food for thoughts and tastebuds alike

Category: Cuisines (page 2 of 4)


Authenticity is the pondering of the day, brought to the tastebuds with Sauerkraut Soup. More on that in a sec, but first indulge a little bit of food for the brain.

I have a natural disdain for showmanship, to an excessive degree. Take for instance an artist all snooty in their NYC lifestyle and name dropping constantly – or a business investor with an outsized ego with a flair to speak as if he was the Delphi Oracle – or a cocky biz dev guy who listens for the whispers when he walks into a room and tells you what you want, instead of listening for what you need.

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School lunch for dinner day – remember days of old with Sloppy Joes made from Manwich sauce? Ah, simpler days…

To that end, I’m blessed to have children raised in the belief that an unexamined life is not worth living. So with our simple meal tonight we got to talk about Occam’s razor and the Gordian Knot. I was quite pleased when one daughter was able to guess the solution for the knot before being told. Ah, tonight was a father’s dream.

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Belief flowing through the mind creates ruts akin to the wagon wheel ruts along the Oregon Trail. Once an easy route is found, all traffic is shuttled into the same path without question, particularly disastrously in the event of a local maxima in your beliefs. But it is natural and necessary – and thus life needs to be a constant vigilance against questioning your own thought process. My best of friends told me once that if you are beating your head against the wall on some seemingly insurmountable issue, then the true path to resolution is to gain enough distance from the issue to realize that the wall represents a boundary that you yourself have created. Challenge those underlying assumptions that created the wall and you break through the conflict.

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The concept of bias sure does get a bad rap, given its literary relation to prejudice. But bias touches on that instinctual assessment of people we all must do to separate those who bring food to a relationship – whether financial or metaphysical – and those who will only by a feeder of the bounty that you bring to the table. And bias is the accumulation of all those past interactions and scars so that you can optimize the time to find the most fruitful relationships. So in my mind, bias is critically important – not for a meaningful life – but rather for an efficiently meaningful life. And there is economically nothing more scarce in life than time, thus anything that allows optimization of it should be held on a high pedestal. So glory to bias, it is experience being coy under the understandable witch hunt for prejudice – it just occasionally needs to be questioned to make sure it has not run amok.

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Measuring Success

One lifelong internal debate I’ve had is how to measure whether or not your life to date has been a success. Obviously I’m not into corporeal quantitative metrics (although money sadly does have a good correlation that I can not argue with). I do believe in Thoreau’s perspective of assessing from the deathbed, but it is qualitative and defensive – not to mention speculative with the exception of the one time it is too late to do anything about it.

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We have a saying in our house that “Boredom is indication that you aren’t being creative enough” – and with kids in the house, this has proven to be an easily digestible life learning to emphasize even at a young age.

That’s why I have an internal struggle of late in my own boredom in finding new people that break the perception I would otherwise have immediately upon meeting them. For those lovers of the Art of Human Nature, you learn pretty quickly how to assess people quickly and know their motivations and insecurities. I’m blessed to know some truly amazing people in my life with accomplishments and mindsets that leave me in awe.

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The human ego is quite the fickle and hungry beast. Like a female engineer, a male home cook has to tame and nurture that ego like the parent of an intellectually challenged child. For the longest time, I could only rely on the preparation of beef and grillwork to nourish the beast – but thankfully my wife recently gave me a Carhart apron, which has served as ample fresh food for the overcompensating ego.

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