Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Viva Gelato means Viva Sorbet: Better Living Through Ice Cream!

SorbetImage via WikipediaAs some of my gentle readers know from previous posts, I have  a dairy intolerance that interfere with eating ice cream.  What's a summer without ice cream?  A pretty poor one, I say.  Given the creative person that I am, I am bound to search for a compensation. 

I found it in Pennington, NJ -- yes, New Jersey does have some nice things.  On my return from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture -- I will be blogging on this later on), I pass through historic Pennington and I found Viva Gelato.

Unfortunately, the Italians can't come to my rescue and gelato, even the wonderful gelato at Viva Gelato, messes up my tummy.  But Viva Gelato has sorbet and not just any sorbet. Sorbet does not contain milkfat so I can eat it.  They have my absolute favortite, sour apple sorbet.  They also have other nice sorbets such as pomegranate, mango, and lemon.  But the apple sorbet is paradise.  It is sour but not too sour and wonderfully apple flavored.  

I show restraint and get the small, child size which is a tiny cup but loaded with ice cream and I am in heaven.  With Free Wifi, who could ask for more.

I am including a link to a book on gelato, "Making Artisanal Gelato", not to torment the fellow lactose intolerant, but because it has some interesting pairings which may be transferable into sorbet recipes.  Things such as pink peppercorn, roasted peanut and marshmellow,  lemon poppy seed, lime in the coconut, chocolate cinamon basil.  However, Blue cheese with poached pear might not make it on my list.  Altohough it does sound yummy.

We have wonderful fruits from our CSA and neighboring farms which could go into a cantalope sorbet, or blueberry lavender, pear sorbet with honey and candied walnuts, or strawberry sorbet with balsamic drizzle. 

With a diminished sense of smell, I am sure I am not tasting things as well.  It will be interesting to see what happens later this fall after nose surgery when my sinuses are opened up. 

An interesting side effect of having a diminshed sense of smell, is that I tend to cook by rote.  I follow instructions and I taste a little bit.  Really good chefs go by sense of smell and taste.   I wonder if I will end up being a better chef after my nose gets fixed.  Could be good things in store for me!

But more than becoming a better chef, I am wondering about how a general sense of well being and creativity is being impacted by having "low registration" on the SIP test.  For my gentle readers who are new to my blog, my senses-- vision, hearing, body (proprioceptive-- motor skills), taste and smell-- just do not pick up the same amount of input as everyone elses.    In order to compensate for this, many times I tend to make up a bunch of rules and do things by rote -- in other words, not do things automatically.   Because my parents were handicapped, I never learned to do a lot of things in terms of grooming or taking care of a house when I was a child.  It was only after having roomates and  being an adult  and realizing that how proper performance of "activities of daily living" impacted my ability to spend more time on stuff that I really wanted to do,  less time on stuff that I really didn't want to be bothered with (but still had to get done anyhow), and helped me get along better with people that I put the time and effort into having better habits.   Unfortunately for me, this is not an automatic process but a process into which  I have to put a certain amount of conscious effort.   For example, when I am cleaning, I mentally divide an area into rows, take a sponge and go back and forth and area several times and then move on to the next row in order to make sure that I cleaned thoroughly.  Even with this, I still couldn't count on not missing a spot.  Vision therapy has helped a lot and I see things when I am cleaning much better than I have in the past.

But, more than just doing my work in a better sense, I am wondering if I will be feeling more free in a new world where my senses are receiving input and my body responds more automatically and if this freedom will translate into creativity.  I will be seeing a neuropsychologist to discuss the next steps in therapy in September.   I will be crawling up the cortex to focus on more executive function along with the body (more on this later).  Dr. Berman works with a medical doctor who specializes in brain trauma.   Although I don't have any trauma to the brain, it is good that someone on the medical side things is helping out.   One of the things he is going to focus on will be hemisphericity and lateralization (left brained vs right brained -- this  controversial topic is being revived in neuroscience).  Dr Berman works systemically so it won't be as simple a matter of left-brainedness vs right brainedness but how different systems within the brain and body interact.  

But, it is going to be interesting to see how all this impacts creativity.  Smell and taste are your most primitive systems and are closely related to memory and emotion.  Smell is interesting because, unlike the other senses,  the neural pathways from the nose go directly to the amygdala (the emotional seat of the brain).  I am not sure if I am making greater jumps in logic than what scientific evidence merits but it will be an interesting question to ask the good doctor.  

Reductio ad absurdum, let's reduce it to the absurd:  Better Living through Ice Cream!  Can't beat that!  

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