Tuesday, June 17, 2014

With a little help from my friend...

I know, I know. It has been a ridiculously long time since my last post. I’m sure some of you are asking, “What have you been doing?” or “What made you decide to start blogging again?” The first question is easy. I’ve moved twice, started writing for OKRA Magazine, and taught over 2500 students in my cooking classes. As for the second, …

I recently had the pleasure of sharing lunch with the generous, kind, inspiring, amazingly talented, and always gracious Nancie McDermott. Nancie urged me strenuously to blog again. Her last words to me that afternoon were “1 post, 1 week, don’t over think it, and don’t make it too long…or I’ll have to yell at you.”

In the days that followed our lunch, two of Nancie’s insights kept playing in my head. The first was an old Chinese saying: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, but the second best time is today.” That is, don’t lament what you haven’t done. You can’t change the past, but you can get started (or restarted) today. Just show up every day and take baby steps. You’ll get stronger along the way.

The other was that we, as professionals, have a lot of knowledge that we take for granted. The techniques and tidbits we have stockpiled may be common practice for us, but they could be what motivates someone else to get in (or back in) their kitchen. As a culinary instructor, that hit me hard. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen something on Facebook or Twitter liked or shared a thousand times or called “genius” and thought, “Really? There are people out there who didn’t know that?” So, please, don’t take your talent, expertise, or experience for granted. Celebrate and share them. As Nancie reminded me, “You never know what someone else doesn’t know.”    

Thank you, Nancie! Here is my first baby step, my first post in over two years. And, by the way, I’ve already begun writing my next!

P.S. On top of being such a wonderful person, Nancie is the author of 10 cookbooks chock full of delicious dishes (including Southern Cakes, Quick and Easy Thai, Southern Pies, and Quick and Easy Vietnamese) with another on the way. Please read more about her and keep an eye out for her new book at http://www.nanciemcdermott.com/index.htm. Nancie also runs her own blog http://nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com.  You can find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NancieMcDermott and Twitter @nanciemac.