food for thoughts and tastebuds alike

Measuring Success

One lifelong internal debate I’ve had is how to measure whether or not your life to date has been a success. Obviously I’m not into corporeal quantitative metrics (although money sadly does have a good correlation that I can not argue with). I do believe in Thoreau’s perspective of assessing from the deathbed, but it is qualitative and defensive – not to mention speculative with the exception of the one time it is too late to do anything about it.

The internal debate takes me to the ebb and flow of life, from moments of intensity to moments of stagnation or destructiveness. Some, if not most, people seem to try to optimize their lives to minimize the ebbs and flows and shoot for a nice even keeled 80% steady somewhat-in-the-flow state. For me, I lean much more to measuring life by the strength of the peaks over the standard drive to simply grow the area under a steady curve. This allows one to hit Kahlil Gibran’s guidance on the selfsame relation between joy and sorrow, and moves the enemy of a fulfilling life from happiness to the rightful villain of stagnation.


And so it is with the kitchen. Why cook everything well when you can make something spectacular? Why buy the Joy of Cooking when you can read 10 pages on Fried Chicken in The Food Lab?

And that leads me to tonight’s meal – my first real deep dive when I first donned the Apron: chicken stock. Yeah, it isn’t a meal in its own right, but a well made stock really could be. If you haven’t made stock in a while, get out that stock pot and remind yourself of what you are missing with store bought stuff. It makes a life worth living.

Secret Ingredient: onion skins

Music Accompaniment: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

PS – tonight, the stock was quickly turned into Greek Egg Lemon Soup with Chicken and Scallions