Saturday, December 4, 2010

Delightful Butter Cookie - Glutten Free

As it is National Cookie Day ~ I got to RE-membering my Bakery in Manitou Springs, CO. C R Buns; A Bakery Extraordinary ~ and there were a couple of things we were really known for, the name which was a play on initials and then the logo not with standing. It was a Cinnamon Roll, which I know is not a cookie, but also I made monster cookies, all the cookies were really an after school meal.

Through the years, I have stopped eating wheat so, that meant if I was to enjoy a cookie, I needed to come up with some thing and fast – what was out there 20 plus years ago ~ all tasted, smelled and looked Cardboard. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, this was not going to work. I have played with many cookies recipes and actually have a few that I like and that I am known for here in Maine, without a Bakery to my name.

This presently is my current favorite ~ perhaps since it is good, yet I’ve still not got it perfect.

I give you both the original- which was a rich M E L T in your mouth delight of a cookie, then how it has evolved. So in Honour of the Day ~ GO bake some cookies.

Rich Sugar Cookie - Lemon
1 C. butter yes, 2 sticks
2/3 C. sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
zest of two lemons –juice of one
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and flavoring. Combine and add flour and salt. Chill dough 3-4 hours. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll thinly and cut. Bake 7-9 minutes. I place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and shape it in to a square, it is a very soft dough. After it is chilled I cut it thinly. Let it cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before setting them on a cooling rack. I have found this helps keep them from being so fragile. I have no idea how many cookies this batter makes- sorry – it is wonderful decadent

1 ¼ cup buckwheat flour
1 ¼ cup rolled oats sent through the quezy

note- for a little different cookie here are as the buckwheat and the lemon seem to have a metallic taste – have tried both of these – less pepper makes a subtler taste.

3 Tablespoon coarse crushed pepper
½ cup minced crystallized ginger

I made them last night for an event and when I couldn’t find the buckwheat flour I used almond flour in it’s place – nice cookie –

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to chill this dough- let it get hard.

Sad face I have no pictures of these cookies so the 'ArtDeco' look will have to do.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dancing with Hactare

Pomegranates! I wait their arrival each year ~ the tart taste along with bittersweet myth they hold~ This year it seemed even more important to me. Recently I gave myself permission to see that I had lost part of myself to a depression. Going deep into the darkness of self, moving away from the natural world. Would I ever come out of the darkness~ could I even share this word spoken out loud with those I love? How many of them had noticed and didn’t know what to do, how to help?

I couldn’t dance away! Then one of those difficult “drop me to my knees” events happened that seemed to push me under even more. Oh, sweet Goddess I begged ~ help me to come up and out of this place. Let me claim myself, again.

Now what does this have to do with Pomegranates ~ for me a couple of things. Here in the Northern Hemisphere they arrive as fall is beginning, less light, as into the darkness we go. Then there is the fact that they are basically seed and fruit all in one. The seeds giving me hope to yet un-filled potential. As we head toward the darkest and coldest part of the year, (at least here in this place I call home). I think about how it slows us, has us resting more, which perhaps brings us more time to dream and plan (seeds).

In its most basic of forms Persephone, who is the daughter of Demeter, is taken to the underworld. Her mother Demeter is beside herself, looking for this her daughter leaving her goddessly duties untended; which include keeping the fields fertile. Along comes the Wise Old Women Hectare and helps find Persephone, who oops ate the seeds of the Pomegranate while in the under world, which will send her back to the underworld 6 months of the year. For me it translates to the cycle of things and Life more specifically.

I had given up in the past couple years some things I enjoyed. “Why?”, you may ask. I find the reasons sound lame and not ringing totally true to my ear ~ so as the saying goes ‘that is another story’, that I may choose or not to tell. Some of it had to do with finding ME in a society that doesn’t much honour Women as we grow older ~ who, had I become? I needed to go in search of the Fire that burns in the ME that I know, love and care for. ~ The one that can and does hold Sacred Space for others. How do I continue to walk with my Hectare Wisdom while loving the passions of my Persephone Fire? A part of me will always hold the mothering of Demeter, the holding and bringing forth of the creative flow of life. How might I honour that we/I hold the trinity of life with in, the cycles that carry us form birth to death?

Up out of the darkness, to find pomegranates waiting for me~ let them dance in my champagne! Let their tartness sit upon my salad greens ~ let me taste the fruit of the potential that lays waiting for me.

I would invite us to place this amazing fruit and all the potential it holds on our Winter Altars, to remind us that our dreams are ours to nurture and hold. That in our ‘lost ness’ we may need to ask for help. Let the pomegranate remind you that going into the time of darkness, doesn’t mean you’ll be lost forever ~ what dreams and seeds are you needing to nurture while you are in the Dark Night of the Soul?

How to Open a Pomegranate

Using a sharp knife – making four to 8 cuts gently into the skin and the pith – try not to cut all the way into the seeds/fruit themselves.

