It’s the truth, that everything we do can have a purpose, a meaning. A Higher Significance. Whether we’re talking about simple things like how we dress, how we speak–or, how we eat. Today I want to briefly touch on what I call “household yoga,” a term I use to describe the care and intention with which I attend to daily matters, especially regarding where and how I live, how I eat, and most especially–the company I keep.
When I take time and select good, healthy ingredients — often I get to share in the experience of having a sense of ordinary things becoming extraordinary: when we give them our full attention. Like the time I made this plate of grilled veggies to take to a friend’s dinner party. I’d practiced once or twice before, but when I decided I was going to create a “work of art” in both taste and sight, I surprised myself even! Look at the magnificent result of my efforts:
Okay, for those of you wanting to know how i did this superlative creation, here’s a quickie recipe:
Grilled Veggies a la Lordflea
Get the best and freshest veggies you can, and choose ahead an interesting mix (in this case, eggplant, green and red peppers, zucchini squash, and sweet potatoes.
Slice them thickly, and uniquely! for potatoes, about 1/4″ on an slight angle; for eggplant, cut in long wedges (about 8 for each one) not too skinny! For peppers, cut into quarters, etc.
Put all cut veggies into a plastic bag and generously sprinkle them with virgin olive oil so that all their surfaces are moist. Now shake in some interesting seasonings (i like Italian combos for grilled vegs, like basil and oregano, but here too–be creative!). Let the veggie-bag sit for at least a few hours before you grill. Now here comes the fun part!
Let grill get hot and get ready to commune with the magical mystery and alchemical transformation of cooking! Have a pair of long-ish pinchers (what are they called?) because you don’t want to pierce the flesh of your veggies. Now simply let them sit on one of their many facted sides until you see black (which is only the sign of the grilling process) and then change their position. Each veggie is different. Potatoes will take longer to cook than peppers. Don’t overcook! Just grill long enough so the “blackened look” is evident. Overcooked veggies are not as tasty as au dente (lightly cooked) ones.
Arrange on a large serving platter in groups, fan out like a mandala — think painting with food!
And when you’re finished, don’t cover! It will over-cook your creation. If you have to transport (as I did) just put a clean light towel on top to keep bugs and dust from the food.
Now, enjoy with the other dishes. Or just by itself. And remember: you are what you eat, and you can eat anything as long as you know that Food is also Spirit as well as the wind, the water, the earth, and all of us who share this magnificent planet we’re twirling together on, in the midst of the otherwise unknown vastness of space. ahhhhh, food! How it grounds us! How it fills us! How it makes our spirits soar when it’s soo soo good. And how simply dreadful it can make us feel when it’s terrible (anyone else overdose on candy this halloween besides me?)
One more foodie thought.
Native Americans, the only true Americans, knew that Great Spirit resided in All Things. No matter what you may think about it, whether you believe this or not — Spirit (awareness, intelligent consciousness) surrounds us. The People (“native americans” of pre-white-guys’-invasion times) didn’t have the infinite choices we do today. Indians were either Pueblo dwelling and raised a few livestock and simple crops of corn, squash and beans, or lived as nomads that roamed the prairies, living entirely off of whatever animals they hunted. Indians out West reverred the buffalo as a sacred animal, yet they systematically killed it using natural cliff formations to which they’d guide and create a stampede, resulting in an entire herd of buffalo dying in a single day. No animal was allowed to escape, because their intelligence, or method of communication was believed to also be possible, thus, to keep this slaughtering method from other buffalo herds’ awareness, none was allowed to escape. But every single bit of every single animal was used, reverently. Their hides were dried and made into tipis and even stretched over rocks and used as cookware; an animal’s bones were used as instruments such as spoons and hammers; its strong sinews were used to sew tipis together; its revered blood was cooked in entirety (that’s why they killed the animal with cliff-falls instead of flesh-piercing, bleeding wounds) and made into a blood pudding called Pemmican, which was mixed with local berries and used like the buffalo jerky they also made, for traveling food.
Can we moderns think of our food with as much reverence, as sacredly, as the ancient Indians of our beloved country did? Even though the white guys who came from Europe almost wiped out the Natives as well as their revered food source, the American Buffalo (officially called “bison” by semantics aficiandos)….both have survived, and both are on the come-back. Hurray for legal gambling which has allowed the Native People to have resources, finally! to buy back their sacred lands stolen from them by the “terrorist” European settlers. In the long run of life, everything comes into balance. In Time. In Space. We who call ourselves American today, those of many cultures and immigrants, all of us, were once the terrorist who decimated the Native population.
Food for Thought….hmmmmm.
in the Light, with much love from your foodie-pal, lordflea