Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get In Touch.

Over the past few weeks, I've developed the irresistible urge to make salsas (all kinds!), especially after I return from my long afternoon lectures, exhausted and mentally drained.  As though guided by instinct, I grab tomatoes, boil fresh corn, unpeel cloves of garlic and hack away at fresh cilantro.  One particular distinction I gradually came to notice is that I was completely ignoring my food processor.  For some reason, using my hands made all the difference, made me feel more connected to the food I was working with, and helped me to unwind:  I found that I didn't need conversation, or background music, or a whirring machine's assistance.  What I needed was to hold the avocado or tomato, to feel the weight of its density in my palm, to test the firmness with my fingers.  For me it is enough to hear the subtle sounds inside the acts of slicing, dicing and chopping, or to measure with my eyes, nose and fingertips. Not only does it help me to unwind, but the end result usually tastes much better.

  There is an article in Food & Wine called "The Power of Touch" in which Chef Daniel Patterson "believes that in the kitchen, nothing can replace human hands."  I completely agree and especially recommend reading it if you are heavily machine dependent. (And also for some amazing tricks, like being able to tell if your meat or fish is done with a simple poke. )

1 comment:

Aron said...

that salsa sounds great!

On the rare occasion (sadly) that I make bread, I still like to hand kneed it... it feels good

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