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Improving Basic Skills

As one might expect, a Thanksgiving of eating, drinking and being merry, begets a low-key day after. And today is perfect for being a bit subdued. It’s dreary and rainy.

By the end of the day yesterday, I was tired. The food was good, but considerable effort was involved.

We had the standard dishes, of course, but I made some refinements and innovations. For example, I finally figured out the right mix and timing for curing the ham. I had done it before with decent results, but this one was markedly better. I used a baking stone on my Green Egg when I did the turkey. It cooked more evenly, and looked like something out of a food magazine. Rarely can I make that claim.

I even came up with a quite decent Green Chili gravy. For several years, I have been fascinated with New Mexico Green Chili sauce. My experiments have consumed multiple jars of Zia Hatch peppers. Last night, I felt like I had finally gotten it right - and it was totally my own creation.

I have said it before, but in many ways cooking is like what I do for a living. As a trial lawyer, you constantly build on and improve basic skills. As I did with my ham and turkey, you figure out ways to do the basic stuff better.

Sometimes, you need to develop entirely new skills, like my green chili efforts.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a meeting. One of the lawyers did a presentation on a closing argument he had recently used. It was shockingly simple, yet brilliant. I was embarrassed that I had never thought of such a strategy - and I have huge experience trying cases.

I was reminded that the best trial lawyers are more than just smart and technically proficient. They have a strong creative side. They think of new ways to do things.

I love being a trial lawyer. I love cooking.

There is a connection.

But today, Maggie and I will just chill. And, naturally, enjoy the delicious holiday leftovers.


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