After a moment or two of thought, okay…not really, after agonizing over it for a week or two, I’ve decided to take the summer off and finish in the fall. Partly for financial reasons, and those are honestly the biggest decider these days, and partly for sanity reasons. I really haven’t had a break since I started school and I have done a great job of piling things on higher and deeper every time I’ve said I need a break.
And so, in the interest of sanity and financial security for a brief moment, I am taking the summer off from school to focus on something else. I am teaching two classes a week at Ye Olde Pot & Pannery for the summer. We are reviving the Kids in the Kitchen series for the duration of the summer break here and I am doing a series for grownups on Thursday nights. My manager, who I have come to adore for letting me have this opportunity and for letting me make the classes my own, has let me run with this latest set of classes. We are doing a little bit of everything. Lots of summer, market-fresh type stuff and some fun, unusual things like a sushi class featuring California rolls.
I also have my first Joie de Vivre student. A local attorney who just wants to do more cooking for herself and pick up some techniques. She has a great kitchen and is excited about the process which has me all excited to finally see if this idea will work and if people will feel like they are getting their money’s worth.
Part of my inner negotiations for taking the summer off were that I couldn’t waste the summer. Not that I won’t be busy with these other things, just that at the end of the summer I had to have something to show for myself, a little “Here’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation” kind of moment. My bargaining chip is this book idea that J.C. and I have been batting around. We have some ideas nailed down and I think we may even have an outlet for it. I do want to keep it kind of amorphous in the public sphere for the time being. It’s a little like announcing you’re pregnant too early. I want it to have more than an outline before I start blabbering about it, here anyway.
It is amazing to me how things fall into place once you find your true calling. I was watching Nigella Lawson’s biography last night with Keifel and thought, okay, aside from famous parents, upper class blood, a posh British accent, famous husbands, and scads of money… what has she got that I don’t? I don’t in any way mean to minimize her accomplishments because, and I think I may have mentioned this a time or two, I do think she is a culinary goddess worthy of adoration. I just mean to say that, if it depends on passion, knowledge and a swift kick in the pants by those who believe in us, I’m qualified to make this dream happen for myself. I can’t even express how amazing that feels without sounding like a strung out ninny.
I don’t know that I want a media empire. I can’t see myself as the next Martha. I really can’t even see myself as the next Nigella or the American Nigella or any other goofy moniker the media attaches to a fresh face. I do enjoy the idea of being Victoria and being a teacher and a writer whose focus happens to be food, since that whole poetry thing didn’t pan out. If a small amount of success included a little fame and fortune, I certainly wouldn’t sneeze at it, but right now that can’t be the focus.