Touch, Then Feel

“Tactile experience my ass,” I heard my stepfather exclaim to no one. “I’ll show you the tactile experience of the pulse button on my CuisineArt.” 

He was a master amateur cook. His steak au poivre was unparalleled. His chilled salmon terrines  firm and delicately flavorful.  He was a surgeon by trade and knew his way around a carving knife. He appreciated and understood the chemistry of cooking.

He was responding to someone he saw on TV, whom he judged as a Luddite, who was making, in his opinion, the hopelessly flawed argument for the “tactile experience of food.” Her position was that one should chop everything with a knife, beat everything with a whisk, and avoid the utilization of electricity on the countertop. 

My stance is in between.  I try to avoid the tactile experience of washing dishes. If it takes longer to chop with a knife which but is quicker to clean than the food processor, I’ll choose the knife, even if the net prep time is longer.  That said, last night, with a haphazard pyramid of Brussel sprouts piled before me, I began chopping them in half, got through about 4 of them, despaired, pulled out the food processor and they were sliced in literally one second.  It was so satisfying. And this morning, the food processor bowl is still in the kitchen sink, waiting for its tactile experience with the sponge and dishwashing liquid.

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Knives or blades...?

The point here is that all cooking, prep, and cleaning should be pleasurable. Sometimes, convenient isn’t the same as pleasurable, sometimes it is. Let’s think about the tactile experience of what our food is stored and packaged in.  What I never find pleasurable is dealing with single-use plastic packaging.

How does that empty plastic bottle feel in the hand verses a glass one? It seems people have come to fear glass for its weight and breakability. But I think these attributes are assets. I find them pleasurable. I hate wrangling a cumbersome and nearly weightless plastic bag of empty plastic bottles into the dirty recycling bin. I much prefer the experience of glass in crates. I’ve never broken a glass bottle, and I tend to keep them for a while and use them for different things. I like the feeling, when I do return them for deposit, of getting some money back. It feels like free money, or like an incidental savings account. No downside to the tactile experience of reusable and renewable packaging, I say. Do you?

Your faithful Ozarkan,
Beth