I placed Ganesha, my favorite Hindu Elephant God at the front of the recipe book. He is known for his excesses, and loves chocolate and FOOD! He is the god of beginnings and giverns writing; he is excellent for a cookbook! I believe blesses our recipes, even though they are not chocolate, his favorite food!
I lay out all my ingredients
in a pretty manner on a
nice platter or cloth
before I start cooking:
whole foods, powdery ingredients and spices, all sitting together waiting, like gathering instruments for a concert!
I have beloved utensils — old friends — and like old friends, they have history, and seem to know their way around my recipes. Some were my grandmas or my moms… My grandma was not the best cook, or not the best cook by the time I was born, as I was the last of the grandkids, but I remember her squash bread, watermelons, and fresh corn. My cooking has rubbed off on her utensils, and they happily work hard to earn their place.
During the pandemic I began placing two beans from each pot o’beans into a blue Mexican goblet, left to me by my Mom, shown left and below. The goblet sits above my desk. My Hahnemühle “bone” folder (bamboo, a gift) is kept there as well, along with a bay leaf from Cynthia (a gift and of course, bay goes into many bean recipes.).
I find long white whiskers on the studio rug that fall from our cat’s faces and they too make their way into the goblet. Do I know why I do these rituals? No, but I know that it is a good thing to do.
I am not sure when the small scarab crawled on top of the beans… but as I’ve contemplated this I know it is a prayer for long life. When I see the scarab in among the beans, it’s blue color heightened by the blue of the glass, I am pleasured.
Eating beans helps our hearts and bodies. We still eat meat, but have moved into eating meat differently in recent years and the many varieties of Rancho Gordo beans are a big part of that change.
A bean or two goes on the floor for the cats to bat around… When Izzee hears the crackling of a bag of beans being opened she comes running, and her mates soon follow the sound of her batting bean around the floor. I think Steve Sando would enjoy hearing that a few of his heirloom beans are used in a cat soccer match, grays against the Siamese, because cooking is joyful and that is part of our joy!!
My mom was a good cook and taught me to be adventurous in my cooking, though she was a diehard recipe follower. Even today, when I begin to stray from any recipe, I hear her voice admonishing me to follow the recipe at least the first time — then I ignore it!
I am so sorry that I don’t have gorgeous cursive to use in these types of books… but oh well, that is not something I paid attention to before, so my architectural scrawl will have to do. The rough Kadhi paper is bumpy and not helping my scrawl along!
The Khadi journal paper is not quite right for my watercolors…
As I have started this journal I will continue in it and am learning to work with the extra bumpy paper. It is hard to write on — yes, THAT bumpy — far more textured than cold pressed papers, which I prefer.
You can find many recipes under the “Recipe Journal” legend at the top of the page.
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
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