Cooked To Perfection

Karista’s Kitchen

One day while mindlessly perusing my social media feed during a break at work, I came across a post that stated, “It’s okay to outgrow people, even yourself”. (And loved it so much I felt compelled to repost on the SFH Insta page) The latter part of that quote made me think about how much we change during the course of our lives.

As a culinarian, I cook for a living but I also cook for my family, just as many of us do every day. It occurred to me how similar we transform and evolve as individuals living through basic life circumstances, just like food transforms when a seasoning, heat or cold is applied during the cooking process.

This year I spent my summer cooking the most gorgeous scallops at a food and wine festival. I happen to love scallops and all seafood in general so this was a fun dish to prepare. In their original state, scallops are raw and clean and silky white. They are soft and punchy to the touch but have a strength inside that helps keep them firm enough to withstand any element without falling apart. When they’re placed on a hot surface, they begin to slowly transform. Add a touch of seasoning and it brings to life the natural juices from within its milky exterior to assist in forming a sweet golden buttery brown crust, or as we call it in my world, a sear. If left on the heat too long the beautiful sear that occurs will become dark and crusty and the scallop itself becomes too firm and rubbery. However, when the heat is applied just long enough this beautiful gift from the ocean becomes a culinary delicacy unlike any other. It nourishes the body, excites the taste buds and satisfies a hungry tummy.

Today, I see a scallop that once was, in its infancy, a beautifully raw and organic product of the universe. It has been seasoned and seared through the years and has inexplicably changed into a new, more perfect culinary delicacy. The strength from inside helped keep the outside in solid form (although at times it didn’t feel that way) while being transformed into the best version of itself. This is, of course, an analogy for the change I have felt in my life and the changes we all experience throughout our lives. It seemed, in my mind at least, to be quite relevant as we enter a new year. We begin life just as the raw scallop began its journey to the table but we grow and evolve into a delicacy from the seasoning and searing we experience along the way. And it’s my hope that we each embrace these changes along with those we love and who love us.

It feels timely to write this at the beginning of 2019 so, I challenge you to embrace the YOU that has been seasoned and seared and not look back to what you were, but the magnificent person you are today the exciting person you will be in years to come. Celebrate the seasoning and searing you’ve experienced because the beauty of life is the ability to become the best version of ourselves. Let us trust in the fact that all of life’s trials, tribulations and circumstances have and will continue to cook us to perfection.