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Culinary Blog: Fragile Strength

When spring begins to give way to summer, we can see the fragile strength of nature in action. The delicate flower blossoms that line the trees on the streets fill in with heartier leaves, while the tender leafy greens on the farm fields are becoming sensitive to the increasing strength of the sun and hot air. But, try not to mistake this for a negative process. Instead, it portrays how precious and in perfect motion the cycle of our seasons is, just like us living through them. This natural cycle is something that consistently ignites my enthusiasm for food, as each season feels like a renewal of energy to pull from. Although timeless and repetitive, we should take more time to smell the roses of each passing month. This struck me most as the head chef began changing our seasonal menu for the first time since we’ve been here. Many of our foraged goods are losing their liveliness while sitting in the walk-in fridge, and we’ve begun repurposing them to get every last ounce of their fragile and flavorful strength. The farmer is now dropping asparagus, beets, and even zucchini in plentiful crates on the kitchen’s porch each morning, and we’re experimenting with new recipes just as we’ve mastered the ones from early spring. I see fragile strength in how one must conduct themselves in a professional kitchen, with tough confidence to hold yourself up to the stressors matched with humility to accept direction and criticism. The strength of our tools like our routinely sharpened knives and the hot flames of the stoves and ovens parallel our need to be careful and wary of their dangerous but productive power. We need to be quick and agile while also mindful and gentle with the special ingredients we work with. This dichotomy of action serves us along with mother nature in creating art in everyday life using all of our senses, which is precisely why I feel cooking is such an intrinsic part of our being, well, at least my being.

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