Let It Pour: Meditations on Liquid Ritual & Culture- Recipe Edition

My dear friend Cyrus, whose combined qualities of humble enthusiasm and the wisdom of a sage, make him an absolute delight to be with, has asked for smoothie support. Smoothie

Since my household begins every morning with a smoothie, I am happy to oblige his request. Giovanna and I share the need for our first food of the day to be fresh and healthful. We love baked goods!….but these need to come later, after our bodies have woken up.

There is one thing to note about this recipe- it is dependent on a Vitamix, or another extremely powerful blender. Our Vitamix, inherited from a fierce woman who passed away two years ago, is our prized possession. We practically worship it around here. Its significance increased even more when Giovanna broke her jaw in a bike accident and pureé was the name of the game for weeks. My advice to all who want to cook decent food on a regular basis- do not skimp on a blender- go for quality. A strong one can do the work of a juicer and a food processor without as much of the hassle and clean up.

Morning Elixer SmoothieCircle

1 or 2 dates (pitted)

1 banana

1 large leaf of kale

1/2 cup of yogurt (plain or maple)

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 teaspoon bee pollen

1 tablespoon flax seed oil

1 apple (cored and cut into pieces)

1 3/4 teaspoon of ginger (peeled and chopped)

3/4 cup carrot or apple juice

a few mint leaves

a few dashes of cinnamon

Put all of it in a blender with a few ice cubes and blend! Add more liquid if you want it smoother. Opt out of the supplements if you don’t have them or don’t want to spend the money.

Enjoy!

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Let it Pour: Meditations on Liquid Ritual & Culture, Part 1

This is the beginning of a series of posts pondering the almost totally universal centrality of beverages and the rituals that have been developed around drinking them in so many societies across time and geography. In fact, the passion for many of these liquids and the plants, spices, land, and processes required to produce them, have motivated and facilitated connection between different cultures- with varying degrees of mutual influence, total exploitation, cooperation, and cooptation.  Image

To start us off, an excerpt about the power and poetry of drinking tea taken from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, a novel set in Paris.

Photographs by the lovely Prachi Patankar.

I pour the tea and we sip in silence.  We have never had our tea together in the morning, and this break with our usual protocol imbues the ritual with a strange flavor.

Yes, this sudden transmutation in the order of things seems to enhance our pleasure, as if consecrating the unchanging nature of a ritual established over our afternoons together, a ritual that has ripened into a solid and meaningful reality.  Today, because it has been transgressed, our ritual suddenly acquires all its power; we are tasting the splendid gift of this unexpected morning as if it were some precious nectar; ordinary gestures have an extraordinary resonance, as we breathe in the fragrance of the tea, savor it, lower our cups, serve more, and sip again: every gesture has the bright aura of rebirth. At moments like this the web of life is revealed by the power of ritual, and each time we renew our ceremony, the pleasure will be all the greater for our having violated one of its principles.  Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time.  Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn—and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.

So, let us drink a cup of tea.

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