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Chris Amirault

And Now, Your Moment of (Cooking) Zen

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kneading dough also for me. (always wondered what the point of "no knead" bread was---the kneading is the theraputic point of the exercise!)

also, watching for the moment when the caramel goes from amber to very-nearly burnt sugar--that perfect cognac color that results in perfect, taken to the edge caramel flavor.


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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In no way zenlike or calming tasks: ... Prepping raw meat or fish.

Cutting up meat is absolutely on my list.

Scrambling eggs in the center of a pile of flour and watching it slowly incorporate and become pasta dough.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Doing the two cleaver mince thing. For some odd reason, the technique comes naturally to me, even though I am emphatically right handed in most else. I can just zone out on that chore... :raz:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Pitting plums for pie.

Pinching dumplings.

And that intense rush of getting it all going and finishing it all at the right time,

tho that zen requires there to be no child in the house.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kneading and rolling pasta dough, stirring risotto, cutting vegetables, baking brioche (and baking in general) – all these tasks are relaxing as long as I can focus and have few interruptions which, as Kouign Aman just pointed out, is rarely possible with a young child around…

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Pitting plums for pie.

And, along the same lines, pitting olives for tapenade.

Rubbing butter into flour for pâte brisée.

I've never found the zen in sharpening my knives. Maybe I need to look harder.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Breaking down onions with a perfectly sharp knife, watching the pile of dice grow.

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Mine has to be going through my orange skinning routine when prepping for a candied peel session.

I have performed this task so many times over the years that I sort of go into a fugue state and suddenly there is one bowl full of strips of orange peel and another (larger) bowl full of whole naked oranges.

I am unaware of the passage of time, unless something like a phone call interrupts me.

The last batch was 15 large oranges and it seemed to take very little time. Perhaps there is an alternate reality that impinges during these episodes...

I used to have the same experience with kneading dough, as someone else posted earlier, however since developing arthritis in my hands, I rarely do any kneading by hand.

When I was a teen, working in my mom's bakery, I would zonk out while shaping pastries or in particular hamburger buns, hard rolls and kaiser rolls. It seemed like an endlessly repetitive task and once one got the hang of it, there was no need to think about it.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Definitely second or thirding sharpening my knives. I started doing it freehand with a waterstone about a year ago and really enjoy the odd hour here and there getting all my knives razor sharp.

And then, of course, that first time I have to chop an onion after sharpening, when the onion falls apart when the cleaver so much as looks in its direction.

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The sound of one egg cracking.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Believe it or not, chopping onions. I have found the technique that works for me. And I love that last moment in the kitchen at night, when the place is spotless and the dishwasher is running. Today's meals turned out well and were appreciated. Tomorrow's are planned and will be good. I look around, see that all is well in "my office," and turn out the lights. Another good day.

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My two zen moments are kneading a loaf of bread and cracking open a homebrewed beer for the first time.

Dan


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Listening to nothing but the crackle of just baked bread.


nunc est bibendum...

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Slicing anything on my mandoline.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Oh also sharpening knives.

How could I forget that. Über zen!

agree 100%

Also, Butchery and making any sort of hollandaise


Edited by boondocker (log)

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