Sea-ing is Believing


“While the oyster is busy building outwardly with baroque flair, a secret work may be going on inside. The irritants of life, the grains of sand that sneak into its sanctuary, become the beginning of a treasured pearl…In China, the oyster is a symbol of the womb, from which comes new life…the oyster invites us to go beyond the shell of things to inner nourishment.”

“Buddhists saw a fish on the footprint of the Buddha as a symbol of freedom from restraint…Soul-fishing in meditation will prove the abundance. From this source comes harvests of inner security, trust, and love to animate our outer actions, including eating…”

“The scallop knows how to open and close, to reach outward and draw inward in alternating breaths. Perhaps the scallop’s meat is sweet because it keeps this balance.”

“Perhaps the conch is the most romantic shellfish of them all because of its elegant spiral shape that speaks of mysteries hidden in dark recesses, secrets that may latter be shared, hidden things waiting to be discovered.  A person who first appears romantic to us will only unfold gradually, if we stay with him or her. Perhaps that is why conchs are always faithfully found in pairs…In Islam the conch is the ear that hears the divine word. In the Far East it is the voice of the Buddha in wisdom, teaching, law and learning. Hindus revere the conch, for from it issued the word OM, primordial, original, creative, the WORD itself revealed to our understanding.”

From a lovely little book called Contemplation and the Art of Saladmaking that I picked up at Last Word Books a few weeks back.

I don’t know if I could live far away from the water. When I need a breath of fresh air, I go take a briny one. Water is a link back to our primordial roots. It is the womb, the psyche, the soul. When I need a good cry, I take a shower. I feel less vulnerable there. When I am tired and worn from a long week at work, I take a bath. Lay your head under the water with just your nose and eyes out and you can hear your life, your breath, you can hear the OM. Like venus floating gently on the waves on her scallops shell, bathing is a re-birth, a washing away of anger, anxiety, fear to be made anew in the world with a fresh, clean spirit.

We mythologize it as beauty, love, death, mother. In biblical and other near-eastern mythologies it washes away evils, sins, discord. In it’s life giving aspect it is the goddess Ganga, the Lorelai, Huixtocihuatl, Tefnut, bringing bounty and protection. In it’s destructive aspect it is an angry Poseidon, Davy Jones’ locker, cave of Crakens and Iku-Turso, Varuna, the river Styx.

Water is the holder of secrets; a dark, feminine Yin. The mystery of life and being. Water is our ancestor. It created us. It sustains us. It revives us. To be denied it is our death.

Seafood Pizza

Sauce

  • 4+ tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic paste
  • about an inch of anchovy paste
  • fresh ground pepper
Ingredients
  • pizza dough
  • scallops
  • small shrimp, cooked
  • shallots, sliced and separated
  • Bunashimeji mushrooms
  • dried mango, chopped fine
  • mozzarella cheese, grated
  • aged parmesan cheese, grated
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Sear you scallops very lightly before putting them on the pizza. The sauce is the hardest part, which is not hard at all. Mix the stuff together. Spread it evenly over your dough. Top with all of the other ingredients layering the shellfish, veggies, cheese and mango in that order. Bake at about 375 degrees or what ever you pizza dough maker suggests. I am not a dough-master, so take their advise on that part. When your pizza is done top with lots of fresh cilantro (I was not nearly as generous as I should have been) and enjoy with that other mythological, life-giving liquid – beer.

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