Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Great Read!

I was downtown over the weekend with about an hour to spend hanging out. I did what I most frequently do, go to the bookstore and seek out the cookbook section. I like to explore what is there and enjoy relaxing in a chair next to the large windows reading. This past weekend I picked up The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry after having received a positive and encouraging comment from the author Kathleen Flinn.

Several places on the front and back cover promote the love story aspect of the book, and although not normally the genre of book I enjoy reading, I found myself several chapters in when I needed to leave. Because I was already captivated by the story, and because I have plenty of time to read during my breaks from teaching, I left the bookstore book in hand (yes I paid for it first).

After a few quick days of reading I found myself connecting very strongly, not with the romance of Kathleen and Mike, Paris, or Le Cordon Bleu, but instead with the constant messages of life-long learning.

For me Le Cordon Bleu at my Home has been my way of learning to be a better at home cook, and as you hopefully have noticed, I have been learning a lot more than just how to cook. I have been forced to explore more deeply the area in which I grew up, finding new places to buy the freshest food and necessary ingredients. I have been able to meet some local experts who have helped me immensely, and who I hope will continue to help as I move forward. I have been learning about problem solving, French food, and have been enjoying trying new things that I enjoy sharing with others. I have also done a lot of reading online, and feel I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot through blogging, emailing and connecting with others through the Internet.

This was my connection to Kathleen and her experiences: from taking a huge risk in life to succeeding at Le Cordon Bleu; from a childhood dream to reality; from Julia Child’s comments about learning to seeing them play out in life; from great success to failures along the way; a new culture, new language, new friends, harsh criticism, and figuring out just how to make puff pastry. All of these learning experiences are not an end, but instead part of continued life experiences.

Now I don’t want to downplay Mike in all of this, and not because he is the key figure in the love story…Mike I am sure there are plenty of readers who have connected quite well with you and the fact that you left your job and house in Seattle to move to Paris, your proposal of marriage, sampling her cooking over and over when all you want is pizza, planning the wedding, and returning to Paris so quickly after your accident (I am sure I forgot a few things in there as well)…all of this playing up the romance of everything. Instead, I was most impressed with how he encouraged such risk taking in support of a dream, while at the same time creating a safe and supportive environment for Kathleen. It is one thing to take a risk, whether it is in life or in learning something new, but also having a system in place that allows you the support you need, is often the only path to success.

I am hopeful that Julia’s encouraging words that you can/should never stop learning is forever ingrained in Kathleen’s life as well as my own, a message that I hope my students will take with them as well.

Thanks Kathleen for the great read and words of encouragement!

1 comment:

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

You are indeed correct...this is really a great read, especially if you are a foodie and love Paris.
Kathleen is a very talented writer...
I have read her book several times and given it as gifts to foodie friends here and in Paris.

I have a bit in common with her as she rented her appartement on rue de la Richelieu from my dearest friend that I believe she calls Nigel in her book....Actually I have stayed in that same appartement many times.