The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Zen Moments with the Buddha Hand

I was doing my weekly grocery shopping and while perusing the produce section I came across what looked like a big pile of gnarly, bright yellow chicken feet.  I took a closer look and it was a California-grown fruit called a Buddha Hand. I’ve never seen or heard of this thing before.  I picked one up and the rind and strong fragrance reminded me of a lemon.

I instantly thought about how I should do something with it and post it here.  But I started to doubt myself on whether I could actually make anything out of it.  But then I heard a voice.  It was faint, but distinct.  And it was coming from the Buddha Hand:

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.

Sounded like it was trying to encourage me to go for it.   But how bad a fate can befall me if I don’t buy this piece of fruit?  It IS, afterall, a silly little blog.  But I admit it was slightly motivating.  Then it spoke again:

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?

Well, I guess that’s that.  In the cart it goes and later into the refrigerator.  I had every intention of doing something with it right away, but something came up.  Then I kind of forgot about it.  After a couple of days I was reaching for some beets and I heard:

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.


An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Wow, a two-fer.  Alright, alright, Buddha Hand– I’ll get started.

It just so happened my niece, Sh!tshow, was coming over the next night.  We Googled it and it looks like a lot of people use them for room or linen fresheners.  Nice, but this isn’t

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.

I know, right?  There’s got to be something I could do with it.  Then it struck me – Buddha Hand-infused vodka.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.  Thanks for the validation. Now please be quiet, you’re messing with the flow of my post.

I went down to the liquor store and bought a bunch of Tito’s, the greatest vodka in America.  It hails from Austin, Texas and is seriously good.  The marketing materials say that’s won numerous awards and besting my usual favorite – Grey Goose.  I’m not exactly a connoisseur of vodka, but I know what I like.  Tito’s has a very smooth finish that lingers a long time.  Even better, it’s cheaper than the premium vodkas.

We started cutting into it and when was surprised to see that there wasn’t any actual pulp like you’d see in a lemon or orange.  It was just rind and pith (the white stuff).

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

Ummmm, OK.  Hey Sh!tshow, I think you severed the part where logic is stored.

Legal Note – As my lovely niece is not of legal drinking age, I made sure that all the handling (and later consumption) of the vodka would be done by me. I’d hate to be the one who introduces a young, innocent University of Michigan freshman to alcohol.

Just for kicks, I decided to put some of the Buddha fingers into the smaller bottles and infuse some in a clear glass jar.

A jug fills drop by drop.

No, it doesn’t pith-for-brains!  I poured it straight into the jar in under a minute.  She had “studying” to go back to and doing it a drop at a time would take forever!  Now seriously, STFU!

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Sh!tshow!  Hurry up and help me seal these bottles!

Whew, silence.

About a month later, my bro was bringing her back to school after break.  With family there, I thought it was a good opportunity to try the vodka.  There’s really nothing like sharing a drink to bring us all together. I popped open the jar, poured some shots and heard:

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

My brother was wondering what the hell that noise was.  Sh!tshow and I pretended not to hear it.  The aroma definitely smelled like the Buddha Hand, but the flavor was very faint.  It definitely wasn’t as strong as a Absolut Citron or any of the other flavored ones, but it was definitely noticeable.  I’m not sure if it was worth the effort, but at least the Tito’s still tasted good.

Funny thing, though.  I’ve been finding myself saying stuff like this lately:

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

17 comments on “Zen Moments with the Buddha Hand

  1. jonolan
    March 15, 2012

    You did just about the only thing that one can do with bushukan. It’s a variety of citron and is only culinarily useful for zesting or infusing.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 16, 2012

      I may try oil next time, but that’s not as fun as vodka…Thanks for stopping by.

      • jonolan
        March 17, 2012

        No problem. If you do try oil, use grapeseed or some other really light oil and let it infuse for several months; bushukan doesn’t give up much flavor quickly.

  2. gojulesgo
    March 15, 2012

    OMG. This is making me think I need to dedicate a(nother) post to vodka, stat, so I can link to this post. This is amazing (and noble of you to keep up the U of MI freshman purity). Also amazing that the Buddha hand spoke to you BEFORE you made the vodka. 😉

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 16, 2012

      Let me know when you do and I’ll raise a glass of the Buddha Hand. Maybe he’ll offer a quote…

  3. PlayingDorothy
    March 15, 2012

    It isn’t every Buddha Hand that can flavour life lessons with subtle humour…well done BH!! Oh yeah….you too FWH! LOL!

  4. Yinzerella
    March 15, 2012

    Ah, Buddha Hand. We grew these in the Fruit & Spice room of the botanical garden where I used to work–but I’ve never seen them in a grocery store (well, especially now that I frequent that damn Safeway).
    I wouldn’t know what to do with one. I like your experiment–tried the same thing recently with clementine peel and it was an epic FAIL.

  5. thefoodandwinehedonist
    March 16, 2012

    I was surprised to see it. It was at Meijer – a Michigan-based megastore where I was able pick up motor oil, a light switch, and a pack of socks at the same time. No Whole Foods in Baltimore?

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  7. Kate
    August 2, 2012

    Man it is inconvenient when your fruit gets up on the philosophy soap box.

  8. JM Randolph
    August 2, 2012

    I totally love this. And I don’t even drink. I will remember this post when I’m trying to meditate.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      August 2, 2012

      Thanks! Just a took a peek at your blog and bookmarked a good half-dozen posts for later – especially the theater ones. We’ve become theater fanatics in our house and I have some posts on it.

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2012 by in Ann Arbor, Drinking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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