“First we eat. Then we do everything else.”
– M. F. K. Fisher
Do you ever think about what you put in your mouth? (And, yes, Precious Readers, I am aware of how that statement may have come across.) I was recently watching shows from the Food Network, and consider myself a loyal viewer of the show, Good Eats staring Alton Brown. He came to this sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy city of Seattle. His show often delves not only in the molecular breakdown of food, but also its history, and the food’s impact on culture. As I was sitting at lunch, I stared at the food on my plate. Similar to the way Good Eats delves into food culture, I began wondering a more basic question. “How in the heck did we decide to process food in order to consume it?”
For example: Take the banana. This vitamin rich food is considered one of the ultimate healthy treats, and has even become a substitute for ice cream when pureed and frozen. However, think back to the first person to decide it was something for the human diet.
In tropical climates, the person would have to look at this bunch of green goodness growing like giant hands on a tree. Said person would have to climb said tree, and bypass the gigantic, poisonous spiders.
What is my point of view about arachnids? I don’t do spiders. That’s it. I just don’t do spiders. I would’ve posted a picture, but when I “Googled” banana tree spiders, I screamed at decibels that B-Movie Horror Film Actresses would’ve applauded for.
Feel free to look them up yourselves, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Once you’ve survived your toxic trek into the tree, you still have to wait for the fruit to use its chameleon like body to change its color entirely to yellow. Then you peel the typically hexagonal skin.
But, wait, there’s more!
After the peel is gone, there are these fibrous, sticky strings that, although edible, are not palatable. These must also be removed. Then, and only then, is our delicious banana ready to be eaten, sliced, mashed, pureed, smoothie-d, etc.
You’re requesting another example? How about women’s favorite sweet? Chocolate!
In case you are not familiar with this cocoa conundrum, chocolate has an incredible journey before it ends up in a bar form, wrapped in shimmering foil like the gold bar of richness it is.
Chocolate starts as a bean. That’s right. A bean. It’s similar to a seed in a large green/red pod. The pod is split open and several cacao beans are removed. These beans being as white, and very slimy. The farmer actually lets these ferment.
Yes, ferment. Like beer. Think we’re almost done? Not by a long shot!
Once the pods are fermented, they’re left out in the sun to dry. After the beans are dried, they’re roasted. That’s what gives chocolate its color.
Ready to eat? No!
The beans are crushed to reveal the nibs.
Yes, nibs. I still half-giggle at that term. (Yes, I’m an adult.)
The nibs are then crushed into a paste, where it’s cooked AGAIN. Once the nibs are liquefied, THEN it’s formed into a chocolate bar.
May I ask just how the first Mayans decided this was the process for chocolate? Admit it. There are fewer steps to roasting a chicken than there are for creating chocolate.
Pineapples. Don’t even get me started on pineapples. The only thing I have to say is, “Yeah! Let’s take that spiky thing that stabbed my hand and try to find a way to EAT IT!”
There’s really no point to this. Just trying to get you to think beyond your reality. Think beyond just what is “normal” for you. Start asking yourself the question, “Why?” or “How?” Believe me, this will completely change the way you perceive the world and open all kinds of new doors for you.
Speaking of pondering the universe, I realize I haven’t written in a long time. I made the difficult decision to leave the comfort of a steady paycheck and leave my job. I’ve been home since January, not working. I have never “not worked” up until this point, which I’ve delved into extensively in previous postings.
Please check out my archives! (Hint, hint.)
I was overwhelmed with warm and fuzzy feelings over the incredible support my husband, Pilot, my family, friends and coworkers all gave me for making this decision. The reason I didn’t close out the year of 2014 with postings, was due to the reason of me working my tail off to close out my position at “Mega Ultra Corporate Job” and to also close out the fiscal year.
To put it simply, I worked overtime on my final day. I wish I was kidding.
So what, pray tell, have I been doing with this time? Well, the first month I did nothing. That’s right, absolutely nothing. I think I caught up on enough sleep equal in weight to about 4 months worth of hours. Then, I had to spend the next few weeks trying not to be nocturnal. Up until today, it is truly confirmed I am not a morning person.
I’ve been cleaning The Bacher Fort since then. Yes, Pilot and my apartment has been so bad, that I’m still working on it from mid-February. Let’s just say The Bacher Fort is going through a cleanse.
After some (several) weeks of not doing anything, but sleeping, Netflix binging and visiting people whom I had considered close friends and family-
Despite not having laid eyes upon said close friends and family in months. What do you want from me? I told you I was a workaholic. This is not news.
-I started to feel the inspiration come back. Those thin tendrils niggling at the back of my brain slowly seeping into the forefront. Little ideas that popped up and are slowly beginning to become cohesive sentences.
I was ready to write again.
This is the first piece I’ve written in almost six months. I’m ready to continue this path of making it a full time deal.
Pilot and I have discussed our future. It is just not fiscally responsible for me to quit working all together, as I was the higher bread winner of the house. This is not a slight on Pilot, it’s just a fact. However, I’ve decided I might not go back to work full time. Instead, I may find part time work while continuing writing full time.
I’m ready to continue down this untrodden path, and I hope, Precious Readers, that you’ll walk along side with me.
What was the best/worst decision you ever made regarding your career?
What advice would you give someone about to begin their first job?
What has been the best way to keep your work life and home life satisfied?
What was the best/worst advice you ever received?
Why have you decided to jump around to different jobs, or stay with the job you’ve had for a long time?
Share your stories in the comments below!
2 thoughts on “Are you going to eat that? / What the heck has Katherine been up to?”
For a long time I worked part time and wrote full time. It worked really well! I only quite working part time when I had my son. Now, I’m LOVING the writing full time. It’s fantastic. But working part time does keep you connected to humanity. When you write full time, there is always the possibility of not having any human contact at all besides your spouse…
That’s a good point. I’ve done ok staying connected to friends and family since being home, but that’s because I’m no longer “unavailable” for 15 hours of the day, ha ha. I think working part time will be the best of both worlds: bringing in an income, staying connected to humanity, while still providing freedom of time and mind for creativity. Do you have any advice for staying focused and carving out time for life and writing, while actually getting some sleep?
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