Time spent: 1 hour, from 8:23-9:23 on Thursday January 24, 2013
For some reason, this was the exercise I was least looking forward to, because often it is difficult for me to slow down my thoughts and actions, especially when I’m so busy...I didn’t think I would be able to complete the exercise. However, recently I’ve been doing lots of yoga, which is all about slowing down and really taking in the present moment—the practices I have learned through yoga were really helpful for this exercise, like syncing your breath with your movements. The exercise was not too difficult to complete, and it was beneficial in the sense that I could quiet my mind (for the most part) and focus on the task at hand. When my mind began to wander, I forced myself to work even slower. For this exercise I made sure that the two people I live with would not be home to avoid any distractions. I also thought it would be beneficial to give myself a task to complete, and I decided on making dinner in slow motion. Recipe, thoughts, and responses follow as such:
Slow Motion Minestrone!
Minestrone soup, one of the simplest and quickest dinners to create! But, why spend only half an hour making your masterpiece when you could devote an entire hour to the task?!
Warning: a heightening of tactile sensation occurs when working in slow-motion. Take it in. A heightened sense of taste can be attained when eating slow-motion minestrone, directions listed in step 8 below. A deeper appreciation for your soup should occur after this exercise.
- 1 large carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1/4 large yellow onion
- Small pasta shells
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 2 ½ tsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- Pepper to taste
- Excessive amounts of dill weed
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
1. Gather ingredients in slow motion. Begin to boil the water in a large pot on slow-motion heat. Once it’s boiling, slowly add pasta shells. They most likely won’t cook on slow-motion heat after this, so raise the temperature. The boiling bubbles will not be rolling in slow-motion. Don’t let this distract you.
2. Begin to heat olive oil in separate sauce pan on slow-motion heat. After slowly rinsing the carrot and celery stalks, dice the onion, celery, and carrot in slow-motion. Try syncing the cutting with your breath. Inhale, lift the knife. Exhale, slice the vegetable. Repeat. If onions make your eyes water in real-motion, they will water in slow-motion as well. Tears do not roll down your cheek in slow-motion however. Slowly add these to the olive oil, and allow them to simmer until the carrots are softish.
3. Begin opening cans of beans and the can of tomatoes with a can opener. If you have a shitty can opener like I do, it won’t perform any better in slow-motion. I got very frustrated at this point, reminding myself once again that I desperately need a better can opener, one that works in slow-motion and real-motion alike. Slowly drain the juice from all the cans, and add the beans and tomatoes to the pasta shells and water, which should undesirably be on the border of over-done by now. Reduce heat to slow-motion heat.
4. Check the vegetables. They probably aren’t cooking too well on slow-motion heat, so maybe raise the temperature to medium heat.
5. Stir in Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base and inhale the resulting aroma in slow-motion. Oh yeah.
6. Once the carrot, onion, and celery seem ready but still a little crunchy, add them to the pot with the noodles and beans. Keep everything warm on slow-motion heat. Add pepper to taste. Dill weed is still delicious in slow-motion, so slowly shake in as much as your taste buds desire. Inhale, lift the spice bottle. Exhale, shake it in.
7. Turn off the heat and slowly gather a bowl and a slow-motion soup spoon. Serve it up, with parmesan cheese on top.
8. My grandfather, when he was still living, used to eat in slow-motion with his eyes closed, analyzing every taste and texture with tongue sensations in full force. I used to think this to be just about the oddest thing in the world. But for slow-motion minestrone, this practice is required. Close your eyes when you eat, chew slowly, and see how much the sensation of taste is elevated. It’s pretty incredible and surprisingly rewarding, after you’ve worked so hard trying to maintain slow-motion. Closing your eyes will also relieve the ongoing burning sensation from that damn onion.
9. Cleaning up in slow motion would be a pain in the ass. If your hour exercise is up by now, you can stop moving in slow motion, that is, unless you want to clean in slow-motion.