The other night I was watching a rerun of an episode of Chopped where they had amateur home cooks competing on the show. In the first round, the contestants were given amongst other ingredients scallops in a shell. One of the contestants was unfamiliar with how to deal with scallops in a shell. To be honest, most of the time when I get scallops they have already been cleaned and shelled. So, had I not taken the time to learn about this I may not have even known that they come in shell, but they do. While they are not as difficult to open as other shelled mollusks, they do need to be opened and cleaned before preparation. Besides having the sand and grit washed off them, the various organs such as the liver, abductor muscle, and sex organs need to be removed. Then and only then they can be baked, broiled, fried, or prepared in some other way.
Scallops are one of those foods that are not only healthy to eat, but they are powerful spiritually. Eating scallops is like any information that life presents us. There are some things that need to be removed and some things which need to be washed off before we can even consider ingesting them and making them part of our internal belief system. Read More
Growing up my mother had a pretty set relationship with ground beef. You used it for a set number of dishes: hamburgers, meatballs, and stuffed cabbage. The only one of the three that was, what I as a young child, considered palatable was the stuffed cabbage. The hamburgers were, like any other meat, either still mooing or tasted like shoe leather. The meatballs were normally dry and tasteless and were not even craved by our dog Puggy. In her stuffed cabbage, however, somehow she managed to transform this everyday kind of ingredient into something special. I no longer have her recipe Read More
My guess is that when most people think about Zen the last thing they think about is a waffle. My guess is that very few people even think about cooking when they are thinking about Zen. For me, cooking is just one of the many ways that I work through all the programming and rules I have consciously and unconsciously agreed to in life. It is through the acknowledgment of the existence of the rules, but also the willingness to not limit myself to them, which allows me to find the Zen in cooking. It is when I tap into my intuitive creativity and my ability to express myself through my cooking that I am able to move beyond the boundaries and rules, experience, and create in a way I am not able to otherwise. I literally chop my way through barriers.
As I was explaining this to a friend of mine the other day, she asked me if I had experienced this when I made waffles for Zoë’s surprise birthday party a few years ago. As I thought about it, I came to realize that it was through my waffle creations that day which I experienced Zen. I guess I should explain Read More
After about six years of eating a vegetarian diet, Zoë came home from running errands to tell me she had a cheeseburger. Well, it was not quite that simple. All the vegetarian protein options I could come up with tasted like nothing, not even cardboard. Being on chemo, she needed lots of protein. A cheeseburger tasted good, not great, but at least it had some taste. So now, I am blowing the dust off my recipes and my meat cooking skills.
She made this decision just in time for Thanksgiving. So once again, I made our annual turkey along with a vegetarian option to contribute to our open house potluck dinner where we always have far more food then one needs. Once again, I decided to brine the turkey. Read More