Pace the pomegranate in a bowl of water as you peel back the skin. The reason for the water is the pith will float and the seeds will drop to the bottom.
Throw out the pith, drain the water.
Use the seeds/fruit.

Greens with Pomegranate

Mixed greens about 1/4 pound per person as a side
Feta approximately 1/4 pound for every two salads
Pomegranate seeds - this is totally up to you - I go for colour

Serve with a splash
Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup real maple syrup
1/8 cup of olive oil - or oil of choice
1/4 pomegranate seeds
a dash of cayenne

a quick pulse in a blender


My all time favorite –
A spoon full in a Champagne glass top with PROSECCO. Dance to Life, Dance to Growing Older, Dance to Your-self! Watch the seeds dance with you~

Blessings, I love you all. Thank you for carrying me in your heart as I carry you.

image is from the 'Web'

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Recently I was honoured to be part of retreat for women. Lots of Ahs and Ohs -~ you might be saying. Indeed it was a weekend of insights, letting down, surrendering, growth, laughter, tears, sharing, quiet time, holding of Sacred Space, and more.

There is a definite shared experience, a Community experience if you will.. With each member bringing to the experience what they will. Almost like an overlay of colour. I came to realize that this overlay so to speak creates it’s own container. As I am looking at my most recent experience of myself, I found that this cloak of feeling and colour, clouded over the space I held Sacred. The Kitchen that feed intensely, lovingly approximately 43 women. It’s intensity felt like a storm for some.

While others were able to sink into a freedom from Ordinary Time; for they were being cared for by all the folks who held and created circles of growth. My kitchen crew and myself were on Hyper Time, to be sure that all that was needed in the way of food was available. As an Artist in Life, I have learned that I become inwardly focused – as I live alone these days, it isn’t so much of a bother, no body is watching. Earlier in my life my child and I learned to dance with each other around who we both were, are and have become; a dance of many, many lives.

Yet, this past weekend, while others were having an Extraordinary Surge of Empowerment and Knowing ~ feelings of warmth, growth ‘The Warm and Fuzzy’ or as my friend the Diva of Outspokenness put it – A kombi experience ~ we were working, intensely. I wish to my clear ~ that ~ it was MY job! I felt and still feel honoured that I had been holding Sacred Space for this event’s kitchen starting in the late winter early Spring as I looked at what I wanted to create; in accordance with the whole event. The time and care I put toward different food items for us to share.

Creation by it’s very nature requires attention, focus, a protective fierceness, a presence of Being. ( Have you ever watched a spider spin a web, a Monarch butterfly come out of it’s chrysalis?) Life is creation, cooking for me is Creation is Art. Not only is it Art, cooking is art with some fairly dangerous tools ~ I have burns from long ago that mark my arms with the Love of feeding for those that come to my table, whether in my home, commercial restaurant, workshop or retreat. This time was no less, marked with the sadness of missing someone, I now have a T on my Warrior’s Arm. The stories they tell are of loving what I do, WHO I am. The gifts I bring to the table to share. Then of course there are the knives, sharp and deadly, a knife throwers dream! I can not, will not look up for long, with a knife in my hands, I like my hands – they have been kind and loving to me and those I touch.

Here in may be part of the problem, I am by nature a Warrior ~ not a nurturer. I stand tall about 5’9’ 180 pounds, I have arms and hands and legs that love to move, touch, work and share. In our American culture – I would not by any standard be called cute, or warm and fuzzy. I know myself to be very loving, generous of spirit, kind, compassionate, and forth right. I don’t mince a lot of words. I am loyal to those I call friends. It takes a great deal to bring me to anger~ not so much when it comes to frustration, yet how you may see me in a moment of creativity does not make me angry, only clearly focused, grounded in what is before me. It is the same for me with Food, tending to The Earth, when I help ease the tension during body work, when I am printing, painting writing or playing. I LOVE, need I underline it I Love Life! I am passionately intense.

Might I invite you to see past the stoic nature of my physical self- to see the light that shines brightly in my eyes. Might I invite you to know that I enjoy doing my work, even when it is difficult or I am frustrated?

What might my perception of you have been, when I stepped out into the warmth you all carried into the dining hall ~ I was not in your shoes, I was grateful and excited that you were not having to be in mine.

Love, Peace and Hope
Blessings to you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Is For YOU

This is for you. For your courageous self, for the shy, the outrageous, timid, loud, fat, skinny, ridge, flexible, stingy, generous YOU! That’s right I’m talking to You ~ each and everyone of You.

I am struck by what it takes to get out of bed each day. To not give up. To choose to continue on what ever path you are walking. You are out in the world BEING you. That my friends is not necessarily an easy task.

We are bombarded everyday with what society claims they want us to be, look like, wear, even down to the way we wash our skin. Yet, I would tell you this isn’t what we want ~ look at your friends ~ they are your friends and mine…why? Because they are exactly who they are! With all the frills, bells and whistles that make them the unique person they are.

