What nourishes you also destroys you

It's my mom's birthday party today. Lechon will be served later on tonight. I am not as excited as I should be, I noticed. I haven't really been in the mood for food.

You know there's this concept called "Inedia" or the ability to live without food. It's not really about starving to death or whatever. I feel that it's more spiritual, actually. I guess it's more of how we usually eat more than what's enough and it becomes just so unhealthy. Most of hunger is just in the mind, I believe, and many times our mind plays tricks on us.

Sometimes I wonder, how come I can eat 1 cup of rice and be full and sometimes eat more than 1 cup of rice and still be in the same level of fullness? It's as if I was just being impatient for the satisfaction to sink in and the excess food wasn't really necessary.

You know, most of our energy actually comes from the air we breathe. You can survive 30 days without food and yet only 3 mins without oxygen. I remember this story about a girl who survived 7 years without food and gets all her energy from the sun. It does seem like a fake story. But hey, it's true I spend most of my time in front of this laptop or out at night and not under the light of the sun--the one that gives our planet heat and life.

A few months ago, when looking for an internship job for school, I actually wanted to write about food. Someone even told me that it's ridiculous and that I can't write about food--I guess because I never really expressed interest in it or ever wrote specifically on food alone. That's why it's quite heartwarming when someone tells me "nabasa ko yung food blog mo ah"--oh wow, people actually like the way I write. It's authentic surprise, actually, and not trying to be condescending at all.

But then, as I have said, I don't really have that much appetite for food nowadays. I feel that all the unhealthy stuff (fats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar) or overeating will just add to my current disarray. Lately I've just been having what I believe to be enough as compared to how active (or lack of being) my lifestyle is.

Also, I focus on water, something I believe I lack, and is something that composes 75% of my body. We all know that we need at least 8 glasses of water a day and yet I know many times we don't reach it. I learned this the hard way around almost 2 years ago when I got kidney stones (some say it is something that is even more painful than giving birth).

I'm just really not in the mood; some sort of generic distaste for everything. Right now, you can tell me I've won a trip to Hawaii to tour the set of the TV show Lost and I probably would just shrug it off and not care. Everything is tasteless and black and white.

How to Properly Fry Dumplings: a Culinary Epiphany

A discovery that will change the way you cook and eat dumplings for the rest of your life.

And so I was merrily walking around the kitchen and preparing myself some dumplings. I figured I should fry it then eat it with rice. It's not every day that one can have fried dumplings as ulam, I figured, but somehow I wasn't that excited. Then I realized that perhaps there has been something very wrong in the way I fry my dumplings. Little did I know that this little blurb of curiosity will change the way I cook and eat dumplings for the rest of my life.

fried dumplings
The image you see on the left is the typical way we see fried dumplings such as the Japanese "Gyoza" (one of my ultimate favorites when it comes to Japanese cuisine). The other image, the one on the right, is how I've always fried my dumplings; thoroughly and golden-brown. The most staggering difference is that with the one of the left, only a certain portion seems to be fried. And yes, apparently this was the case.

So the idea is for you to fry the bottom part of the dumpling in cooking oil until it is golden-brown and then pour water on your pan, turn the dumplings, and cook the other side in the water and let it simmer. This gives that beautiful balance between crunchy and soft; truly a harmony of textures.

Regret filled my heart as I ate the dumplings I cooked. Why do I discover this only now? It is as if a small part of my life had been a lie all along; a charade of wasted dumplings. But all that matters is I now know what I know and I can write about it and share my glorious epiphany to the world.

For the sauce, I conjured this interesting mix of Kikoman soy sauce, sesame seed and sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce. Surely I didn't want to submit such a discovery to a mediocre sauce and so I thought of making that sauce mix and to my surprise it was actually very good.

For something so basic and can easily be done, it is something I have overlooked. More than a good meal, this was also a great lesson. I put all my experiences of bad dumplings behind me. I move on and survive to cook another day.


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