For one, I am interested in molecular gastronomy from a purely intellectual standpoint. Understanding how glutton molecules make my ricotta pancakes fluffy makes the world around meet more vertically integrated, knowable, and comforting. Plus I want to optimize the fluffiness of my pancakes.
Secondly, I have from time to time used my woodworking tools in the kitchen, from a jig saw to my air compressor. I have been tempted to use the belt sander but it seems possibly unsanitary. These tools were a logical translation for me so watching experts in this arena is always fascinating.
And thirdly, I have of course always wanted to taste the experience.
But now I have a third reason to go. It has to do with having three children. You see, my wife and I struggle with the simple issue of how satiate our kids’ needs for us to be available. At times they seem to have insatiable appetites for our attention in an attention economy.
Now, I do remember speaking to Todd Sarner, an attachment parenting counselor, about this issue. His response was classically simple, yet hard to implement each and every day. He spoke about the importance of quality over quantity of interactions to nourish the psyche of our children.
How does this relate to Achatz? Well I remember hearing him speak on Fresh Air in 2011. He talked about the psychology of satiation – how the first bite was the most stimulating and satisfying and how your brain habituated to each bite following this, cutting satiation in half.
I have tried to port some of this insight into our parenting, trying to ensure that the experiences I have with my children are intense and do not drag on longer than the activity defines. This is not about being ADD with activities. I do encourage the kids to engage in intensive and focused activities – but these are less the bonding activities per se. Rather, I am talking about keeping the binding moments fresh and intense. Not getting habitual.
I still do catch myself falling into ruts. But I try to remind myself of the importance of intensity over simple face-time, reminding myself of the need to get out myself.