Learning to do one’s best in work and life — and in the kitchen.


I’m an overachiever in the kitchen.

Growing up, my mother hated the use of the term “overachiever,” because she felt it was overused and applied to high-achieving people who were working hard but reaching not exceeding their potential.  The first and foremost rule in my parents’ house was to do your best.  It was a mantra that went with me wherever I went, through grade school and college and law school, and continues to guide me now through long, taxing but gratifying hours as a public interest lawyer.

The problem is, when doing your best is an ethos that doesn’t really leave you, it means doing your best everywhere.  And when you grow up in a house whose people don’t eat to live but rather live to eat, where the food is always homemade and always fresh and delicious, it sets an awfully high bar for a daughter’s cooking.

Like I said, I’m an overachiever in the kitchen.