporate into a light, delightful and balanced experience that is very satisfying!

Bon appetit!


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