I think a lot more about water nowadays – I had my first bout with a kidney stone last year and while I rather enjoyed certain pharmacological aspects to my adventure, the subsequent laser surgery and other downsides have put me in the, “what can I do to avoid this in the future?” camp. In a nutshell, this involves drinking a lot more water than I used to.
So I watch this thinking this might be an interesting documentary on bottled water (which I only drink once in a while). Was I wrong. Watch this and complaining about “having” to drink water will seem like you’re the same level as a whiny Bravo housewife who complains about having to get Botox.
Some of the information is a bit off when it comes to private ownership rights, but mostly when it comes to which cities in the US have given over their watershed rights from municipality ownership to private companies. It does highlight the exportation of water all over the world which becomes confusing as you start to think through depleting an aquifer here only to fill up bladder containers to ship our water overseas is a viable export. And we’ve never been short sighted enough to export for short-term gain assuming that things will somehow take care of themselves in the future, right?
The politics of water become even darker. In countries where water has become a hot commodity for corrupt governments, things are terrible. Stories of neighbors who can’t afford to pour water on a burning neighbors home or stories of a teenager getting shot in Bolivia for gathering rainwater (before you think that could only be illegal in Boliva, several states in the US now require you to have permits to gather rainwater in your own rain barrels!).
There are some bright spots to the documentary – particularly under the “what you can do” section, but it almost seems insurmountable. I do want to keep avoiding future kidney stones, but it almost seems like a luxury!
You know that Netflix thought I wouldn’t like this documentary? I guess I forgot to tell Netflix that I like to bake bread. If I had, that would have really helped matters.
This is a small little story that follows a zen cooking class and the instructor, Edward Brown. He wrote the Tassajara Cookbook – which includes their bread cookbook. If Netflix understood this, they’d know that I’ve checked his book out of the library and read through his book.
He’s a funny Zen Buddhist who makes it clear that enlightenment is a process and one that does not even remotely guarantee that you’re calm all the time (a scene where he battles a cheese packet is practically a “see, Zen practitioners are just like us!” in a raw frustration moment). This is more than made up for the nuggets of cooking wisdom that are woven throughout the documentary.
Edward talks about the lack of raw cooking today. It was odd, I had done some bread earlier that week, but depended on my KitchenAid for the kneading, so it was like he knew. Edward would point out that the mixer removed me from my food – I’m way ahead of just buying the package of bread, but I’m still not touching and getting to know my food on that level that ways I know the changes that the environment made to my dough that day. It did make me realize that there had been days during the summer that I’d given up on loaves when they weren’t rising right or they’d not done their oven lift. Am I ready to completely pack up the KitchenAid? Nah, I just avoid more humid days. ;)
Of course, watching how seriously a zen kitchen operates is something else. Rules are changed and discussed, but they do start to make sense. My favorite? The basic advice, “if you’re stirring the soup, stir the soup” and all the similar variations. As Edward explains it, you need to be present for cooking. You shouldn’t be doing 3 other things while you’re stirring your soup (or other things) – you should be concentrating on your food while you cook it. It sounds basic, but in these days of multi-tasking and “set it and forget it” time-savers, it is easy to assume that we can easily fit in one or two other things while we stir the soup, isn’t it?
Know what I love?
Know why I hate them?
They have a short, evil season and I keep telling myself that I should learn how to do this local mushroom hunting thing.
Only I don’t want to die from mushroom poisoning (big CON in that pro/con list).
I found out I can join the local mushroom society on a family membership for $15 and this allows for mushroom forays (I’m already learning the lingo), lectures and newsletters. The morels are mentioned often.
They’re cute – I get to mail them my info. With a letter and stamp and everything.