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Shoemaking

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May. 16th, 2008 | 12:19 am

You know once upon a time I thought there was one way to do anything.

Now I know better.

I know there is one way to do something right. A way that will result in a consistent, preferable, high quality result time and time again.

And then there is shoemaking. Shoemaking, for those not in the know, is a culinary term for... punting, halfassing, faking, making and in general just getting by. You didn't have time to properly reduce your sauce to the correct thickness? Add some gelatin. Don't have the time to let the sauce thicken overnight? Add a little roux - most folks will never be able to taste the difference.Don't have time to make a roux? Add a cornstarch slurry(cornstarch diluted in water). Don't have time for that? Well didn't have time to make the sauce? Use gravy granules....

As you can see this can be a slippery slope. Once you are willing to take the easy way out in one way you are invariably willing to take more shortcuts. Now there are shortcuts and there are shortcuts. Gently grinding your Parmesan in the food processor instead of grating it by hand will, typically, not end up a damn bit different in most usages. Running out of your slowbaked chutney and needing to add raspberry sauce, fresh blue berries and some water to get by - THAT right there is shoemaking at it's finest(worst).

In every chef is a little shoemaker. At least the successful chefs. You can't work in a business that throws as many curve balls as cooking without knowing and being able to implement 'make things work' solutions on the fly. Almost every job has at least a small aspect of shoemaking. The important part is where you draw the line.

For me? I won't serve anything that will get someone sick or that isn't worth their money. Yeah I'll stretch and skimp but you won't get that green fuzzy steak that no one is willing to throw away out of food cost. You won't get something dropped on the floor, you won't get a teeny tiny portion of halibut because my chef forgot to order fish. I should hope airplane mechanics draw their line at safety, I should hope police officers draw their line at important crimes.

Everyone and everything has a line. Sometimes you have to do things and put things out that you aren't happy with. Sometimes you have to shoemake.

Even in religion. There I said it. Sometimes you need to shoemake in religious ceremonies or in spells. You don't have ____ then you substitute __(because, of course, you know what you are doing and why it still works). Sometimes you can't wait for the right time or right place, sometimes you can't spend and hour offering praise and sacrifices first. Sometimes you can't give your god the whole cow he wants.

Shoemaking.

But what matters is where you draw the line and whether or not you can distinguish the shoemaking from the proper way. The right way, the proper way to do something almost always yields a better, more consistent result. This is the way you should chose - the way you know is right. But deep inside of each of us is a little shoemaker, just in case.

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Comments {5}

pjvj

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from: pjvj
date: May. 16th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
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I believe frequency in shoemaking in a religion matters, also. Sometimes to get over that hump, yes. Frequently because it is easier, faster, lazier - no.

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Desree MacFeegle

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from: desree42
date: May. 18th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
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I think theres also a significant difference between shoemaking and being a shoemaker. And I think you're right in that the frequency of shoemaking matters, quite a bit in fact.

If someone is constantly or regular shoemaking.. well at that point why bother right?

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pjvj

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from: pjvj
date: May. 18th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. If you are a shoemaker then the shoemaking is the expert crafting. If you are not but a blacksmith relying on shoemaking all the time, why not just go and be the shoemaker? <---- did I just kill it with too much metaphor?

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Hi

from: jadenkorr
date: Jul. 12th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
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Hey Des. Good to see you online again, and I'm glad to know that you are well. :D

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from: rogozimalak
date: Oct. 30th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
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maybe

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