Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sitting Ducks

There are many species of duck, but two main types, Dabblers and Divers. Divers head straight for the bottom of the pond, one of the few times aside from skin diving, a game of leaster while playing Sheep’s Head, and golf that being near the bottom is a good thing. Dabblers peck around at the surface in their search for food. When all things are said and done I find myself being of the Dabbler persuasion. I can’ think of too many things I am not interested in, or have been interested in at one time or another. The only situation in which I even came close to being a diver is my courtship and ensuing commitment to Mrs. Phos, proving to be the best and most rewarding long term commitment I have ever made to anything.

Being a diver means total commitment to one’s vocation, whether top chef, consummate artist, or trash hauler. I am currently reading a book titled “Culinary Artistry.” In the first chapter there is a table delineating the differences between burger flipper, chef, and culinary artist. When it comes to cooking I have no pretentions – while I’ll put my barbeque ribs up against anyone’s, I am a little North of burger flipper and a long ways South of chef, never mind culinary artist. A burger flipper is satisfied he or she has done their job when a customer leaves full. The chef is going for delicious, while the culinary artist is going for memorable. The chef has made a strong commitment to his or her craft, going through formal training, paying dues in a professional kitchen and working their way up to the top of their craft. The culinary artist takes that a step further, working outside the box to come up with unique food that not only pleases but leaves a lasting impression. Arguably preparation of food is doomed to the craft label because it is born of necessity. People do not have to create art to survive, but people do have to cook. Permanence is another factor, food no matter how innovative is consumed where as art can be hung on a wall, posted to a web site, or placed in a curio cabinet. Regardless my cooking is somewhere between delicious and filing.

Being a Dabbler isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have always been more interested in the process vice the end product and dabbling has allowed me an understanding of how things have come about. On the down side I haven’t much to show for my infatuation for different things, a passing fancy that results in a few prints, a couple photos, and a few sheets of paper with some writing on them. Most of what I have done is stored in the noggin, leaving very little for posterity. It can also result in a string of unfinished projects lying about the house and a large eclectic collection of books and tools, bringing down the wrath of Mrs. Phos. It also leaves me with the nagging question of what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe I’ll just be a Dabbler; it’s not so bad after all.

9 Comments:

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

You're the type of person who has many interests.

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger /t. said...

there's
plenty of room
and even necessity for all

except more of those same-failed-and-broken-system-politicians -- too many of them already

i'd love to try you bbq ribs some time

/t.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger CHEF TROLL said...

A diver who never dabbles is one daffy duck. And vice-versa.

Kudos to you for being a dabbler who knew when to DIVE and score Mrs. Phos. And Kudos to you for reading a book that's far more than the sum-of-it's-parts.

Trolls are divers, by nature. But the wiser ones do dabble at times.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger G3T Films said...

I dabble at cooking, although I'm often a diver.

In fact, I made rather nice valentine brownies for my version of Mrs Phos. The left-overs were taken to my work where I received a genuine 'arguably the best brownie I've ever had' comment. Maybe I do naturally dive... hmmm...

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger foam said...

i dabble at diving ..

i loved how you described diving for mrs phos.

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger Becky said...

I may be a dabbler, who gets a wild feather up my butt once in a while and goes for a dive.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Eternally Curious said...

It is possible to be a passionate Dabbler, ya know! I consider myself that. Whatever it is I'm liking at the moment - I am TOTALLY liking and into. Yep - might even could say committed.

And then I'm off to the next interesting thing...

 
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