I thought that in discussing the yogas of everyday life, I should get rather specific and speak in detail about one of the yogas of everyday life as an example of all of them. And I could have chosen something exotic like learning judo, or archery or something like that you’ve got a book Zen in the Art of Archery. Which does this for archery but I thought it would be much more interesting to talk about something nearer to home. And discuss Yoga in terms of cooking. Now. This is an art and a religion, which in the United States we know a little about. Especially in the last maybe twenty years. During which there’s been an absolutely phenomenal sale of books on cooking. Cookbooks of all kinds. They are among the best selling books in this country. And…but for all that, what we might call our public standards of cooking have not very much improved. Although you can find in homes and in individual life a great many excellent and accomplished coax me still. There are very few cases where the art of cooking itself becomes something of a yoga. And that’s because we believe that so much [a] practical and everyday an affair. Cannot be spiritual. I’ve sometimes said scratch an American and discover a Christian Scientist. Because there is a kind of universal feeling that the process of biology which involves. Absolutely fundamentally eating, and eating of other living organisms, is something we are rather ashamed of. To have to be in the situation where you depend for your continued existence upon the destruction of animal and vegetable forms. And that is a formidable situation to be. And it’s one which we tend to gloss over. And not really meet the challenge which this predicament office to us. We would like to in a way meet the challenge and we foresee perhaps an age. When all food will be compounded synthetically in labs, and be assimilated in the form of pills. And all he will have to do will be to take so many pills a day of different colors as prescribed by offices from dietician. In Richmond accordance with your needs. And you will just take those particular small pills and that will be that you won’t have to go through the crude material and vulgar process of eating. Now this would be very dangerous indeed, if we got to that point because it would let allow us to imagine that we do not belong to the biological process. That we do not either have to eat other creatures, and what is still more important to be eaten by them. Human beings are trying, and have been trying for years to be top species. And top species means the one who eats but does not get eaten. And therefore, we are the only species of life on Earth that hoards its own dead. Isn’t that a fascinating terrible thought we haud. Our own dead as if they were buried gold. And try, and have tried since the time of the ancient Egyptian so to mummified and preserved dead human bodies that they are not devoured by worms and do not become manure for the ongoing process of life. And I feel that that’s an extraordinarily ridiculous feature of our existence, and is somehow connected with our failure, to know and to feel, that we are continuous with the rest of the universe. That we are one lifehood. But to the extent that we don’t feel that, to the extent that we I have been brought up to consider ourselves as external observers. And controllers of the rest of nature, the heads of nature chieftains of nature to that extent we resist belonging to the mutual eating society in which biology is. And to the extent that we refuse to belong to it, we become the most predatory monster on the face of the earth, who is destroying itself and its own life in directing. More effectively and swiftly than even swarms of locusts. There are of course, from time to time in the biological world and nominate, the predatory animal insect or mouse or rat or whatever it is, simply eats itself out of existence. And we could very easily do just that.
We could become a species of life which conquers this planet. And which has no natural enemy that is to say no other form of life which leads on us. And the moment you’re in the position where you have no natural enemy nothing that feeds on you and I think you would if you can offer your body, and say this is my body which is given to you do this and remember me. Once you’re in that position you are in a fatal position. Because you want nothing will then stop you from devouring everything in sight. And a new start becoming a cannibal, eating up your own kind, in one way or another, and that’s going to be the end of you. It is therefore not insignificant that in this particular culture where. Cooking is not really an honored art, except among really a rather small segment of elite. Dilettante, That there should be a popular. Way of Death. The way of the American mortician, which is aimed at preventing the human corpse from being assimilated into the life cycle. They are all pickled in formaldehyde. And put in enormous bronze caskets and concrete. Graves so that the beneficence officers of the world. And the maggot shall be frustrated. Now you’ve spent all your lives absorbing into your system the products of the soil. And therefore it is your biological duty to return. To the soil what you got from it. Both in terms of sewage. And in terms of your own corpse when the time comes to die. For the most fertile field. I’ve been found in times past and the fields of battle. Many corpses lay dead and were absorbed into the soil and they grow magnificent wheat, [and] the cycle of life goes on.
