The fine print
My mother has always called me a crow. I’m attracted to shiny things. I’m told my first sentence was “Look at that!” At the core of that is the idea that I am always looking for something new. I love the thrill of the find. I love the delight of creating something new. I hope that by sharing my thoughts here that I can inspire you to create something new as well.
Many weekends were spent baking when I was a kid, but overall I was a picky eater and completely non-adventurous in the kitchen. I wasn’t motivated to do much more than feed myself. In my early 30’s I developed some digestive troubles. I found the only way to solve it was to drastically change how I was eating. I cut out dairy, wheat, sugar, corn…all the good stuff. For two weeks I ate carrot sticks and handfuls of nuts. I didn’t know how to cook anything without my staple ingredients. Then the fear kicked in. Would I have to eat this way forever? Was I never going to enjoy delicious food again?
Not one to admit defeat, I got some alternative cookbooks and I learned how to make delicious food with the ingredients left to me. I tried new foods, new techniques, and had lots of disasters. But practice bred success. After a few years on my spartan regime I was able to introduce many of the forbidden foods back into my diet and now I can pretty much eat what I want.
Having to step outside my comfort zone and explore cooking and baking in a new way changed my life and I’ve never looked back.
One Sunday night about a year and a half ago I vividly remember feeling overworked and beaten down. You know, it’s that feeling you get when you know the weekend is over and you’re getting back in the mindset for work on Monday and dreading it with every fibre of your being. But this was more intense. Thom (the significant other) and I decided to walk Shelby (the poodle) in the rain – because walking a dog in the pouring rain is always a great pick me up…sigh. We came across a local book store (Book City – they allow dogs in) and found Rachel Khoo’s book My little Paris Kitchen which had just arrived in the shop. I flipped through the pages and was overwhelmed with the feeling that she was living the type of life I wanted to live. The next day my Bon Appetit magazine arrived in the mail and there was an article about Mimi Thorrison and her blog Manger. I looked at these women – these beautiful women – who had made choices to leave a steady career and choose the life they wanted. I know, I know… it’s not that simple, but in that moment it seemed so clear. What was stopping me? Why couldn’t I do that? These were the questions I wrestled with. A few months later I signed up for night classes at George Brown Chef School. I spent evenings and weekends in my kitchen exploring new recipes, I read cookbooks as novels in bed at night, I cooked and baked for all my friends. And now here I am.
I’m embarking on a big life change. I’ve taken the leap and put the corporate world on the back burner and a skillet on the front burner. I’m taking everything I have learned about cooking and baking from my childhood, my kitchen experiments, my classes at George Brown, and my few classes in Paris. I’m working as a temp in professional kitchens and for events. It’s not a mid-life crisis. Dear God, don’t let it be a mid-life crisis! It’s a passionate journey and a culmination of what I’ve learned up to now. I’m ready to inspire you and to inspire myself.
Amy Sellors is a professional actor and singer who has just moved from Toronto to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Ah, the great white north! Also a professional Coach, she has worked extensively for 15 years in corporate training, motivating people to improve through practice.