Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Comfortable Reach Salad

"Still shiny?" I asked the sound woman.
"Yes" she said. I fidgeted awkwardly with the powder in my hands. She peered down at me, from under her spectacles her hands hovered over mine, coveting the little makeup brush.
"Um..here, you better let me do that. I used to work in lighting."She grabbed the powder out of my hands. I was nervous, but I tried not to make it look obvious. The camera man came over to me, "now, make sure that you "cheat" toward the camera....you've done this before right?" he asked.
"NO" I said, and for a brief moment I showed him a vulnerable look and he responded with amusement.
"It's gonna be a long day" he said, smiling, and he walked away. His ponytail swung like a horses.
We were filming in a cooking school for children. The walls were painted in candyland colors, but other than that, it had all the elements of a professional kitchen. There were giant rolling stainless steel counter tops, cupboards filled with pasta rollers and dough scrapers, pots, pans, spices, professional knives, Kitchenaid mixers. The only thing lacking was a stove with real fire (for the sake of the children they used electric). Every room in the school was a kitchen!

In the break-room-kitchen, the counter tops were filled with snacks and beverages, and every cooking ingredient the producers imagined we might want. The set-room-kitchen was the brightest kitchen I have ever seen, and though the lighting was intended specific for filming and not specifically to make me happy, I felt giddy under it's illuminating glow. I was in heaven. Reality television, they make you look exactly the way they want to. If you say something stupid, or trip on your words, you can just say it again! Somebody else makes sure that you are always viewed from your good side. Feeling shy? Unsure what to say? Someone will be there to prompt you.
Through the morning, I was nervous and jittery. I laughed harder than normal and more than usual, as though I were on a date. By the afternoon I felt like a baby chick in a warm incubator. Perhaps it was the cooking that lulled me into a euphoric sense of belonging. The bright lights hugged my skin, onions and garlic rolled smoothly along the shiny counter tops, my fingertips tasted their juices as I demonstrated knife skills to the teenagers who were captive audiences under the giant black watchful eye of the camera.

I felt prepared. I felt flawless. I felt like everything in life has an order and comes at exactly the right time, to prepare you for whatever comes next. Lately it seems like every day contains just the right amount of challenge, no more, no less.
The tools to deal with that challenge are always available when I am open to them.

The salad:
gently tear 1/2 head hydroponic green leaf lettuce. Add some diced carrots (sweet garden carrots), 1/2 avocado and 1/2 head fennel. Dress with 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Christina's vote: "This salad made me feel genuine"

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