What A Drag

I do believe that for every door that closes, another opens. But these hallways are really a drag.        -The magnet on my aunt’s refrigerator

That about sums up my life at the moment. This whole transition from college – 4 straight years of a steady schedule, living with my best friends, generally having a good time – to the unemployed, schedule/purpose-less state of new college graduate…sucks. Like, a lot.

I am living with my wonderful aunt and uncle for the summer in suburban Georgia, working (interning, I suppose) at a restaurant just down the road from them. I’ve applied to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), but my application won’t be complete until I have six months of twelve to fifteen hours per week of food preparation experience. Sounds easy,  right? Well let me tell, going from the graduate with the highest GPA in the graduating class to the inexperienced girl in the corner who can’t figure out how to chop chives small enough is anything but easy.

The past two weeks have been exhausting, physically, mentally, emotionally. Hell, this whole month has been pretty intense. And of course, what that means is that while I have been writing books in my head, very few of those words have been physically put down in writing. Which is really just bad all around, because writing helps me sort out all my crazy tangled thoughts, and occasionally can be found to be rather entertaining.

But, perhaps luckily for you dear reader, I did not write when I really needed to, when I had a complete breakdown. It was inevitable, and of course, my mother was predicted down to the day when I would crash. For about 3 days, I was an absolute mess. I hated feeling like the idiot in the kitchen (and it does not help that it’s all guys back there, either), I hated the work, I hated the people, and was beginning to believe that I had made the wrong decision. Culinary school could not possibly be the fate of the lefty who took 30 minutes to peel and devein shrimp.

I’m not entirely sure when the slap in the head came. Maybe it was when I memorized the restaurant’s recipe for key lime pie (more on that later), or made one of the sous chefs laugh. Maybe it was when I made a vegan marble cake on a whim, or spent 2 hours in Barnes and Noble staring at the cookbook section. Maybe it was when I reread the CIA’s admissions material and got excited all over again to learn everything I possibly can about baking and pastry. But maybe, it doesn’t matter.

I do know what I’m doing. I love food. So much, it’s slightly ridiculous. To me, there is nothing better than the taste and smell of fresh bread, and the smile that goes with that first bite.

And, I love that I’m going to learn all of it on the other side of the country. I so desperately need another adventure since studying abroad, a change of pace, a new place to call home. I need a little culture shock. And, you know, being right in the heart of wine country ain’t so shabby either.

I promise, I’m back for good this time. With recipes. And pictures. In fact, my brother’s and my graduation party (him from high school, me from college) is this Sunday, and we have a pretty fabulous menu planned. Homemade olive tapenade, anyone?

And if you don’t like that, you KNOW there will be cake. Really, really good cake. With that white fluffy frosting that I could just bathe in.

Yes. A frosting bath is definitely in order.

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