Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wow, I totally dropped the ball there. Can't believe I didn't manage to throw up an Alice review. Oh well....at this point it seems a little ridiculous, but I also feel like I should do it for my own sense of completion and so I can look back on it later. Maybe tomorrow.
What I am DEFINITELY doing tomorrow, though, is going to an introductory lecture on Zazen and THEN going to see How to Cook Your Life and afterwards to a reception where the subject of that film will be present. This is one of those "most thrilling/most terrifying" moments of your life kind of things. Edward Espe Brown made me into the cook I am today, which if you know me or have been following this blog at all, you know is pretty much how I define myself. I'm really not much of a rock star anymore. I'm certainly not much of a writer. But I am a fierce cook and a fierce gardener and I am extremely PASSIONATE about food, and the first spark of this passion was ignited by Tassajara Cooking. This edition came out in 1986 and I am pretty sure I got it then, at the hippie co-op grocery store under my hippie co-op dorm. Here is my favorite passage from the book:
"Whatever is done will not make a cucumber more of a cucumber or a radish more of a radish. Cucumber is cucumber, radish is radish. What is done may make a vegetable more suitable to some particular taste--that's the usual way, to see what taste we want. But why not ask the cucumber, why not ask the radish? What is the taste it would like to express?"
Seriously hippie talk, but I have tried to keep it in the back of my mind in all my cooking. I think the simplest recipes are usually the best. I think molecular gastronomy and all that ilk is interesting, but I don't really think it is about nourishing. What I want to do is definitely nourish, and I first learned about the difference in reading through Edward's cookbooks.
So tomorrow I will go to a reception where he will be, and I will have the chance to meet him, and what will that be like? Is there something to say? Is it weird to ask a Zen priest to autograph your mildewy, broken spined, tomato splashed cookbook?


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