Monday, July 5, 2010


"We take these steps towards freedom, for all those who have been oppressed.."- Common

One of my favorite songs is "Time Traveling' by Common. It's a tribute to Fela Kuti and just to freedom in general, be it in expression, in creativity or in living. Yesterday, America celebrated its Independence, with Spirits, animal sacrifices and fireworks. Usually its a day for our family to stay still, stay quiet and reflect upon life and its abundant properties. We were privileged on yesterday to celebrate a 2 year Solar return, family, children, new life (Love Love, to Zion who chose to come through yesterday, and to Valerie..YAY!! you are a mommy now) and laughter. And as the world outside of the family gates, celebrated the birth of the colonization of our native ancestors and indigenous people on this continent, we celebrated the generations and continuation of life, bold, beautiful and uncompromising.

I am so grateful to the youth. I smiled and I laughed until my cheeks were sore from the act. Yesterday I also ate. Ate until I could no longer handle the task of putting the fork to my mouth. It was Indian buffet day. I must repeat it, just to savor the memory...Indian Buffet Day...Channa, Spinach, Dal, Fritters, Mixed veggies in coconut sauce, chapatis...and on and on. And it didn't stop there. I have been going through taste bud meltdown. It happens amongst cooks/chefs. You cook so much, taste this, taste that and then it happens, your tastebuds experience overload and everything taste like blaaah. So this weekend, that Indian buffet refreshed my tastebuds so a natural progression happened...Mexican. I went home and created a Mexican cuisine extravaganza. It included Vegan Tacos and Nachos. For the nachos I mixed up a batch of my jalapeno cashew and almond cheese..Yum!!! It was the perfect palette pleaser. The only regrettable thing being that the health food store did not have a single ripe avocado, so there was no guacamole. But perhaps that was the universe's way of ensuring that I did not go insane from heightened taste and sensual gratification :)

My husband, a culinary wizard in his own right, not to be out done, surprised us this morning with brunch. When I describe it as creative genius, trust it is no exaggeration. This beautiful soul of a man, took Ackee ( a tree fruit, commonly used in the Caribbean and coupled with Saltfish) and seasoned with Jamaican seasonings and whatever else he put in that pot (his cooking secrets are coveted information), then he made a vegetable medley of squash, tomatoes and broccoli and then topped it off with home fries/potatoes. This is the good life. I cant help but express the thought that everyone should be eating like this. Its basic, its ital/vital, its nutritious, its inexpensive and not time consuming at all. Yo, I love this life. Good Eats. Love.

In honor of my Sun, who loves chickpeas, Channa Masala a la' Jovi.

Channa Masala a la' Jovi (real quick)

  • 3 cups of chickpeas (cooked until tender beforehand)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro diced
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (throw in a little palm oil it gives it a nice kick, but also adds satfat for the uber health conscious)
  • 1/2 ripe tomato diced
  • 3 tablespoons of Garam Masala
  • about 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water.
In a cast iron or stainless steel skillet/pan add oil, heat on medium heat. To the oil add onions, garlic and Garam Masala. Stir until onions are somewhat transparent and Garam Masal has browned a little.
Toss in chickpeas and mix well, making sure to coat the chickpeas thoroughly. Next add water or broth and let simmer on low heat for about 6-8 minutes with lid. After about 8 minutes you'll want to stir in the tomatoes and cilantro and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with Brown Basmati Rice, chapatis and a nice side vegetable like Cauliflower.

My Kitchen Sounds like: "Elsewhere" by Kevin Mbugua, "Hold Yuh" by Gyptian and "Time Traveling" by Common.