Monday, February 06, 2006

Day 2 of the Culinary Challenge

Miso Meditations

I wake up bright and early on the 2nd day of my Japanese journey. My stomach is crying out for food. Surprisingly, the idea of the deep savouriness of miso soup for breakfast sounds very inviting. In preparation I have cooked extra rice the night before and steam it over boiling water to reheat. This is a good way to reheat rice to prevent that terrible dry, chewy texture old rice can take on. I gently reheat the miso also. It is crucial to remeber to never boil miso soup so always heat over a low heat even when first preparing it. I finish my breakfast with a nice warm feeling contemplating the benefits of miso soup as a winter breakfast. With a busy day head of me I push on out of the house early to gather ingredients for dinner and to stock up on my supply of green tea which has quickly become a consistent ritual throughout the day while I am working.

The Beauty of the Vessel

The Japanese are masters of rituals and one of the things I have embraced wholeheartedly is the attention they pay to the presentation of their food and I am not simply refering to how pretty or perfect the food looks, but the bowls, dishes and utensils used for the serving and eating of food. During my outing this morning I managed to pick up some lovely Japanese rice bowls, swirled with lovely Autumn colours which will surely enhance my daily rice experience. I also can't resist purchasing yet another teapot. This time a beautiful matted-white vessel, adorned with a single Japanese Kanji character in blood red. It has a rather unusual pouring spout. I hope it is as practical as it is beautiful!


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