Monday, February 22, 2010

The Magic of Simplicity

"Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means."—Koichi Kawana

How is it that the combination of seemingly innocuous and unrelated ingredients can combine to make the most delicious and satisfying nourishment? And I'm not just talking "satisfying nourishment" for the body but also for the soul.

Let's take pizza, for example. On the surface, it's just some very basic plain jane ingredients mixed together then baked in a hot oven. Take flour, salt, yeast, throw in some water, let rise, roll out and top with garlic, cheese, some tomatoes and a sprinkle of an herb or two, throw in the oven and, Voila!, magic. That rough day you had? Forgotten. Been craving something you can sink your teeth into? Done.

Nothing spectacular used to create it, no eye of newt or dragon's blood so where exactly does the Bibbity Bobbity Boo come in? Is it just me, or does the rising dough, all warm and yeasty, fluffy and puffy make you feel contented, happy, expectant? How about proud at the way you managed to stir some flour, water and yeast together and now your dough is rising like the phoenix from the ashes and you get to watch this transformation taking place before your eyes?

As I chop the garlic and grate the cheese, the aromas rise up and swirl around me filling our tiny kitchen with the scents of dinner, of home, of coziness. I walk outside to gather some of the herbs dancing happily in the evening breeze and their bouquet coats my fingers and blends with the cheese and garlic to create a symphony of savory perfume.

Now the magic is really picking up steam. The subtle mixing of flavors whispering promises of amazing and mouthwatering results. Into the oven, and the incantations begin, "Is it done yet?, How much longer? Oh, I can't wait, my stomach's growling. Wow, it looks so good". My husband does the requisite pizza dance. With oven mitt on hand, he peeks and peers through the tiny oven window, pacing back and forth while chanting some of the aforementioned incantations.

And, then...Bing!...the moment has arrived. Those simple, solitary ingredients have melded and transformed into a hot, spicy, tasty, gooey delicious circle of comfort and love, nourishment for both the body and soul.

I smile lovingly at my husband and he smiles happily back at me....then we both lunge for the biggest slice.

Magic in the simplest of moments....

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