Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Sitting on the couch watching an old Ghost Hunters while winding down for the day. I'm attending another three day workshop, only I get to come home at night. It is less expensive then the ones at Still Meadow, but we don't get to eat any of their amazing meals or walk any of the trails. Instead we had the white noise of traffic on 242nd Street to listen to all day and no place to walk during breaks. However, I love the church where we are and I appreciate that they let us do our strange workshops there without judgement.
I didn't bring enough food to this intensive workshop, and by midmorning I was a little sick and dizzy. I've been getting these kinds of trainings for years now, and none of these workshops are fun. They are all intense. They are all a lot of work. They are all uncomfortable. And eventually, they are all exhilarating, and I learn so much that I can bring back home and use to help clients. Someday I should write a book about it, except I don't think this work lends itself to words. It's all experiential. All difficult to explain to neophytes without sounding crazy. That's why I talk in such vague generalities here.
But wait, you all know I talk to faeries and trees and rocks. And the wind. The grass. I think it's strange not to do those things.
It's hot today. My husband just drove thirty minutes to the store to get me something to take to eat to the second day of the workshop tomorrow. He is a good man. I came home to a wonderful dinner: my gingered black beans, rice, Mario's steamed vegetables, and wild salmon. Not bad.
I thought I had more words, but I don't. I'm going to close my eyes and try to sleep.
May You Sleep in Beauty!
Read more here...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yes, the Old Mermaids now have a Facebook page. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited to be able to communicate more directly with people who have read the book. I will try to make it a pleasant place to visit, like The Old Mermaids Journal.
Read more here...
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Once again I started a post, but I couldn't finish it. Three times today. Am I becoming wordless? Last night I dreamed I was giving up words. Someone asked me, "What do you really want to be then?"
I said, "Chef."
Last September, I dreamed I was in a restaurant kitchen while it was closed. I looked around nostalgically at the stainless steel shelves and the bags of supplies and other things in the kitchen. I fell to my knees weeping. Someone came over and said, "What? What?" I sobbed, "This is all I ever wanted to do. My whole life." I wept with the grief of dreams unfulfilled.
A perplexing dream.
I write about cooks, restaurants, food often. It is my particular leitmotif, I suppose. But I don't think I have some unfulfilled dream of becoming a cook.
Today I started reading A Platter of Fig and Other Recipes by David Tanis again. A few pages in, I started crying. This happened when I tried to read it before. He describes a life of community, nourishment, cooking, eating. A life of competence. A beautiful life.
I don't understand this grief around food and restaurants. It can't be I literally want to be a chef. I rarely have a sense of smell. I have so many food restrictions. How could I ever be a chef?
I throw some words together, stir them up, and create sumptuous stories—not incredible meals.
When I was younger, I thought cooking was "women's work," and I didn't want to do any women's work. By the time I realized that was stupid, I had lost my sense of smell and I had so many food restrictions that every trip to a restaurant became fraught with danger. People stopped inviting us over because they didn't know what to cook. My life became smaller and smaller. I was sick for a long while and saw hardly anyone, except for the birds, bees, and trees.
Now I'm back in the world again, but breaking bread with people still does not happen often.
Tonight after dinner, I made Say No Cheese Cake. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, and it is delicious. (Furious Spinner readers might remember this recipe. I can't link to it. For some reason, my archives on FS don't work.)
It felt good to make the No Cheese Cake. It also felt sad because cooking is so non-sensual for me. I can't smell anything. Smelling is so vital for cooking and eating and being in the world joyfully.
But I suppose this means that for the day, my "dream" came true. I was chef. A pastry chef.
Now Mario and I will go eat my creation.
The recipe is below.
We used fresh strawberries for the sauce to go over the cake. We cooked the strawberries until they merged together into a beautiful red sauce. Mmmm. Enjoy.
Say No Cheese Cake
2 lbs tofu
1/3 c agave syrup (or to taste)
1/3 c maple syrup (or to taste)
1/2 c coconut milk
zest of one lemon
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 T arrowroot powder
2 T vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 1/2 c millet flour (or quinoa or combo), freshly milled
1/2 c arrowroot powder
1 tsp baking power (or 1/4 tsp baking soda)
1/4 tsp fresh cardamom power
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 cup agave, or to taste
3 T maple syrup
1 egg (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. To make the crust, combine the dry ingredients. Mix well. Mix together wet ingredients separately. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Without the gluten flour it is very sticky. Keep your fingers wet and it's a bit easier. Press the crust into a 10' pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes. You want it to be done but not too hard.
For the filling, put everything in a large blender or cuisinart. Blend until smooth like sour cream. (Pour over the crust and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until it's golden brown and doesn't jiggle a lot. Let it cool and then cut and serve with fruit sauce over it.
Read more here...