Cooking is my Zen moments for the day. Be focused, breath, relax, concentrate. Be in the moment.
Today's meal is Roasted King Salmon. One piece is just salt and pepper for the kids. The other has a salmon rub I got from the last 7x24 Exchange conference. Salmon Rub from a data center conference? The Phoenix conference has a great reception and part of their food areas was a spice display where you can have spice mixes made - chicken, beef, or fish.
I use Lodge cast iron the most to cook.
Three minutes on one side, then about 10 minutes on the other in the oven.
Also tried to to Roast Artichokes. Cut in half, olive oil, salt, garlic clove and lemon. Put in the oven for 45 minutes.
Here are some of the zen concepts for cooking.
Cooking, like life, is about transformation. When we cook, we work directly with the elemental forces of fire and heat, water, metal, and clay. We put the lid on the pot and wait for the fire to transform the rice, or we mix the bread with yeast and put it in the oven to bake. There is something hidden, almost magical about it.
This kind of transformation involves a certain amount of faith. We work hard to prepare the food. We wash the rice, knead the bread, and break the eggs. We measure the ingredients carefully. We mix, stir, blend. But then we have to wait. We have to let fire and water transform the food we’ve prepared.
But we also have to keep an eye on things. We have to be aware of what is going on. For the Zen cook the old adage, “A watched pot never boils,” is only half-true. We leave the lid on the pot most of the time. But we also lift the lid every once in a while to taste the food.
The Zen cook follows the middle way. We have faith that the soup is coming along—but we still check now and then.
The accomplished Zen cook is something of an alchemist. He or she can transform poisons into virtues.
The Zen cook doesn’t do this by adding a secret ingredient, but by leaving something out. The Zen cook leaves out attachment to the self.
For example, anger is considered a poison when it’s self-motivated and self-centered. But take that attachment to the self out of anger and the same emotion becomes the fierce energy of determination, which is a very positive force. Take the self-centered aspect out of greed and it becomes the desire to help. Drop the self-orientation from ignorance, and it becomes a state of unknowing that allows new things to rise.