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

Crust: Dry
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

Crust: Wet
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.


Michele Grace said...

Oh my...for me chef means other things than cooking food. Like being in charge- chefs are in charge of what's cooking. What's cooking in the world. Dreams come to us for health and wholeness... If it was my dream I'd follow what I don't feel in charge of at the moment. Chef versus chief. Nurturance and Power? Okay I was in a dream study group for several years...can you tell *smile*

Longing and food could also be related to the Moon, there are two new moons in Cancer this month, Moon represents oceans of feelings, mother, so you may be calling back your power around 'womanhood issues'. It's a very powerful time. I sense you are steeping in it. How exciting.

unm00red said...

"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."

Hi, Kim. I'm just wondering... could cooking in some way represent the type of community you've been longing for? You've mentioned more than once on your blog longing for a community of kindred souls that you don't currently have. It sounds like food allergies were one of the things that resulted in your world narrowing, so I'm just wondering if there's some sort of food longing/community longing connection going on.

Just a thought. Hope you and Mario enjoyed your cheesecake.


Cynthia said...

Wow! Thanks for posting about your dream.

i love vivid dreams even when they are perplexing because they are like a call from the other side... a nudge, a hand pointing the way... a sign.

Relax, but pay attention. Signs are powerful and when they come in dreams you get the added power of mythos and symbolism.

Yumm to the dream and yumm to the No Cheesecake.


All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.