Saturday, December 19, 2015

On the importance of learning to cook

Back in junior high we had cooking classes. With the benefit of hindsight I now know what was all that about. Those classes were not primarily taught for the student to fix himself something when hungry, but to develop discipline and to learn how to follow orders. Some, or maybe the greater part of us, want to go our own way and particularly at that age. Following a cooking recipe demands, not only attention, but the suspension of one's own wants and idiosyncrasies. The recipe is tried and true, has clear concepts and a step by step process. If one just follows the steps as given, the results are there anyone to see and taste. Immediate feedback, cause and effect and consistent results are the name of the game. By just trying, mavericks can see the results of their actions, and begin to adapt themselves to circumstances that demand, as said, discipline.

Emeril and star chefs can get away with adding extra salt, garlic, or whatever (Bam!), because they already have mastery on their craft and know the limits of the elements they working with.  Mastery comes from discipline and only then one is allowed to push the bounds of the art.

There's also the part of shared experience. Much like in sports there's a meeting of minds in cooking. Having watched played in team sports or at least watched, one can make one's point across or get by having actually gotten one's hands into the  thick mess of things. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Eat that Frog! book review

Quite understandably one can be skeptical of the mounds of self-help books, considering the huge volumes of useless junk out there. However, there are some worthwhile titles among the refuse. Eat that that frog! by Brian Tracy is one of them.

In his book, Tracy puts forth his system of efficiency based around the idea of attacking the most unappetizing/ important tasks first. This sounds common sense, but it is surprising how often we forget  to do so. Tracy distills and packages these and other concepts into bite-sized chapters and tryouts that bring the ideas to the forefront for ready use. By the time one reaches the productive years one is supposed to have a working approach to task management, but not everyone gets to develop one on their own or have actual mentoring on these simple, yet quite important, techniques. The great value of this book is that it supplements this potential lack and quite possibly boosts the plusses that are already there.

The book will benefit the most those who feel overwhelmed by their jobs. That said,it can also benefit those who feel they are already quite efficient in them. For these persons,the book warrants even a small peek to see if they can refine even more their habits.

Probably the only 'negative' aspect is the it centers exclusively on business life with much emphasis on importance on achieving and doing as a necessity of life.  Other areas of one's life are also important and probably one of the regular time-management books can help balance this one out by taking the personal into view and consideration.  With that caveat, you can't really go wrong with this one.