But we are resisting this. And the resistance to giving our bodies back to the earth goes hand in hand with our general disregard of what we call ecology. Ecology is the science of the relationship between living organisms and their physical environment. And it’s one of the most important branches of science that there is. If we do not pay attention to the science of ecology, we more and more tend to be beings who follow our own nests, and who create, what we would call spoiled environments. Would be tourists are always asking about various foreign countries is it spoiled yet. That means doesn’t it, have enough of us it is it is the place to make it no longer worth visiting. Have we turned the Hawaiian Islands, the Caribbean. Japan. Burma, Silan. Anywhere you like. Have we turned it into a new tourist trap? A Place In other words where you can no longer find human beings in their natural state. But find them in a new state of the tech the what I would call the. Early technological state of being at war with nature. Of the continuing the Jewish and Christian superstition. That man. Is to be top dog. That man. Is as it were and not a feature of nature. But a stranger in the earth who has as it were come into this planet. As an embodied spirit. And whose nature as being spiritual is alien to the nature of the earth. It’s curious, you see, that even since the nineteenth century since the rise of what we call scientific naturalism. Since the rise of a philosophy of life in which supernaturalism and the supernatural origin of man are repudiated and we look upon ourselves as products of an evolutionary process, rather than a supernatural process. We evolved, Yes, according to the doctrines indeed the dogmas of scientific naturalism we evolved from our lower animal friends. But the people who believe in the philosophy are even more than traditional Christians and Jews antagonistic to the processes of nature. The outcome of scientific naturalism is a technology which is dedicated to the conquest of nature. Because it’s based. On a doctrine which we deeply resent even though most of us believe it. And this doctrine is, that the natural universe is a mechanical process. Which because it is mechanical, and nothing other than mechanical that is to say because it can be described then accounted for in a strictly logical way. We curiously therefore feel that it is essentially stupid. All machines, even though we revere them and depend on them, are regarded as stupid. In the sense that they have no heart. In the sense that they are purely logical and therefore do not care about the things that human beings really care about. They have no love in them. And we believe you see, if you are brought up in the tradition of thought of nineteenth century science, that the universe is fundamentally lacking in love. It doesn’t give a damn. It has no feeling. And it has no intelligence. The human being is an evolutionary fluke that has come into this world as a result of a chance permutation and combination of biological elements. And we therefore, this superstition about the nature of man goes hand in hand with some of the superstitions of science. Not that these superstitions are any longer held, by really understanding soundest but it is a fundamental true scientific superstition that if the human being can stand in the situation of an objective observer of any given situation. That you can as it were, be impartial and view what is going on with a cold calculating intellect that sees what is as distinct from what one might wish to be. And a person who is the victim of what I would call scientism, as distinct from science is very large boulders the pose. That we are afflicted by wishful thinking. And that if you are the kind of person who is reliable, objectively and clear you are one. Who must necessarily take a grim and dim view of the universe. Because that will advertise the fact that you are tough-minded. And to be tough-minded will be your particular andona, or point of honor. And so, you will look upon all those who regard the universe as being in some way vital are intelligent as woolly minded. Because you will give yourself a case of extreme intellectual porcupinism, of being critically I mean your attitude to all facts. Analytic. Hardboiled. Definite precise and a rigorous. And that will advertise the fact that you. After all someone has come to a sense of. Actually, you’ve lost your senses. And you’ve only found your mind. And it’s very truly said that you have to go out of your mind to come to your senses. That is to say you, you have to be liberated from the confusion of the symbolic world with the real world, and I’ve talked a great deal about that thus far. But here is you see the great problem after twenty a century man basing his way of life on one thousand century ideas which are today the common sense of most educated individuals. That there is an implacable resentment against our biological situation. We endeavor in myriads of different ways to conceal the fact that we are biological beings. Our clothes. Our social institutions in ever so many ways are trying to say, we are not mammals. And anything that emphasizes our mammalian qualities is really considered vulgar. Of course we can’t resist the truth that we are mammals and that’s why American men are absolutely fascinated by female mamma, by breasts. Because you know, truth will out.
