“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today as I was sorting through my daily mail that usually consists of junk, bills and the occasional card I came upon something out of the ordinary. There, addressed to me, was a letter from my alma mater. This envelope was especially interesting because it looked like the poor person who addressed it had the same terrible hand writing as I have been cursed with! Upon further inspection I realized that I had, in fact, addressed the envelope… was this some kind of joke? No, this was a letter that I had written to myself five years ago, in my junior year of high school! I had completely forgotten about this assignment, but was impressed to see that a younger me had written quite a long letter!
As I read the letter memories flooded back to me… I could picture myself curled up in my overstuffed pink arm chair, surrounded by childhood collectibles writing vigorously every thought that came to mind. Of course, I wrote about the straight A’s I received on my report card (for the first time ever) and how I should learn to love cleaning my kitchen, but I went a little deeper than that. I wrote about how important my family was to me and how grateful I was for all of the opportunities I had. To quote a younger me I said,
“I realize that I am so lucky, my family is one of the few that I know that actually eat supper together every night… I can only imagine what it will be like in five years!”
Five years have past and so much has happened to me since. I achieved every goal I had set for myself way back then: get scholarships, go to a good culinary school, and become an Executive Chef. I have maintained certain things that I have always been most important to me, it is still my top priority to feed my family, to cook for others and to be hospitable. I don’t know where I will be five years from now, but I know that those things will never change. Thank you Mrs. E. Miller for sending those letters… it was a true joy looking back.
After taking a trip down memory lane I thought I would make something very special. When I was a junior in high school I made it my quest to create the best apple pie. I was practicing and planning for a $25,000 scholarship to a very prestigious culinary school- an apple pie baking contest. For two years I devoted myself to researching apples, crust and pie baking techniques. I baked over 100 pies and recorded my finding in an “apple pie journal”. I did not win the competition (which is something I am still bitter about and is another long story) but I did perfect my apple pie recipe!
Yield: 4, 8 ounce portions
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ cup Shortening
¾ cup Butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
½ cup Water, ice cold
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Start by combining the flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar. Work together with your hands like this…