Today is a holy day.

Today is Pi Day.

March 14, or 3/14, is celebrated as being an approximation of the mathematical constant pi. It’s a reason to celebrate being a geek and an excuse to eat pie, which are two causes I can support.

Years ago, I started saying, “Pie is the most sacred of all foods.” At first, I think it was a joke–something I would say because I really like pie. But over time, I have come to believe that any food made with loving intention is sacred. For me, personally, pie reminds me of my grandfather, who would fill his kitchen table with pies and cakes and cookies on Sunday. He used to say that he only wanted to heat the oven once a week, so every Sunday meant a sugar rush for me. His baking still sends joy into my life, even all these years after his death.

To celebrate the magic that is food cooked with love, I baked a blackberry-almond-chocolate pie. My partner, my friends and I enjoyed it as the sun was setting. Whenever I bake a pie, I like to charge it with some kind magic, and I like to cut symbols into the crust to anchor the pie’s intention. (I learned this from my friend Donald, who has baked some truly lovely pies.) This pie is charged with prosperity, balance, and beauty. Here is a picture:

Wishing you and yours a happy Pi(e) Day!

Living simply (and souply)

kale-soup.jpg

Soup was one of the first things mom taught me to make — a few aromatics, some stock, tomato juice, and possibly some meat and/or pasta. 40-some years later, it’s a favorite in this household.

When Ambar came home with some kale, suggested by a nutritionist she knows, we sauteed it, we made fritatta, and we made soup. As we get toward the end of winter’s vegetables, we’re still making kale soup.

1 small bunch of kale, chopped (ours comes from the garden here)
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium onion diced
1 can black beans, drained
1 large can plum tomatoes, with their juice, chopped
4-6 cups of stock
Seasonings as desired (a little heat, salt and pepper, and some savory herbs.
I used about 4t of Penzeys' Northwoods seasoning)

Put it all in a crock pot and cook on low overnight.

P.S. The sourdough is a continuation of the starter I mentioned a week ago. It’s working much better now!

Family Rituals: Whine and Cheese Night

Over the past couple of months, our family (which, it seems, is rarely in the same place at the same time — and conscious — except for 6:30-7am or so) has begun to develop a weekly ritual.  I refer to it, with great deliberation and fondness, as Whine and Cheese night.

It started when elfin called me on a Monday around home-going time, and would I bring home some soup ingredients?  Whole Foods provided the soup ingredients, and also some tempting small pieces of cheese (1-2oz each).  The size allows for a bit of experimentation, and also for a variety of flavors.  Right next to the cheddar was a lovely bowl of Braeburn apples, so one of those came as well, and a plain hearth roll.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the rest of the family home when I arrived.  “If I’d known you were here, I would have brought more bread,” I said.  “I guess we’ll have to help you eat it anyway” was more or less the sentiment.  elfin brought out a small glass of port, those of us who don’t much like alcohol had some perfectly decadent grape juice, and in all we did considerably more giggling than whining.

This seems, to my considerable pleasure, to be developing into a ritual.  Most recently it was marked by my coming home on a Monday, considerably underslept and (oh dear) grumpy, to find that K had brought home cheese, and we could all catch up with each other after most of a week away.  After reducing some Sierra Mountain Tomme, some goodies from England, and a very tasty pear to crumbs and rinds (our dog says rinds are excellent dog treats, so she attends … attentively), we were reconnected and (speaking for myself, anyway) considerably less grumpy.

Having dinner together every night is a pleasant fantasy, but what with part-time jobs, sports, hobbies, it’s just unlikely to happen.  A weekly ritual seems to be helping us to develop an ecological balance between time spent in the wider community and time spent refreshing our smaller community.