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The Story Behind Taichi Congee
《憫農》(MǏN NÓNG) : SYMPATHY FOR PEASANTS
鋤⽲⽇當午，Hoeing weeds in the heat of the day,
汗滴⽲下⼟，Sweat dripping on the ground,
誰知盤中飧，Who knows, a plate of food.
粒粒皆⾟苦！Each grain – such arduous toil!
In order to serve a bowl of Taichi congee, which may come across as being a simple meal, it requires much patience and the loving care from the chef. Before the Taichi congee can be served, the chef is required to stand before the stove and cook the rice for approximately two and a half hours until a layer of ‘congee oil’ forms on top. In Chinese medicine, the ‘congee oil’ has many benefits including strengthening the spleen and stomach.
Despite being a simple bowl of congee, you are able to taste the natural sweetness and distinctive flavours of the rice. We ought be grateful of the time and effort put in by all those before us, which have in turn allowed us to enjoy a delicious meal. Not only should we be appreciative of those who cook our meals but also the farmers who spend days, weeks and months; whether it is sunshine, rain or hail, they work tirelessly to provide us with the foods that we require.
Despite these current difficult times, let us not succumb to the unfortunate events and instead, focus on the positives in our life. We sincerely hope that it won’t be too long before we can all sit around the table and enjoy a simple meal together.