Is it just me or is cooking getting more complicated than ever these days? Is nutrition getting even more confusing? Ingredients more exotic? Techniques more bizarre? Healthy eating more nutty?
You can now cook in a water bath (is there another kind of bath) which is simply? a method for baking custards, cheesecakes and the like in a pan of water, in an oven. OK. I get that.
But you can also sous vide – as in vacuum-seal food in an airtight plastic bag and then cook it very slowly in a water bath (Wikipedia says for 96 hours or more but those smart MKR contestants did it in much shorter time). The result is even cooking and moist texture. According to old-mate Wiki the basic method was first described way back in 1799, although I’m pretty sure there was no fandangled vacuum-sealer involved and I don’t think plastic had been invented either. Apparently the method was re-discovered by engineers (not chefs!) in the 1960’s and used for industrial food preservation. Sounds appetizing (we’re talking cooking in plastic people). And now it is some whiz-bang master culinary technique. Apparently. Ask Heston Blumenthal.
However I do love this line from Wiki.
“It is possible to duplicate some effects of sous-vide techniques with the use of a beer cooler filled with warm water, checked with an accurate thermometer, and ziploc bags with the air sucked out to package the food for cooking.”
But I digress.
Have you been in the healthy/organic/free of anything and everything/rediscover every ancient grain ever known to man aisle of a new spangled Coles supermarket lately? Or should I say aisles.
Yep after doing their part in making us fat with aisle upon aisle of processed crap it seems supermarkets are cashing in on our apparent desire to part with lots of cash to get healthier again. Your oats have to be steel-cut, look out for organic raw maple water and would you like your rice inoculated with koji mould (I kid you not – it’s nature’s MSG apparently)!
In case you want to eat real vegies, cauliflower is the new steak, but kale is sooo 2014 and the bad news is Brussel Sprouts are sooo 2016, even if this little tea-smoked black duck with tamarind and plum sauce can never go back there.
But I digress again. I’m not a food blogger (although I hope you like what I’ve prepared earlier, none of it cooked in plastic). And you can check out my yinyang yumm recipes, and my cooking with gratitude recipes.
All of this leads me to believe that the right recipe for balance is a lot simpler than we think
Balance can be a gourmet meal, prepared with expensive (or inexpensive) ingredients, lots of time and lots of love, and then a boiled egg on toast the next night (didn’t take a photo of that).
The egg on toast is as much a part of the recipe for life balance, more even, than the gourmet meal.
We simply must simplify most things in order for the things that mean the most to be more complicated – that’s if we want them to be more complicated.
And by complicated I mean things that take time and effort, things that we can’t help but want to ‘master’. Things that we feel compelled to explore deeply and fully and where we find our greatest meaning.
The best things in life are free, all that glitters is not gold, the simple things in life count the most – all the clichés. The simple truth is that simple things are often the most meaningful – we don’t need to complicate anything really.
It is in the deconstruction of the complexities of life (I’m not just talking deconstructed cheesecake) that real meaning shines through.
So to the recipe.
8 parts (cups) simple + 2 parts (cups) deep (meaningful, skilful)
Stir together softly and slowly for a happy life (oh and serve with a nice glass of wine).
And in terms of the time equation, here’s some algebra for you, or something like that:
1 part simple = a
1 part deep = b
a = 5
(8 x 5) + (2 x 30) = 100%
Now it’s not cooking anymore but maths – although that seems to be where cooking is going these days. I’ll leave you to do your own sums.
What do you thing – have I got the sums right, the ingredients balanced? Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT and joining in with Grace for FYBF. Are you more gourmet or eggs on toast? How do you strike the balance between simple and deep in your life?