Excerpts from In Buddha's Kitchen



There's something quite wonderful about making bread. You can't bully it for one thing, just cooperate with the process. Turn, press, fold. Add a little more flour. Turn, press, fold. I don't think that bread worries about its own performance, doesn't ask the cook, Am I doing this the right way? Did that rye bread know more than I do? It just gives itself over to whatever process has taken it in hand. Trusts it to continue.


As I stir the soup it occurs to me how much more cooperative vegetables are than people, especially when it comes to blending together and creating a whole. Vegetables cooperate into soup, people together was another story entirely although here in Buddha's kitchen we all at least try to get along, to work together, cooperate like vegetables in the soup. Carrots don't swim to the surface saying, "Look, look. I'm a carrot, I'm the most important thing in the soup." It just adds flavor and nourishment to the stock. Nor does mushroom-barley soup strut around saying that it tastes better than yesterday's yaki-soba. People could learn a lot from vegetables, from being part of the soup.