Alice in Topangaland

Recently I came to a realization: that I had chased a big white rabbit, fell into its hole for many years, and was pulled out by a caterpillar.

When I shared this with my astrologer friend Alex, she said, “I know, I watched it happen.” And my thought was, “I know, I watched you watch it happen and I had a real enjoyment knowing you could see!” She wasn’t there from the beginning, but she caught on when she did, and popped in and out in such delightful timing. One time, she popped in while I was hiking. “Kali!?” I was overjoyed! It’s easy to spot a red hat in the forest.

I showed her the direction where the secret spot for a lot of pearly everlasting exists. Turns out, it was both our favorite flower, and she’d been dying to know the name of it. I said, “it smells like heaven orange”, she said, “it’s definitely waffles and maple syrup”. We’re both right!

I have journeyed like a lost Alice, pain in my heart and soul, ready to heal. And yes, I was chased by cards with swords (It’s complicated to explain who had the cards and who had the swords- but they were there).

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Coincidentally (or not) I played Alice in a play when I was 9. It was a great role for me, but I so wanted to be one of the Orphans. The Orphans were a room full of my Acting class friends, and playing Alice felt pretty lonely.  I only got to dialogue with, grown up Actors, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Not getting to be one of the Orphans with all my friends, who intuitively shared dreams together in the night, felt a little like I do now; a lonely Alice. The play was called Orphan Dreams, Directed by Elisabeth Brooks, and I was Alice in Wonderland in one of the dreams.

When I was 20, I was in the movie The Helix, which was a spoof of The Matrix. You can see it on YouTube, starring Vanilla Ice. I played a prostitute, and my soon-to-be-first-husband played The Rabbit, in a rabbit suit, in one of the scenes. A lot happened behind the scenes of the film. It was pretty hilarious. I won’t get into the story about the Hulk, or what we did with the Rabbit head in Venice Beach. Just know that I followed that bouncy Rabbit down the rabbit hole.

My friend Corey and I ran into Laurence Fishburne in Venice during the making of the film, and told him about that Matrix spoof. He was very nice about it, and told us to be careful crossing the street. We were.

Then there was this music video I did when I was 19, which reminded me of a life experience years later. It was so strange to uncover this video, and realize how similar the video was to a future experience. As a method actress, I guess I was drawing on future experience rather than past experience, as one would expect. But time is relative anyway, so I guess that makes sense.

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Luckily for me, not all of the films or plays I did had immediate relevance to my life away from the stage or camera; otherwise I’d be dead at 15, survived tackling a vampire, I’d be Helen Keller, a prostitute in downtown, and a lesbian talking to an imaginary girlfriend in a pink and white striped sweater. And I’d have been caught sucking on a frozen popsicle on the Playboy channel (Oops! Actually, that was a reality show and that did happen).

Just a day after writing this, I was in the parking lot of Mimosa Cafe when I looked at the car parked next to me and saw a pink and white striped fabric. I thought, oh that kinda looks like that sweater I was talking about. Wait, that’s pretty much exactly like the fabric of the sweater I was talking about.

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What I want to know is what this random chicken egg was doing in the forest, why it was still there yesterday, and why I’m craving chicken when I stopped eating meat? I was told a story this morning about a girl named Love Chicken. And why last night I was intuitively guided to notice an egg in one of my Uncle’s paintings. And then, sadly, I saw a road kill chicken on the freeway today. It had quite beautiful feathers. This may be why people think I’m high all the time, but the reality is I don’t use weed, hallucinogens, alcohol, nothing. I can’t even eat chocolate without shaking!

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There was a time when I used to think shrooms should be micro-dosed daily. I didn’t do the experiment, I just thought people would like it better than coffee. That was before I was pregnant  with my Son, and began waking up in incredible trance states of awareness that were totally natural to me. I was young and enthused by the discovery of the magic mushrooms. The things I saw, the things I did… it was all pretty interesting.

Have you ever been sucked up a portal? There’s nothing like that sound and the way people look, when you’re watching them from above and inside a portal. It’s like a tube mirror (while feeling the sucking feeling of the tube) that distorts their face, a little like they’re the one in the portal getting their face sucked in the air. This is not an easy experience to explain; I’ve really tried.