I am struck also by the courage it takes for us to be true to ourselves. To choose to grow, push against our edges, to reach out to a friend and ask for support. To laugh at our silly serious selves. Yes, even to choose on some level to stay stuck in our own mud pit. Some days I wonder what it is my friends see in me ~ who is it that they know that I don’t seem to. I wish I could take out my eyes, borrow yours for just a moment to get a glimpse of the me that you like, love, hate.

This is for you, my friend ~ I See You and through your eyes I am able to see me. Thank you for this gift of friendship. I am blessed by your gift.

I See YOU, this is for you ~ in the words of edward estlin cummings

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

This is for YOU, dear friend, for indeed I carry you with me each day~ it is that You See Me that I AM . Thank you, from the bottom of my soul.

the heart of me, my home is indeed my kitchen - my love comes through to you with what is created there. Self in shadow - it could be you as we are one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Sweetness for YOU

L'shannah Tovah! As the sun sets this evening, I have friends that are celebrating the possibilities of the coming year. Rosh Hashanah, commonly called the Jewish New Year. With this celebration like all good traditions there are foods that are eaten to bring to mind some of what is desired or wished for. So I offer up Honey Cake, made with rye flour. This one is not so sweet ~ which doesn’t mean anything other then that.

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

2 Tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in ¾ cup hot water
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons oil
¾ cup apple sauce
¾ cup honey
¾ brown sugar
2 ½ cups rye flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Dissolve the instant coffee in the water. Cool
Grease the equivalent of a 9x13 pan and heat the oven to 340 degrees
Mix the first 6 ingredients ( wet items) to blend, in another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Mix them together just until smooth.
Bake cake/cakes about 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since I use rye flour I notice it takes a little longer.
If using wheat flour use 2 ¼ cup and bake for less time.
While still hot, drizzle a little bit more honey on top of cakes – this will make it shiny.

Wishing you all a year that is Sweet, Healthy, full of Adventure and Friends! To the possibilities of all that may come. Now on to the Days of Awe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beets to Borscht

Harvest time, a fabulous farmer’s market, it’s Soup! This past Saturday, I decided that I would see if I could pick up everything I needed fresh from the market. Indeed there were many options I could have gone with, yet the abundance of Beets, the deep reds, the striped and the goldens. South Paw Farm, Freedom Farm, and Fishbowl Farm, a little bit from each to spread the cash flow and we have; ta- da~ Momma Ro's Golden Beet Borscht. Time to start putting some root veggies back into the swing of things.

Momma Ro's Golden Beet Soup
Feeds 4- 6 for dinner 5-8 if you’re calling it a starter

1 large yellow onion or a leek ~ chopped
2 stalks celery ~chopped
1 –2 cloves garlic ~ minced
3 carrots ~ I cut them on the diagonal
A healthy splash of oil for the sauté pot

5 large Golden beets, peeled and chopped
2 med potatoes ~ chopped
I recently used fingerlings (object everything from the Farmer’s Market)
2 Honey Crisp or Paula Reds ~ chopped peeling is a mater of preference

8 cups veggie/chicken stock or water
You can make a quick veggie stock by taking 4 cups and tossing in all the peelings from the items above – bring to a boil let simmer while you, do the rest of the steps.

Salt and Coarse Cracked Pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

1 ½ cup green cabbage

Topping goodies 1 cup sour cream
¾ cup chives or grated raw red beet

Saute the first 5 items till the onions are clear (tip – hot pan cold oil – food won’t stick)
Add in you beets, potatoes and apples, stir together, add a pinch of salt and one of pepper.
Add the stock to the pot, heat, cover, simmer until beets and potatoes are tender. Add the cabbage just before about 2 minutes before you turn off the heat to serve. I sometimes take about 2 cups of soup and CAREFULLY pour into the ‘quezy’ then add it back into the soup.

May be served hot or cold, top with a dab of sour cream, sprinkle on chives or grated beet

Enjoy this classic! You can also use red beets makes a different soup all together. Serve with a green salad and rye bread. YUM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garden Clean Up and Implaments for Writing

I know it’s still early for this aspect of being in the garden – yet only sort of. As the flowers go by sometimes it’s nice to clean up the dead debris, stems, a little dead heading, (which done to the Grateful- can be rather silly, when one thinks upon it too long), then of course there is the ever present sneaky weed, pushing it’s way to look like a desired plant. So, what’s the point you might ask ~ well.
It’s all about what you might be able to use in a way that you might not have thought about before. Confessing that I myself would not have come to this on my own, at least not for long after it was shown to me, by a gifted gardener and artist (not sure which order she would prefer) and fabulous friend Lisa Whelan. So I’m going to pass this on as way to reuse, have some fun, and get yourself a free pen. Recycling at is most basic ~
Day lilies have hollow stems, after the flower it self goes by it leaves behind a long stem, which when left to dry then becomes stiff and use able as a writing or drawing tool. I usually wait till they can be pulled right out of the center of the plant – about this time of year. That way you have all the length to play use to your heart’s desire. Cutting the stem at a slant gives you a nice writing or sketching point – the length if used long invites you to loosen up a bit. Or you can smash the tip and get a much bolder line. See what works for you.
Why is this here in the kitchen you ask, come now my friends, most of us know it all happens in the Kitchen at my house.
Have a great day, have some fun ~ no Day lilies? Oh, I bet if you took a walk about your neighbor hood , all else fails give a shout. Enjoy your day!

