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And Now, Your Moment of (Cooking) Zen


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Waking up in the morning to the incredible smell of a pork shoulder cooking slowly all night in the slow cooker and knowing that pulled pork on a bun with smoky BBQ sauce could be for lunch.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Making wonderfully soft scrambled eggs the s-l-o-o-w way (in butter, of course).

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Mise in place. Slow cooking things in the oven. Knowing I have four burners and four different things with four different times and temps that all need to finish at the same time including restings, sauces etc.

20 minutes of fury.

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Watching the starch molecules unwind in a warm wet environment before screaming for more stock.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Peeling and deveining shrimp, alternately tossing shell in trash and tail to dog.

I also connect with Doodad's post above when you have everything going on and you are moving fast and it is all coming together. Normies think it is chaotic and scary but i think cooks find it exhilarating and calming at the same time.

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Mesquite smoke billowing from the smoker, doing its thing to the brisket and likely some other random somesuch while I sit in the 103-degree weather drinking a cold Shiner Bock.

 

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When I'm doing a big party, and my kitchen is seemingly chaotic, there is a moment when everything comes together in a beautiful symphony and I take a second to enjoy it.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”

W.C. Fields

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Peeling and deveining shrimp, alternately tossing shell in trash and tail to dog.

I also connect with Doodad's post above when you have everything going on and you are moving fast and it is all coming together. Normies think it is chaotic and scary but i think cooks find it exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Heidi, I think, has hit upon something. I submit that there are two schools of Zen cookery:

The first involves the repetitive, monotonous kitchen tasks that are, of course, unavoidable: Heidi's shrimp, shelling fava beans or, god forbid, removing the skins from pistachios. You must empty your mind and find the Rhythm with these tasks. Time collapses to a point.

The other school is for infinitely complex tasks where considerations multiply geometrically: the last moments before service; cranking the handle of the sausage stuffer whilst sliding the casing off the horn and feeding away the stuffed sausage so the casing tension is *just* right. You must also empty your mind with these tasks. Product and Process become One.

 

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Peeling and deveining shrimp, alternately tossing shell in trash and tail to dog.

I also connect with Doodad's post above when you have everything going on and you are moving fast and it is all coming together. Normies think it is chaotic and scary but i think cooks find it exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Heidi, I think, has hit upon something. I submit that there are two schools of Zen cookery:

The first involves the repetitive, monotonous kitchen tasks that are, of course, unavoidable: Heidi's shrimp, shelling fava beans or, god forbid, removing the skins from pistachios. You must empty your mind and find the Rhythm with these tasks. Time collapses to a point.

The other school is for infinitely complex tasks where considerations multiply geometrically: the last moments before service; cranking the handle of the sausage stuffer whilst sliding the casing off the horn and feeding away the stuffed sausage so the casing tension is *just* right. You must also empty your mind with these tasks. Product and Process become One.

Completely agree

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I also connect with Doodad's post above when you have everything going on and you are moving fast and it is all coming together. Normies think it is chaotic and scary but i think cooks find it exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Thanks, because, it was a special dinner so I was as scared as on the line. My wife touched my shoulder as a I looked at the impending tragedy and said "you are such a good cook" which sealed the meal in furvor.

and it came out fine

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Calming kitchen tasks: Making soups and stocks, removing cooked meat from bones. Shelling walnuts. Cutting apple wedges for pie. Cutting carrots into little cubes. Dishing out soup with a well designed ladle. Cutting the corn off the cob in straight rows. Peeling off strips of bacon and laying them neatly in a square pan. Building a lasagne.

In no way zenlike or calming tasks: Chopping parsley. Peeling apples for pie before cutting them (that's a very zen task for my husband, however, who loves making a single spiral of peel from one piece of fruit.) Prepping raw meat or fish, including deveining shrimp. Washing lettuce or greens. Wrestling with celery root.

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