There are countless ways to learn a thing.
I watch videos. I take online courses. I visit with the people who do the thing. If I want to learn a new skill, I find ways to gather techniques, tricks, steps, processes.
When I became a private investigator, I studied online first. I read everything I could. I bought a course from PI Education. I devoured every word, every trick, every step-by-step. (Full disclosure, I loved the course so much, I ended up buying the company and expanding it.)
After my self study, I sought out an expert to train me. I offered my services for free to her for a month. She benefited from a little bit of free labor. I benefited from her years of accumulated knowledge.
After my self-imposed internship, I went out and practiced. I worked on the skills. i worked on the processes. I worked on perfecting the business.
I still follow this same process. I read. I watch videos. I take on line courses. I study. I identify people nearby who are doing the thing and I try to find a way to learn from them. Then, I practice. I practice. I practice.
I've been cooking over fire for about forty years. Started with my mom and dad at a campsite. Learned to build a fire and roast hotdogs. It continued in Boy Scouts. I spent unending hours over a hot fire making peach cobblers, brunswick stew, grilling steaks. My pal Jason and I have adjoining spots down by a river in Tennessee. In between our respective cabins, we have "The Dinner Knoll."
The Dinner Knoll is a central spot where we join together to break bread and share stories. It's the spot pictured in the banner photo of this post. It's a magical spot.
While I've been cooking with passion for years, I still have lots to learn. There's more to grilling than searing a steak. There are classic techniques in cooking that - while employed in sleek kitchens the world around - were perfected over live coals and fire. I fired up the grill at home last night to make a quick meal for Kim and me.
It's not a special grill. Just a cheap barrel grill I picked up at Home Depot for less than $100. But man does it cook.
Menu from last night (Recipe for first course direct from Francis Mallmann, a master of fire and technique)
First Course - Grilled Cheese and Carrots
- both tossed in oil and oregano
Griddled toast with onion and garlic
- pile the grilled goodness on top of the toast and eat.
Second Course - Trout on the grill
Put all ingredients on top of trout fillet. Grill, skin side down, for about 7 minutes. Eat.
Now, get out there and learn something new.