photo ~ Day Lily stem pen and a little Zen-ness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb Crisp

With it’s deep red stalks and giant green leaves, it calls to us that have it growing in our gardens. It has a way of calling out even to those who have no garden’s ~ it is now in season. It calls out to be eaten, mixed with sweeter fruits that are also coming into season like strawberries. It is tender and sweeter right now, later in the season the leaves will get bigger, large enough to use as a pattern for a bird bath in fact (that as they say is another story). The stalks themselves will become thicker, tougher need more sugar, honey or juice to cut the sour bitter taste.

What is it Rhubarb? Botanically speaking, it is a vegetable, relative of buckwheat, it has an earthy, sour flavor, rarely eaten raw; we most often treat it as a fruit. Nicknamed the “pie plant”. Please take note that the leaves are not to be eaten raw or cooked they can be poisonous.

Aside from making a wonderful pie or crisp it’s also got a few health benefits, high on the list is the fact that Rhubarb is high in fiber. It is believed to have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure, along with aiding in indigestion, restoring a balance to an acid stomach. It has been found to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy properties, and anti-cancer properties. Rhubarb extract can also be helpful in diminishing the problem of hot flashes

So enough already….you say bring on the Rhubarb, oh, yes indeed I have seen it in the Farmer’s Market, long thin juicy red stalks calling to me….I am blessed today is Wednesday, I get to walk down to visit the grower’s at our local Farmer’s Market . Now where did I see them…

Rhubarb Crisp

About 4 cups of ½ inch pieces of Rhubarb
¼ - ½ cups of sugar (this is a matter of preference, not sure go with the ½ cup)
zest of one lemon
juice from said lemon or about 2 –3 Tablespoon
a pinch of salt

Mix together and put in a buttered pie plate or and 8 x 8 square.

¼ –1 cup of brown sugar
1 ½ cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
¼ cup butter or oil
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Mix together and sprinkle/spread over Rhubarb mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 35- 40 minutes
If possible serve warm, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Yummy –

Change orders or things you could do differently right off the top

Use the smaller amount of sugar decrease rhubarb by a cup, adding 1 ½ cups strawberries chopped, or apples
If you’re not an oatmeal eater, ( though this adds to the heart healthiness of a dessert) change the oatmeal to 1 cup flour, gluten free use buckwheat flour

Roll out a pie crust and make it a pie instead.

photo taken about an hour after I dropped off a crisp to my tasters at Coffee By Design on India street - wheat-free and vegan :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Intimate Sacred Sensuous

Ah, what was your first sensation, first thought upon reading those three words. And in her kitchen? YES! Chili and Chocolate. Dark sweet, oh so sensuous with hot tingling chilies to gather the energy deep in the belly, deep into the heart of the Soul.
I have been asked the question, “Might I share a Recipe” Not just any recipe, mind you ~ a truffle recipe. They are sacred, sensuous, oh and indeed intimate. I have never been one to hold out on the sharing of something like food, if I personally don’t get to create food for your plate, then let someone I know do it. Passing my love, my feelings of the Sacred for food and community; (2 makes community you and me, it only takes one savoring the taste, feel, the wonder of food to make it intimate.) Food by it’s very nature is Sacred, Life giving.

Chocolate has a history ( more to the point her-story) as being a food of and from the Gods and Goddess. Chocolate’s story began about 4,000 years ago, symbolizing life and fertility. For the Mayan’s, (or for any of us) what could be more important? At different times in it’s life it has been used as a health elixir, the cocoa beans as currency, then of course in religious rituals, least we forget that scientists have even proven it aphrodisiacal qualities, along with it ability to lower blood pressure when eaten in moderation. Chocolate has lived a long and diverse existence, lived in many cultures, from it’s beginnings in Mesoamerica.

