I have news today!
First though, I have to apologize for tweaking a few of my photos from my previous post, What I Ate Wednesday. The final dinner shots I posted were really bugging me so I went away and reworked them (I actually replaced one too) and am somewhat happier with them. I wish I could just leave well alone but it's just not in my personality.
That's not my news, by the way, just in case you were thinking 'wow, this girl leads an exciting life - not!'. No, my news is that I've finally enrolled in a Professional Styling course, which is something I've longed to do for quite a while now.
To bring you up to speed, my life has kinda gone like this......I left Ireland at 18 to study music in London. I gained a Bmus (Bachelor's degree), a Masters in Contemporary Music and a PGCE in Secondary Music (a teaching qualification here in the UK) all from the same place - my beloved Goldsmiths College.
When I finally graduated (5 years of study) I taught music and drama in an all girls Secondary school in Ealing, London. I stayed at that particular school for four terms before deciding to attend Drama school - again, a lifelong dream of mine.
Off I trotted to The Court Theatre Training Company (also recognised as simply The Courtyard) where I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Acting as well as an ALCM in Acting awarded by The London College of Music and Media. It was a magnificent year and I met so many wonderful people and gained so much experience - even if I didn't think it at the time, my training has stood me in stead for my career in acting.
Since then I have been acting (stage and screen - small time stuff) and have intermittently taught in various schools, although truth be told I haven't taught properly in about three years. I don't enjoy teaching and it is not something I want to pursue any further.
As I'm sure many of you already know, the acting business is a difficult one and I feel I've been relatively lucky. I know I'm very employable (not just for my acting prowess but also for my commitment, passion and reliability) however, because I've now taken the decision not to travel for work the opportunities are somewhat limited. I will always be an actor and already have plans to work with my Husband on a project, which we'll be starting very soon.
But I need another (more reliable) source of income, as I can no longer rely on sporadic acting work to see me through. I've always had a keen eye for fashion, design, textiles etc and it's something that I have naturally leaned towards my whole life, even though I have never taken it very seriously. As I mulled things over and tried to figure out what path I should embark on (one that would stimulate me, fulfill me and also utilize my creative skills) it suddenly occurred to me that I could make a living out of something that I love to do everyday of my life - style!
Whether it be for food photos, my home, myself, I am constantly styling things around me. Sooooooo, I've signed up and paid the deposit for a professional styling course (it includes photo, film, tv and personal styling) that could give me the helping hand I need to get properly started on this new and hopefully successful venture. I can't tell you how excited I am (and nervous, and mildly stressed) to be entering a whole new arena that will possibly give me the freedom I desire and the flexibility I crave in a career. Fingers crossed it all works out!
In the meantime, I'm firmly back in the kitchen and enjoying it more than I have in a long time. This cauliflower curry was just one success I had a few nights ago - it's quite mild but full of flavour - and I was busting to share it with you. Hope you like it!
Tell me, has anybody else had a wildly varied career path like mine? What's your story and have you found your niche yet?
1/2 fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves
1/2 large chilli
thumbsized piece of ginger
4 or 5 salad potatoes
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 scant tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp vegetable bouillon granules
4 leave of cavolo nero or kale
small punch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
Roughly chop the onion and thinly slice the fennel. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion and fennel. Season with salt and gently fry for several minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn't colour.
Mince the garlic, chilli and ginger and add to pan. Stir to incorporate, season, clamp on lid and allow the flavours to infuse on a low heat for several minutes.
Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into wedges. Add to pan. Stir, clamp on lid and cook for a few minutes before adding the cauliflower florets. Mix thoroughly, clamp on lid and allow to soften for a minute or two.
Sprinkle in the spices and mix stir to ensure the potato and cauliflower florets are completely coated. Next stir through the tomato puree, again until everything is coated, clamp on lid and cook for a further minute or two allowing the spices to really penetrate the vegetables with flavour.
Add the vegetable bouillon/granules and pour in just enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Make sure not to overcook the cauliflower, it should retain shape and texture.
Wash the cavolo nero and slice into small strips. In the final ten minutes of cooking, add the leaves to the pan allowing them to wilt. Taste for seasoning and add most of the chopped flat leaf parsley retaining some for serving.
Serve with freshly boiled brown rice and adorn with the remaining parsley.
Dinner is served.