The never ending pursuit of the beautiful
Recent discussions with people that have a superficial view of what beauty is have led me to want to explain why in my profile I list the never ending pursuit of the beautiful as one of my interests. Like anyone else I appreciate an outwardly beautiful person, a layered sunset, a magnificent mountain, a colorful songbird, etc... That being said, I think that one of the greatest beauties on earth is a capable and intelligent life. In this vein I would like to start a series of posts about lives that I find to be beautiful.
For the first post I give to you Ina Garten. As a foody of sorts I have spent many hours with the Food Network. My personal favorite show is Barefoot Contessa. For those interested -- the original Iron Chef is a close second! Many judge people who are hobby cooks and family oriented as uneducated and non-productive. This could not be farther from the truth. Ina is a self-starter by nature and didn't learn cooking from her mother or from culinary school but rather from good old fashioned trial and error with cookbook recipes. Her hard work and kind spirit cause me to say she is beautiful beyond measure. Here's some things you may not know about her:
"On December 22, 1968, Rosenberg and Garten were married in Stamford, and soon relocated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She began to dabble in cooking and entertaining in an effort to occupy her time while her husband served his four-year military tour as a paratrooper during the Vietnam War; she also acquired her pilot's license, according to an interview she gave to the Raleigh News & Observer. After completing his tour, the couple journeyed to Paris, France, for a four-month camping vacation that Garten has described as the birth of her love for French cuisine. During this trip, she experienced open-air markets, produce stands, and fresh cooking ingredients for the first time. Upon returning to the U.S., she began to cultivate her culinary abilities by studying the volumes of Julia Child's seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her weekly dinner party tradition began taking shape during this time, and she refined her home entertaining skills when she and her husband moved to Washington, D.C., in 1972.
In Washington, Garten worked in the White House and took business courses at George Washington University, eventually earning an MBA, while her husband worked in the State Department and completed his graduate studies. Originally employed as a low-level government aide, she climbed the political ladder and was assigned the position of budget analyst, which entailed writing the nuclear energy budget and policy papers on nuclear centrifuge plants for then-Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Strained by the pressures of her work and the serious, high-power setting of Washington, Garten once again turned to cooking and entertaining in her free time, constantly arranging dinner parties and soirées at her home on the weekends. Meanwhile, she was buying, refurbishing, and reselling homes for profit ("flipping") in the Dupont Circle and Kalorama neighborhoods. The funds from these sales gave Garten the means to make her next purchase, the Barefoot Contessa specialty food emporium."