Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Terrible Twos, an Anniversary


The blog is two today. In some ways my second born, this rascal became part of who I am, growing outside of me but from within, pushing me and making me question myself - what I am and what I want to be. It is responsible for parts of my anxiety, quitting my legal job, and repeatedly banging my head against the wall while trying to break into a completely new industry - writing.

French Press Memos, a name I detest at times, has been through nearly 120 posts that widely ranged from total fun to complete sadness, but always tied in a recipe. The site is still waiting for a facelift (sounds premature on a young baby, but hey) and the post-writing is not as frequent as I would like it to be (my fault, of course), but it gave me the platform I needed to practice my writing and search for my voice.


Enter the terrible two - a time when an otherwise cooperative rascal will surprise with a whole new set of behaviors: assertiveness, often saying no, doing exactly what it is not supposed to do or throw itself on the floor in a temper tantrum; making demands that are alternatively frustrating and amusing; asking at times for something it doesn't even want just to see if it can get it - testing limits over and over.

My writing follows the stereotype. The desire for independence was there - me do it- even when there is no skill (hello technology hell). Assertiveness manifested in slinging writing ideas, pitches, engagements and commitments, some that produced more busy work than anything else. Some of these I did not want or need- it was simply about testing limits. With new projects came anxiety, fear of the unknown, and growing pains. I am now experimenting with surrendering to the growth.

I started writing more outside the blog- first a column on the Gabby Gourmet website, then a legal article, then a section of a guide book, then an article in a magazine and then a couple of more. Now, I write articles twice on a local food site and will soon launch a weekly spirit column on another site. It has been a trip - much soul-searching, balancing, dealing with rejection, creating my own path.

I don't know what is ahead. I don't know the road. I don't know how to steer, where to turn, and when to break. I can just try to find my way around it, do what feels right, work harder, always keep open to trying new things, be nice to myself, and respect my limitations.


French Press Memos will remain my home for sharing thoughts and recipes. Today I chose an easy sauce: a garlic cream that complements most meat well. I picked it for simplicity, flavor, and for the playfulness- things I like to believe this blog is about. I love it with braised lamb but I dipped some chicken in it one night and good things happened.

Come back often and tell me what to do better. Like any two year old, I may not listen but I will sure try.

Garlic Cream, a recipe inspired by Au Pied du Cochon

Ingredients: 1 garlic head, 1/2 cup heavy cream, a pinch of salt.

Peel the garlic and add to the cream in a small heavy bottomed pot over low heat with a pinch of salt.


Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Puree in a blender and strain. Allow it to cool down- it will harden significantly as it gets colder. Serve cold over your favorite cut of braised meat or favorite veggie in need of some garlic goodness.

Photography by Jennifer Olson.

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