Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Savoring Chinese

Had terrific Chinese take-out tonight from a terrific place near us where some time ago I discovered a wondrous thing – steamed vegetable dumplings. Beautiful green packets of deliciousness served with soy sauce. Beats a tired old fried to death egg roll any day.

Have been reading a book off and on called Savor. It's about slowing down and appreciating each mouthful of food and making sure it is all the best you can eat. I am not a Buddhist, but I agree that we far too often live in the past or future rather in the immediate present. This is why we can eat something and have no memory of having done so, or why we are surprised when we find we've eaten the entire container. Some of the book is rather too Buddhist for me, but I am working through it and am thinking carefully about the parts that speak clearly to me. Slow down, pay attention, and enjoy good food thoroughly.

Slowing down is so very hard. I do tend to rush about madly multi-tasking my day away in order to get it all done and then some. Even speech tumbles out of my mouth in a rush and gets a tad jumbled. Sometimes I eat so fast that I doubt I could describe the flavors accurately, should I remember what I just ate.

Paying attention has to come after slowing down or it all goes by in such a blur that everything is unrecognizable. Pause, remember to inhale the aroma, admire the colors, and of course thoroughly enjoy the textures and flavors. The aroma of the vegetable dumplings was slightly tangy, the dough was a little springy and slightly sticky to the touch and a beautiful light pea soup green, the chewy exterior was a perfect textural contrast to the not quite crunch of the lightly steamed vegetables within, and the soy sauce provided the finishing bit of saltiness to complement the tangy sweet vegetables. Superb.

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