I’m not feeling terribly great about my efforts today. In an attempt to further my culinary training, I decided to give making a curry dish a try. I thought it only fitting, with the gorgeous lamb shanks I got a hold of and seeing as how I have not made curry, it seemed like an obvious direction to go. Now, I’m regretting it.

Curry is not something I am very familiar with. The dishes I have eaten that used curry were not exactly stellar, and didn’t make me seek out the next great dish. But, I feel it is something I need to learn about. How can I call myself a chef if I pick and choose the types of ethnic foods I want to cook. I should at least have an understanding of how to properly utilize curry. I spent many days researching how to make my own curry spice mixture, and how to incorporate the lamb shanks, and even found multiple recipes to help give me a better concept of the technique and what the end result should be. So, I felt confident that I could at least execute a decent lamb curry that would suffice for dinner, and have something to build upon from there. I had tasted and adjusted the seasoning (based on what I thought tasted good…again, no real experience), but there was a consistent problem. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like the smell, the taste, the color…nothing. I kept hoping that I would find something to change it dynamically for me. I added the coconut milk…still nothing. I then felt a lump in my throat…and it wasn’t the curry.

After seasoning, searing and braising the lamb shanks for hours…I thought it was time to give it a shot. Thank god for my husband, who was ready and willing to give it a shot. He seemed to enjoy it, which was some consolation to the effort I had put in. I fixed myself a small plate. I knew in my heart I probably wasn’t going to enjoy this, but I had to give it a shot.

So, here I am now. As much as this may sound like me throwing a “pity party”, I’m beside myself with questions and doubt. How can I, as an aspiring chef, NOT like curry? It seems so…wrong. But I don’t. How is that possible. I mean, I have not had what I would consider genuine curry, but I combined all the spices and didn’t like the way it smelled before I combined it with meat. Now the “what if’s” are going thru my head: What if I had fresh lemon grass? What if I made a curry paste instead of a curry powder? What is I didn’t sear the lamb well enough? Too much? And worse…what if I don’t like curry?

I’m so very disappointed right now. In what I made, what I’m feeling and the thought that this could impact me a chef. I’ve tried just about everything, from escargot to Rocky Mountain oysters to tripe to yak. and there’s so much more waiting for me, but I’ve never disliked a “type” of food. Part of me wants to give it another shot, finding a restaurant that excels at curry so I can maybe (and hopefully) determine I’m the problem (and figure out how to fix it). The other part is terrified I just won’t like it. The worst part now is not knowing…the scary part is finding out.

The final downside is the spicy, pungent and enriched smell that has permeated my clothing and the apartment. Hopefully my frequent investment in Yankee Candle can help out a bit.

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