Vietnamese Pho is one of my favorite meals. It is made with beef bones, roasted and then simmered for hours into a rich, beefy, sweet broth - simmered with brown sugar, soy sauce, a bag of spices long and slow - poured over rice noodles and raw, thinly shaved beef and then topped with bean sprouts, sweet basil, mint and spring onion. Once the broth is made, the meal takes minutes to make and is simple, hearty and soothing.
This meal was set for some friends and I made the bowls deep so that they would hold the heat of the soup. (Pho bowls need to be deep and as closed as possible since pho (pronounced "fah") is best when served very hot.
Simple, hearty and soothing are good things. Having been raised by westerners and having grown up in the west, I was raised on complex foods, but as I age and my patience at the stove (when I want a simple meal for one or two) has waned, I gravitate to Asian foods with their simple fresh ingredients and their fast stir-fry readiness.
Since I know that I like the simple, the hearty and the soothing in my foods I am beginning to become aware that I want those same things in my life, my work, my friends, my pottery and my life.