When Life Hands You Lemons

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
- Julia Child

About a month ago, I made a change that has left me alternating between pure giddiness and paralyzing fear - I quit my job. Obviously I'm not the first person to do this, so it's not necessarily that I consider myself a pioneer - but for me, the girl that has had a job since she was 15 - and lived by the rule of "don't quit a job until you have another job" - this is huge.

I spent 8 years in the advertising industry. During that time, I climbed the proverbial ladder, made fabulous friends, learned lessons on a professional and personal level, met my husband, and decided I was being sucked dry by an unfulfilling career. The day I decided to leave, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. Over the past few weeks, that weight has returned in the form of fear and doubt, panic and uncertainty. The knowledge that I'm following my heart and my dreams of a career surrounding food intervenes at times, allowing for the momentary senses of pride and satisfaction that for the first time in my life, I made a choice for me - instead of someone else. It's a constant battle, one that leaves me exhausted and exhilarated, all at the same time.

Cooking gets me through the tougher days, and makes the easier days even more so. Standing in the aisles of the grocery store, in front of a stove with all 4 burners blazing, in front of a smoking grill....I'm me. I'm comfortable, secure, completely together, and happy. The kitchen is the glue that keeps me from falling apart - and the validation that I've made the best decision of my life.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Green Onion-Dill Mayo & Lemon Risotto

Salmon fillets
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
-Sprinkle fillets with salt & pepper
-Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat - add salmon, skin side up, and sear until golden brown and just cooked through, about 7-8 minutes.

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. chopped green onions
1/4 tsp. dill
-Combine all ingredients and mix well.

1 shallot, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups hot chicken broth
Zest of one lemon
Salt & Pepper
-Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
-Add garlic and rice, stirring until rice has been coated well with oil. Cook until rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
-Add chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing rice to completely absorb stock, stirring frequently. Continue until all stock has been added.
-Add lemon zest and stir until combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve salmon on top of risotto and serve with green onion-dill mayo.

(Wine suggestion: 2007 Ken Forrester Stellenbosch Petit Chenin)


RecipeGirl said...

Wow, does that look great! All of the things I love in one dish.

I'm with you... cooking, baking, even shopping for groceries... and I'm in a good place...in the zone... happy, happy!

michael, claudia and sierra said...

best to you with the new job... but what is the new job???