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I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:
Americans who have been to France and come home craving a reminder of their magical European experience, love Vermont cheeses.
â€”Allison Hooper, founder, VT Butter & Cheese Creamery
Practice not cleaning your plate: it will help you eat less in short term and develop self-control in the long term.
Sweet taste buds develop before all others, thatâ€™s why small children love sweets.
Donâ€™t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of milk.
My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, cook more than you think you may need.
â€”Marian Cunningham, from Learning to Cook
The Venerable Shojin Ryori Cuisine of Japan by Hiroko Shimbo
Cookbook author and friend, Hiroshi Shimbo, writes about the special 7th century vegetarian cuisine still practiced in Japan today.Â
Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.
Monks practice meditation at the temple throughout the day as part of their daily lives. Even the time for preparing meals and the time for consumption is an important period of meditation. Monks consider that meals are not for satisfying hunger, but are principally for sustaining their health in order that they might continue the proper pursuit of their meditation. Food is not treated as an object of human pleasure.
Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors â€“green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques â€“astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain dinersâ€™ five senses.
Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai. Â Ichi-iuu San-sai Â literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.
The meal that Bronwyn had – shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables â€“bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono â€“firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.
See Bronwyn’s post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.
A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo isÂ a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor,Â andÂ the author of “Hiroko’s American Kitchen,” “The Japanese Kitchen” and “The Sushi Experience.” Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.
Posted: 8-1-2014SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG’S FEED
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