Through my own experience, I believe that we can achieve great states of consciousness without the help of the more intense plant medicines. I especially felt that way when I was pregnant, waking up in wild, hyperactive states of consciousness.

Like that time I did a liver flush and I went from feeling low and not so good, pretty weak, and, as you can see in the middle of the video, I go into a trance where I talk about purple stars, and at the end of the video I look pretty lit up. This was over about a 2-week period of time. 8 days for the flush. My Brother said, “maybe you’re cleansing the ‘shrooms from your liver.” It definitely felt like it.

I’m already so sensitive to everything and everyone, that I can really feel it if they are taking anything. If people are drunk, I feel it,  and in some cases, even have fun without the painful effects on my body.

And all I can say now is, there was a time I left behind some shoes as a symbolic representation, actually two times now, once with the caterpillar, once with the Rabbit, and today I have new shoes. The best, most comfy ones so far. I think that about sums up years of pain, struggle, and heartbreak. More will be revealed.

May all beings be free of pain. May all beings be well fed. May all beings climb out of the pain of loneliness. May all beings find safety. May all beings be blessed, especially my son’s cat! That miracle cat might be the next story.

 

Stay tuned…

Love,

The Soup Sorceress

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MOMENTS FROM THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOUP SORCERESS

 

The First Soup:

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I was 11 years old when I made my first soup.  

It was a simple recipe from the American Girls Molly’s Cookbook. I was so excited. I clearly remember the love I felt cutting each vegetable and putting it into the pot. I took each step seriously. Looking back now, after a lot more experience,  I’m happy to say I don’t think it wasn’t a good soup recipe.

These days the cutting of vegetables doesn’t give me the same pleasure, because I make soups on a slightly bigger scale. I also don’t really do recipes anymore, I create synchronistically, which is far more satisfying.

First Lesson From The Soup Man:

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I was 16 years old, visiting New York City for the first time on a school trip with my Counselor, Ms. D, who was also a psychic, and my friend Rosemary (what a great name). We went to the Soup Kitchen International soup shop on West 55th street made famous as Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi”: “No soup for you!”

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Rosemary

I waited in that long New York City lunch-rush line, and for the life of me I couldn’t find the signs for the soup flavors. When it was my turn, I walked up to the counter and innocently asked the Soup Man what soups he had. He immediately yelled, “next!” It broke my heart a little, and I stepped aside. I finally found the signs describing the flavors, and I waited my turn again.                

Once that initial pain in my heart came up when he said “next”, like I was just a foolish teenager from the valley of LA on a School Thespians trip,  I immediately felt a real sense of appreciation for what he had done. I liked his boundary, it was an impactful moment of growth for me. Once I got serious about soup, 15 years later, I understood even better, why he reacted that way. It’s a work that’s easily taken for granted.

I speak positively of the Soup Man, in relation to a set of experiences that taught me about boundaries, and the positive effect it has on the integrity of soups and life. I feel like I know how he felt. He’s the OG Soup Man!

I’m one to be very serious about what goes in the pot, more than anything, in regards to where I’m sourcing my vegetables.

The First Sorceress Hats:

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Cafe Mimosa in Topanga,  is where I first started selling soups, thanks to the wonderful owner Claire who supports locals, and has a heart of gold. One of my intentions for doing it came from the desire to make more friends, and I did. A couple years ago, I was sitting at the Cafe, very stressed, because I needed help getting to the next level. I had many people telling me the soups were the best, and I was trying so hard to get across to everyone the difference between large farm organic and small farm organic, and why it mattered to me, without being boring, and somehow having the proper promotional material, on a no more budget left to do it scenario. All the money went into the pot. I needed help.  It was an interesting sort of stress, because, while I felt horrible, I was also aware that the discomfort had put me into a heightened state of awareness, like I was leaning over the edge of a cliff.

My friend Joseph the tarot reader entered and sat down next to me. It had been about 10 years since I let someone else read tarot for me. I trusted in the synchronicity. I was delighted by the things he picked up on. He mentioned my Uncle, my Grandfather (my “Papa”), and what to do next.

