Music: Winter Roses – I am listening to the whole CD for the first time, working on flow and sequence…

From the time I was six, one of my responsibilities was to wash rice. It was a ritual of childhood and first cooking experience.
Later, I had to cook the rice after school. I remember hearing the pot lid make sounds while it boiled, watching the steam as it simmers and rests, seeing the windows steam up and the smell of the cooked rice.
In this method of cooking rice on the stove, the “koge” is sometimes formed. Koge is the rice that has browned on the bottom.
The first rice is offered to family butsudan, always. The new rice cookers are the best invention and make perfect rice/sushi, etc, but does not offer the entertainment of the sounds and aroma of the old.

In Italy there are basically two different ways to make risotto. The first method involves constant stirring of the rice and broth and the second method, which some people believe to be superior, suggests that one leaves the pot to cook on low heat without stirring. The rice at the the bottom browns or even burns and is discarded (I wouldn’t want to be the one who has to scrape that pot) but the rice above that layer is perfect.

It seems to me that it is beautiful and maybe even important for us to pick certain little rituals that re-connect us with life, whether that is making rice the old-fashioned way, or grinding coffee by hand, or shaving with a double-edged razor. If it makes you be completely present for that time, then it is working.

Damn, this is a fine record… reminds me of the Dreaming CD from the Opium album, but with a couple more upeat songs thrown in, a richer guitar sound – mostly due to recording digitally instead of analog… and how great does that Lakland bass sound! I am thinking of adding a hidden 13th track – hidden means that it won’t show up, but if you let the CD play through the end of the 12th track it will find the additional piece…