• taste testing
    Cooking School,  Diary,  Food Reads

    Discovering my Taste for Life

    As a woman in my thirties I’ve been developing healthy boundaries and some grit. Last night, we had the most amazing workshop on TASTE presented by author, Barb Stuckey.  As she guided us through our five tastes and five senses, which influence our experience with food and flavors, I realized how mirroring this process is to that of my developing persona. One of the most thrilling discoveries was to learn how some foods have no taste (salty, bitter, sweet, sour or umami), but our sense of smell masks this fact and presents these foods as “flavorful.”  With this test, using a jelly bean, we blocked our sense of smell and placed the bean…

  • grayscale photography of man praying on sidewalk with food in front
    Cooking School,  Diary

    Teach One and Feed Many

    The ache in my belly as I arrive to work at 6 am is not from hunger.  It is the unsettling emotions that flood my soul every time I walk inside the warm building while passing the young woman wrapped up in her sleeping bag, laid across the freezing cement sidewalk, snuggled up against the cold glass doors.  She lays in the same spot where only a year and a half ago another homeless man was stabbed to death.  A man just as kind and innocent as her.  The reality of homelessness surrounds us, as encampments form only to get removed, and shelters are overflowing with new members of this displaced population. What…

  • view of cityscape
    Cooking School,  Diary

    Fog Wall and a Broken Heart

    The value of this cooking school journey reaches way beyond the classroom.  My core persona is being tested again and again. Anxiety Test: On my 2nd night of 4-5 hours of sleep, driving back from the city, my eyes grow weary and the air turns solid!  I hit a Fog Wall.  Driving at grandma speeds, barely seeing the lines of the freeway, which keep me from rolling down the hillside, my anxiety takes control and suddenly I picture deer jumping out in front of me causing me to swerve out of control (which didn’t happen).   Meanwhile, I’m just 2 exits away, when I decide to get off the freeway only to drive through…

  • photo of a sign and eyeglasses on table
    Cooking School,  Diary

    Mind Under Pressure

    Much needs to be said about the mind games we play with ourselves and sometimes we just need to learn a new technique for winning. Going into this, journey of cooking school, many messages of doubt were placed and stored in my mind.  I had to battle those out. You’re too slow, too old and can’t drive at night. It’s too dangerous for you-You’re gonna get hurt. You can’t handle the pressure. You’re taking from your kids. You’re a bad mother for being gone 2 nights a week and every Saturday for 8 months. You made a bad financial decision. You’re going to struggle. First days driving to the City (SF): I remember…

  • white and pink flowers beside a canister
    Cooking School,  Diary

    The Speed of Dreams is Surreal

    You know that feeling of an intense dream that involved more people, places, and action scenes than seemingly possible?  Like, a dream my youngest told me, which involved our neighbors, our immediate family and some distant relatives-all fleeing for their lives-if it wasn’t the ground breaking open from an earthquake, then it was the vicious prey animals chasing them down.  At this point of an impossible scenario, you realize you’re dreaming and you try to wake yourself up. With a a quick gasp of breath and heart pounding you open your eyes only to see that just a few minutes have passed since you first closed your eyes. Sometimes it seems as if time…