One of my regrets was that I didn’t go visit my Papa before he transitioned, even though he lived a mere 20 minutes away in the Pacific Palisades, because having a Son, I was concerned with spending the gas money. Joseph told me my Papa was with me. I told him, “I know”.  Joseph also said, “Deceased elders want to see their lineage connect”. So I set off on a drive by myself, in spite of the gas money and 6 hour drive, to visit my Aunt in San Mateo. I hadn’t done anything like that for myself in many years. Being a Mother and Wife, my main focus was them, and their needs, not what I wanted to do. I just wanted to take a little trip, feel a different environment, and see my Aunts.

There was a black hat laying perfectly flat on the dresser of the guest room. I looked at that hat a lot, throughout the short visit. I could tell it was my Grandmother’s hat, who lives in LA. I could feel it in me, that I was supposed to wear that hat, it was the right timing. I didn’t have any hats, I wanted a hat for a long time, and that one was like a Sorceress hat.

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I walked out of the house with it on my head, and kept wearing it almost every day. It was transforming. I just knew it was there to be the next phase in awakening this character. It was also the house where the Cambpells soup lithographs are.

A quick background on the pictures. My Papa had fine art on his walls, including my Uncle Judson Huss, and the Andy Warhol lithographs of Campbells Soup cans. We just never understood why anyone would put those cans on their walls. I did eat a lot of Campbells tomato soup when I was a kid. Then, later in life, I became absolutely, positively, without a doubt in my mind, very serious about creating the best, most healthful, organic soups imaginable. Those lithographs are at my Aunt’s house now. 

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It’s funny to think about these things, because that soup can was dialed into my subconscious since I was a wee one. So were my Uncles paintings, which had a huge impact on how I create in all areas of my life. The way he authentically and intuitively portrayed creatures in the world was very real for me. 

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The Red Hat: Last Christmas, I opened my Aunts gift. She sent me two hats made of wool! I was really impressed with how she found those hats in particular, and that she cared enough to understand how special that would be for me. I pulled out the red hat while we were on facetime. We were both uncertain. She made a strange look on her face, and my Mom tried to play it off like she thought it was pretty. It was a strange moment, because my Aunt didn’t realize it would be so red.

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By the next day, I embraced the red redness, ended up loving it, wore it almost every single day, and everywhere I go someone loves the hat. There was so much power in it, and radiance. It flew off my head a few times. I danced in the rain in the middle of a random summer storm with it on. I’ve been stopped over and over just to talk about the hat. The hat was cut into shreds in front of me, piece by piece by piece, like shards of glass, which shortly after, led to my separation. He said, “you’re secretive, you’re just hiding behind this hat”, and some other things most of which were too hurtful and ridiculous to share. I bought a new one after that, but it wasn’t the same, just close enough. It reminded me of my first little heartbreak as a teenager, when I bought myself a red suede long jacket to celebrate my next phase in life. It’s also a little like the moment The Soup Man hurt my feelings, and I was into the next phase. A separation is much more complicated, frightening, and impactful, but I see these moments as the pivotal ones. 

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(Topanga Sage in the Hat.)

To red hats, transformations, Campbells shitty red tomato soup, to my Uncles Incredible Art, my Papas awesome taste, my Grandmothers taste in hats, my Aunts hospitality, to Joseph who read my tarot and told me my soups were medicine, to Mimosa Cafe, to the end of a cycle when the hat was in pieces. And dancing with the new hat in the storm, thanks to Topanga Magic. And heart breaks that break the spells of the past and forward us into the next paradigm. May all beings be blessed, and free to express their heart and spirit in its whole, complete form.

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There are more scenes like this, there’s more to share, there’s more to create. I left behind a sinking pirate ship, and I’m still shaking outside of the cold water, with the courage to get through battles and healing, I never saw coming. And I’m good at seeing things coming, so long as it’s day by day.

Rainbow Tower Salad

If you want toasted sesame seeds, make sure to toast them yourself, instead of buying them toasted. They are so much more delicious! It’s worth the minute.

Have you ever been through a long period of time that feels like it may never end, that was so devastating, you lost inspiration?

I tried to reach at my inspiration again. Where was it? I was too devastated. I was curled into a ball, crying, imagining, resting, and healing. Each step of healing was a reason to celebrate. I really did. The way I used to get my inspiration was changing.

Food changed. I used to do so many experiments, whatever came to my mind each day. I ran out of the budget to do that, and even a kitchen.

