I am indeed an accidental journalist, and, apparently, an accidental Buddhist. I’ve fully accepted the journalist part and mostly the Buddhist too. BG told me once that someone asked a great Buddhist teacher what it mean to be Buddhist. “It’s what you write down on forms when it asks for your religion,” he said, or something like that.
And now I’ve learned that I’m also an accidental epicurean, a gourmand, if you will.
I know precious little about food, other than what I like (almost everything) and don’t like ( … hmmm). I thought I didn’t like greens for decades, but learned that it was just a holdover from elementary school cafeteria when they served us a dollop of some green stuff they called “greens.” I don’t know if it actually was, but the greens I had on New Year’s Day this year didn’t look at all like that, and they were quite delicious.
And now I have a real foodie, an amazing chef, to pal around with. I’m not a bad cook. Until recently, I just haven’t done it very much. But now I am, and, thanks to the Foodie-in-Chief, I’m even learning a bit about food.
For example, don’t read the labels unless you want to swear off processed foods forever. Actually, that’s a pretty good idea. Wanna know why we’re all so damned unhealthy in this country? Read the labels. The good news is that there actually are a few processed foods that aren’t filled with things with names you can’t pronounce, and most grocery stores are selling these healthier products these days. Just don’t get carried away. From scratch is still the best bet.
Right now, I’m getting my epicurean fix vicariously. The FIC is off in the Azores, sending me pictures like these. I have no idea what this is. Is that French fries on the right? Surely not. And it looks like tiny shells in the orange stuff. Looks fantastic.
So does this cappuccino. Who knew they had fancy barristas in the Azores? But y’know, something tells me the Starbucks folks likely learned how to do this, if not in the Azores, someplace else European.
She was also telling me something about a green wine that she said was a good substitute for water. Sounds a little like some biblical story to me.
The FIC also frequently regales me with tales of what she’s cooking. Since she’s in the Azores, today it was a fish I’ve never heard of called the dourado, which she described as a “lovely mild white fish” and which she filleted, marinated in olive oil and lemon juice, broiled and topped with sauteed onions and garlic. But no pictures. Didn’t matter. I could almost taste it from the description.
So now I’m an accidental epicurean. Not everything in my life is accidental … although chance has a role to play in just about everything. If it didn’t, life would be awfully boring, dontcha think?
On the other hand, we probably have a lot to do with how chance plays out in our lives too. I’ve been looking for a Buddha to have around the house. And just today, I found a Buddha head at a yard sale. Five bucks. Orange. Because this one line in a chant I heard last week for the first time described a fella as “orange in color.” It stuck with me, and now I’m stuck with an orange Buddha head.
Accidental? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just how it’s supposed to be, whether we see it coming or not.