So then, when it comes down to a very very fundamental biological science, art. The art of so rendering food that it becomes extremely well absorbable. We have our qualms. And we don’t really go to it. And yet you see as I suggested in a previous talk, the human being is like a weld pool. In water. The human being is a pattern of life which is a particular form of activity in a stream but the human stream consists of water. Milk. Wheat. Cow. Vegetables. All foodstuffs whatsoever in the process of being processed by us. In your lifetime, you have processed innumerable tons of groceries, and therefore, you are what you eat. Every fiber and cell of your bodies is beef steak and potatoes, and so on in the course of being processed humanly. And therefore, all those people who stand at the entryway. Whereby the stream enters the human organism and becomes changed into our form is in a very responsible position. For as cook, standing at the kitchen range you are most veritably a priest at an altar. And if you do not realize the priestly and magical nature of your function as a cook you are doing the human race a great disservice. But the trouble is of course that the average person who cooks in our culture is a harassed housewife. Who has to do this every day to get meals ready for our children and adults. Who are fundamentally in a hurry to do something else other than eat. Breakfast in the morning is usually a madhouse. Because everybody has to get up to get the children off to school in time and get the husband of the family after work in time. And this is usually postponed to the last minute. Among other reasons because of course of going to bed the night before was flown to the last minute. Because there was some fun going on the night before. Over which because of which one had to hurry through dinner in order to get out to it whatever it was. When we do tend to regard meals as medicine rather than diet. We would take packages of all the new foodstuffs. And we will find on them in small print the same sort of chemical analysis of what’s in it as you get in a bottle of pills. Every package of food has to have its contents spelled out, you see, as if it were medicine. You buy say an ordinary envelope of gelatin and there’s a chemical formula on it. Because, we are looking at this this food. For what good it will do for us. We are firmly of the opinion that awful that we eat in order to live rather than that we live in order to eat. Therefore the pleasures of the table the art of the kitchen is simply relegated to being a means to an end. It enables us to continue our biological existence in order to, in order to what? Make money. Or be cultured, and people who listen to music or go to plays all read books with the motivation of becoming cultured people never listen to the music, don’t understand the play and don’t really read books, because they always have one eye on what kind of person this activity is turning me into what status it gives me. Therefore one never really does it. So in order to be human, in order to be cultured and civilised in the highest sense of the word. It is that absolutely necessary to everyday life that we take the art of cooking. Sincerely. That we regard the process that goes on at the table, as one of fundamental spiritual and religious importance. And make it a yoga. Not only the what goes on in the kitchen. But also what goes on at the table itself must for us become an occasion where we regard ourselves as involved. In one of the most important worthwhile things that we do. Because you see if you only eat in order to live. You will not digest your food properly. You will both wolf it down just to stop the knowing. And so I misquote Henry Miller. Throw anything down the hatch to stop the gnawing feeling and swallow a dozen vitamins. If that doesn’t work see a surgeon. If that doesn’t work get a Hollywood funeral. They’re the duckiest, the cutest funerals. Why? You can have your beloved propped up, reading something like the Bhagavad Gita, and smoking a cigarette forever, cigarette guaranteed not to rot away before the lips or the buttons. Oh Death, where is lies sting Oh grave where is the victory jolly what a.