I landed in a kitchen, where I was yelled at for being specific about my food choices.

And the inspiration just kept wilting, the sadness and pain improved.

For the sake of my health, and lowering food costs and mess in the kitchen, I began to eat extremely specific and minimally. I could feel my body vibrating more clearly, as I spent four months this way. I felt like I was failing as a cook though.

Everything I thought I was doing right, and how I was on the way up, was put away. Part of my path was to see things in a new way, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I almost forgot that spirit was guiding me when I created all those crazy soups. Mixed with my own creative impulses, and ability to listen, take signs, use what I had available, share resources, on and on, but most importantly, was to realize that the whole journey started because I decided to let go and let spirit guide me. Taking a hike every day was essential.

Only recently, like today, have I realized, some of these important cosmic memories.

I was sick of soup, and taking pictures of soups. I wanted to like it, but I didn’t feel good about it. The world wasn’t exciting, and I didn’t have my own kitchen to harness my magic in. Have you ever gotten sick of hearing the same songs? Even though all the soups were different, it felt like the same songs. Nothing really wrong with the song, but you just don’t feel it anymore. It’s not the songs fault. What’s actually happening, is that I’m waiting for the next evolvement to happen.

Here’s the recent things that inspired this today.

Today, someone asked me, “is all you cook soup”?!  I was thinking, oh my gosh, I am so much more creative then this, why am I trying to play it off like I’m just doing soups, or even just cooking, for the sake of trying to make my instagram all about soups, so that I could be consistent.

I bought a papaya for this salad. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can’t remember the last time I bought a papaya, except a babaco papaya from a local farm. I bought one at Whole Foods today. It felt good not to be so concerned about it, and just accept that sometimes I’ll add a non local ingredient.

I started making croissants for a friend who helped me in huge ways, confirm what I had been saying silently in my mind, which was awakening and heart wrenchingly challenging, in a way that only he could do. It’s inspired me because it took me out of my fears of using certain food ingredients, reminded me that I have the ability to be calm and patient, feel my body again, and I’m doing something that is new and enjoyable with food, instead of trying to just perfect soups. It’s a pattern interrupt, which helps to re-enliven things.

I did it for myself. The nature of cooking for other people is that they’re paying for it, so you want to please them. I’ve gone into this new thing, even when I’m making food for someone else, that, I’m pleasing myself while making it. It feels better.

I remembered the reason I was inspired in cooking. It was the connections, the friendships, the stories, the feelings, the symbols, creatures, attitudes, the evolvement of seeing myself in new ways, synchronicity’s, and creating new characters in me. And when that was taken away from me, and I thought I was dying, what could I do then besides accept and heal.

Sometimes it’s easier to silently forgive someone for acting in an un-evolved, hurtful way, then to have to explain anything to them. I know that they don’t actually want to respond that way. It’s ok to have boundaries, to take space without reason, it’s ok not to respond, it’s ok to shake your booty any time you want to. Things look scary, but I’ve had to take a risk at having boundaries. I had to jump off a cliff, let the tower crumble, and burn the pedestal. There was something that everyone did right.

And that’s how I came up with this thai inspired salad today. It’s not soup! I blessed the salad before I took the picture, and then again after I took the picture. I just can’t help but to feel that every time I take the picture I want to honor the food, and then recharge it again because I just took a piece of it’s soul when I took the picture.

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Ingredients: Red Cabbage, Papaya Chunks, Fermented Watermelon Radish, Paper Thin Sliced Cucumbers.

Dressing: 1 bunch cilantro, olive oil, fermented turmeric sauce (available at www.savraw.com), smoked sea salt, black pepper, chipotle powder, chili powder, lime juice, mustard, and a little juice from the fermented watermelon radish.

Shower the tower in freshly toasted sesame seeds. Eat the rainbow tower, be grateful. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Cecilias Pot

Our first two years in Topanga, we lived in a large trailer on a thirteen acre property. It wasn’t easy living in a trailer, but we had the advantage of being in nature, right close to the creek, with the enchanting sounds of frogs at night, and so much space to roam. There were about 10 other living spaces around, like a little village. It was a dream come true to finally live in Topanga, and raise our son Zane there. He was only 3 at the time, so though our living space wasn’t comfortable, we had a fun and inspiring environment amongst friends. Most importantly, we were surrounded in nature. We were living amongst a group of people who loved to garden, cook, create, dance, dress up, swing on a flying hoop in the main living room, and encourage and inspire each other.

