There is a 15 year old young man who recently started coming to church, as did his mother. They had some strange ideas about life when we first met them. But over the course of several months, we've seen change, for the better. They are more industrious, have greater pride in themselves, and are starting to think more about others than just themselves.
The young man called me up a couple days back and stated that his mother had worked extra hard at cleaning their home and he wanted to cook dinner for her. I had mentioned to him a while back that if he ever developed a desire to learn how to cook, he could contact me and I would teach him some things. Well, he called.
I asked him to find out, discretely, what his mother liked and we would make something really good for her. He checked into that and came up with Sirloin Tip roast. I couldn't help him until after 5 p.m., when I got off of work and thought that the roast, being a fairly lean hunk of meat, would take too long to cook properly. So we went to a local store that sells good meat, and looked at what they had available. We ended up purchasing some good sirloin steak, a couple avocados, fresh crimini mushrooms, unsliced, bean sprouts, salad fixin's, and whole wheat pita bread. The meal of the night was to be good flatbread sandwiches.
I showed the young man how to use a sharpening steel to freshen his knives, how to hold and use the knife to chop, dice, slice, and carry food. He learned to put a bit of lemon juice on the sliced avocado, how to mechanically tenderize the meat and remove the silver skin and fat, season the meat, and pan fry it in cast iron to get it just medium rare . I taught him how to find the meat grain, and bias-slice the meat against the grain to insure that it was tender and the right size and thickness for the pita pockets. He also learned how to prepare and take care of the cast iron pan, dice onions without causing tears, and saute the mushrooms.
Well, to make a long story short, the mother, her son, his older sister, and a couple of guests had some very good sandwiches. We even made home-made mayo and from that, home made ranch dressing. They were amazed at what their son could do (with significant assistance, that is). I helped pay for about half of the grocery cost. Oh, the young man also made some blueberry muffins from a mix, without muffin papers, and they slid out of the muffin pans without leaving a crumb. It was an extremely successful night.
So, you might ask, what's the problem? The problem is that he wants a weakly lesson to learn new cooking techniques. His family would pay for the ingredients, but that would take up a good 2 to three hours a week of my already stretched time. I think a new technique every couple of weeks would be reasonable, but not weakly lessons. I always thought that I'd like to have a side business of teahching people how to cook, in their homes, with their equipment. But I always thought it would be a business, where I'd make a bit of cash. But at the same time, I see so much change in this young man and want to help him grow, take him under my wing, so-to-speak. He doesn't have a father at home. It would help him. But my life is so very busy already.
I need to be a good example to him and his family, but can't stretch myself too thin. I need more hours in the day.
I'm not asking for advise, merely talking to good people who will listen. My Christian beliefs compel me to help wherever I can. And my own desires and nature do the same. I just have to be careful not to make anyone too dependent on me or my skills. I can be this young man's friend, but not his surrogate father.
I could go on, but need to stop here. I have to complete a querry letter for my novel, to send to prospective agents. I have to make a paragraph known in the writing community as "the hook", and then use about a half page to condense my 570+ pages of novel into an intelligent summary, and then use the remaining portion of the page to abricate a short biography of myself as a writer. This part of trying to get published is more challenging than is writing the novel, almost. But, I have successfully crafted a query letter before, that has gotten my work read by multiple agents, who all said the same thing, the story is great, almost ready to sell. Just flesh out the characters a bit more.
Oh, and be assured, the writing i my novel is proofread an polished, without doubel negatives, or dangling participles, or, the sentences that contain five prepositions and a handful of redundancies. Great care has been taken to craft the work. I even used a spell-checker.
And so, my friends, I leave you for now. Got work to do.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North