Add chilies, upping the ante, bringing on the fire so to speak. Passion is kindled, as any one who has seen the movies Like Water for Chocolate and/or Chocolat, will surely remember. Chilies also have their own health benefits, helping to prevent congestion, fighting inflammation, soothing intestinal diseases, burning fat, protecting the heart by reducing cholesterol. It has also been shown to help fight some cancers.
So back to the original request , “Would looove your chocolate truffle recipe!” I love to share food, to ask for a recipe is akin to… (well, I’ll let your imagination run), for me there is an intimacy in the sharing of something that I hold to be life giving. To share how to make that item when I can not be there, it is the same, one invokes the person that the original recipe comes from every time they make said creation. Memories, the body re-members, the senses of taste, smell, perhaps even stories told.
Enjoy, I will think of you, as you think of me. To the fullness of our senses, we will met Intimately, Sacred, and Sensually ~ To your Health, Life and Love ~

Rho's Chili Chocolate Pate/Truffles

16 oz good dark chocolate ( if you’re a milk chocolate person use milk – just use good quality – this is not a place to skimp)
1 1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream ( no light, no fat stuff here either)
1 Tablespoon sweet butter
1 7 ounce can chipotle peppers or
1/16-1/4 cup crushed red chilie peppers, the amount will depend on you, smaller is better
*note the mixture gets hotter as it sets up

Heat ½ cup of the heavy cream throw in a crushed red chilies (know your chilies- how hot are they?), let sit for ½ hour and strain.

Now melt chocolate in a double boiler, do not over heat, when melted leave in double boiler or bowl over hot water add the butter then:

Add strained cream to rest of ingredients in a double boiler, mix well, mixture will get glassy or shiny looking and feel thicker . If using the chipotle peppers, mince - put in with the cream together. Taste – if there is not a little bit of a bite and you want it hotter now is the time to add a bit more chilies in powered form, go lightly till you know what works best for you.

Making Pate
–pour into a mold and let sit until cool and formed. Tip – put Saran Wrap in mold – it makes it easier to get it out of the mold later.

Making Truffles – leave in the top part of the double boiler or bowl set in fridge let set up about an hour. Form mixture into balls (using a melon baler helps make them the same size plus it’s easier. Roll balls in hands ( I put on gloves, the heat from your hands melts the chocolate and leaves your hands sticky otherwise) to make smooth, then in bowl with coca, crushed nuts or Confectioner’s sugar to coat. Put in mini cups or not. May also be dipped in more melted chocolate.
I have also been know to put this mixture on Spoons, let almost set up like for the truffles, use a knife to make a clean cut across the spoon, serve them on a plate with fresh whipped cream. For large mingling groups I put the spoons all on one plate, handles facing out, whipped cream with chocolate shavings in the middle.

photo of chocolate heart from Chocolate History Time Line @chocolatemonthclub

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's All About the Process.

Food, art, friendships, these things don’t tend to happen in an instant. There is also a great deal of mystery and alchemy that happens in each of these processes to my way of thinking any way. I am grateful for those moments of magic, when you have a sense of what you want something to come out like – yet you’re not sure what it will be like in the next moment.

I have gotten to know people in ways that I have had to stand back and go WOW! I would never have thought or known how amazing this person is, if I’d not been willing to stay with the process of getting to know them, of looking beyond what met my eye.

Food, the time it takes to prepare a dish, that brings us to a place of comfort when we need it. Having to check to see if we have all the ingredients…then the process of preparing….We know perhaps what it will be …yet each time, the moment is new. The dish recalling old memories and creating new places.

I am constantly amazed when I silk screen at the magic that happens there as well. I have a general idea of what I think I want – yet until the colour meets the screen and the paper – the Image of what will be is unknown.

There is a certain amount of that kind of mystery and magic when it comes to living into our authentic selves as well. We are not always sure how or what that may look like to others. My question is does it feel right inside? A bit edgy as we make the changes we need as we become truer to who we are? I think all of this is a good thing, it says, out of our comfort zone. It gives us a chance to laugh and or cry….and as my grandchild once said to me…..”You know a good cry just washes everything clean.” A new beginning.

As I have watched myself change some of my favorite recipes to fit the fact that I can no longer eat wheat, I have found I am more able to stay with that same sort of gentle process, as I look deeper into me. I am always grateful to friends who are willing to let me try out new food creations – I find that I am also eternally Amazed and Grateful that as I grow into myself, deeper, truer, more of ME – that my friends are willing to stand by my side and Love me all the more.

I Hope for all of you, the same wonder as you explore who YOU are becoming as the tides of the world ask us to stand up and be counted. To walk to the Well of Compassion, to Honour all Life, to be the Divine Beings we are meant to be.

May Grace be with you.

If you close you will see how the image changes...each colour adding itself to the print. Begin- April 14th - May 13th 2010 Moon calendar.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Re-membering Ourselves As Rain.

Consider that the human body is about 60-72% water. Our bones are approximately 22-26% water. That we can live with out food for days, yet we must have water in some form to keep from dehydration. That water pure and simple holds life.

So why is it that when it rains, do we become upset, despondent, down right depressed? Not always, yet sometimes this does happen. There are times that we pray for rain, are happy and grateful even as it finally starts it’s rhythm on the ground, roofs, our skin.

I am wondering since it is my belief that we are all connected to each other, to the Earth, it’s plants, animals, minerals. That maybe we become despondent when it rains, for we miss being able to fall from the sky, that somehow our bodies re-member being a part of the greater cycle of life, re-member begin rain.

