Monday, April 17, 2006


Back in the sixties, about the the time that mankind started using fire, I happened upon a Chinese "philosopher, Lin Yutang. See, my long-term memory is just great, I can remember his name after all of these years.

As I was reading his book I came across a quote that has made an impact in my life. At the time it so impressed me that I "typed" it (A real IBM typewriter!") out to display in the family kitchen. I was still wet behind the ears.

I know, I know, get on with it. The darn quote!

"A chicken which has not been properly cooked has died in vain."

For some of you this might sound familiar. Jimmy Buffet "stole" the line and used it in one of his songs a couple of years back.

I thought of that saying the other day when I was attempting to convey the importance of cooking to someone who had not asked me for my advice.

For me taking raw ingredients and making a meal is an important magical skill that everyone should know. It is what sets us apart from the less civilized. Now before you suggest that I'm crazy and a lunatic let me just say I'm not talking about making one of those fancy nuevo cuisine dishes that looks beautiful and might feed a hungry bug.

I'm talking about taking basic ingredients and making a meal that satisfies the body and soul.

The example I gave in my "pep" talk was making a simple omlet.

It is amazing to me that one can take two eggs, a bit of butter, and salt and pepper and make something as grand as an omlet. Of course if you don't do it right you end up with scrambled eggs which while satisfying in their own rite (I meant to spell it that way) show less attention to the art of cooking. Sorry, I 've seen even bad cooks (Cub Scouts over open fires) turn out scrambled eggs that are edible. For me scrambled eggs do little for the "soul."

So I say to you, the gentle reader, make love to your kitchen. An orgasm of taste delight can be incredible. And remember what LIn Yutang said. Don't just kill chickens.