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A Little Zest Never Killed Anyone

Adding a little zest to the standardized menu routines that we fall into can liven them up.  Either because of time or money we find ourselves falling into routines not only in food habits but all of life.  Constraints sneak into life and can limit us or make us feel limited to the point that we reach out for the familiar and the known and so we repeat things in order to keep them safe.

Safety is important.  But, it does not mean that we cannot add some simple zest to the familiar and the safe and enhance them.  This goes for well traveled routes on the highway, and also for our simple cup of coffee in the morning.  All of our safe routines can be simply enhanced to enrich, enliven and ennoble our lives.

Let's just look at zest itself.  What was originally just the edition of some scrapings of the peel of an orange or lemon (or actually a larger "piece" of the peel) has become adding something to something else to enhance or liven it up.  Actually lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit are all zest-able.  But, there are other things we can do to zest the simple and mundane.

A pinch of cardamom goes a long way to bring depth and texture to a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, warm milk or tea.  Think of all of the masala made available in the Indian diet and cuisine.  These masalas are the zest-ifiers of food.  In some cases used to remove the tang of too old food, but in others, to drawl out the rich and robust nuances hidden in food.

So, today, use either some cardamom or some traditional citrus zest to pick up the hidden-ness and safety of some item that is a regular part of your diet and routine.  Make something that is usual into something that is sumptuous.  It really does not take much.  I am going to zest some orange into my coffee and throw a pinch of cardamom in - to boot.



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