Sunday, December 20, 2009

Like Water for Chocolate

I remember the first time I heard the Common album, "Like Water for Chocolate", it instantly became one of my favorites. As Common albums go it was full of texture, well-rounded, colorful and full of variety. It has a real balance sound. Later it came to me from somewhere (not quite sure) that the title came from a book by Laura Esquivel, not only that but it was a movie. I saw the flick and was very moved by the story. It was a beautiful love story that had food at the center of its tale. The story's protagonist is a young sister named Tita. All her life Tita longs for her lover who she can't be with. The only way that she's able to express her passion and emotion is through the food she cooks. As a result of her immense passion, the people who taste her food are overcome with the emotions she feels every time they eat her cooking.

I got to thinking of the power of not only food to translate our innermost thoughts and expressions, but the power of emotion to come through in such a way. Although it makes sense. I mean what separates cooking from any other creative endeavor? When a painter paints, or a poet writes their emotion, their message, whatever their expression is comes across through their medium. If I sight further, it becomes imperative that we are thoughtful (upful) about what it is we are putting forward.

As a common practice, whenever I cook I am playing music. Music to vibrate my spirit, my mood upwards. Its a delicate matter. The ones who eat my food are not only getting my mood or my current vibration, they are receiving bits of my memory, my story, my thoughts and innermost expression. They are experiencing me. So, its a grand responsibility to ensure that I am at my highest (or striving to be so) whenever I step foot into the kitchen. Its a matter of fact. It shows in how parents and children respond to my cooking, or even how there has been a shift in how they respond to me since I started cooking.

Walking into the kitchen for me is sometimes like walking into a time warp, landing in my mother's kitchen. I smell garlic and onions. I smell sweet potatoes pies and lemon pound cakes. I can see me in the living room with a broomstick as my microphone singing and dancing a made-up routine to Betty Wright or Marvin Gaye, or if I was lucky New Kids on The Block (I liked Donnie, don't laugh.) So, when I step into my own kitchen now as an adult, in my mind's eye, I am back there in that secure place, 10years old, having a ball in my youth, waiting for what's coming out of the pot. I pray, God willing that when the people eat my food all that love, imagination, light, and youthful energy comes through...Bless

Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 cup of sugar (I switch it up, sometimes I use turbinado)
  • as many dark vegan chocolate chips as you want (GO CRAZY!!!)
  • nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oil (sunflower is nice and light)
  • vanilla extract (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nuts and chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir until well mixed and then add vanilla. (* at this time you can also add applesauce, my husband swears by this for moist cookies.).
Combine the ingredients of the two bowls. Stir well, but do not over stir. This is the time I usually abandon the spoons and use my hands (I like to get down and dirty, become one with my food). Mix and then spoon the dough onto a preheated cookie sheet.
For a softer cookie bake for 8-10 minutes. The longer you bake the harder they will get as the still cook and settle for a few minutes once they begin to cool...INJOY!!!

** this is really a base recipe. Every time I make these I come up with a new variety. Be free, subsitute one of the cups of flour for a cup of oats, add raisins, nutmeg and walnuts and you have an oatmeal cookie. Add cacao, coconut, dried fruit..go wild with these. There are no limits with this basic recipe.

My Kitchen sounds like "Like Water for Chocolate" by Common

1 comment:

Danainra said...

Lol @ GO CRAZY w/choc. chips, and GO WILD with oatmeal cookies:) However, I think I'll use this recipe very soon sis. Hubby loves cookies (and me too)! Thx!