Month: September 2010

Figs

I love Figs. They are hard to improve upon, so I keep my preparations simple. Following are two simple ways I prepare fresh figs when I am blessed enough to have them.

1. Cut your fresh figs in half lengthwise. Top them with a small dollop of chevre goat cheese and put them on the grill skin side down for just a couple minutes. They cook fast and the cheese softens quickly if you put the lid on the grill. A little fresh thyme mixed in with the goat cheese is a nice addition. Serve immediately.

2. Place about 1 1/2 cups sweet Marsala wine in a pan with a sweetener of your choice. I don’t like foods real sweet, so I go light. Simmer for about 5 minutes uncovered. Turn off heat and place about 10 fresh figs cut in half into the sweetened wine, stir and turn off heat. Let them sit in the wine for about an hour or more, stirring gently occasionally to make sure they are all getting coated. Remove figs with a slotted spoon and reduce liquid to a syrup. You can serve the figs alone drizzled with the syrup or over something like vanilla ice cream drizzled with syrup. Very simple, very delicious.

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots & Wild Mushrooms

This is a wonderful fall recipe that I love and wanted to share with you.

Ingredients

For brussels sprouts

  • 3 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For shallots
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lb large shallots (about 6), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and separated into rings (2 1/2 cups)
  • For mushrooms
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelle and oyster, trimmed, quartered if large
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation

Roast brussels sprouts:
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, then spread out in 1 layer in 2 large shallow baking pans (17 by 12 inches). Roast, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until tender and browned, 25 to 35 minutes.

Saute’ shallots while brussels sprouts roast:
Saute’ shallots in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per batch (watch closely, as shallots can burn easily). Quickly transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, spreading in a single layer. (Shallots will crisp as they cool.) Pour off oil from skillet (do not clean).

Sauté mushrooms and assemble dish:
Heat olive oil, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.

Add wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Add water (1/2 cup) and simmer. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with shallots and serve.

Nourishment, Kundalini & the Menopausal Woman

Menopause is a passage into the autumn of our life. It prepares us to take a look at our harvest, separate the wheat from the chaff, and distill the wisdom from our journey. After taking time to go inward and do this it is time to come back out as a wise woman and plant the seeds of our wisdom for the next generation. This is quite a different scenario than we have witnessed in our culture for the last few generations. Women have just gotten old after a difficult menopausal passage and discarded by our society. Their usefulness has been hidden by our lack of awareness of the value of this phase of her life. With so many women going through this sacred passage now we can not afford to have a vast amount of women just getting old. We can not afford to not honor and welcome our wise women into society to support the collective transformation we are going through.

Nourishing ourselves according to the Earth’s wisdom, the embodiment of the fully integrated feminine, balanced with her masculine, with no apologies about her oozing infinite creative sexual energy, and wise enough to recycle, is the first step in shifting our self rejection as women and open to our wisdom.

Many women naturally experience a rising of kundalini energy as they approach menopause. Their energy is shifting from being projected outward to attract procreation to inward and movement upward through the chakra system. Some experience this as hot flashes as the energy hits up against blocks. This energy is available to clear out the blockages through the entire chakra system that does not represent the fully authentic, integrated powerful feminine. It scours the system for all conditioning that is not compatible. It is a powerful serpentine energy that is the master of transformation. It prepares us to take our place with the wisdom that comes from the depths of our soul’s journey. It prepares us to be so grounded in it that we are unshakable. We are no longer under the influence of society’s conditioning. We have the strength to tell it like it is as we pass the baton to the next generation laced with deeply earned wisdom.

Honoring ourselves, shifting the self rejection, nourishing ourselves according to the wisdom reflected from nature and making friends with our sexual energy is important preparation for this sacred passage.

When we are not grounded and unable to nourish ourselves appropriately the kundalini rising through our bodies can become a dangerous vehicle that carries us to realms we are not prepared for. It can shred and dismember us in such an unmerciful way we can’t integrate it. Opening to this energy in a way that supports the cleansing of the chakra system and prepares us for our role as wise women without getting blown out of the water is a tricky dance.

Nourishing ourselves according to nature’s wisdom grounds us on this wave of transformation season by season at a manageable voltage. We become acquainted with ourselves, transforming cycle by cycle. We are experienced riders by the time menopause arrives. We are able to utilize this serpentine energy as it rises up our spine. We can then integrate this transformation, embody it and take our place as the elder with a baton that is worth passing on. There may have never been a time in history that is calling for this more than now. We can do this.

Crone, Sexuality & Creativity

Several years ago I had a kundalini awakening. The serpent uncoiled at the base of my spine and took me for a ride that would shape the rest of my life. It was exciting, scary as hell, and beyond earthly description. And, this ride lasted two years with me integrating it for the past 15 years.

Being a scorpio who loved sexuality and was actively practicing the mastery of my sexual energy I foolishly jumped on this enormous force and rode it for all it was worth throwing caution into the wind. Not only did this foolish unguided approach to a kundalini blowout almost blow out my circuits but the fear it caused from the sheer power of this energy shut me down. I became afraid of my sexual energy. Too big, too scary. It took me years to recover, but I never forgot what it taught me about our existence and interconnectedness with all there is.

When I finally got dropped back down to Earth I was immediately guided to go through schooling in the Taoist 5 element nutrition. I recognized the similarity of the teachings they received from nature with the experience I had. Everything is self similar-a fractal of it all.

I recognized the sexual life force energy that moved through the Earth’s body as self similar to our own. And I was shown how necessary it was to ground ourselves on this wave of energy at a manageable daily voltage.

Believe it or not the seasonal foods in our environment grounds us on this creative, transformative wave of energy that runs through the Earth’s body. Aligning with it supports us to clear blockages, heal and transform. I found it a critical piece in being able to ride out the intensifying energy that is coming through as we go through this collective transformation. It supports us to do our own personal transformation that is connected to the collective in a bite size piece, that is ours to heal. Not having this grounding and structure can easily create a tendency to leave our bodies and merge with a much bigger, more intense experience that is not manageable. It can easily put us on overwhelm and paralyze us.

The nourishment piece in our lives when aligned with the creative force of the great Goddess Mother Earth supports us to own ourselves in our entirety, transform and let die off what no longer serves us, and give birth to the new consciousness of our journey bite size piece at a time so we can integrate and embody her wisdom.

When we go through menopause, this life force energy rises like the wave through the Earth’s body. It moves through our own body as a fractal of hers. When we are blocked we have many discomforts, such as hot flashes as this wave of energy tries to clear the passage so we can embody her wisdom. Without obstructions we become the keepers of this wisdom, sharing this wisdom in its purity. This is why the elder women were so revered at one time and considered the true wise women.

When we live by this seasonal map and have allowed these obstructions to be dealt with as we dip into our shadows, just as nature dips into her winter, heal, restore, and create we are prepared for when the energy rises for our initiation into cronehood.