Jan 1, 2009

green pasture

[this prompted by bri's note on abundance.]

more than a year ago, when i was back in the motherland, i went to green pasture with kc and yc. one of the nice things about being home is having lunch with relatives. we stopped by yc's offices which were exactly like i expected: earnest, edgy people with architectural glasses. effie, who sits beside yc, was working on sketchup. someone in the office had a micro livingstone (by smarin.net), and it was surprisingly cute and cuddly.

green pasture was unpretentious and served food that was neither cheap nor expensive but was, in point of fact, extremely tasty. the owner had a strange bonnet on and spectacles with white frames and she prepared me a large bowl of bibimbap which i am looking forward to having again. she carves a sphere out of sweet potato to replicate the hardboiled egg yolk that usually goes on the top. in all, quite good. it was very singaporean; extremely earnest.

she came at us with a great phrase about the necessity of blandness: 淡中有滋味 (in blandness lies flavour). which, when i thought deeper about it as she nattered on, makes a lot of sense. blandness is better thought of as the absence of strong flavours that are not native to the foods involved in a preparation and which mask the flavours that would otherwise be faint but clear. salt and savour often are confused, and intensity and flavour as well. we value true flavours more because they are condensations of things we remember and they extend memories so they reach deep into the past.

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