life (a little) less driven . . .

by mulberryshoots

What drives us to live intensely? Maybe it’s family genes. I know that’s part of what’s going on with my side of the family. My daughters also live hard driving lives, full of lots of activity, scheduled and not. We’re just used to it, I guess. This week alone, I ran around to a couple of dentists trying to figure out what best to do next after a bridge broke off a couple of weeks ago. Then, yesterday, I considered flying to China on a Zen mountain journey trip that turned out to be oversubscribed already. In the meantime, I found a website where you could get a visa to China overnight. See what I mean?

In parallel, I am exploring the other things that I want to learn to do this Fall:

a. make homemade tofu to the taste and texture that melts in your mouth when eaten with yummy sauces. Reading the instructions sounds like chemistry experiments (ratio of time soaking soybeans to the amount of water, boiling and blending; then how much weight to set on the tofu press and so on.) Since it’s such an individual preference for the taste to the texture (custardy) it’ll probably require a number of attempts before getting it down to a routine. I’m thinking that the homemade tofu might be a regular part of some simple meals along with vegetable dishes.

b. make ramen noodle broth (remember the movie, “Tampopo”?)from scratch from David Chang’s Momofuku cookery book (entails starting a dashi broth with a round of dried shitake mushrooms, boiling a whole chicken until the meat falls off the bone; then add pork neck bones and simmer slowly for 7 hours, etc., then adding final seasonings and condiments with the noodles.

c. learn to shuck cherrystone clams and oysters, which I love but have always been too timid to try handling the shucking knives myself.

During the Olympics, I knitted three sweaters from some gorgeous Noro yarn that was discontinued but which I found in the U.K. One was a wonderful sleeveless tunic with a cowl neckline that I made for C.; another was an abbreviated version with an empire length that I just sent to J. There’s a set of knitting that I just sent to M. and the Minneapolis contingent too. I’m now waiting for a shipment of a new colourway (deep blue indigoes, mulberry tones) from Canada that seems to be hung up in customs at the border.

So, when my daughter M. skyped today and said she was ready, after a long, long time, to be less driven, I nodded, along with a flash of recognition myself. Time to go and have lunch with G. and maybe take a nap this afternoon.