I would like to invite us to consider that perhaps the rain is sharing information with us that we have forgotten how to hear. Dr. Masaru Emoto, wrote a book the Secret Life of Water, were in he talks and shares with us some of what he learned by watching individual crystals of water. Seems that like snow flakes no two are exactly alike. Just as none of us, though we are similar we are not exactly alike.

What information might we be learning if instead of being upset about the rain, we were to realize and embrace the importance of it’s falling. Not only are we 72% water, for the Earth, our home it is the same. We all need hydration. Hydra – hydro form the Greek meaning water. There are cycles and season, in which more rain seems to fall. Here in the Northern Hemisphere that is usually Spring. Spring’s elemental force is water. Spring begins in a fire sign, Aries ( to thaw what has been frozen) and quickly moves into a water sign, Pisces (bringing growth, and or emotions of change).

Tears, like rain help clear a path, open new spaces for growth. Water is Sacred, we have indeed forgotten how to hear the messages that it brings. Might we invite ourselves to consider begin in harmony with the rain, with our tears? Invite ourselves to Re-member when we bathed in the waters of the womb. What an amazing mystery and miracle that is! Yes, in some many ways we too are the rain!

What might it take for us to Re-member when we ourselves were the rain, might we return to being rain? What messages are waiting for us in each drop of this Life giving force? How often in pain have you stood in a shower of warm water running down your body, feel familiar? Or sat in a tub for relaxation, and comfort? For me there is a gentle quietness that comes when I am surrounded by water.

Today as you, stop for a glass of water, invite yourself to feel and know how amazing and Sacred the water in your hand is, what does it have to offer your body? What is it that we have to offer the water of the world? Both of us are offering Life.

May you find yourself in harmony with the water or waters you come in contact with today. In ending let me share with you a Madagascan saying 'Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly, but flooding the river'. May we too, walk softly giving thanks for the rain, even when it floods the river.

Photo - after 3 days of heavy rain in March...I found this in a friend's garden, I too wanted to be inside the drops hanging from the branch, knowing what life will spring forth.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Over Coffee

Recently, I sat at the end of a gathering of women, that had come together via a circle created by my friend, mentor, couch and life student Lael. She had us do an exercise of telling us each other, what we Appreciated and Learned from each other during the 6 months the group had been together sharing our experiences around a theme.

We were not given an opportunity to go oh, it’s nothing or any other silly disclaimer we might have in fact used to not take in what was said. Afterwards someone asked if we would be willing to send what we had said to each other ~ Fabulous Idea. Yet, I want to take it one step further.

How many of us love to receive postal mail? How many of us when we receive a letter truly take the time to sit with the letter? I got to thinking over coffee, and touching base with a friend this AM via IM. What if and how sweet would it be if each day over a cup of coffee, I would sit and write out a letter to a friend letting them know how important they are in my life.

Letting them know what it is I appreciate about them. What gifts they have given me in the way of growth. No not in an email- but in a real hand written note. How much this act enriches my day, when I send out the random letter here and there – yes, I do sometimes send and receive notes from my sweet child; (who by the by is an adult – that I facebook, email, Skype and generally speak to at least once a week) still my heart lights at this gift of a letter. I find I save it for the end of my day when I can sit in my kitchen and savor the moment. In my life and perhaps most of us – Life, Love, happens in the kitchen. There are the smells of cooking, (love), sometimes dirty dishes, (life); it is the place that I believe most of us go to Re-member some important detail of our childhood.

See how it goes for you. I am grateful this morning to another friend, who felt with love and care to make my computer wire-less even in my smallest of NY style apartments in Portland, ME. He makes me smile with the love and growth we have shared. Yes, are you listening – you are forgiven for the breakfast debacle. So over coffee, I am sharing this with you. Reach out and touch a friend, share a cup of coffee even if they live across town, write them a little note – let them in on how you feel.

All love.

ps who might have a fabulous picture of a cup of coffee I might use?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In the stew...

So, before you read to far; hoping for a recipe for some fantastic stew, sorry, there isn’t one. This is more about our becoming us. Or more exactly the me that I have become.

This past year I have been blessed to be re-membered into the lives of two wonderful women that knew me at an earlier time in my life. Living as a single Mom in a little community in Colorado, Manitou Springs. Now what has gotten me to thinking about stew is both of these women said upon seeing me “Wow, you’ve not changed a bit!” This of course was meant as a compliment

Yet, it got me to thinking about all the wonder and changes that I have been through since I have seen both of these women. The spice of friends. The flavors as events that have helped shape me to this point. Things I have been witness too and the great amount of learning that has come my way.

Though to the eye it may appear that I’ve not changed, when for me I believe I have grown into my handsome good looks. In many ways we are all a bit of a stew pot; a magical alchemical process. From our first beginnings, the story that lives within us of ancestral beings. That we come from stardust, and carry within our chest the sound of Mother Earth as a heart beat. The mystery of how we swim in a pot of all the molecules of everything that has ever been and is ever becoming.

