I knew that 2014 was going to be a great and exciting year, but I had no idea it was going to be this good so early on. We had a wonderful wedding that we catered on the 4th. I love catering weddings. I love it down to the smallest things. They can be so intimate and it is, by far, one of the most important times in someone’s life. It is such an honor to be asked and trusted to help someone make their special day so wonderful. Everyone enjoyed the food immensely and came back for seconds and thirds at the buffet. One gentleman said he hadn’t had food at an event this good in a long time. I was on cloud nine. The very night the wedding was over, I received another email from a bride wanting to meet about catering her wedding.
It finally feels like I am back on track. When I lived in Charleston I had a whisper in my ear to go to culinary school at Johnson and Whales. I was not only accepted but asked to join an advanced program. I was thrilled and scared. The fear overruled the thrilled. I ended up giving it up and moving to Athens, GA. I was young and didn’t know my strength or courage, yet. I didn’t fight for it. I easily gave it up because if I had tried, I might have failed. My young ego didn’t want to be seen as a failure. Failure doesn’t scare me anymore and neither does what people think of me. Lord knows, I have failed at many things up to this point. However, I have learned failure is not trying. You never fail from trying because you gain knowledge. Maybe the knowledge is “I don’t want to do that again”. Sometimes God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, has had to push me. I look back on experiences and think, that hurt, but it was the best thing that could have happened. We all have that whisper in our ear that urges us to go forward in our lives. It takes courage, strength and being patient. I don’t think patient was in my vocabulary until this journey began. Now, I say it with almost most every breath.
I have dreamed of going to cooking school for many, many years. I have had my eye set on one particular place in France for over three years. Patricia Wells has cooking classes that she offers in Paris and Provence. I wrote the name of the school on a sticky note three years ago. I wanted to see it when I thought about spending money on something else, like shoes. I stuck it right next to my computer. I turned down many vacations with girlfriends because I knew that I wanted to put that money towards this trip that I truly desired. Now it is coming into fruition.
I am more than elated to write, I am going on that trip to France to take a week long cooking class. I am not going with anyone- just me, my passion and love for food. Yes, it scares me. What if my pipes burst again from some cold snap and I need to spend money on that? What if someone gets sick? What if, everyone that loves me and knows me supports me to go? What if everything works out beautifully? I’ll never know unless I go. I am excited for the challenge of learning another language, of being in another country and finally doing it. I am following my dream and nothing feels better than that. It is never to late to follow anything your passionate about. Well, unless your dead and then it is probably too late. It wasn’t the right time for me to go to school in Charleston. I had a toddler and a 6 week old baby. At the time, I was living that dream and wouldn’t trade that for any cooking school in France. Timing is everything and there are whispers for that too. We know when the time is right because everything feels right and we can no longer sit still doing nothing about it.
Today, I want to share my Lentil Soup Recipe. Every time I make it, there seems to be a whisper of France. While we are making it, let’s turn on Edith Piaf and we will feel like we are already in lovely Paris.
1 cup french green lentils
Whole onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stems, chopped
baby portabella mushrooms chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 16oz can of diced tomatoes
6 cups water or broth
1 rind of parmesan cheese
Sauté your onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until slightly soft- about 5 minutes. Add your lentils, tomatoes, broth or water, and parmesan cheese rind. Simmer this for around 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. The parmesan gives a meaty flavor so if you don’t have broth, you really don’t need it. The flavors are excellent and the soup is very rustic, delicious, healthy and simple. Double the recipe and have some during the week. It only gets better as it sits.
I hope that after you chop your vegetables, you can simmer your soup, and smell all that goodness fill your home. Then, curl up with a good book or magazine and start to dream. Winter is for being still and dreaming, and letting go of any past pains. Spring will be here soon enough, and those new buds will be coming up. Sitting still is sometimes uncomfortable for me because I like to go and I love the warm sun. Winter can be depressing and cold! However, keeping still for a few moments can give us the opportunity to dream. Then we can plan out those dreams. And then, we can live them. Here’s to living every one of our dreams in due time! Bon Voyage!