Daily Archives: 29 August 2010
The other day I was standing in line at the local post office. I was about to do something I hadn’t done in quite a while: buy a stamp and mail a letter. It was a long line, and the Ministry of Communication has generously provided two wide-screen televisions for our entertainment. All they played was an endless and very short loop of commercials touting the postal services now available over the Internet. Usually I do most of the official errands over the net. I used to run around town, from the post office, to the bank, to the National Insurance Institute, but now I do it all online. Instantly. Even writing mail is online and instant. Except for when I need a stamp.
I started thinking about the instant world we now live in. We can do many things over the Internet today that we couldn’t even envision a decade ago. Send a chatty little letter to a far-away friend? No need, just shoot off a quick email and click on send. Or post something to your friends’ wall on Facebook. Just want to say hi? Send them a text on your cell phone. Mail a letter? Who does that anymore?
Amazingly accurate predictions from 1993 — but tell me, what’s a phone booth?
All I find in my mailbox these days are credit card statements and junk mail. Even the credit card companies are imploring me to sign up online, log in and save a tree. Everyone wants to save paper and take up byte space.
As it was almost my turn (remember, I’m still in the post office), a young girl, around 11 years old or so, approached the clerk and told him she needed to send a letter to America, but she didn’t know how. The clerk smiled (as did everyone ever the age of 30 in line). When I was 11 I was writing letters to my friends just because we loved getting mail. I had a good friend in Brooklyn, we didn’t speak on the phone for years, we just sent letters. It was a huge thing to get really cool stationary for your birthday. Getting a letter was the most exciting thing next to the season premiere of Mork and Mindy! And here was this young girl, weaned on cell phones and instant chat screens, needing to send a letter for the first time, and she didn’t even know how. The clerk was patient, sold her a stamp, showed her where to stick it, and took the letter and posted it.
When it was my turn I also asked for a stamp. Again, the clerk smiled. “Not too many kids mail letters these days,” he said to me. “The whole world wants something in an instant.
It’s true. We just want to blink our eyes, wriggle our noses and everything arrives in an instant. Communication, knowledge, the television show you missed last night, even food. I want my calories and I want them now!
We need to slow down, before we burn out. So come travel with me, back to the past, when we were more patient. Remember when food was worth waiting for?
Forest Fruits Sorbet
This refreshing and delicious dessert can take a while to make, especially if you use an ice cream machine and forget to chill the container for 24 hours beforehand (which is what happened to me). Still worth the wait!
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups pureed forest fruits
- Boil the water and sugar together. The sugar should be dissolved and then let the syrup boil for another two minutes. Cool. Be patient, the stuff has to get to room temperature at least. Feel free to stick the pan in the fridge.
- Mix the sugar syrup together with the fruit puree. Pour into your ice cream machine and process according to the machine’s instructions.
- Alternatively, you can just place the stuff in a big Tupperware bowl and bung it in the freezer. Every two hours take it out and mix the stuff around to combine and get nice and slushy. Do this two or three times. By this time tomorrow you should have a wonderful sorbet, patiently refreshing.