In some fields it's required to maintain a license in order to work.
In some fields it's required to stay on top of changes; to be on the cutting edge.
And I suppose one could say that it's necessary to keep our brains stimulated.
But wouldn't it be nice if there were just a few things that we could learn and then be done with?
That, from that final moment onward, we could just say, smugly: "I know that" and be confident that we would not be contradicted?
There must be a few things…..
I learned to read as a child. To the best of my knowledge there have been no significant advances in reading that I need to conquer. (Although I am rather fond of practising.)
Ditto for writing: I can both print and write 'cursive'.
Speaking…. not true. I've never truly mastered English…. there are still a few thousands of words I don't know. Add to that my attempts at Spanish while living in Andorra and French where I live now and I think I could lay out a course of study for the next 30 years.
Those are the very basics. Once one gets to actual working or practical knowledge my need for continuing education is boundless.
Some areas are gradual.
Every year I plant my potager (vegetable garden) and every year I learn a little bit more about gardening. It's a pleasurable learning experience, the only pressure exerted is if, suddenly, all the plants start to sicken and die (touch wood, not so far).
Every new cook book or blog I read adds a little bit to my kitchen knowledge, bits I can use or not; retain or not.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the vast and endless world of the internet.
Not only does it require about 30 hours a day of sifting through the stuff that we should know…. It requires another 30 hours a day to actually read and absorb that stuff.
Google just made another change to its algorithm; this one, supposedly, to benefit those sites that didn't come up to snuff on their SEO after the last change.
I think I'm about four changes behind…..
Napoleon had an interesting method for dealing with the voluminous (for the times) correspondence he received: He didn't open any of it for six months. His theory was that after six months 90% of the problems would have been solved by the writer themselves or someone else. The remaining 10% were truly worthy of his attention.
Wonder if that would work with Google……
In the meantime, it's spring.
The cherry tomatoes are finding there way to the markets already.
I made this last year… And will make it again as soon as I find the mangetout (a bit of a challenge here).
This is a lighter, fresher stir-fry, with snow peas, cherry tomatoes and water chestnuts. Add the tomatoes, left whole, at the last minute. They'll cook very quickly.
2 chicken breasts
4oz (125gr) snow peas (mangetout)
4oz (125gr) cherry or grape tomatoes, any color
4oz (125gr) water chestnuts
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp minced, fresh ginger
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 cup (8oz, 250ml) chicken stock
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena)
1 tbs sherry
1 tbs water
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Mince garlic, ginger. Cut onion into quarters, lengthwise, then slice thinly. Trim snow peas and cut in half at an angle. Open and drain water chestnuts, slice. Slice celery at an angle.
Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, snow peas, water chestnuts, celery and sauté 5 minutes longer. Remove vegetables to a plate. Add chicken to skillet and sauté 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, stock, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Uncover, return vegetables to skillet and increase heat.
To finish: Dissolve cornstarch in sherry and water. Add to skillet and stir until thickened. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir well. Remove from heat and cover and let rest for a minutes or two to finish the tomatoes. Spoon over rice and serve.
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 tsp butter
1 cup chicken stock
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and sauté, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes. Add stock or water. Cook rice for length of time on package. When done fluff with fork and serve.