Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 273

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Martinshof Story - Happiness - Awareness - Black Forest walks - Camino - Dolmen Tour - Travel

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Monday - Friday, February 11 - 15 2013 (diary)

Flowers along the Camino de Santiago Pearce, one of the characters in Rose Tremain's novel Restoration, loves to gather flowers, then burry his nose in them to smell their perfume. But he is continuously tormented by one burning question, wrecking his brain and keeping him awake all night : "Where does that perfume smell come from, what causes it, do flowers breathe ??"

Merivel, the main character in the novel, cannot understand his friend's problem and asks : "Pearce, why do you want to know ?"

Pearce immediately replies : "Because I do not know !"

This simple statement expresses (I believe) the most profound truth that forms the basis and driving force for the evolution of the human species on earth. It has diverted our evolvement as a species away from all other living species in the world and set us on a unique progressive path of evolution that made us who we are today.

We simply want to know what we (as yet) do not know ! No other reason is necessary.
Of course many of our investigations do have a specific purpose as target : to cure illnesses, to grow more or better food crops, to protect us from or defeat enemies, etc. etc.
But we continue to search for answers to the most fundamental questions in life with the sole purpose (if you like) of reducing our ignorance, to satisfy our curiosity about the world and universe we live in and our role (if there is one) within it.

Perhaps it was this first germ of curiosity (aroused within our earliest ancestors) that made use stand up on two legs, so that we could see farther around us on those ancient grassy plains of Africa. From that point onwards we have never looked back !

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Saturday - Wednesday, February 16 - 20 2013 (diary)

Bar of 'Meson O Tear', Hospital da Condensa, Spain, 2012 Food programs and cooking competitions have been a most prominent part of TV entertainment. I just watched a few episodes (including the final) of the UK version of Master chef with Michael Roux, which was quite good.
Colorful artfully arranged food dishes, resembling Impressionist paintings, are presented to the audience, and the judges assure you they taste just as good as they look.
The human species is stretching the boundaries in every field imaginable so taste exploration merely reflects our inherent nature.

But for me personally these sophisticated fancy dishes simply do not do it for me.
A good dish should go beyond the eye and the taste buds. A dish should warm the heart and touch one's soul, and to be fair, for the super chefs those artistic creations definitely do that.

Lentil soup from Meson O Tear on the Camino de Santiago But not for me, as a scientist I know that the truth is invariably found in simplicity, and my believe in this permeates through virtually everything that touches my life, including food.
So what was the best dish I consumed this past year for example? Without a doubt the lentil soup spiced with chorizo and bacon I had on the Camino de Santiago in Meson o Tear in the tiny hamlet of Hospital da Condenza (about halfway between Leon and Santiago).
The tough morning walk through rain, icy wind and continuously uphill which preceded my lunch undoubtedly contributed to my appreciation of the dish. But on its own, this earthy soup firmly grounded in the culture of the region was something special no matter how you look at it.

Runners up for the past year were two iconic dishes from the Waldcafe in Sankt Peter (Black Forest of Germany) run by Christa Blattmann. It are her dishes of Ox tongue and of Königsberger Klopse. These two authentic German dishes (which my mother used to make to perfection) are rarely found on the menu of German restaurants these days. Christa's menu is a happy exception.

While I write this, my sister Wivica emails me that she is dining at the Waldcafe : Ox tongue of course !

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