23 July 2008

Empty dumpty

I'm exhausted. I still haven't found the right balance between my work life and the rest.
My work is great but it's sucking up all my energy. I spend around 9 hours a day at my work place - 9 hours in a fast track of a Tresor compilation, not quite the Buddy Holly deal: no time to stand back, no time to stay still, no time to do anything else but to focus on my daily tasks.
Thankfully, I can walk home at the end of the day - I don't have to take the nasty subway. But by 7pm, I'm more often than not brain dead. I manage every week to go to a yoga class, to the swimming-pool or to see people but I'm in fact secretly tempted to just do nothing, to sleep.
Week-ends are always too short to get a life back. Last Saturday, I went shopping for Japanese ingredients. That's how I get my fun. And it's a lot of fun because it means cooking. So Sunday, after the market, I spent most of my day cooking. We got a dozen of cute red peppers for €1,50 and as we were wondering what to do with all that, I decided to make some sort of relish/chutney that turned out to be quite amazing. I also cooked some tofu panned in kuzu, with carrots in a sweet shôyu-pine nut sauce. But my final treat was the most playful of all: making my own seaweed gomasio with the Muji mortar and pestle I bought in Japan 2 years ago. All it took was sesame seeds, some Nori shreds and a pinch of salt but the smell, the taste, the look make it one of the most delicious ingredient to have at hand, one that can turn your out-of-the-box fried tofu into a first class meal.

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03 January 2008

The year of the Rice

For my birthday, David offered me (besides a "33 Tours" of course) a Cuisinart rice cooker. Some could argue it's not very birthdaypresenty nor romantic nor passionate, but the truth is it's gradually changing my life for a better and higher spiritual dimension in which food takes yet another turn - I started to use it just few days ago and I immediately wondered afterwards how it was that I could be 33 and never have used a rice-cooker before? It's not only one of the most perfect tool ever invented to facilitate daily life but it also induces creativity, benevolence and pleasure.
The grace with which you get to prepare simple food, whether it's rice, broccoli or salmon makes you a better person. Because you not only feel like you have a greater respect for the ingredients that come into your meal, but you also get to enjoy a super yummy dish at the end. And I who thought a rice cooker was just a steam + dull food maker! How naive and prejudiced...
Among all the fun I have with the cooker, one is more inspiring that the rest: it brings rice more frequently into my life, and when I say rice, I say Basmati, sticky, Thai, Arborio, red from Camargues, Japanese for sushi or onigiri, etc... The world at my table! Of course, you can also cook other cereals, like quinoa, boulgur, semolina and most of all the beans, vegetables, fishes and some meats, with just some cups of water and pressing a button. I'm looking forward to try dozens of recipes I've put aside, mainly from Japan and Thailand. Personally, I couldn't start the year better than with the expectations of eating creatively, healthy and mostly deliciously (with a minimum cooking effort). Ah when technology meets food... the history of the world cultures lies just there...


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