Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good Things Come in Threes

Today is Rachel's 24Th birthday. Happy birthday Rachel! She doesn't read my blogs but she is a good example that good things come in threes. She is the youngest of my three daughters. Other examples: breakfast, lunch and dinner; the mind, body and soul; morning, evening and night; primary colors; the three little pigs. You get the idea.

Psychologists tell us that we can only comprehend three things at a time. After that we get confused. That is why in desk top publishing a good practice is to use only three elements. On a business card for example, it is recommended that one group the information into three parts . A good business letter has only three paragraphs. English composition taught us introduction, body and conclusion. In writing it is good practice when listing things to list only three. 'The man, woman and dog raced up the hill' works well. 'The man, woman, child and dog raced up the hill' not so well. In photography we live and die by the rule of 3Rd's. (Not really but it is an important composition tool.)

And then there is cooking. Besides three meals a day and three course dinners many cuisines begin with three basic ingredients to flavor their dishes. Cajun chefs call it the holy trinity: Bell peppers, onions and celery. The French mirepiox on the other hand consists of onion, celery and carrots. According to Wikepedia here are some others:

Chinese: scallions, ginger and garlic.
Brazil: dente oil (palm oil), coconut milk and malaqueta pepper.
Cuban: garlic, bell peppers, and Spanish onion.
Filipino: garlic, onion and tomatoes.
Greek: lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.
Indian: garlic, ginger and onion.
Indonesia: fish, coconut and chili peppers.
Italian: tomato, garlic and basil.
Japanese: dashi, mirin, soy sauce.
Lebanese: garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
Mexican: corn, beans and chillies
Native American: corn, beans and squash.
Spanish: garlic, onions and tomatoes.
Thai: galangal (related to ginger), kaffer lime and lemon grass.

Kind of interesting I think. What is specifically missing in this list is the German cuisine. I looked up German foods but did not find a triad of basic ingredients. I would contend, however that Mother was heavily influenced by the Germans as was I in my early cooking days. I used a lot of onions (still do), green peppers (still do) and tomatoes. What I didn't use was garlic. I'm sure Mom used garlic in her lasagna, but I don't think she used it in her every day cooking. Now I use garlic in almost every thing I cook. One thing my ex and I agreed on is that you can never have too much garlic.

So this is my blog for the week. The weather here in Chicago is beautiful today. Sixty-five degrees. I got canceled from work (a mixed blessing) and so Kate and I are going to get together later to celebrate Rachel's birthday even though Rachel is in New Orleans. I am in my fourth week of dieting which is significant because I usually quit after three weeks. (See how I brought this back around to the theme of three?) Maybe multiples of three will work. Six, 9, 12. I am trying to stick to breakfast lunch and dinner. That fourth element of snacking really messes things up.




  2. I always learn something new when I read your blog. Not to mention that it is always entertaining. :)

  3. I have to include my favorite three Faith, Hope and Love. I don't think mom ever used garlic. I think I remember her telling us that dad didn't like garlic. I think she might have used garlic salt some, but I don't ever remember a bulb of garlic in the house. In fact the first time I bought garlic in a grocery store because a recipe called for three cloves of garlic I thought a bulb was a clove. Luckily I ran into someone I knew who set me straight. Another three, good, better and best. This blog scores a best!