Today marked by my own estimation, the exact middle of my life. I had a Naadi astrologer in Tamal Nadu, India tell me that I would die at an age that is double what I am today. I choose to believe his prediction because he predicted some other things that sounded exciting and fulfilling, so I wont argue with living a little longer than I may physically want to.
I have always meditated and set goals, but today I stepped it up. I made list of things that I want to accomplish this year. This list covers my mental, physical, spiritual and career goals. The thing about getting older is that I am not afraid of actually sticking to and seeing these ideas through to completion. I do leave plenty of room for things to change or morph into a different situation, but the basic premise of my intentions wont change.
When I think about my 20’s and early 30’s, I was terrified to live. Why? I am not sure. At some point I just decided that I am my own set of knowledge and experience and I could do whatever I wanted to. Living in the present makes it a hell of a lot more fun working on my projects than it did when I would work on something and then spend 50% of that time worrying about it’s outcome.
I even have to laugh at how my subconscious gets to me. For the last 10 years one chef or another has made me a Birthday Osso Bucco dinner. Last year, I stopped eating meat, unless I am working. (I cant do what I do and not eat my Chefs food) Last night I dreamt that I had the most amazing Osso Bucco and woke- up believing that I had eaten all of it. When I realized that it was just a vivid dream, I felt fully satisfied and didn’t feel like I was missing out or denying myself anything. I also woke-up thinking that I had a conversation with Chef Scott Conant, who I have had a chef crush on for years. When I checked my email this morning I saw that I did indeed exchange emails with Scott last night. Part of getting older is being able to take whatever is real or imagined and finding it all perfectly acceptable and even enjoyable.
Life is more real for me now, more than ever. I don’t have a fear of dying, flying or crying. No Lie! It’s awesome. I get to help people everyday for work, I have the very best life long friends, I’ve proven that I can keep plants, animals and my own children alive and healthy. I have work that feels more like play and if I feel like singing, I will sing as loud as I want, wherever I want.
It’s been a pretty awesome Birthday. Can’t wait to live what tomorrow brings.
Octopus two ways, tempura pickled vegetables, mint emulsion
1 Octopus (this should be one single octopus)
10oz white wine
2ea lemons (quater)
5ea bay leaf
3oz black pepper corns
2 Tablespoons peanuts (roasted)
2ea egg yolks
.25 cup rice vinegar
1 bunch cilantro
.5 bunch mint
2 cup soy oil (or till emulsified) teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3oz Carrots (battons)
1ea jalapeno (cut into rings and keep seeds)
100z rice vinegar
2oz 2hite wine
5ea chili d’arbol
2ea star anise
1ea cinnamon stick (vietnamese if you can get it)
2ea bay leaf
3oz pepper corns
1oz garlic minced
.25oz scallion cut on a bias
.25 cup corn starch
1cup AP flour
soda water to blend
Octopus goes into a pot with all the poaching ingredients. boil for 1 hour or till the octopus accepts a knife tip with no pressure. Pull and shock in ice water. Separate legs and body. Cut body into small dice and reserve.
Combine egg yolks, mint, cilantro, rice vinegar, peanuts in a blender. Emulsify with soy oil till tight. Do not strain. Reserve
Combine all vegetables and pickling liquid (make a sachet unless you love picking pepper corns from the veg) and boil for 4 minutes and shock in ice water and reserve.
Mix all tempura batter ingredients unti just thick enough to coat a spoon. Reserve
Add olive oil to a hot saute pan. Add garlic and octopus and let brown. Add salt scallion S&P
Tempura legs of octopus and pickled veg in a bowl. Add to 350 degree soy oil (not included in ingredient list) and cook for 45 seconds to a minute. Remove and salt lightly.
Nage plate with emulsion, salpicone goes on top in a line. Tempura veg and octo legs arrange on top.
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives. ~ Oscar Wilde
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. ~
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation ~ Oscar Wilde
Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals. ~ Oscar Wilde
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius ~ Oscar Wilde