Wednesday, March 25, 2009


When I took my first bite of oatmeal this morning, I was shocked at how blah it tasted. It was as though I hadn't added enough brown sugar, butter, or cinnamon, though I knew I had stirred in the usual amount. On the verge of adding more sugar, it came to me: I forgot to stir any salt into the boiling water. Reaching for my red ceramic salt pig, I took a tiny pinch, stirred until certain it had dissolved, then re-tasted. Ahhh, perfection!

For years I wondered why dessert recipes always called for salt. I figured it must be important to some chemical reaction. Perhaps it was vital to the crisping of a crust, or adding bounce to baked goods. Only recently did I discover the truth - it's all about balance and contrast. You don't add salt to most foods because you want them to taste salty. You add it because it brings out and intensifies all the other flavors in the dish. Thus, the blah oatmeal. Go figure.

As I was writing this, the strings that attach me to that great harmonic instrument in the sky were just a-vibrating! They were telling me that there was a very important life-lesson metaphor in all of this, if I could just wrap my head around it. Perhaps it has something to do with our need for contrast in our lives, like the way you need adversity in order to fully appreciate the good times, and not take them for granted. You know, like the seasons? The way people up north go ga-ga over spring, after being snowbound all winter, while we here weep tears of joy for that first cool fall day, after sizzling all summer.

Or, maybe it has more to do with the balance in a relationship. Perhaps it explains why opposites so often attract, and that you know it's a good match when each partner causes the other to be a better, more complete yin & yang, right?

Oh, who am I kidding? I have no idea what it means. I just know there is a lesson in there somewhere. What do you think?

And, speaking of important lessons, don't forget to leave a comment, or email me by Friday morning (not our usual Sunday, as I'll be out of town), if you wish to be included in this month's give-away. Include a suggestion for further good-life reading, and I'll enter your name twice!

P.S. Many thanks to for the above image.


GirlPowers said...

Please include me in the drawing

Hill Country Hippie said...

Your name is in the hat GirlPowers.Thanks for stopping by!