Friday, June 5, 2009

The Tasteful Networker

There is a careful dance of feeling out appropriate etiquette when meeting new people. You choose your words carefully, you flatter, you allow yourself to be flattered. I made this salad for a new friend, I would be delighted if you would join me in making it again.

Choose your ingredients carefully, taste each one before putting it out on the table. The kohlrabi should be fresh and crisp, with a mild cabbage flavor. The beets should be fresh and sweet, not bitter. Peel the outside of the kohlrabi with a pairing knife, carefully.
The woman has a strong, warm handshake, and is quick to let go.
Slice your kohlrabi thin and cut it into squares, or triangles. Set it aside.
You say "I am pleased to meet you, what do you do for a living?"
Rinse and slice thin the top half of a head of romaine lettuce. Rinse and peel 2 large beets, slice them into thin matchsticks.
"But enough about me, how about you?"
Dice a handful of cilantro and mix with 1 Tbsp lime juice, 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp ume plum vinegar.
"Wow, you sound like a really interesting person."
add 1 tsp sugar.
"Let's exchange contact information."
Mix the dressing with kohlrabi.
"Of course, I know people in the industry, I'll be sure to pass your card on."
Stir in the beets and romaine and mix until the whole thing turns a shade of pink to match the lipstick paintings of the gallery you happen to be standing in.
"It was nice to meet you, I will be contacting you soon."
Garnish with goat cheese slices on top.
The most empowering skill I have ever learned can be woven into the art of the handshake. The simple act of reaching out my hand is a symbol, I am here, I am important, I am tangible, I acknowledge you. The connection is made, you are here, you are important, you are tangible. The cure to my own loneliness is to reach out to someone else, it is then that my invisible cloak disappears and with it dissolves a cloud of worries that drag down my eyebrows and familiarize me with the patterns on the floor. This skill can be taken even further to the art of the fly by "hello".
I have a friend that I used to go running with every morning, no matter how dark or how early. Sometimes we would run for hours, and every runner who passed us by would be treated with a friendly HELLO from the man with long black curls, wearing tights and an orange reflective jacket running beside me. Sometimes they would receive a wave from his pink stretchy mittens, which were borrowed from his 10 year old daughter one hurried morning and never returned. The mittens, veterans of countless mornings, were filthy. It made me laugh to imagine us from the other runners perspective. Often we received not so much as a glance in return, sometimes we got a nervous smile. I asked my friend why he continues to wave at people when they don't respond back. He shrugged. "It helps ME" he said.

When you act the role of a leader you will be filled with the strength to lead.

Christina's vote: "fine dining from the comfort of my own couch"

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