But that’s the problem you see, of using this food merely as a means to an end. I was in the airport. Trying to find something for lunch just before coming down here and there were three goals in their late teens sitting at a table next to us. And their lunch consisted of French fried potatoes, with ketchup and Coca-Cola. They were putting down. And this sort of thing goes on all over the place. Lucius Beebe, who was a great gourmand, once said the south of the Mason-Dixon line everything is fried in rancid axle grease. And that’s pretty much true. I remember, not so long ago that for my sins, I was lecturing in the state of Virginia. And I was, in colleges most of the time, you see, and I was condemned out for to eat the offerings of college cafeterias. And sorority and fraternity house cooking and it was so abominable, that I literally starved. You may say I’m fussy but I will not eat. Unless I am literally starving and have been starving for days and days when anything will taste good but a normal person should not be asked to eat the incredible messes of ruthlessly boiled vegetables. Meat that has suffered in electronic purgatories for hours. And is served to you in a gravy that was made of water, bouillion cubes, and library taste. This is simply not fit for human consumption, and the fact that the whole academic world without question faculty and students eat this notorious garbage is of course rotting their brain. And making them highly uncivilised. That it just unpardonable. There is no excuse for this at all ,and part of the reason is that college kitchens are supervised by dieticians as distinct from cooks. And these two classes of persons are really mutually exclusive. Because the dietician thinks saw food in terms of its chemical contents, in terms of its calories its vitamins its proteins, and so, thinks through a test tube well as an accomplished cook thinks with his tongue. And with his belly and with what fundamentally is good for his gut. And he comes an accomplished book comes from a long tradition be it of French Cooking Chinese cooking or of Indonesian cooking Indian cooking or whatever it is has a long long historical tradition behind him of excellence and the French cook, no one is more proud. No one is more delighted with his art and the dinner [that] goes with him is also equally important as a person in seeing that human beings remain civilized at the table and at the table is not simply treated in the same way as the boss from the bathroom is the output room. And is always sort of relegated to unconsciousness, because we don’t like to admit that we do these. Things. And the so where when you are you you carry the bathroom attitude to the kitchen as I suggested already the kitchen begins to look like a bathroom because it is just the input room. And no real reverence is accorded to the art of cooking. Well I think that. If we want to have a true civilization we want to be people of great culture, great humanity, a lot of it begins in the kitchen. And goes on around the eating table. In Christianity, after all, we have the mass as a central right. The Holy Communion. The eating of bread and the drinking of wine because in Mediterranean civilization the time when Jesus lived bread was the staple food and wine was the staple drink people didn’t drink water, for God’s sake. Because you could never trust water what was in it therefore if you had a sudden alcoholic content in the water of his drinkable. But beyond that of course the nurture of grapes and the production of very fine. Loved and matured wines was a way of bottling sunshine. And you will find to this day, that in any restaurant where wine is not in Western culture, they do not now understand food. Food and wine in the Western tradition are inseparable. And wine is not alcohol in the sense of vodka or whiskey or whatever is hard liquor. Wine is food, and when an Italian family is asked the question is to put die. What it spends on food. What it stands on drink they will always include the wine under the food expenditure they don’t imagine that it’s spent on drink. Yes they would say all right if we bought some whisky that would be drink as distinct from food but wine is food. And so, these things blend themselves together and when anybody who really understands wine opens a bottle of wine you will notice that they always do it with a certain ritualistic attitude. They will carefully draw the cork and they will sniff the cork to see that the flavor is all right then they will pour a little wine into a glass and allow it to roll around the glass and you should always use their rather for table-wines like carrots, burgundy is shabbily so to an all those wines you should use a rather large glass what the French call it by long a balloon glass so that it almost like brandy you can catch the past few more of the wine in the glass. And you roll the wine around and sniff it and you may take a tiny step to see that it’s all right. Meanwhile, the wine pourer stands beside you to see if you approve it maybe yourself as host of the table and you put it down and then you serve the other guests but you don’t for the glass fill this kind of glass to the top you fill it about one third of one half so that an area is left above the wine to catch the perfume. And then you gently savor it, you don’t wolf it down in a gulp.
Now you see there’s a ritualistic attitude to that wine is something precious and valued. And if you follow wine and are interested in it. If you can learn the art for example of being. Almost blindfold. I don’t mean that literally it’s the bottle it’s blindfolded because you need your eyes as well as your nose and tongue to test why you need to look at it. How it clings or doesn’t cling to the side of the glass and so on and experts of course can do that yes rather accurately what wine they’re drinking. Where it’s from. It’s not easy to fact it’s probably a fairy tale that people can pin down the actual Vineyard. But just they can do so occasionally in a flukey way, if they happen for example to. Be the manufacturer of that wine itself the might pin down the actual in. But you see, wherever wine is revered the serving of wine is attended with a ritual now I’m pointing out what is good cooking also is attended with a ritual because you are as cook a priest at an altar and you are a vital moment in human life in the point where. Other biological existences be they animal or vegetable are being transformed so as to enter the human system and to become us. And so as Lin Yutang once beautifully put it, a fish who acts which has died for you and is not well cooked has died in vain. Here you see, we face in a serious ethical problem since we do depend on all these other creatures for our life what is a response. Billeted towards them. You can’t avoid this, you can’t become a vegetarian if you’re squeamish about it. But that’s only a gesture you’re still destroying living beings to eat. Apples tomatoes cabbages lettuce. All those things, cereals. You’re still destroying other forms of life.
