Sunday, July 19, 2015
365 True Things: 111/Food (7/18/15)
I am at Tassajara Zen Center, deep in the Santa Lucia Mountains. It is the place where Edward Espe Brown’s Tassajara Bread Book originated, and nowadays during the “guest season” (May to September) it has a busy kitchen that prepares scrumptious vegetarian fare. Many years ago I did a workshop here centered on food: our job at the end of the day was to prepare dinner for all the guests. Me, I was in charge of separating dozens of eggs (46, to be exact—individual eggs, that is; not dozens of), which it was suggested I do with my bare hands. That made it very easy! The eggs went into sinfully delicious chocolate tortes.
Today we arrived in time for lunch, which consisted of a cannelini bean soup—rich with chunks of kale—a dense rye bread, and a perfectly dressed green salad with thinly sliced peppers, cherry tomatoes, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Tonight, dinner will be tofu stew and biscuits, beet and arugula salad, broccoli with mustard sauce, and lemon sponge custard with strawberries. I never am disappointed by Tassajara’s meals.
Although I enjoy vegetarian food, I rarely cook vegetarian dishes‐at least from recipes. I have several veg/vegan cookbooks, and yes, I’ve found some recipes I like. But if I’m going to the trouble of cooking, I prefer to make something more . . . not exactly complicated, since veggie recipes can be quite complex. But more . . . varied in terms of textures and tastes, maybe.
But that’s just a mindset that I suppose I could overcome. Perhaps when I get home, I’ll pull down one of my vegetarian cookbooks and find a recipe to prepare. Because it is good for one to, as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”