Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Palette of Family

Our grandparent and parents had the formula. Intrinsic in each culture, and instilled through habit is the knowledge of using foods to heal and console. It was the hot soup or strong toddy when a cold was coming on. Aloe Vera and pumpkin seeds to expel intestinal worms. Oatmeal and milk baths for rashes. Its found in the precise science of Native American Earth medicine to facilitate outdoor living. Let your medicine be your food and your food be your medicine, was a phrase coined by Master Teacher and Physician Imhotep. In that spirit we reclaim the power to heal ourselves. We reinitiate the Creator given birth-right to self sustenance. In this we put the power of nurturer and healer back in our hands.

The herbs around your home will feed and nourish you. They know you and will provide what you need. In turn with your nurturing touch and attention they will receive the essential communication and environmental interaction to receive what they need. This symbiotic relationship, this familial connection nourishes and protects all.

There is an idea, a prevailing thought that the herbs surrounding our immediate environments are clues into the places that we could be in need of healing. What grows around your home? Are you familiar with the resources of food and medicine that flourish in your most intimate space? What heals us should be close and hands on.

The plants and herbs around us give us clear instructions on their functions and uses. Take Cuban Oregano for example. How the shape, texture and design indicate its ability to clean and clear out. How it resembles (to me at least) the lungs. There's no wonder it's used in instances of cough and congestion, among a number of other things.

We are constantly reminded of the abundance of nature in the face of all conditions. How she shows up in our most immediate spaces to serve and assist us, serve as a reminder that we as a part of her family are set to inherit this abundance. We in fact are integral parts of this abundance. Begin to know what thrives and flourishes around you. begin to know the family you draw to yourself. Love


As we move more and more into self sustenance and our intrinsic sense of abundant consciousness as a family, we've taken to creating our own herbal tea blends (among other things) utilizing herbs and flowers that have been grown on the farm. Our favorite recently is a special blend of Sorrel and Holy Basil, which I've dubbed Holy Sorrel. Rounded out with a few other spices and herbs and packed full of vitamin C, it is a well balanced tea which will find a permanent place in our repertoire. Experiment with the herbs in your environment. See what you can come up with. Indulge your creativity and senses. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

My Kitchen Sounds Like: "Eastern Sounds" by Yusef Lateef

Friday, October 11, 2013

Keep It Close...Self Preservation

I can recall with a smile, the shuffle towards preparing food that we grew. The consumer mindset is often not an easy one to shake, even when we are surrounded overwhelmingly by everything we need. Hence, the shuffle. My mate, an extraordinarily talented farmer and artist would come home in half-shock, with a basket full of freshly harvested food, and find me in the kitchen preparing the same foods, only store-bought. Not only was there the reality that I had spent money on food, but that I purchased and was now preparing for our family a "substance" of lower quality, less flavor, and lacking in the the essential personal relationship that comes with growing your own food.

Now we have stepped into the Future, standing firm on practices championed in the past...

This month of October finds me in self-preservation mode. Preserving the foods of Summer's bounty to sustain and and preserve our bodies for the Winter's rest. Whether it's our Coconut and Squash based Habanero sauce, our Serrano chili paste, or our countless flower and herb combinations dried and blended specific to our family's needs and tastes. We are manufacturing our own "products" and controlling and flowing within our own sustenance. The food is fresh and it's familiar. It's intimate, CLOSE. A relationship that was established from seed....Love

We received an abundant amount and variety of peppers this month. So I offer up a Chili paste recipe. The recipe below is from the Know Thyself Family, featured in their quarterly newsletter. There are some slight variations in my final recipe but this place is a great starting point and comes close.

Easy Chili Garlic Sauce

1/2 pound fresh hot chilies
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar or other sweetener (optional)
2 tablespoons vinegar, or lemon or lime juice

Remove the stems from the chilies and discard. Cut the chilies into big pieces. The seeds can be left in (for a hotter version) or taken out (for a milder version). Puree the chilies with the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use in small amounts on bean and rice dishes, tacos, soups, or even in salad dressings.
My Kitchen Sounds Like "Transfiguration" by Alice Coltrane

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Practical application trumps theory with her. There is little to be gained with the questions. Her growth, her harmony, continuously and abundantly support the truth that the lesson, the knowing is in the doing and the witnessing. She only asks for your attentiveness and she will flourish.

