The Worth of the Grill

Turns out life doesn’t just hand you bad peaches. It hands you bad figs, too. Horribly expensive and horribly bad-tasting figs. Seems like my fruit-picking skills are failing me.

Figs are one of my favorite fruits. It’s just so juicy and luscious and chewy and…figgy. But the bag of lovely-looking figs I brought home was a total dud. Dry, tasteless, spongy. I thought I was munching on a dish sponge. I spit it out, cursed the damn fig, but couldn’t bear to throw it away. Why? Just for its beauty.
figsJust look at it. Damn this fat pouch of sweetness. Stop being so pretty! (The picture above is not mine, by the way)

Anyway. Point is, my bag of figs deserved to be tossed out, but I ended up keeping it deep in my fridge. Because it was pretty. Because I had great expectations for it, and I paid big bucks for it. The deceiving little conniving fruity fatales.

Today’s second meeting with my editor to edit my article for the Daily Trojan reminded me of this bag of figs.

I have had high expectations for journalism. It seemed so glamorous, so exciting, so thrilling. I once saw a journalist interviewing someone in the streets and I had to refrain myself to skipping over and fawning over him. I wanted to find out what shoes he was wearing, what notebook he was using, and what pen he liked to use for interviews. I wanted to gush about how cool his job was, how much I want to be like him, blah blah blah.

Yes, I would rather meet with a good journalist than— say, a star like Edward Cullen (darn, did I get his name right?).

But now…I’ve realized that as exciting as journalism seems to be, behind-the-scenes, the majority of my time seems to be sitting next to my laptop and cellphone, obsessively checking on emails and waiting for phone calls that are 4 hours late. Oh, dear.

Journalism is hard work. I have to have skin as thick as a rhinoceros, I have to be constantly up-to-date, I have to dig out “juicy” angles, I have to be hip and knowledgeable and aggressive and creative. All those stereotypes on annoying, obnoxious journalists? It’s true. Because I am being taught to be like that. And all I am is a little news writer for my college newspaper!

Glamorous journalism? It’s a facade, like that bag of deceivingly-pretty figs. In fact, I doubt there is any job/career in the world that is as glamorous as it seems to be. Behind the glamour are buckets of tears and perspiration.

Which brings me to this key question: Is journalism worth all that hard work?

Well, this is my answer: Am I going to stop buying figs because of this one bad buy? Hell NO! Am I going to quit my dream just because some hard work is involved? No freaking way!

In fact, this just brings in my topic for my previous post: When life hands you a bad peach fig, GRILL it!

Grilled Fig Pizza

3 fresh figs
1 whole wheat pita
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup kabocha (or pumpkin) puree
salt and pepper
cinnamon
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
small bunch of spinach, torn
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
spoonful Parmesan cheese
drizzle honey (or maple syrup)
drizzle balsamic vinegar

Set out your dearest friend Mr. GF and grill the figs.

Meanwhile, mix the cottage cheese, kabocha, cinnamon, salt and pepper together, and spread it on top of the pita. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fry up the bacon and the onions until cooked and fragrant. Nibble on a piece of bacon to make sure it’s crispy and delicious. Scatter the bacon and onion over the pita. Top with the grilled figs and both cheeses.

Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until the pita is nice and crisp, and the cheese is melted and you can’t stand the amazing tantalizing aroma anymore.

Take the thing out, drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. DIG IN!
Holy Fig! If a bad, spongy fig produces such a result each time, I wouldn’t mind it! Every penny that I paid for these turned out well worth it!
Ack! It just is absolutely gorgeous with all the colors!
But the taste is even more beautiful. Oh my GOD! The base of the cottage cheese and kabocha was perfect with the grilled figs and the acidic balsamic vinegar and the intense sweetness of the honey…
Damn fig. Grilled with a permanent black mark. Serves you right. But soooo good in my tummy!
Oh my God. Do you see that little oozing honey? Sweet nectar of the gods!
And pita sure makes for a lovely, thin and cripsy base!

Okay, I’m babbling. I don’t even know what the heck I’m saying, but seriously, this was one big ecstasy in my mouth, so no wonder I’m losing coherent and rational thought.

But I haven’t forgotten to say this: Whatever path you chose, you’ve got to undergo some intense grilling in order to achieve the best possible result. Good things don’t come in a breeze.

First, you’ve got to determine whether it is worth it. And if it is, don’t just give up and toss all your work away; keep on at it. The result may not be what you exactly expected, but you can be guaranteed that it is always worth it.

I may groan and complain as I work to achieve my journalistic dreams, but every sweat I break, every time I spend working on it, it is not to waste. Because I am improving. Because I am learning. Because honestly, the process of that is even more significant and meaningful than the end result.

Question of the day: Is there something for which you are busting your ass? Do you think it’s worth it, and how is the process of achieving it?