There are recipes you make because you like the way they taste (chicken pot pie, carrot risotto, thin and chewy pizza crust); there are recipes you make because you’re trying to show love (hot chocolate cookies, homemade cheesecake, soft and chewy salted caramel); and then, also, there are recipes you make for another reason, one not unlike the reason to get a new job or start a garden or build all your furniture yourself:
Because you didn’t think you could.
Maybe this is how climbers feel about new mountains, or runners, about setting a new pace. When my brother says he wants adventure, and we end up at the top of the Arcadia National Forest in Maine, maybe this is why.
Because the thing about a challenge or, more specifically, about meeting one, is that it makes you feel powerful, like you can do things. And when we defeat something we didn’t think we could, we learn to be less afraid.
In a 2008 CNN article titled “The Spirit of … Adventure,” Brigid Delaney writes about this challenge-seeking spirit that accounts for the increasingly common tendency of 20-somethings to take a year off between college and career, or for middle-aged retirees to travel the world. She says “yearning for adventure can strike at all ages,” and she quotes a traveler for saying this:
“I see adventure as going beyond something you feel comfortable with. If you are uncomfortable going to the end of your street and you go beyond this, then you are being adventurous.”
In other words, adventure may mean climbing a mountain or, adventure may mean taking someone’s hand and choosing to trust. Challenge can be moving to a new place or, it can be as simple as going to the kitchen, pulling out ingredients, stepping outside conventions and attempting something you’ve never tried before or tasted.
Like, for example, a cheeseless, crustless quiche.
Where will you seek adventure this weekend?