A recipe for balance

Kathy Krugerbalance, contentment, find your flow28 Comments

japanese feast 1

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.

Ingredients:

8 parts (cups) simple + 2 parts (cups) deep (meaningful, skilful)

Method:

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

b= 30

(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?

Kathy X

Namaste sign off_edited-1

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Kathy KrugerA recipe for balance

28 Comments on “A recipe for balance”

  1. theplumbette

    Love this Kathy. I too have noticed that cooking has become more complicated and yet in some cases it’s become a lot easier because of processed food which I will say has helped me. We’ve recently started getting a veggie box delivered from Aussie Farmers and I love the produce that allows me to think of different ways to incorporate the veggies into our meals.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry for the very long delay Bec – I reckon a veggie box is great – challenges you to cook with what you have. I try to do that with what we pick up at the farmer’s market.

  2. Vanessa

    I cook a big mix. And I really think there is a balance in that. But also, what is gourmet? If you’re eating what you feel like and really wanted, that is gourmet to me. Even if it is an egg on toast.

  3. Kit@Life through the haze

    Cooking can be a challenge for us due to our son’s coeliac issues. That said I am over the “guilt” associated with eating these days. I like chocolate, sugar (the real stuff not artificial), cake, full cream milk/cheese/yoghurt, fruit, meat, eggs (even the battery farmed ones I know sue me!), a wide range of vegetables including cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am that the great kale fascination is dying albeit a bit too slowly for my liking. Kale would have to be my least liked ever vegetable! I have tried it every which way and still can’t like it!

    I am all for just eat a bit of everything in moderation and if it makes you happy enjoy it. Get up and move every day for at least 30mins in some way walking back and forth up and down the street or riding a bike or doing something will give you balance for all the yummy food you enjoy!

    Enjoy!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I think you are on to a simple and great philosophy Kit (and thanks for visiting). I think when we lose the pleasure of cooking and eating – when we make it about denying almost everything or grabbing any old thing – that’s when we run into problems.

  4. mummywifeme

    I like to keep it fairly simple when it comes to food. Being the only vegetarian in a family of meat eaters means I’m often cooking two meals a night. There’s no time to get too fancy :)

  5. Lisa

    I am an old-fashioned country comfort cook. I don’t even own a themo-mix. I love cooking and prefer to cook the old fashioned way (no plastic or water baths) Your own food looks yummy x

  6. Deborah

    Oh yes… we have a habit of making things complicated. I’ve got that ‘woe is me, my life is hard’ habit down pat, but need to stand back and simplify things. On the cooking front I keep things very simple… stove, microwave. No gadgets! And baths are for bathing!

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Even though the food sounds succulent when cooked in a water bath, I just can’t get my head around plastic! We can all do with standing back and simplifying Deb.

  7. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum

    I love cooking (and baking even more) but I still try to keep it simple, especially during the week when we’re trying to fit meal times in around after school activities, baby’s ‘schedule’ and so on. So long as it’s still fairly nutritious I’m happy, or even if it’s not all that nutritious, so long as we aren’t eating like that every day, I’m happy with that too. As you said, it’s all about balance.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Great approach – and I’m sure if you keep it simple most of the time you really enjoy when you have a bit more time to get your bake on Erica. Thanks for visiting.

  8. writeofthemiddle

    Wow – this is the best recipe I have come across in a long, long time! I will be giving it a good ‘ol try for sure. I’m all for keeping it simple. Another great post where you hit the nail on the head Kathy! xo

  9. Fairlie

    Food in particular is becoming soooo complicated! If I read every post that comes through on social media that is food related… I shouldn’t drink this because of it’s environmental impact, or eat that because of toxins, or must do this, or mustn’t do that…etc etc it gets to to the point where day-to-day life seems too complicated to contemplate! Sometimes a little bit of ignorance (in moderation) is bliss! As a broad brush approach, I like Michael Pollan’s mantra: ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’ :)

  10. Jude Mosley

    I loved this piece, because it tapped into something, that I had been giving a great deal of thought to of late ….. how complicated my (our) lives have become – now a lot of this is due to SO many choices, on so many levels, but I will stick with food & drink, to keep with the thread.

    Walking into a coffee shop is a good example – we have latte, cappuccino, black, white, flat whites, expresso, mocha, regular/decaf, Ethiopian,Turkish, Colombian, French, hot or cold, six types of milk, some froth/no froth, cream/no cream on top … PLEASE just give me something with a lot of caffeine in it, to help me with the onslaught of choices I have to make today, which will have completely done my head in, by the end of it! (that’s where the wine comes in, but that’s another story.)

    Eating in general has just become too hard – menus are too long, with a painstakingly long, flowery description under each dish of what’s in it, where the fish came from, where the tarragon was grown, and which farm the cheese was produced. I’m irritated & hungry because I can’t make up my mind. I just pick something, anything, only to be told, they’ve sold out of that, because it’s so popular. This is where McDonalds is good – drive up, order a #7 and be on your way. Simple. Never mind that it’s not healthy – I’m looking for simple.

    I used to love cookery books, in fact my book shelf in the kitchen is loaded with books, every cuisine imaginable, beautiful glossy photographs show you what your finished dish will look like … or not. By the time you’ve been to several supermarkets to try and find all of the ingredients, which is no easy feat (I don’t live in Australia) and boiled the bones for my beef stock, because you are a lousy cook, if you don’t make your stock from scratch apparently, pizza is starting to look very attractive, and yes, simple.

    I was recently in Prague, where simple was a way of life. It crossed my mind more than once, that I should move there. I was so happy to walk up to a street cart, where a Czech lady (who wasn’t so happy) was grilling veal bratwurst … she threw one into a warm, crusty roll, and nodded towards the mustard … in other words “do it yourself” and I walked off, down the street, with a light dusting of snow falling, and mustard on my chin, my tastebuds alive at this classic, simple food.

    Where I am going with this, I’ve sort of forgotten. Simply put, there are just too many choices, and there is a lot to be said for having a fresh peach, a few strawberries, plain yoghurt with honey, warm french bread, some fat black olives, and yes, an egg on toast.

    (Kathy – please feel free to delete if too long, you just got me thinking & writing, which I rarely do lately)

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Jude – and for taking the time to write a long comment. Sorry for my delay in responding. I enjoyed seeing snippets of your big trip on facebook and the food looked like quiet a culinary journey. But the day to day complicated choices with food/diet – just crazy.

  11. sanchthewriter

    Quick and simple any time is my way of cooking. I have no time for fancy stuff and certainly no time to cook things in a water bath. WTF is that?! 😛

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