When met with our prompt of “Cup” today, the first thing that popped into my head was Philippe’s disdain for our measuring system here in the States. We were recently trying to switch to a different food for our dog Phineas and Philippe wanted to be as accurate as possible. The thing is, measuring things in cups is not terribly precise. I was telling him the amount in cups that I found online and he said, “no, no, no! That’s ridiculous! Give it to me in grams!” But, we do have a lovely set of metal measuring cups that he will use when following an American recipe. Looking at these today, I remembered back to when I purchased them. Yes, these are my measuring cups, purchased back when Philippe and I were just dating, and I wanted to give cooking a try. As with any new hobby, I needed the proper tools. In my mind, measuring things was the most important bit, so I invested in a stainless steel set. It was from the Culinary Institute of America, which seemed like a step in the right direction. They were shiny, they were awesome, and they were going to make me an amazing cook! Well, that’s not exactly how this particular story ends.
I tried cooking several dishes with my new measuring cups and many were rather successful. Philippe coached me long distance via Paris while he was still there, and I was determined to cook for him when he returned. Upon tasting my first dish, made with love, he lovingly told me that I “didn’t need to do that.” This is something people say when they receive a really nice gift of some kind that feels a bit too extravagant. In truth, they mean they are really glad for the gift and have no real intention of returning it. In my case, however, this phrase could simply be taken at face value. Though my dinner was edible, it lacked all of the culinary finesse that my future husband was capable of creating. Philippe not only enjoys cooking, he prefers to be in charge of the cuisine. So, I bid farewell to my shiny measuring cups and have taken to just stirring things or turning the oven on and off at the appropriate time when Philippe is running late at work. This, in the end, suits my own culinary ability perfectly. Instead, I set up shop on the other side of the kitchen counter and sketch and paint with watercolor, which I enjoy much more.
My friends have told me that I could surely cook something wonderful if I set my mind to it. But, that’s not really the point. I didn’t love cooking enough to apply myself in a way that would make me successful. The truth is, in life, we can only really succeed in DOing the things we truly love. The things that come with a passion and drive to DO more and more, try more and more, fail more and more, and no matter what, keep coming back for more and more! So, I chose art and writing as my focus. And those same friends, by the way, have now fully agreed with my path after tasting Philippe’s cooking. The thing I’ve learned is that while I love to try everything I possibly can, there are only a precious few things that I can practice regularly. So, a bit of focus is required. This isn’t something that comes naturally for me, but something I’ve been working on through this very blog. And, though I sometimes paint a funny picture of Philippe with my words, it should be noted that his insistence that I sit on the other side of the kitchen counter is because he wants me to succeed at what I love while he succeeds at what he loves. It’s the perfect recipe that we created together, despite the lack of a precise metric system in this country, that still has us joyfully measuring love in cups.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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