My Dear Readers,
Yesterday’s post was a bit bland, thanks for reading through it if you did! Here’s one that’s a bit spicier! ( And longer–I’ll work on that!)
The knobby roots, pale brown with smooth skin, sat stacked on one of the first tables I passed. Priced at just R$4 for a package (about $1.25), they practically begged me to take them home.
They sat out on my counter for hours while I completed some chores, and each time I passed them I daydreamed about all the possible dishes they will soon be finding their way into.
Ginger has a uniquely stringent and spicy flavor, adds a tangy bite to many dishes, and works really well in sweet foods as well, so I’m looking forward to playing with this in many variations.
For each recipe that popped into my mind, I was lacking other key ingredients for those dishes, so I knew I was going to need to come up with some ways to preserve the ginger while it was still real fresh. I haven’t cooked with ginger much, but I have eaten many things with it and have seen it prepared a few tim
es, so I knew to use a spoon to peel off the skin. The round edge of the soon helps get around the bulbs and into the crevices of this oddly shaped root. However, having never personally done the peeling before, it took me a little while before I felt comfortable doing it. I started with it on the cutting board but realized I prefered to hold it in my hand to have better control of it. I also realized I was applying too much pressure at first and taking off a thicker layer than necessary, so I decided to make the shavings into tea instead of letting it go to waste.
Doing something for the first time feels a little strange. Using muscles in a new way that your body is not familiar with requires your mind to form new pathways as it navigates the new experience. It can be equally exhausting as it is rewarding. It also is in these times that we find inspiration, and something about doing this particular task made me think about something to do with my classes this week, so I jogged out of the kitchen to get on my laptop to write something down. As my hand pivoted above the keyboard in between thoughts, my right hand began shaking uncontrollably. I realized after a few moments that the muscles in my hand were strained from the unfamiliar position in which I’d been holding it. Just halfway through the peeling process I considered taking a break, but a recent conversation I had about being ambidextrous popped into my head and I decided this would be a good motor skill to practice with my non-dominant hand–as balance and strength in my body and mind is something I’ve been much more conscious about building lately. I used my left hand on most of the third knotty root before it was tired, and by then my right hand felt strong enough to continue. …