And so the only possible good ethical response to finding ourselves in this Situation, is not only of cross the obvious one of putting to good to use the energies which we derive from them but also the immediate respect shall I say the grace, the Thanksgiving of honoring what we eat. By cooking it to perfection. And perfect cooking. Will involve, therefore, ritual, because ritual is actually. Any activity whatsoever done. With full attention and care. When you watch a surgeon or even a lowly dentist at work and he is a good surgeon or a good dentist you want out just that he has a certain ritualistic attitude to the way he disposes his tools, and to the order in which he does things. There are certain dentists, who you recognize at once as having surgeons fingers. They are loving, quiet, peace-giving things. That work with a kind of quick but on a hurried expertness. And you can see, the same thing in a driver of a car. Or in any expert work at any craft whatsoever. And you will always see he goes about what he’s doing with a certain. Way of behaving that is very much like the behavior of a priest at an altar.
Now, I don’t know how many people know much about what priests do with all those. Even Catholics don’t always know very much about this. And they think ceremony ceremony ceremony, a lot of empty gesturing. But actually, the way in which a priest celebrates the mass. It isn’t quite practical. All the ceremonies connected with it were originally functional activities. Why are the candles on an altar. We think candle is a way of lighting a candle beside something in the way of paying respect to it. Well yeah, but originally one needed some light to see what you were doing, to read any book you might have. And, why was incense offered at all when you think Protestants especially have what we call Protestant noses and find incense in church very repugnant. But that is all connected with our putting down of the sense of smell. This is one of the most interesting things in our culture is our repression of smell. It tells a great deal about us taste depends to an enormous degree on smell we can actually only identify four kinds of taste with a ton of four dimensions of taste, and the real savoring of food depends on its texture and be on its mouth that is when you get a very bad cold you notice that you don’t taste of food. But yet, in the English language we have only three words to distinguish qualities of smell. Acrid, pungent, and fragrant. All other words which we used to denote smell are borrowed from other senses. We are noseless. Chesterton put it in the line of one of his poems and goodness goodness only knows is the noselessness of man. Dogs, cats, all creatures very conscious of smell and find their way by it. But we when we say it is like the person who is alleged to have got into a coach with Dr Johnson this fastidious lady. Being in the eighteenth century when people went very fastidious about washing she looked at him and said so use that old. He said On the contrary, madam, you smell. I stink.
You see we don’t like smells. And particularly, we don’t like the smell of the human organism. We would rather smell of disinfectant. Of lavoris, or something chemical like that, then we would smell of people. And therefore, the clean good healthy Western civilized type of person, smells of chemicals. In fact he smells like a public toilet. Rather than smelling human. And the to be smelly you see, is to be stinky. Means the same thing. And therefore Curiously the sense of smell becomes the transmission sense of the unconscious. You becomes immensely important just because it’s repressed. And we get all kinds of messages which, for reasons that we don’t understand, influence our likes and dislikes of other people. We like the people who smell good to us and dislike the people who don’t smell good to us although this never passes through conscious analysis. An enormous amount of communication comes this way. Memories for example, are wonderfully evoked by smells. Up all sorts of situations in childhood when we weren’t so unconscious of smell. Our evoked is why we like the smell of freshly cooking coffee so much which reminds us of the wonderful breakfasts, long ago, of home. Of mother, of the kitchen. The smells of freshly cooking bacon, you know, all that sort of thing goes with the smell of burning autumn leaves. And all these really a cherished smells. And immediately evoke memories, and that’s why you see in Buddhist and Hindu and Catholic worship the incense is used. Because there are certain smells connected with the shall I say the religious consciousness which evokes that consciousness. And in a very very powerful way.
So then, this is the sort of mystery that goes on at all to those. Where people are doing things. That indicate basically a reverence for life. Albert Schweitzer. Reverence for life. This is the sacrificial bread, and the sacrificial wine upon which your life depends and therefore on it is done to that. The Christian idea of the Communion is really very very simple, because the meaning of the mass, which Jesus was trying to point out, was that the Christ’s sacrifice was basically, the grinding up of wheat, and the crushing of grapes. The sacrifice of every living creature which maintains the human species. This is my body, which is given to you. Therefore the death of all creatures which give other creatures life, is the ongoing process of love, of self-offering, which constitutes the very nature of the biophysical world. And therefore, if you say grace before meals what you should really fact is the dead cow, the dead fish, or the crushed grain which you are about to eat and say to this thank you very much. For allowing your life to be transformed into mine. And so, the natural outcome of grace is eventually to allow your life to be transformed into the life of other beings still be they ever so humble, be they merely bacteria or worms. Because they in their turn are a sort of beast. From which life continues to go on.