Zane was having nightmares, and I was at a loss for how to stop them. I remembered a time when my little brother was having bad dreams. I shared a room with him and he used to talk in his sleep, so I knew the nightmares were very intense. One night, my mother attempted to stop them. She put herself into his dream in order to pull him out of it. While Zane’s nightmares were not as bad as my brother’s, they were still going on.

 

A member of our village invited a Chumash Medicine Woman named Cecilia to stay on the land a couple months. The Chumash were the original inhabitants of this part of the California coast, from San Luis Obispo to LA County. She offered gifts of healing and nature walks, where she taught us about the local plants- what plants could be used as food, and what plants were medicine. Every day was a wonder with her. I valued the time I got with her, and treasured every lesson she taught me.

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When Cecilia was staying on the land, nature responded. It was like the land was glad she was there. One day we went outside to be blessed by a rain of ladybugs. One fell on my lip and bounced off. I can still remember how it felt. One morning, a deer came to her door and knocked on it with it’s antlers. They went for a walk. In one of our sessions, a blue tailed lizard came to assist us with its lizard medicine.

 

Cecilia had a magical pot. During her sessions with people, she made concoctions with herbs that she had chosen and harvested. When I told her about Zane and his nightmares, she concocted a special brew for him, and told me to simmer it on the stove overnight. She said it would clear out old energy, and invite the good spirits in. I brought it home and turned on the stove to simmer, the faint blue light in the dark room echoing the moonlight on the Topanga hills outside. Then I went to bed.

 

In the middle of the night, I woke up in the in between state. Everything was alive and vivid. I saw a few big, tall, bright spirits walk in the door. Good spirits, the invited ones. They looked almost like people, but more cartoony. I remember their smiles, so big, so alive, so colorful. When I’m in this in between state, my body feels weightless, and sort of buzzed. They were so kind, and I welcomed them in before fading back into deeper sleep again.

 

I did not see what spirits they evicted, but they must have done something, because after that, Zane’s nightmares stopped.

 

In time I developed more awareness about wild herbs, and worked my way up to hiking every day, and foraging with my skilled foraging partner. I had the luck of having gardens where I could experiment with different heirloom vegetables and herbs, that brought great inspiration to my life and food. My magical forest creature friends in Topanga have guided me in this experience, in unusual and beautiful ways, which led me to being called the Soup Sorceress. I often feel like I’m in a Miyazaki movie, surrounded by magical flora and fauna while I create with my hands, pulling ingredients of spirit into a space of creation that heals my heart in a new way every time, and creating new flavors I never heard of before.

 

And I remember Cecilia’s magical pot of herbs, and the graciousness of the spirits, during times I need soup for my soul.

Stop and Smell the Chamomile

I quit drinking caffeine, I think it’s been about 10 months now. A lot of people have asked me how I survive without it. My body became so sensitive to caffeine, it felt like it was killing me (pardon the extremity). I’m surviving better without it. Although I really miss jumping up in the morning, getting excited, grabbing the yerba mate from the fridge, and expelling a ton of energy in a few hours, getting wildly creative ideas, sewing, business dealing, writing, and cooking at the same time, and then falling hard asleep for two hours, then waking up very hazy and sick, and often times crying by the end of the night. I don’t miss all of that, just the good parts.

When I quit caffeine, I used the method of cutting it out slowly, and doing different teas, then coffee, then decaf coffee, then chocolate drinks. After that, I had no chocolate and really worked at cleaning myself out, no sugar, bread, meat, or dairy, except when I snuck a tiny bite of butter. Hehe….. maybe a little pasture raised bacon fat too…and ok, just a couple little bites of bread form Ceor Bread at the farmers market. Tiny bites!

So about a month ago I thought I would give chocolate a try again. I just love chocolate so much, so I made chocolate drinks every morning. I was sort of ok with it, until recently, when I became more aware of what I was doing to myself. “It’s just a little tablespoon of chocolate, this has to be ok” I thought to myself every morning.

