Food as Distraction

You may have known this already, but I didn’t, not until yesterday, not with so much conscious force.

OK, here’s the skinny:

I’m standing in an office, atelier level and sloping ceilings, and talking to a stranger, a director of HR, very pleasant individual, but there’s the normal discomfort when two people meet who don’t know one another to talk about money.  Suddenly, I start telling this person about my new book on chefs and restaurants.  We brighten, the conversation flows, food is discussed.

That got me to thinking: Here I am trying to write the next book.  It’s about race wars of the 1930s.  And, let me tell you, it’s a subject that is challenging to focus on.  Restless thoughts, bad thoughts on waking, bad thoughts before losing consciousness.

So between the descriptions of the withdrawal of civil rights, I pick up, “Japanese Farm Food,” by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, and it arrives, and it’s not just a physically beautiful object with great binding, it holds recipes for the food I love, chiefly Asian vegetables screaming with umami from miso you plaster on it (sparingly).

Back and forth: Death and decay, sugar snap peas with wasabi…

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