Awe is the word that comes to mind when I sit with some of the stories, that are shared with me. They too are a part of all that I am. I often wonder at my own ‘story’; would I be me if certain things were not a part of the great list of ingredients that have been tossed in? Would I live so intensely? ( This by the by is what I have been told about myself.) Would I choose to find the beauty, the laughter, see the sorrow? I will never know ~ what I do know is that I feel blessed, grateful and filled with Grace. I have been loved, been given opportunities a plenty to give love. It is my plan to continue to do so till my last exhalation of the Divine, that is my breathe.

I have been thrilled at times with the manifestations that marinating in my own stewing process have brought about. There have been sad nesses, hurts and fears, all apart of the mixing and marinating, the process of becoming, of blooming into who I am as are you. (Re-member earlier I said we are all in the pot together?)

So to those of you, who have traveled beside me as friend ~ I Thank you for all the magic we have and are sharing. To those that I only know as whispers on the wind ~ you I thank also ~ on the wind I feel your Being. I am greatly blessed. I am Grateful to be in the world with YOU and your stew- ness. Yum!

May we all continue to marinate to the fullness of our flavors, talents, full of love and compassion for each other and our selves.

Okay – I fibbed here is one of my favorite stews…soups; hmmm I wonder at the actual difference, but as they say ~ that is another story.

Stone soup (chick pea/vegetable) Gypsy Soup serves 8-12
Approx ¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
3 stalks celery chopped
2-3 each, carrot, sweet potato chopped
1 winter squash butternut or acorn
1 sweet pepper – red if possible
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 ½ cup dry (soak overnight)

3 cups stock, (made from any veggies or herbs left from day before) or H2O

Sauté 1st 3 items, in olive oil, adding in carrot, in large soup pot. If using dry chickpeas, cook before hand till they are tender enough to place on your tongue, press to the roof of your mouth and mash.. Mix all ingredients together….Let cook and meld flavors together

Season with:
Couple dashes of cayenne
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaf
2 T tamari
1 T paprika

The original recipe and inspiration for this, comes from the first Moosewood Cookbook

picture of me at about 4 maybe 5...I thank Tirzah Griffin at for scanning this picture for me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Baking

For a Celebration of Life
Sweets for the sweet
To pay the Ferryman
A place to Honour the life of a friend

An almost full Moon
This day of Celebration
I will hold all Friends this day

For some are old and some are new
It doesn't change that they be
Someone that will hold and soothe
An aching Heart
To tell me when I'm out of line
And love me none the less
I know I can count on you
I hope you count on me

I love you dear
My Amazing friend
Know always I hold you dear
Even when I might forget
To say
Thank you for being
My friend.

Blue Corn Biscotti

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup stone-ground blue cornmeal
3 tablespoons stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup pinon nuts – lightly toasted or pecans

Preheat the oven to 375°F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Assemble your ingredients.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, blue and yellow cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.With the mixer set at its lowest speed, add the butter to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir the liqueur into the dough until incorporated. Stir in the nuts until the dough is thoroughly blended and holds together in a ball.Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and gently press to form a log measuring approximately 3 inches wide, 1 1/2 inches high, and 10 inches long. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 2 hours or for as long as 8 hours.
Before second baking, reheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the log crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices. Lay the slices on the same parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. For more even baking, turn the biscotti over after 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet.

Though this piece was written in 2006 before some of us gathered to honour our friend Ronette, it is no less important to me today. Love to you all.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Murder of Crow!

How many crow are in a murder? Enough to fill a pie? Four and 20? I don’t rightly know ~ what I do know is that on this particular Sunday I indeed have a murder of Crow in my kitchen. Now for most this might be upsetting ~ for me it brings a gladness!

You might be wondering about this – though the photo that is posted makes it a bit clear that they are not alive ~ well that’s not the word I might use. I am glad to have them in my tiny little kitchen, I am also grateful that they are here today. Today marks six years to the day that many of us gathered to share and acknowledge the passing of a friend.

It is because of this friend, Rick Rudolph that the rendition of a moon calendar were first printed. I had desired to be able to let him know that I was thinking of him during his illness. Sadly, my friend, artist and fellow human never saw a single calendar. He passed before the year came anew. I find ~ I still miss him.

I am reminded that we never truly don’t have folks in our lives, once we have created space at our table for them, they are forever with us. They leave a mark as playful or hurtful as we allow. This murder of Crow that hangs on the line…well, they will become the next New Moons marking. Falling on Valentine’s Day, and the Tibetan New year, prayer paper behind them on the calendar, it is a reminder to me and hopefully to those that receive the calendar to remember to tell those they love of their love. In the blink of an eye, all things can and do change.

