Do Something Radically Different Today

Today began very routinely. Then I decided to step outside my comfort zone. I decided to make a quiche.

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My quiche crust—filled with black beans as pie weights

I’ve cooked eggs many ways. I cooked my first scrambled eggs standing on a chair. Then I discovered the delicacy of fried eggs on toast. I mastered the over-medium egg in the kitchen of my first apartment. Now, the sunny-side up egg and the frittata—or “crustless” quiche—are standard breakfast in our home.

But while you can throw a frittata together in haste, a quiche must be made with care. You must make a delicate, buttery dough, well in advance. You must blend the perfect balance of eggs and cream for a silky custard filling. You must gently layer cheese, bacon and onions so they float evenly once the custard is set. And finally, you must handle the golden crust like an expensive vase.

Why would I take on such a daring task, you ask?

The cons are loud and clear. I will spend far hours more than it takes to prepare our usual breakfast. I will likely waste costly ingredients making a mistake along the way. And I fully expect the end result will be a failure—I only hope it will be edible.

But, my dear friends, I assure I embark upon this journey enthusiastically.

Let me explain why.

I can remember the last time I made sunny-side up eggs—because it was this morning. But I can’t remember a time last year that I made them. There were many, but none worth remembering.

I’m sure the series of unmemorable acts made slow, incremental refinements to my skill. And I no doubt owe this morning’s delicious breakfast to those cumulative hours of practice. But those acts did not provide anything groundbreakingI did not learn anything new.

But, today’s costly and likely-to-fail experiment will be remembered. And it will offer more lessons than I will be able to learn from at once.

I’ve heard it said that you move mountains one small rock at a time. But that’s nonsense. The earth shakes suddenly and violently, moving them in huge pieces, or even all at once.

Sure, there is a time and a place for refinement. But leaps are made by doing something radically different. And passion and creativity are fueled by shaking things up.

You don’t have to make a quiche, but do something wild and different today. I assure you, you won’t forget it.

p.s., if you want to know how my quiche turned out, you can sign up for my mailing list here and I’ll send you a piece (digitally, of course).

And, if you’d like to take a crack at this yourself, you can find the recipe in Bouchon, the cookbook from Thomas Keller.

This Is Not Perfect, Check It Out

I’ve struggled to get traction on my dream. That’s because I really don’t know what my dream is. I know what it feels like. But I can’t really identify the key ends of what the dream is.

Balcony in Kihei, Maui

From the balcony of our vacation condo in Kihei, Maui.

You see, I picture myself writing this blog while sitting on a balcony with clear blue water as far as I can see. Sipping coffee while enjoying the crisp, morning breeze. Thinking about the great things I’ve learned, and finding something valuable in it to share with you.

But the dream is not the tropical locale. It’s not the escape from a 9-to-5 job. It’s not even the blog I’m writing.

Those are trimmings—and I certainly hope they come with the dream—but they aren’t the dream.

Q-Tips and Calculated Failure

Olga and I were at Costco the other day when a box of Q-tips came at us so fast we were stopped dead in our tracks, like deer in the headlights. Okay, it was actually three boxes, but let me explain how this ear-cleaner’s dream became a calculated failure.

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We had them on our shopping list. As we rounded the corner, the mountainous display of swabby goodness stood proudly. The angel choir sang, holding the billboard-sized discount sign on high. We knew our quest was over, and then, we froze…