So now, all those of you who are at any time in gauged in cooking must become aware of the high dignity of this art. And all the possibilities in it for yoga and self realisation. No more must you ever throw something together to stop the gnawing feeling. There is no point whatsoever, in cooking without giving yourself adequate time for it. Because you will find that time spent on other things. To such an extent that it affords no time for cooking is a way of wasting your life. On abstract fripperies, instead of things of true material consequence. Anybody who cooks, should therefore set aside a sufficient time of the day to do it to perfection. There is no point in cooking at all, unless one cooks perfectly. Because to do anything less than that is a serious a reference to the fish to the dead animals, and to the crushed grains that we use. I don’t want to sound moralistic as if naughty naughty to be irreverent to these creatures. I’m merely saying if you aren’t reverent towards them ,you will not eat well. Because the process of transforming these valuable living elements into great dishes is really worth it. But the basic thing in being a good cork. Is that you must love the natural elements which grow into it. And other words when you get spread out on the chopping board. The various meats and vegetables, eggs, and so on. You must start by feeling of love for those things. Roll the vegetables in your hand. Look how exquisite they are when the slice say a Purple Onion look at the lines the patterns in what is then displayed look at a fish laid out in front of you the wonderful music of it scales. What a beautiful thing it is, the way the bones are formed. When you slice meaning to look at the marbling in it the quality of the color. Relish all that, sniff all that. And if you love those raw materials, you will be able to cook because cooking is a process of loving it is loving it. It is a transformation through love of these raw materials in assimilable and truly edible form. And a person therefore who is engaged in the ritual of corking will never make the mistake of hurrying. Now, there are moments in cooking where you have to have your wits about you because timing, is terribly important, as in boiling an egg, as in making a souffle. As in making certain sauces as in frying with butter where the batter has to be at a certain temperature and mustn’t be allowed to burn. Cooking certain kinds of pastry requires perfect timing but perfect timing and hurrying are two completely different things hurrying in cooking is always a failure. Instant coffee is a punishment for people who are in too much of a hurry. There is only one way of cooking coffee that is perfect, which is jungle coffee where you put coffee into cold water. And you allow you but you see you’ve got to watch it. And the moment it comes to that begins to come to the boil you turn it off and it was never boil and then you stir it and you put the lid back on the pan to keep the heat in and you allow a little time for the grounds to settle. And then pour it off through a fine strainer in case any ground should be done through and you have got absolutely perfect coffee. But it takes it takes your presence of mind, it takes watching to do it. Our store also does boiling eggs which is a very subtle art yield there is no formula for boiling an egg. Because there are too many variables enter into it where, what is the temperature of the egg? What is the quality of the egg? How hot your flame is how high you are above sea level? When you think water begins to boil. All sorts of questions like that going to the boiling of an egg. And no egg timer will by itself teach you to boil an egg. You have to get a feel for your own stove for your own kitchen for your own climate or the kind of eggs you buy from the market and then eventually you will know almost instinctively how to boil an egg. So, I would say then, the basic attitude is one of concentrating. Not by sort of forcing our attention on things that’s not the way to concentrate. I think the attitude of concentration is very well shown if you watch the conduct of the Japanese tea ceremony. The whole idea of which is that the simple act of serving powdered green tea in hot water which is whisked can be so utterly delightful. And that the contemplation of the bowls, and the bamboo instruments that are used in this procedure can give such aesthetic relish, that it is worth dallying over. And spending two or three hours just doing that.
