Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

the barefoot contessa

My family and only the closest of friends know this about me: I love the Barefoot Contessa. My love for Ina, and her show, began during this past year of my graduate studies. I’d often come home from classes and work too tired to cook for anyone, let alone for myself. So I’d make some eggs or some simple meal and plop in front of the Food Network so I wouldn’t have to eat dinner in silence, alone. “The Barefoot Contessa” happened to be on during dinnertime, and gradually, I realized how much I truly enjoyed the show. Ina has such a warmth about her, and is always serving up delicious recipes for all of her friends.  I view her show as a ministry of sorts–she seems to always be cooking for a friend who is too busy, or moving, or something of the sort. Who doesn’t love a nice homecooked meal, after all?

But, I just learned something new about Ina. She did not have any formal culinary training. This will come as a total shock to anyone who has ever seen the woman cook–her technique, know-how, etc. screams formal training. Yet, she learned what she knows from cookbooks and from experimenting with recipes.

Even more interesting, she left a busy career as a White House nuclear policy analyst to buy a gourmet store in New York. That’s right, Ina earned an MBA in Business from GW and worked in the White House, but she wasn’t happy. She realized that the job she was doing wasn’t “her,” so she left in pursuit of something she really, deeply enjoyed–cooking and entertaining.

Now, this blog post may seem completely random and the information in it is almost entirely from the wikipedia article on the Barefoot Contessa, but I will say this–in this time of uncertainty and discernment in my life, I find her story truly inspiring. How many people go through their lives, simply because they are on a particular path, and do not stop to question what they are doing. I myself feel this way right now, and that is why I am in this discernment process. As documented on this blog, I have spent the past two years working to gain acceptance into a PhD program. And now that I’m in, I am quite confident that this path is not at all what I had envisioned for myself.

So, I am quieting the voices in my head and the ones all around me, in hopes that my true feelings will emerge. Here’s to hoping that I have the courage to follow my dreams, even if it is a departure from what I had planned.

Bob Rice

Catholic speaker, musician, author, teacher

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

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