There was a two year period where I cooked. Cooked a lot. Spent significant time each week pouring over new recipes and deciding what I would make over the next week. I certainly repeated recipes that worked out well but I’d also frequently try new things. I became extremely familiar with what I had available to me in terms of ingredients versus what I would need to purchase. I assembled huge binders full of recipes that I wanted to try out, printing them out, cutting them from food magazines (I subscribed to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and also Gourmet until it was canceled). Most weeknights I would spend at least an hour cooking and on weekdays I would usually make at least one meal per day as well. It felt normal. To be fair, the local restaurant scene where I was living at the time was pretty limited, although there were a couple of good options, so cooking did allow for greater variety. But I got really into it, thinking that I was a cooking person.
Then we moved to Chicago and I stopped. Almost completely.
At times I worry about this, wonder if writing will end up taking a similar path. If I am no more of a writer than I am a cook. If it will be something I just stop doing.
Of course, maybe that’s not the best way to look at it. Maybe I am both a writer and a cook but I’m not very good at going full bore at more than one thing at a time. And I am still much better at cooking then I was before my two year intensive, and hopefully I’m better at reading then when I started as well. And maybe if I did stop writing for a while that would be okay, I could come back to it. Just like I can still make a much better than average pizza when there is a call for such heroics, and can make a delicious caramelized black pepper chicken without straining myself.
Writing notes: I was going really strong for a while, working away like mad, and then yesterday I did a bit less and then today I did a lot less. I’m happy with how much I’ve got down though so I think it has been a good experiment doing this residency thing.
Reading notes: Continuing with Best American, also working my way through Rotters, which I’m enjoying.