Then recently, I visited a friend. I knew it was going to come up… he asked me why my hand was shaking.

“It’s the chocolate. I can’t drink it anymore.”

Sadly, it’s just not working. I’m quick to be nervous and jumpy, which takes away from being centered, wise, and considerate. So being sensitive to my sensitivity after having a soup I made, he suggested some kava kava, valerian, or St. Johns Wort. He was right, except that I had to figure out some other calming herbs, for a few reasons. For kava kava, because I think that I need to strengthen my liver first before I start taking that. Valerian, when I tried it as a kid, used to give me an interesting type of headache. To test that out, I recently held a bottle of it at the store to see if I could feel the energy of it. Just in case it would be a good idea. I felt that strange knock out headache, plus relaxing feeling. Which is what it’s good for. It wasn’t bad, but I needed to think of something else to use. I never felt called to use St. Johns wort, but I might be willing to give it a try, that’s another story.

At the farmers market, I picked up two big fresh bunches of chamomile. I realized, that was my synchronistic, temporary answer, for a fresh and calming herb, that I could add to my morning smoothies. I also had some idea that I was going to make a purple potato salad with chamomile, thai basil, and amaranth. Instead I made this soup for Mimosa Cafe, so others can share in this chamomile experience while it’s in season. A centered, calm, mineral rich, full of nutrients, and nice flavor, experience.

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Recipe

2 cups chopped cucumbers (I peeled the skin, but if I had Japanese or Armenian cucumbers I wouldn’t peel them.)

2 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup laver seaweed (from Main Coast Sea Vegetables)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp spirulina

10-20 chamomile flowers.

salt and white pepper to taste

Blend it!

(I opt for white pepper because it’s healthier then black pepper, but you can use black pepper)

The seaweed is there for health reasons, but I also did a batch without the seaweed, and the taste was really nice, so it’s all an inspiration and a choice anyway.

Some day maybe I’ll get to have some fun all night adventure, road trip, and I’ll take some caffeine then, but when I drank it every day, I fell apart. I love being busy and handling a lot of things at once, but at this time in my life, within reason to what is healthful.

Recently, I’ve been making a banana smoothie in the morning with chamomile, pumpkin seeds, vanilla, and spirulina.

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Pickled Quail Egg Salad

There are various ways to flavor and color pickled quail eggs. I used turmeric for a pretty yellow color. This was used as an appetizer for the Topanga Mountain School fundraiser, and it was gobbled up real quick. I also added pickled, turmeric english peas, which I’ll explain how to do as well. I have a new vision for this, which is to make cashew cream sauce and drizzle that all over.

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This is how I do it, for 2 dozen quail eggs. The picture above is 5 dozen quail eggs.

Start with the brine, because it needs time to cool down.

~ 1.5 cups of apple cider vinegar. (you can you rice vinegar if you want)

~1/2 cup of water

~ 2 tsp black pepper

~ 2 tsp. sea salt (I use real salt brand)

~ Fresh Turmeric Root, approximately 1/8 cup, or a little more, diced. (if you chop them a little bigger, it’s easier to spoon out the eggs, without getting little raw pieces of turmeric root with it.)

You can use 2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder if you prefer. 

Put all ingredients into a pot, and get it to a boil. I boil it a couple minutes, to make sure the turmeric is cooked a little, and the salt is dissolved.

Put the brine aside. If you want it to cool down faster, put it in the fridge or freezer, just don’t forget about it if you put it in the freezer!

Then cook the quail eggs. 

I searched a lot on cooking quail eggs, perfect for pickling, and there are a few answers to this, but I chose this way and it works.

Gently place 2 dozen quail eggs in cool water in a little pot, and bring them to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes exactly. Sometimes I’ll do 10 seconds less.

Make sure you have a bowl of ice water ready before they’re done boiling. After 4 minutes, not a bit longer, quickly and gently scoop the eggs with a spoon and place them into the cold water.

They’ll cool down pretty quickly and then you can start peeling the eggs gently. They’re easy, just be gentle.

Put the eggs into a clean mason jar.

Once the brine is cooled down, pour the brine in the jar with the eggs. Close the jar and shake a little. Then put it in the fridge. Wait 3 days to a week before eating them so they’re nice and pickled. The eggs should last a month from the time you bottled them.