So in the same way, you will find that very good cooks have extremely interesting kitchens. That they will, for example, have the kind of kitchen where there is not one single utensil not one jar or sauce which is not an object to be using. Such people will go out of their way to collect Mexican bowls because they are so warm-feeling and lovely. To have the most beautiful jobs for example they will buy the wonderful jobs that are made for use and lamps. With. The ground glass stoppers fit very snugly beautiful functional shapes. They are much better than the ordinary kind of glassware for such purposes it is served in supermarkets. Go to a lab manufacture and buy all sorts of bottles and beautiful instruments. They are perfect for use in the kitchen. So you will find that a good cook always has an interesting and colorful kitchen. Because a good cook makes the kitchen the most attractive center in the house. A good cook will find that the company invited for dinner will tend to gravitate to the kitchen while dinner is being prepared. This may be an embarrassment to the cook if you’re doing something extremely complicated which requires that you spread yourself over a quite an area and you have to move rather swiftly from part of out of the kitchen and don’t want to be interrupted by conversation. But that is true only of certain very complex dishes. Everyone who really enjoys cooking tends also to like showing off. And to like to cook under other people’s eyes and they instinctively also like to watch it being done because it stimulates the appetite. Therefore, you ideally should have an arrangement in your home where if you don’t actually live in the kitchen and have like a big farm kitchen it’s always a good idea to have this the kitchen and living area separated by a bar where the actual stove is in the bar under a suction fan. So that people before dinner can come with their drinks and sit at the bar and watch you make things right under their noses and you can carry on conversation and not be separated from your guests. This is likewise the principle of cooking say ski aki, yakitori, tempura and all those various Oriental dishes which are served at the table or funded Borgen Yar or Swiss cheese fondue and all those things that are cooked right right there.
Now, as you are of course a tyro a beginner in the article thing. You will find that you depend on the recipe book. On instructions as to how to go about it and that’s quite right and proper because the recipes have been worked out and tested over many hundreds of years and. Are things to learn from. But as you, the more you begin to understand and get a feel for cooking the less you will need recipes, and you will find yourself in the delightful situation being able to invent all sorts of different meals, where you are not following recipes but you’re creating your own. Especially is this true in the art of dealing with leftovers. This is a real test of mastery in cooking. A good cook should not waste anything. Should find out how to convert all things that are left over from the kitchen into something exciting and that you see a real test of your inventive genius. And eventually, you come to know in your bones, in your nerve centers and the nose. What goes with what, how to treat certain things. And you’ve been comes therefore increasing increasingly difficult for you to explain to anyone else how it’s done. The Chinese Taoist book written by Chuang-Tzu has a number of examples in it of the yoga of everyday life. And to the ones he mentions in particular the art of the wheelwright. And the art of the butcher. The wheelwright is an old gentleman seventy years old, who makes wheels with absolute perfection. That do not wobble on the axle and do not grip on the axle but revolve quite evenly but he because he doesn’t know how he does it, he cannot explain to his son how to do it as well as he can therefore still is working all those seventy years old. Then there is the butcher, who uses his knife so skillfully that it hasn’t been had to be sharpened in seventeen years. Because it always goes exactly through the joints in the bone. And that which is infinitely thin can enter whether is no space this is drunk as chance of a way of putting it. But that knife that goes wish to see and never has to go crack is always in sharp form. So in this way, he says there is something incommunicable about all great arts. He says also following his mentor Lao Tzu, the five colors make the eyes blind the five tones make the ears deaf. That means if you think there are only five colors you are blind. If you think there are only five tonnes you are deaf. In other words. I’d say we have the Spectrum seven colors. The Chinese think of five. We think of so many twelve terms in the musical scale, but if you think that only twelve terms are deaf. And so, in taste, in all the parts of cooking. If you depend on the recipe you have no tongue. You could say then in Taoist fashion, recipes spoil the tongue. That’s an exaggerated way of saying something it’s a half truth it’s a truth that is imperfect but it’s there that way in that violent way as it were to attract attention. Recipes are very useful. But you will eventually come to the point where you will not be able to explain and therefore you get those awkward recipes where it says simply season to taste a pinch of this, a dollop of that, and you don’t know how big a pinch or a dollop is well that’s because you haven’t yet developed the feel for the way in which certain ingredients will go with others. But you will find as you cook in that attitude, that you will become deeply aware of the miracle of the transformation of the world into humanity through your careful ministrations, and therefore will become more aware of your ecological going with all other forms of life and therefore be more fundamentally enlightened.