There is also a gladness for me around this printing as I am aware of how much I missed the magic and mystery of silk screening; for the last three seasons of summer, fall and most of winter I have not printed. On this anniversary and the second printing of the Moon Calendar for the year, thank you Rick. Thank you Tirzah, Ann. Debbie and Mo, friends who have stood gently by asking and reminding me of this magic.

My kitchen magic depends on being able to create for myself and to have the warmth of friendship at my table. Art for me is a bit like cooking you can know what goes into creating something ~ yet one; or at least I depend on the kitchen magic; I never truly know how they will be in the end. I am grateful for all my friends, those I still have near and those that are near to me, as whispers on the wind. I want you all to know that you are loved. If I have forgotten to tell you today…I am telling you NOW. I love you!

May you find ways to feed your soul, as well as your body.

photo taken in my kitchen 31 January 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Squash Soups

Our body, the earth both love it when we eat what's truly in season. Due to the wonder of planes, and world travel we are now able to eat all manner of fruits and vegetables that are either out of season for us or don't grow in our area at all. This is something we have learned to take for granted. Yet, nature has a way of growing and having available to us what it is we really need or crave in the season.

Fall and Winter are all those wonderful root vegetables and cabbage. The bounty of Winter Squashes. All are here during this time as a Powerhouse of healing. They have an amazing amount of vitamin A- a anticancer crusader. Also topping the winter food list for vitamin C and fiber. Hell-o potassium to boot. All of these help in the fight for colds, flu, and other winter maladies. As root vegetables, another thing they help our bodies do is ground. Keeping us planted during the season of dreams.

Before they are cooked they don't take up valuable refrigerator space either.

All this said, let me share a base soup and then give you some options on different ways to play with them, to create different tastes.

Basic Winter Squash Soup 4-6servings for lunch or dinner 8 - if soup course

1 med size squash,(butternut, acorn, buttercup or Hubbard)about 2 pounds or a small pumpkin
1 TBS butter or olive oil
1 onion -diced
2 stalks celery
1 -2 large carrots
1 clove garlic
4-6 cups stock either vegetable or chicken.
salt and white pepper to taste.

Start by baking your choice of squash/pumpkin - to do this you'll cut it in half, take out the seeds with a spoon, place face down on a cookie sheet with- the oven set for 350 degrees, bake for about 30mins or until a fork inserted through the skin slides in easily. (Baking the squash/pumpkin gives the soup a richer taste- though you can make the soup by cutting the squash/pumpkin into chunks instead, and simmering them till soft)

Meanwhile - as the squash/pumpkin bake. Dice your [onion, garlic, celery and carrots]. Heat your soup pot - hot pan, cold 'fat' the food won't stick - throw in this [mixture] and sauté till onions are transparent. Set aside to add baked squash/pumpkin.
Add stock - *tip don't have stock~ easy fix ~to make a quick make shift one- take the peelings from the [mixture] add a potatoes or two chopped, throw into 4 cups of water simmer while the squash/pumpkin bakes. For easy stock I save the bits and pieces of onions and things -no broccoli or asparagus - in a container in the freezer for this sorts of moments- makes a richer stock. Strain you now have 'stock' -if you choose not to bake the squash/pumpkin due to timing needs throw the peelings into the stock pot as well.

When squash/pumpkin are ready - dig the wonderful 'meat' from the shell, add to the [mixture] pour in your stock cook on low heat for about 15 -20 minutes. Let it cool till lukewarm - now it's ready to be mashed or run through your 'quesy' (food processor). Reheat add salt and pepper to taste, serve topped with fresh parsley, scallions and or croutons.

*tip to make a heartier and heart healthy - to give it that creamy texture of heavy cream, blend in a small can of cannellini beans ( sometimes called white kidney)rinsed and drained - or about 1 1/2 cups soaked and cooked. This can be done to most soups and gives it a milky look without the dairy. A way to add more fiber - nobody knows but the cook

Changes to make something fancier.
Curried Butternut Squash
Follow basic recipe adding:
1 large apple
1more clove of garlic
1/2-1 teaspoon Cheyenne pepper-this is a matter of how many stars
1-2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
optional - add 1star anise.

Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup
Following basic recipe add
2 large red roasted peppers
1/2 -1 teaspoon Cheyenne pepper

to roast your peppers- place under the broiler till skin turns black - gently pull this away from the pepper throw into the soup you can also roast a third then chop it as a garnish.

Apple Pumpkin
Following basic recipe using pumpkin add
2 Apples, like Courtland or Crispin - something with a lot of snap -Granny Smith could also work
1/2-1 teaspoon Cheyenne pepper
1-2 cinnamon sticks (this is a matter of taste- optional
replace 1-2 cups of the stock with apple juice.

Basque Pumpkin and White Bean made easy
Following basic recipe using pumpkin add
1 leek chopped and washed
3 more cloves of garlic
3 fresh sage leaves or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1 can cannellini beans -rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cup cooked beans

you are not sending this soup through the 'quesy' - stir the pumpkin in well to incorporate it then add beans
garnish with fresh parsley and