The pickled turmeric english peas:

It’s basically the same thing, but you’ll pour the brine HOT in the jar with the peas in them. That way it blanches it a little. It’s a perfect little sour, crunchy, turmeric pea, flavor burst!

You can use a lot less brine, depending how many fresh peas you feel like shelling.

Top the salad with little greens, radishes, pickled peas, and whatever else you like.

 

Soupe De Potiron

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When I was in High school, at Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet, I started a petition to try to change the School lunch program into something healthier.

I realized pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen so fast, or from a petition. I consider it a step in the right direction, when I visited there this year, and saw several benches were torn out where we used to hang, and were replaced with garden beds.

Less then a decade later, my Son, Zane Allister, was in Kindergarten at Topanga Elementary, and I wanted to do something about lunches. I realized at some point, that if it was illegal to donate and create a salad bar for the lunch program, but Parents were allowed to bring cupcakes inside the class on their kids Birthday, then I could bring salad anytime I wanted. Often my son would walk out of class with a cupcake loaded with high fructose corn syrup, from a Birthday celebration. I tried not to make a thing about it, but I wanted to donate vegetables for the kids.

I asked the teachers each year if I could, and once in a while I donated to the class. I washed fruits and veggies, shaved the carrots, cut the celery, prepared cucumbers. Simple fruits and veggies, direct from local, organic farms, to provide the kids with some extra nourishment in the middle of the day, inside the classroom. The Teachers were happy about it, and the kids walked out of the class with eyes wide open, thanking me.

Once my Son was in 5th grade and wanted to be a part of the play, I was asked to be the Assistant Director, which also gave me the opportunity to provide organic fruits and vegetables for after school snacks.

Today, Zanes in 7th grade, and it was my turn to make lunch for the school at Topanga Mountain School, where he attends.

Two days ago, I sent a picture on instagram, of the 2 surprise Snowball Pumpkins that popped up in  the middle of a sweet baby pumpkin field at T & D Farms. My Aunt made the comment….

“Soupe De Potiron”??? (also called “Potage Aurore” or “Dawn Soup”). A wonderful blend of pumpkin/potiron and tomato with thick cream, dash nutmeg, according to cookbook written by my grand-mother La Mazille…she was a big time “Bonnes Soupes” maker.

My Aunt Isabelle was the wife and muse of My Great Uncle (by blood), and one of my favorite artists, Judson Huss. So I was pretty happy to see her comment about soup art.

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I gathered anything the farms that I already buy from weekly, were willing to gift to the School. I normally don’t ask farms for donations because I want them to receive more, but in this case, we were all happy about this possibility.

I realized, even though I had a different type of winter squash, I pretty much had the ingredients for the soup she mentioned.

Which squash did I have!? The coolest one, of course! It’s name is, “Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash”. From “The Garden Of” farm.

 

IMG_1056Some people like more or less cream, some like leeks, some don’t, some want a few fresh tomato chunks, some are willing to try my side of fermented salsa. The point is, I don’t have a measured recipe for this soup, but you’ll know what to do for your own. Here’s my current version of “Soup De Potiron”. It couldn’t be a better time of season for a blend of heirloom tomatoes and pumpkin. Tomatoes will be out soon, and winter squash will still be in. So if you wanna do this later, freeze some tomatoes from Tutti Frutti farm! You can get #2 heirlooms, for $10 per 10 pound box, best deal for incredible tomatoes!

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~Heirloom Tomatoes

~Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash

~Raw Organic Pastures Cream or Nut Cream

~Cilantro

~Leeks

~Himalayan Salt

I laid it out for the kids, so that they could pick out their own toppings, and mixings. Most wanted the cream! Some didn’t, so it’s good to give them the option. Same with the squash, some just wanted plain tomato soup, not squash, tomato soup.

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The squash was roasted in chunks.

The heirloom tomatoes, were pureed and then simmered. I lost two liters while simmering, and stirring, so that it would be less watery. I only added rice vinegar and himalayan salt.

Sautéed leeks on the side, sautéed some corn, cut fresh tomatoes, and basil from home greenhouse. The kids just grabbed the toppings they wanted, and all seemed happy and nourished with the lunch. If they wanted cream, they could just stir some in.

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