Take action like boiling water
Tanya Krikke, one of our longest and most devout (can I say that?!) food makers, gave me a gift – a most beautiful book called An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler.
The writer feels the trouble of recipes to be that they turn cooking ‘staccato’ when actually it’s cyclical and iterative. Recipes require a cook to begin with a list of requirements, not, as Tamar prefers, where you left off from yesterday.
But how to begin with yesterday is a chicken and egg problem.
If you have no yesterday yet, then begin, Tamar suggests, with a pot of water on the stove, headed for the boil. This action should begin before the ingredients to add to the pot are negotiated out of their hiding places and into their various parts in the meals ahead. Use it as a stirring into action. A movement towards creation.
In this business, things are often begun before they’ve had a chance to be thought through in their entirety. The actions of beginning can create the energy to make it through to the end. The gift of movement to a place. The sense that progress is imminent and always.
Individuals in any business that take action like boiling water are gold. Don’t ever turn them off. But do temper them with the recipe keepers. Because us boilers can cause overshoots, inefficiencies and chaos. Recipe keepers turn us down to simmer, and create an overlay that brings the seasoning in.