Thursday, September 24, 2009

OK...I'm one of those people....

On Day One of my new culinary classes, we had nervous introductions all around and tales of culinary inspirations. Most had started cooking rather early: at ages 10, .. 8, .. 5, ... It seemed everyone was trying to outdo each other with who had begun earliest. I was waiting for someone to say he had once made Chicken Fricassée while in the womb.

I have to admit, I was one of those telling of cooking early, at age 10 or so. Growing up in rural Mississippi, I usually had to create my own avenues of fun, especially in summer months when school was out. Not having many other kids around, I would get out my mother's cookbooks and play. My grandparents lived with us, bragged on my experiments, and made sure I didn't burn the house down.

During those 1960s summers, I cooked for fun and for self-expression, though I didn't know what self-expression meant. Had no idea anyone went to school for a career in cooking, or that such schools or careers existed. The adults I knew eked out a living toiling at jobs they hated.

Opening a box of cake mix, I thought I was a gourmet, and, as my offerings improved, my much older cousin would pay me $2 each for my cakes for his Sunday School classes. (That's $2 per entire cake, not per slice.) Everyone raved over the chocolate ones with the swirled frosting.

My grandmother showed me how to make rice pudding. Didn't think it was nearly so sophisticated as my box-mix cakes with the frosting swirls. Didn't know that her lessons were golden. Today, I would die to have her rice pudding recipe. And, her bread pudding one made with biscuits.

So, after at least 5 career changes, I am finally focusing on something I have always loved, but had never taken seriously. And, I'm applying science to the art and anticipating the possibilities: cooking school instructor, food stylist/photographer, the Next Food Network Star?

But, still, in the back of my mind nags the question: "What for, and at this late date, where could it possibly lead .... ?"


  1. My husband changed careers and went to culinary school later in life too. He's now been a chef for 11 years and it was a great choice for him! Congrats to you!

    I'll keep checking back in....

    You can follow along my travel adventures on my blog - and maybe some of our food adventures as well!

  2. Marlene, You have a wonderful site here, and you are taking advantage of a great learning experience going to culinary school... Go for it, I wish I would have gone now. But I followed a different path. But now I'm cooking, and loving every minute of it. I think you have something to offer here with your blog. Something to share with people that say, I can't do that now, Well yes you can and your doing it. Great job. Keep cooking and above all have fun with it.

  3. Thanks so much, Shell, for the congrats, and I wish your husband the best! I'm now following your blog! It's great!

    Michael, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. You know, it's not too late for you to go.... If you'd rather not, I understand. Enjoy every minute of your retirement!

  4. Good for you on follwing your dreams! That is the true way to success.

  5. Congratulations on going back to school!!! I found your blog through networkedblogs on facebook. I am now following and will be checking back often. I love to cook and will enjoy your stories of culinary school. I have just started a blog where people will be able to submit a picture and recipe of a dinner they have recently cooked and have it published to the site. If you cook anything you would like to share please check out the site and submit a dinner. Thanks again I will be checking back.



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