You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. [Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird]
What I’m doing here is not unlike making an unfamiliar dish for the first time, even when following a recipe. One may be familiar with most – if not all – of the ingredients. It seems the steps are all laid out, maybe even rather exactly, and there is a sense of knowing it will all fit together to become this actual thing of substance. But it’s still just sort of guessing. Chop the leeks, throw them in. Zest the lemon, add it too. Stir until it smells like… oh Heidi Swanson, how I wish you were here in my kitchen, standing over my shoulder, warning me not to chop my finger in with the chives.
Though I’m asked nearly daily, there isn’t much of a reason I can give for why I left everything I’d previously established and moved two thousand miles to the coast – other than, “I wanted to.” Why does anyone find themselves standing over a stove pot, tending to the brew? To feed, sure. Isn’t that all we’re ever setting out to do? There’s a life to be created here, from scratch, and luckily for me that’s something about which I’m passionate.
It isn’t much yet.
And yet, it’s everything. I suppose (without being too cute), I’m digging up the raw elements so I can find a way to marry them and create something worth offering the world. And Bad Kid Kitchen is here as a not-so-distant reminder that the universe – and Ms. Lamott – demand imperfection. Demand mess. Forgiveness of and belief in oneself.
So because I refused to let anything into this kitchen/home that wasn’t a well-thought out purchase or adoption, I grab a steak knife and zest a lemon. I cook rice in a lidless cast-iron. I stare at the can of coconut milk in resignation upon deciding none of the knives or the rest of my fingers are worth laboring over that one. And I turn out Heidi’s Leek Soup and the launch of BKK.