As part of my goals for year 28, I have committed myself to creating one new dish a week. This commitment comes from many needs and a few wants. The needs include offering #theadventuresofsj a variety of food and keeping my food choices abundant. The wants include having #theadventuresofsj want to eat exciting things like brussel sprouts and flank steak and being able to create a “cookbook” that I will be able to use whenever food gets boring. So what better way to start out this goal than with a cooking class?!
This was my first cooking class since elementary school. I used to be so excited about cooking classes. The fun recipes and different people, plus snacks at the end, made the class the highlight of my week. I had such high expectations for this class, which made it the highlight of my month! Once the class started, I observed the chef talking about how there’s no exact science to cooking and that sometimes you need to stray from the recipe. Sometimes you need to use a 1:4 ratio for risotto and sometimes you don’t. This made me think, sometimes you need to stray from the recipe of life to make life the best it can be! It makes me think of times in the classroom when I had lesson plans, with details, content and manipulatives; and the lessons disappeared into thin air because classroom craziness happens! The best example of this was a lesson I prepared as an observation lesson. Not only was my mentor supposed to observe this lesson, but my principal was going to use this as part of my yearly evaluation. The lesson was perfect! It integrated sensory, literacy and developmentally appropriate characteristics. We were going to read a book about carving a pumpkin, talk about carving a pumpkin using our hands as scoops and then actually carve a pumpkin! The morning of the lesson, I was smiling ear to ear with excitement. The students started their day off like any other day, and we were getting ready to start the lesson when the fire alarm went off. Of course the fire alarm would go off! In a general education classroom, a fire drill is disrupting but lessons can be salvaged. In my classroom, fire drills were lesson game changers. The transition of being engaged in an activity to being taken outside for a short period of time, then back in to pick up the activity that they left isn’t an easy task. The adults in the classroom and I tried our best to bring the transition full circle but it wasn’t happening. At this point, I realized that I needed to change what was happening. I decided to use the pumpkins outside for rolling rather than inside for carving. Just like making the perfect risotto, I needed to go with the flow of how things were going.
Like lesson plans and making risotto, my goal of making one new recipe a week needs to go with the flow. I need to use what I have and not start from scratch every meal. Life happens! Sometimes you’re left with a ton of leftovers from a meal and you can create something new–like a fancy grilled cheese with leftover roast. Sometimes you don’t have enough time because your toddler needs some extra cuddles. And, sometimes you get a fun surprise of dinner out! Whatever the case, I need to take every meal as working towards my goal and not think of it as a success or failure.