I guess it’s true what they say. Brett Favre’s consecutive start streak comes to an end at a whopping 297. Sad that a lot will remember Favre for the drama, the controversy, the interceptions from this season and not for the true icon that he is. I may not be a Packers fan (or a Jets fan or a Vikings fan), but I can respect what this guy has done for football. As a Packer fan held up a sign at the first meeting of the season this year, “Forget the jersey, remember the legend”. I guess it makes me thankful that Cal Ripken Jr. started his career and retired as an Oriole.
I know it’s not the same, but I had another sort of ending today. I came home, after an impossibly long 11 hour workday, to find that my kitchen was flooded. My roommate had left the faucet on and left the house. And the water had ruined much of what I owned (that could be ruined by water) in the kitchen. One item being my drawer of recipes. Now, I don’t cook or bake much, but these recipes were like my reminder that I want to be that person who can come home at the end of the day and cook something really great for dinner. As much as I want to deny it, those recipes were something that kept a part of me going. Like a secret that only I knew, that I wanted to be good enough to bake that stupid lemon curd chiffon cake that I cut out of a newspaper years ago. I used to keep it on my refrigerator, trying to gain the courage to try to make it. It never happened. Instead, it went into my drawer with a clipping for an amazing slow cook-ed brisket recipe, my own age old and time tested recipe for crab dip (one of the only things I’ve ever been able to make with confidence besides a darn good bloody mary), and the newest addition: a Venezuelan beef recipe I was going to make this Christmas.
Maybe it was the exhaustion from the long workday and the long workweek to come. Maybe it was the mess in my apartment, coming home at 10pm after that long day. Maybe it was the fact that my favorite (and pricey) metal grill lighter no longer worked, or that I had a headache and all I wanted was an advil and even that was soaking wet and ruined, maybe it was the pile of wet and smelly dishcloths that I would need to wash immediately. Maybe it was all of those things, but I seriously just started to bawl. It didn’t hit me until I walked outside to throw out all the soaking wet recipes, pieces falling apart in my hands, all those years of collecting them. One of them, I remember my ex cut out for me and we promised to make it on our second wedding anniversary (we never made it to that goal). Another magazine, I remember reading in the Giant supermarket in Maryland while I was home one year visiting my mom. I brought it back to the house and my mom yelled at me and lectured me about spending all that money on a stupid magazine when I didn’t even cook. There was an article that shared my views on Michael Pollan (I criticize him for being elitist), that my boss cut out for me to show me that I wasn’t alone in that criticism. And then there was that stupid lemon curd chiffon cake, or whatever it was. I hung that clipping on my fridge for months, until the summer had gone and left. The recipe was daunting for someone who had zero baking skills, but it looked so delicious, I thought I could convince myself to make it one of these days. And now all those promises to myself are in the recycling bin, waiting to be taken out with tomorrow’s trash. It’s sad. Just like Favre, it seems like the end of the world, for this to happen, right now. But I’m going to take the attitude of the Vikings now. Things might be over for now, but there is no time like the present to start rebuilding the empire. Who knows, maybe that will buy me enough time to start learning how to actually cook.