I am always concerned that I am not appreciating all the flavorful essences my tea has to offer so I set out on several months of reading "how to" to develop or fine tune a palate (the sense of taste). This read-a-thon lead me to discover the worlds of Julia Child, M. F. K. Fisher, David Olney, James Beard, Ruth Reichl, David Leibovitz, Molly Wizenberg and their gastronomical worlds as foodies/chefs/cooks. Each one opened a new foodie interest for me -- sooooo much goes into developing a recipe, who knew! The similarities in developing a specific tea with perfecting a recipe are amazingly similiar beginning with the processes of a series of repeats with slight changes until the desired taste is achieved.
Along with a renewed interest in food, tea, and wine I found several passages that certainly joined my "favorite" quotes.
- "If she was going to gain weight, she decided, she’d rather do it with some good pâtés." From . . . Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child" by Bob Spitz
- "Child had always known that what she did was teach people to be fearless, unintimidated, to try and if necessary to try again, to cook, to taste, to enjoy, to have fun—"
- "She (Julia Childs) and Beard and all the other pioneers of cooking in postwar America had fended off 1950s “home ec” attitudes about convenience and speed— the idea that cooking should be fast, simple, processed, frozen, and prepackaged. But while maintaining her commitment to excellence, she had taken a key lesson from the “home ec” approach; she understood the importance of accessibility." From . . . Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child" by Bob Spitz
Having done a large part of my palate's basic development during the 50's the above excerpt and the following made absolute sense. I am wondering if the food of the 50's was so bland that, perhaps, some of the reason my palate does not distinguish fine taste is that those taste buds were never fully developed. I am thinking the way to correct this situation is to indulge in and learn to appreciate fine wine, food, and most definitely specialty Tea. (My justification for more fine wine, food, and tea!) Of course, for development of a fine palate must be repeated, and repeated, and repeated.
- ". . .the 1950s were a time of awful food in general in America. There was the convenience-driven rise of canned and processed foods to accompany increasing prosperity and suburban living—the “Station Wagon Way of Life,” as House Beautiful referred to it. Quick and easy cooking was celebrated. There were time-saving gadgets, premade salad dressings, instant and powdered soups, and Swanson TV dinners. . . "Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste" by Luke Barr.
Okay, there is only thing to do . . . Move behind my 50's palate. Here's to sharing more book/tea/food/wine adventures with you.
The Tea and Hat Lady