Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 1/27720 Sheppey Asparagus

It is said that Jiro Ono, perhaps the finest sushi chef in the world and a fanatical perfectionist, always uses his own palm to measure the quantity of rice for each piece of sushi, because an assistant's palm would introduce inconsistency.

My approach to cooking is far less exact. Onlookers are often alarmed to note that I don't bother to measure out spices and condiments, preferring instead to pour apparently arbitrary quantities from the containers directly into the cooking pot.

However, following the introduction of a new cutting board in our kitchen (a standard Sainsbury's cutting board, which Anasua engraved with a laser from her lab), guests can be sure that their food will have evenly-chopped ingredients.


This asparagus tip, for example, is 1/27720 of a Sheppey. As Douglas Adams fans may know, a Sheppey is a unit of length, defined as the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque.

Below left is a photo of sheep grazing on snow on a Himalayan hillside, taken at ~1 Sheppey. Below right is a sheep seen on a day walk in Kent at a distance of much less than a Sheppey.