I have recently been told by a few different people, one with professional training in such matters, that I need hobbies. There was once a time when I was a passionate amateur writer, churning out melodramatic drivel with the best of them. From time to time, some of that output would be borderline readable. Regardless, at some point ego got whisked into the heady mix of passion and activity. I expected to be results or progress, however defined. I am starting to understand that the act of doing the activity is your only guarantee; the rest of it is just window dressing. We do things because we should, not for some outside reinforcement.

Since this writing hobby had waned, a few less constructive hobbies had reared their heads. So, here I stand with understanding that I need to reintroduce hobbies back into my daily mix. This all a roundabout way to say I did a lot of cooking yesterday. I made things I wanted to make, I made things I didn’t even know what they were until they were more or less finished and I made cheese. All of it brought me a sublime level of satisfaction, a pure feeling of accomplishment. I felt altogether Zen to be honest.

So, here is the lineup of what I made.
1. Hummus (salted to my taste, that is very salty)
2. Salsa Fresca
3. Mango Salsa
4. Quesa fresca
5. Lemon cheese (fail)
6. Muhamarra (Syrian dish using pomegranate molasses)
7. Frisee salad with walnuts, blue cheese, grapes and apples

It all turned out rather good, aside from the lemon cheese which jut flat out refused to curdle. No worries.

More importantly, it is something I hope to incorporate into my basket of hobbies in the future. One recipe per week. One step towards adulthood, Zen tranquility, balance.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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