Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Rite of Passage Five – lower case gourmet
(1945 to 1948 –Age 14)
Could you, in the upstream later years, offer yourself to a young person as a mentor? If so, what would motivate you to do so?
I have gained mightily over the years from both men and women who were my senior in both age and wisdom. They were somewhat expert in their respective fields. You have already met André Simon, the President and Founder of the International Wine and Food Society. You will soon meet several more in both wine and food and the media.
My formal education had been disjointed by the war and constantly moving from school to school and had concluded at what we Brits call a “crammers”; a one on one teacher who, in a short space of time, “crams” ones head full of likely examination answers!
I succeeded in graduating by the skin of my teeth and began my culinary training at Brighton Technical College.
I had grown accustomed to ‘catching up’ in my studies and motivated, as always; by my fear of failing, I became a good listener.
Actually I was more of a ‘sponge’ soaking up everything and anything without much discernment. My mentors needed to provide wise counsel on what to accept and what to reject. For the most part I listened!
So…what about now?
Back in 2008 I struck out into a totally unknown ‘field’ and began to grow my own edible plants in a brand new kitchen garden.
Up until that time I had never met a plant I couldn’t kill (other than bamboo and mint). Rapidly a whole team of mentors who were incredibly generous with their time and patience surrounded me.
Seven years later (time I let my soil lie fallow?) I was asked for my ‘short-lived’ advice and actually wrote a book “Growing at the Speed of Life!” about my first year. I’m cautions and try very hard to explain my relative inexperience but, at the same time, I love to see the joy in a new gardener’s face as they devour their very own homegrown vegetables! How about you –are you ‘expert’ at anything you could pass on; it’s never too late.
P.S This week I read Treena’s poem: “Sister in Seattle”