Thursday, January 31, 2013

This breath of deserts ...

It was cold that day in the desert. A teeth chattering kind of cold, and mine were. I was shivering as I stood to watch. Everyone had gone. The wind was blowing heavily across the landscape and the droplets had reached my face. All the way from the mountains, they were carried on the One breath. It was my first time in this place and it was not what I was expecting. I was not expecting to find myself alone and shivering, battered by wind and droplets, pulling my humble sweater around me for a semblance of warmth as I watched a rainstorm come in over desert mountains. I was not expecting to be unable to move, astonished and breathless at the exquisite beauty before me. Nor for the love that would ensue.
Yet, there it was.
There I was.
The clouds were heavy with rain and each moment they seemed to come closer, but never did. Everything came to life. The ground seemed to vibrate with energy, the plants reaching to catch droplets whirled by on the wind above them. Reaching to drink in this life that visits them once every ten years. The air smelled of wet stone and earth. Every inhale was filled with mist and lessons.
And then, as quickly as they rolled in...
 The clouds were gone. The rain, with them. And out came a brilliant, scorching sun. People with it.
Warming up stones for my grateful feet.

Breath of deserts
What finds you is freedom and oneness.
Newness where old eyes feared there would be none again.
Things you do not know
Cannot know here.
An alien on your own planet.
Beyond you.
Liberation from mind.
The beauty and burden of life, shared.
The certainty of hope.
The certainty of change.
Of transformation.
Breathe in deeply.
The moment is fleeting.
This breath of deserts.
- Oana Silaghi Bedikyan
Time to dish.
What. You thought you weren't getting a recipe?
So you know how I have been making tons of this bone broth? Well, we have to do something with all that meat yes?
Do this:
Pulled Turkey (or Chicken) Sandwich
Here is what you need:
  • Lovely meat from your bone broth
  • Cornichons
  • Green Olives
  • Mayo
  • Lemon juice
  • Matouk - hot sauce- the bomb
  • Crusty Bread
Here is what to do:
  1. Shred your chicken or turkey meat with a fork and mix with a generous amount of mayonnaise and the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Dice the cornichons & olives finely and add to the mixture. Lightly toast your favorite bread, mine was a baguette, slather a tiny amount of matouk on the bread (any more and you are on your own, you've been warned) and dig in dear readers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

She comes back to me ...

I miss the rain this deep into winter. The rain on my skin. The sound of it in the background. The steam that rises from hot asphalt in the early morning when a soft drizzle falls through the sun. The smell in the air after a thunderstorm. The movement of the sky and the mournful or furious clouds that bring it in. The smell of grass and mud in the country. The rain that inspires poetry and bubbling pots. Paintings and lovemaking. Walks and warm fires.
Around this time of year I always become aware of how long she's been gone. A little over a month to go. It seems so long, but just when I think I cannot stand it any longer, March arrives. She comes back to me.

The reason.

Early morning.
Stillness is complete.
Only a few birds stir.
Digging for worms.
The mist of life.
Envelops everything.
The path is deeply green.
Pregnant with life.
The smell of earth.
Of trees.
Of existence.
Tears of gratitude.
This is the moment.
The reason.
 - Oana Silaghi Bedikyan
Time to dish.

Beautiful plum soup ... until the rain comes ...

Here is what you need for the soup:

  • A bunch of lovely plums, pits removed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 slices of lemon peel
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1  vanilla pod
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

For the garnish:

  • A few of those same lovely plums from above, sliced
  • Some honey or maple syrup
  • Fresh Rosemary

Here is what to do for the soup:

  1. Add everything (except lemon juice) into a pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until everything is beautifully blended. Once done, strain through cheesecloth or any kind of strainer you may have handy. Stir in the lemon juice and serve warm with reserved caramelized plums. If you wanted to add some clotted cream ... you could... I'm just sayin' ...

For the garnish:

  1. Coat your plums in the honey or maple syrup and place under the broiler for a few minutes on each side. Until they look pretty. Remove, pierce with a tiny rosemary sprig and save for garnish.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Simmering forever ...


To Broth Road ...

I couldn't decide.

So! Top of the afternoon to you my dear, lovely readers. I am doing something for the first time today. Something small. Something simple. Something beautiful. Something with nails.

I dare say, I would like to do many more somethings for the first time this year.  Small, simple and beautiful things. Perhaps not all with nails.

I have always known how monumentally important it is to me. To grow, to expand, to learn. I have not always known, however, how to carry on. This unquenchable thirst that lies inside constantly curious, demanding infornation, can be troublesome sometimes. It can be hard to reel in. It can be hard to focus and to complete things when every corner promises a teacher and a new adventure.

So I start small. I take it slow. And when I veer off a path, I remind myself to return. Gently. I take the time to learn, the new things I try fitting in on my journey.

Things take a little longer this way. The opposite of how I used to be. This self imposed slowness is magical. Transformative. Fearsome. It requires cultivating patience, humility, compassion, focus and perseverance. It demands that you allow. More importantly, it grants me the ability to continue on the journey. No magnificent spark, furious, brilliant fire and quick, equally magnificent fizzle. It allows for the slow and steady flame. It is wonderful to take a stroll to the left or to the right, to look at the fragrant grasses and inhale their scent on the breeze. Then to just come back, and walk a little further ahead. The road is always different and has many teachers. I now just wait a little bit, take a breath, or ten, perhaps deviate a little more, and then come back, to carry on. Slowly but surely :).

This brings me back  (somehow) to something with nails. To Broth Road. I have made this broth many times before. I know its ins and outs. Its color and scent. When it gets finicky and clouds over. But this time it is different. This time, I am simmering forever.

Time to dish.
Bone Broth

I cannot even begin to explain how magnificent this broth is. In terms of health and nutritional value it is unrivaled. In terms of flavour, divine. If you want to know more about the nutritional (and way beyond) value of Bone Broth, read here at the Weston Price Foundation or here at Nourished Kitchen.

Here is what you need:
  • Organic chicken feet, yes feet, don't freak out. Yes they have nails and look like hands, don't freak out.
  • Organic chicken necks
  • Organic Chicken carcasses
  • Apple cider vinegar, about two tablespoons
  • Spring water, I used about about 6 liters
Here is what to do:
  1. Put all of your ingredients into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to the lowest possible value, and simmer forever.
By forever I mean about a week :). Take what you need to eat, drink, make rissoto with, steam, sautee, freeze or whatever else your little heart desires to do with this magical liquid throughout the day and just make sure to replenish the broth you take out with more spring water as you go along. Make sure the water you add is hot. By the end of the week, you will have extracted all the incredible nutrients out of those bones and your body will be oh so happy. Then, start again.
I myself dear readers, intend to have a pot on the stove, simmering forever. Week after week. Mostly :).