So this obsession with food co-ops has blossomed into a world philosophy; all of a sudden, i am inundated with coops of every stripe: peeps, gathering info on the uptown food coop @ the speed of light - & made a scintillating trip to my new friend eYe Serene's gorgeous home to make the salmon croquettes & talk water co-op!!! the idea is to have a group of people purchase an alkaline water ionizer which would be stored @ her house, & she would allow unlimited access to the machine for refills. we bounced this around for a while, while i was prepping the salmon croquettes:
Quickie Dry Hot Sauce On The Fly:
2 TBSP dried cayenne pepper
3 TBPS apple cider vinegar
dash dried garlic
salt & pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste & if you're one of those,
1/2 Tsp. palm or coconut sugar, brown rice syrup or honey
& in the meantime, one of my most grassroots-gangsta friends, who shall be called O, sidled up to me @ Freedome's epic, once-a-year birthday-shindig-of-the-century & whispered the words i had been both waiting for, & had no IDEA that i would ever hear: Little Maroon Schoolhouse is accepting new geniuses, she said, excitement tinging every syllable. your little angel would fit right in. what i knew about Little Maroon? little. just that it was dope/progressive/tiny/selective. i knew that it was associated with the venerable inheritor to the Panther Party: Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a community-based/beloved organization that teaches survival tactics (be they mental, physical, skill-based or political) to the youth, & shapes the brilliant leftiest lefties of the hood, in other words, some of the flyest folk on earth. b/c of my ignorance/out of the loopness, thoughts of the school had been part wish it could have been/part myth; i googled it, i lightly grilled my associates, (obviously among the wrong crowd, lol!) i asked jesus...
& now there it was, in my face! the opportunity for crevette noir (my runway model grrrrrrrrrrrrl Farrah, who is french-speaking Senegalese, calls Nashira this, & yes, it means little black shrimp) to hob nob with some really adorable revolution tots, & since these people are nappy clan, well they are
1)THE. BEST. &
could i be happier? ever? nah. not really. & the school is cooperatively run, (can you stand it?) which means that parents work a minimum of 2 hours a month in rotating shifts (interestingly, much like park slope food coop's work slots), sharing with the school their individual talents. lovely Sala, a blast of sunflower sunshine, & the teacher, made Nashira, Calvin & i completely @ home on our visit. & of course, when discussing what we would contribute as parents, food inevitably came up. i had a vision of the school's freezer, stocked with kid-like goodies: apple-cardamom-ginger-sauce, (non-dairy) cream of mushroom-barley soup (with cordyceps, of course!), cinnamon sweet potatoes w/coconut palm sugar & the list goes on... look for pics & directions on the next post -
so over the next few - & please don't forget to look out for the children's recipes, & when i say look out, i mean, suggest suggest suggest! anything you used to love during childhood - anything! even if it was pure debauchery on a plate - i can find a way to make it taste the way it did when you were little, & make it super. as in superfood. as in good for, as well as to you.
ahh, kid's food - which leads us in the direction of jello. which brings me to Asia: we have gelatin. & the Asians? agar-agar. so let's talk about jello a bit. if you loved it as a child but grew up & were grossed out by the fact that in the end, it was only beef knuckles you were sucking down, banish despair. agar-agar is the answer to your prayers. not only is it a sea veggie (read detoxifying & skin tightening) but it is in many cases if made right, & this is easy to do, more firm & jellylike even than jello, & can be made to taste even better! bet you never had coconut-mango-passionfruit jello when you were little, unless your mom was a maniac like mine.
& whenever i think of Asia, my thoughts are almost always pulled toward one of its most elegant outposts - Japan - which brings the thought process to...
friends it's on - i hope you've been praying for Japan - & the thing is, with the genius on that series of tiny islands, why didn't they outclass the US with sustainable (wind/solar/recycled oils) energy sources? they outclass us in every other way. no, really they do - & the thing is, since we all know that it's the US's fault that they were ever exposed to radioactive energy, in my mind, they were over there making it happen on the energy tip - little did i know that barbaric nuclear energy was even on their radar - & if we don't take our cues from this tragedy, then we are even stupider than the rest of the world thinks we are.
so how can we do this?
take/eat/drink seaweed - in every form you can possibly get your hands on. & what is the Japanese diet rife with? yes chile - seaweed! more on this in the next post, but to start, let's muse on spirulina, chlorella, nori, kombu, & wakame to start, all of these used & ingested in totally different ways, much in the way that our soul foods use & ingest themselves in different ways - soul food is in no way meant to mean ham hocks. it is the food that touches, & restores your soul. i have a truly brilliant writer friend - from Detroit, (it's so cold in da D) FULLY hip-hop identified, whose tried & true, sanity replenishing taste profile is rice, seaweed, & fish, preferably raw with soy, thank you very much - so get on it - all the worlds cuisines - & souls, are linked. sorry, teabaggers - lol!
most people know Japanese food as sushi, & only now is the trend toward their other soul foods apparent. just now, many are discovering ramen, the ultimate noodle soup & this is where the Japanese reveal that they are actually black: ramen of choice? charshu, homies. pork. & it's not the fact that the Japanese are sucking down pork @ the speed of light during lunchtime in the land of the rising sun. it is the fact that they know how to treat it: in the hands of the Japanese, toroniku (fatty pork cheek ramen) is nothing short of sublime swine - & since the Japanese are SOLICITOUS of their meats (kobe beef lives the Life of Riley before it is cut down to steaks: it is a massaged, grass feeding, free ranging & fine ale drinking hedonist @ the end of the day - we could only hope for such luxury to grace the lives of many domestic college students)
so definitely next week, i shall feature:
charshu or toroniku (different cuts of pork) ramen
beef sukiyaki & the appetizer:
salmon skin hand (large informal) roll
spicy tuna roll maki (cut up roll) & or nigiri (pieces on top of rice)
we shall talk seaweeds, & how to incorporate them into your diet, & sample the savory, superior, soul-foody flavors of stews, & with this half cold half warm weather we are having, these two, 1 warm, 1 cold offerings seem perfectly apropos...
thank you for your time.