Skip to content

My Own Food Experiment and Others’ Kickass Food Projects

I tend to have some unique ‘rules’ I adhere to regarding food…
…like eating fruits on their own (and with their own kind)…
An Eastern/Western doctor told me about this one and others that I’ve followed for
–I think–
over a decade now, and it makes a difference as to
how the food and nutrients are absorbed into me.  I love these little ‘rules’.

Flourish

IMG_3188
Re: the food front, I have been experimenting with something new:
only eating produce that is 1) local to me and 2) thereby then, in season.
I am starting to see and understand more and more how this experimentation is healthier for me and the planet.
{Something I knew about but actively didn’t engage in…}

At first, it took some adjustment to my morning ritual:  what would take the place
of that sweet Fuji apple I ate every day for 365 days straight, and then on repeat for ten years?

Would I only be left with eating acidic peaches that somehow left my stomach feeling a little at sea?
Or how about those seemingly plump, purple plums that got me every time:
piercing their crisp skin made my own shudder because their tartness puckered my palate.

Living in California and particularly where I live, I have access to some of the most diverse crops yet I rarely take part and instead,
stick to my Fujis (occasionally picking up a Pink Lady or Honey Crisp), avocados, and almonds.

After living here a full year, I am starting to see the seasonal cycle cycle through again, providing quite the spread of beautiful
strawberries, peaches, and about twenty different kinds of oranges and tangerines.
{No joke}

IMG_3172

Flourish
I think I am into the third or fourth week now, and I have to say
I am learning some tricks to keep me in the game of eating seasonally when it can be challenging:

(1) make sure I actually like the fruit,
(2) be willing to explore, take risks, and be open,
e.g. trying a different peach variety or buying just one ‘real peach’ (a.k.a. a Lady Yellow Peach) and experimenting with it somehow…
(3) mix up the produce instead of the usual ‘one crop shop’, and
(4) make sure the luscious fruit is actually ripe when I consume it.
{I realize I’m going to sound naive, but I’m surprised at what a difference this makes.  Hello purple, sweet plums!}

IMG_3177

P.S.  While standing in line at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, a headline in a magazine caught my eye:  something about food deserts in Chicago + an urban farm.  My sister (who lives in Chicago) mentioned a few years ago to me that some folk had just discovered a ‘food desert’ in Chicago’s South Side.  In other words, a big stretch of concrete existed in a very sketchy part of town without food stores nor public transportation routes for those folk who did live there to quickly get out of there to buy some food.  I picked up the magazine and scanned the article since this was the first time I had heard of anything related to this since.  I’m attaching the article here.  (It’s a cool read, and it seems like this way of farming known as aquaponics–or in my vernacular, the ‘hydro-water thing’–is really picking up steam.  A couple of months back, in my own research for creating a garden within limitations, I came across a West Oakland man named Eric Maundu who is doing just this and creating a business out of it: Kijani Grows.)  The method is completely replicable, self-sustainable, and can be created in places without any access to soil or large spaces.  It’s inspiring that this innovative method of farming can help alleviate issues of food scarcity and/or encourage urban farming.  (And a special thank you to The Plant for what you’re doing for those Chicagoans–truly amazing–as well as to Eric for being the very kind of innovator this country needs.  Very inspirational.)

IMG_3175

Soaking and Cooking Black Beans

Today has been a day full of meetings and to-dos…
including making homemade black beans in between all of those things.
{I also was able to stop and enjoy a break with a friend!}

I think something I appreciate about cooking…
is that it reminds me that there is a process to life,
there is a process involved in creating something
beautiful, rich, delightful, and sustainable.

This will not happen if I do not–as the cook–initiate and actually exert the effort,
likewise, my growth will not happen if I do not initiate and choose to value it.

However, the more I grow the more I also realise that growth can be a little deceiving.
It is not necessarily–or rarely–in the actual doing,
but rather in the act of being.

I am grateful to two folk who encouraged me today.  One called my name
as she headed out the door, and when I looked, gave me a smile and thumbs up.
Another expressed how I am awaking.  (A dear friend told me that last week as well.)
…And I feel that.

I have been on a soulful journey of change.  Changing the only thing I can:  myself.
It is incredibly rewarding to see that when I stop trying, stop doing, stop repeating the patterns
I do–and create space to soak in the Ingredient of Time and give myself the freedom to be–tannins are released and life
begins to taste a little differently.

