Monday, December 5, 2011

Collecting and cooking

I can attest to having more than one hobby. I can attest to having more hobbies than I write about in this blog. But it never crossed my mind that I approach my hobbies in similar ways. I think I do. And I think most people do. Something a bit different, a bit more meta. Lots of pictures on Wednesday, but today is text only.

This isn't necessarily a comparison of the choice of hobbies, because you can be interested in two completely different things. This is something I expect anyone with more than one hobby to understand. I think it's healthy to be interested in more than one thing.
This article is rather about how two hobbies are being treated in similar fashion.

Those of you who know me personally are fully aware that I like to collect stuff. Not just toys. I don't want to go into all the various things I collect, but I'm susceptible to start collecting pretty much anything I find interesting.  Among other things, I guess that makes me a materialist, but it's not that simple. When ever I get into something new, I usually start by acquiring knowledge, and usually end up with sharing the knowledge. This should be no news to anyone who has read this blog, as something like 30% of the articles are toy history.

But I know I differ from many other collectors in a few ways.
First of all, I love to show off my collections. This is apparent, right? But it goes further than to just show pictures of my stuff. I want to tell the stories about behind the items. Both my own stories and those that follow the item no matter who owns it. I see far too many people who are satisfied boxing up their collections for people to never see them. Or people who are not interested in sharing their passion with anyone. Sure, it doesn't work to constantly talk about it, but to hide it completely from others is to deny people seeing you for who you truly are. What we're interested in is part of what defines us.

Be proud of having a passion. Be proud of having something you're interested in. Be it sports, fishing, baking, listening to music, writing poems, anything.
I very much think that a collection - an affection for anything really - is something that can, and in some cases should be shared. I guess this is the first point where I treat both collecting and cooking in similar fashion, since I write about both these hobbies right here.

Another way I think I'm different from a few other collectors is that I don't feel the need to complete a collection. I don't feel my collection is less worth to me if it's missing certain pieces.

Case in point 1: I have a collection of Transformers robots. It counts something like 40-50 robots, and is by that number alone a rather small collection. But I'm satisfied with it. It consists of some of my favorites, as well as those I have just liked the look of. I pick up additional pieces if I feel like it (which for some weird reason is during summer), but for the most part, I don't feel like my collection of robots needs to be bigger.

Case in point 2: Since the start of Masters of the Universe Classics, I've subscribed to the toy line from Mattel, and for that reason I have most of the figures. But not all of them. Even though I was there when the line began, and I had the full possibility of having a complete collection, I just don't feel I need to.
This leads me to believe the concept of collecting is of less importance to me than the actual items and the stories behind them.

Make no mistake about it, I absolutely love to see others with dedication and economy to mass up complete collections. I have friends who can boast of having every single G.I. Joe figure ever released. And I honestly find that impressive. But I'm not there myself. I'd rather have a small collection with a certain theme and idea behind it, than everything. Is it an economy thing? Maybe. Is it a space thing? Probably. But even if I had a bottomless wallet and garages to fill, I don't think it would change a thing.
Maybe if I had a museum to fill, but then the point would be to share a collection with others - something I'm obviously interested in doing. 

Can this, the lacking need to have complete collections, in any way be compared to how I approach cooking? Well, some of you have seen how inaccurate my recipes are. And that's how I cook. Following a recipe is good to a certain degree, but I'm more likely to just wing it.
But that's not saying I don't care about what I make. I take great pride in being very precise when I cook. Not with following the recipe, but rather how I treat the meal I prepare, how I treat the ingredients, how I present the meal.

Case in point 1: I barely gave a second thought to the distribution of ingredients when I last made a bread, I just filled the bowl with a suitable amount of various things I know works in a bread. But I used a long time doing it the proper way - with kneading, leavening, and I had a certain focus in every step of the process. I also took a great pride in the finished result.

I also tend to not focus on one specific type of food. You have seen everything from bread, breakfast and tea to soup, bbq, meat and fish. This is probably why I'll never be a great chef - I get too distracted with trying new things for me to learn specifics properly.
And I guess you can say the same about my collections. I'm too distracted with my latest affections to ever assemble one of those truly epic collections.

Is this diversity a bad thing?

I don't mind at least.
Hope you don't mind either. Because on Wednesday it's time for something that I've never written about before: Marzipan confection.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Take it from a person who knows you...the way you collect is the healthy way, that's what I think anyway... I think having more than one passion crafts our personalities into a perfect whole (how poetic was that??), and what's funny about your passions is that they become the whole family's passion, because of your passion. And your collection, put together, is epic!