And what becomes apparent is not her's but OUR need to be acknowledged, recognized. For indeed there is no separation. Her consideration gives way to our nourishment. Realizing that she is the only tabernacle, and to understand devotion through her service is to worship at the feet of our own Earth-made altars.

Weed her of entanglements and fruit blossoms. Remember to offer her water and air and she will expand. Sunlight draws out her smile and she dances in the rays. The moonlight is her unveiling and the mysteries of her soil are summoned forward to heal, to relieve and replenish.

She and I. Her and Us. He and She alike are one in the same. The more we come to The Earth, the more we come to ourselves. Grateful to learn, to heal and grow at the feet of the Mother. Love.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I wake up early in the morning for it. Greet it like a sacred ritual. Wash and clean my physical body. Purify my thoughts and give thanks and reverence as I approach it. I come to it like a prayer. Every single time is new and yet, I know this. I dance in the meeting of the two. Familiar and New. I am aroused by the scent of it, its tastes, its sounds. We even touch, hand to mouth. I prefer it that way. Mediums are not always necessary.

This love making is ABUNDANT. So there's enough to share. When its ready, I plate, package and serve it up. So that you may get a glimpse of what this reverence, this type of love feels like. Perhaps it can be a catalyst for your own expression. Be nourished by it. Imaginative. Explorative. Come Eat.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Food Rituals Part 1

We bow our heads in reverence. Giving thanks to the Creator, the Universe, the ones whose blood, sweat and tears, love and effort went into the the growing and preparation of this food. We come together as community, as family, united within ourselves to recognize the rituals, the ceremonies both formal and informal that have culminated in us being able to nourish our bodies with the abundance of nature. Recognizing that as we give thanks, as we observe these rituals we are continuing on in traditions shared all over the world honoring the sacred nature of food.

Within systems of modernity, most often meals are prepared from people we don't know or have any connection with at all. Whereas we are appreciative of the effort and work put forth by the many Chefs and food servers within our society, it is with an understanding that today's service practices limit opportunity for a spirit enriching, ritualistic and nourishing experience for the ones preparing and serving our food. What can be said of the real quality of our food (aside from taste and aesthetics) which is prepared in highly stressful, confined rooms, with little ventilation, extreme conditions and no view or connection to the natural world? How much more creative, inspired, and nourishing would our food be, if the preparers had Stress-free, open environments? How about if we actually had some level of relating with our Chefs and the foods prepared?

I recently read in The Huffington Post an article on the top 10 occupations that psychopaths are drawn to, Chefs was number nine. In an entertainment based society that is now pushing the food industry and its arts to be competive sport, fueled by personalities, how much more will this draw an undercurrent of unstable, misdirected energy to the art and ritual of how we all nourish ourselves? Of course we all, even myself enjoy the experience of going out from time to time, not having to cook, being served and tasting other's creative expressions. In that I do not suggest to totally disengage ourselves from the food service industry or to detach ourselves from this art and service. What I choose to reflect upon is taking out time and space to honor the many food rituals and their significance that have kept our cultures and families moving for centuries.

Remembering the rituals your families have around food. Be it women coming together to harvest, wash and prepare meals. The sorting of grains, the washing of greens. All the many conversations,and celebrations, ceremonies recognized in the midst of these activities. Men coming together in sport or seeming leisure and in the proces gathering food for their families. All the rituals and activities with food at the center that brought us to community and family. The time and spaces, the energy we shared, and how that all went into the food that was prepared and then in turn how that affected the taste, the quality, the healing and nurturing properties of the foods we ate. All that we consume we are. What does how our food is prepared or consume, say about us? Love.

My Kitchen Sounds Like "Set-Up Shop" by Damian Marley