IMG_3057

IMG_3144

Weekend Edition – Our Saturday + Sunday Rhythm

We have a variety of things we do on Saturdays…

The gent was excited to make his banana bread
{which hasn’t been seen much since Oxford days…}

Banana_Bread

While he did that, I cut up the fresh produce to make
our stock…
err…
my stock that we share.
{Can’t say that’s the same with the banana bread…hehem.}

Stock

I have come to love experimenting with different stocks,
light…heavy…earthy…fruity…depending on the season…

Flourish

Tonight, we were going to make a favorite of ours
when our taste buds became reacquainted
with the cheesemonger’s recommendations.

The gent and I decided this would be a perfect pairing
for our movie night:  Before Sunset.


{Pssst:  I agree with her that the Middle Eastern recipe for sheep + goat cheese feta
could be likened to an illegal substance.}

Sacred_Cheese

Throughout the day, I had some other little treats that made the cut in this
‘Weekend Edition’:  like the ‘beet-ade’ which tasted like some version of koolaid in a good way…
or
a reverse-engineered hazelnut (gluten-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free) dessert….
which is scrumptious
{even he thinks so}.

Beetade

For Sundays…the rhythm is to have no rhythm.  To unplug from ’society’, our calendar, and enjoy solitude.
In the course of that, I made some kombucha + he actually got on a plane.  xo

Kombucha


Macaroons Remade

A couple of months ago, I tried making ‘macaroons’.

I was quite inspired by Hail Merry Macaroons which unfortunately my pocketbook has discovered…
{…and oh my word, they were and are to die for.  Well, maybe not quite to die for….}

A few neighbors tried my rendition and said they were delish
which was a nice consolation prize for me {I thought they were…well…}

An experimentation in the raw with almond flour, coconut bits, coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and hmm…something else, I think.  Love?)

Macaroons

Daily Rhythms – Food

Part of our daily rhythm in this community is cooking…
We cook often.
So often, we have now realised that going out doesn’t actually taste that great.
(Unless it’s Saison’s…}

So here’s, a picture of one of my loves: a beautifully, rich avocado
which sometimes, I eat by the (salty) spoonful.

Hoping your Wednesday is what it needs to be.

xo

Avocado


Memorial Day

Today, for whatever reason, I’ve struggled with
surrendering on this memorial holiday.

Thankfully though, I’ve experienced little moments of
being present, i.e. enjoying a cozy, indoor ‘picnic’
with my Special Someone (and homemade kombucha).

May_27_Kombucha

Fruit-filled

Hope you have a lovely weekend.  xo

strawberry

Love of a Different Kind

I love our nights at home, but then there are some nights I just cherish.
{So does he.}

Not because we have hot romance or watch a classic movie–but because we are present with each other.
We lay out how we desire to connect with one another to make sure we don’t leave anything out…

IMG_2705

IMG_2708

IMG_2725

IMG_2711

…But even when we try to communicate…we sometimes see how sticky the
conversation can or has
become.
Perhaps we’ve had a rough day at work
and the other doesn’t know yet,
perhaps we’ve had a restless sleep and our usual
ability to handle things has diminished…

or

…perhaps we’ve forgotten a rule we’ve come up with when we first see each other as the sun sets…
giving each other a hug-till-you-relax type of hug.  Long days can be grueling even if they’re great…


IMG_2719

Sometimes, we’re not always that savvy…especially if pain has set in from a tone

or word choice {both of us can feel this and have learned and are learning to be aware of these feelings…
we then
communicate and mend the immediate brokenness…

Asking for Help from the God of Love
{friends of ours taught us this ‘tip’ and we have to say–we echo their sentiments–it really changes things…}


IMG_2722

Then we continue on–being present with one another again.  Hearts relaxed.
Our favorite Friday night music.  A laugh about some story interrupts the melody….

A gaze can be seen that reflects the well’s deepness behind those eyes.

Conversations continue.  Verbal and nonverbal ones.  The Air between us rolls around and through us,
above us and below us,
all around us.

IMG_2730

IMG_2733

Friends will say we are so different from each other…

IMG_2734

IMG_2737

IMG_2738

{But my mother will say, ‘You two are just perfect for each other’ and continues to.}

He and I agree couldn’t agree more with
both descriptions…

Deep down, we used to be fearful of those differences, but now we are
cultivating a perspective that sees differentness as
a beautiful offering,
a gift
of Otherness which expands who we Each Are and who the I Am is.

IMG_2736

IMG_2743

xo


87 Years of Marriage

An article too good not to share. xo