Weekly Photo Challenge – Habit

Sunday Night Pizza

Sunday Night Pizza

While this is not my best shot ever, it certainly does depict one of my favorite habits – that is, cooking! Peter and I cook at home most nights and we focus on healthy, fresh foods with a gourmet bent. Just about every Sunday night, we make a home-made pizza. I make a fresh dough (usually sprouted whole-wheat flour) in the food processor, let it rise, form it into a rustic shape on our pizza stone and then fill it with all kinds of yummy ingredients.

One year, we made a pact to do a different pizza every week, and I think, for the most part we did! This particular pizza is one of our favorites. I brush the dough with black truffle oil, then top it with Taleggio cheese and sauteed wild mushrooms. A local mushroom grower here in Northern Colorado provides Shitakes, Maitakes, Cinnamon Caps, Oysters, Trumpets, Lion Manes, and Portabellos, among others. We take the short trip to the Quonset Hut covered farm on Friday and pick-up a large bag of whatever varieties they’re selling that day. Alternatively in the winter, Fort Collins hosts a monthly indoor Farmer’s Market and I’ll get my mushrooms there on Saturday. Sorry the internet has not figured out a way for you to smell this pizza, because it’s divine (I know. Now I’m being mean.)

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

To read about Hazel Dell Mushroom Farm, click here.

The Gift

Red Dahlia by Cathy Ulrich

I love the Holidays
The decorations,
The music,
The cold weather,
The food,
The friends,
The family.

Even the cliche
That says:
People are kinder,
Softer, and more selfless.

Even if it were better
If we behaved this way
All year ‘round.

My Mother, Cherie
Taught me to love them
With her childlike delight,
Her collection of Nativities,
Her beautiful gifts,
And her German Chocolate Cake.

I miss you more,
this time of year, Mom.
But now, I can feel the warmth
coming from you across the void,
And send love back.
And that is a great Christmas gift.



Cuties Are the Bomb

Sweet Clementines
of tart, orange/tangerine.
Orbs of goodness.

I can’t stop eating them.
Fortunately they’re only
twenty calories apiece.

With shortened days
and longer nights,
your Vitamin C seduces me.

How could something so delicious
be so good for me?

Peter, you have my permission
to buy another bag
 you like.

Thanksgiving Seems Early

Fortunately we’re going
to Joe’s house
and taking a Caesar salad
with Lemon-Sage Fritters
Masquerading as Croutons.

Joe’s a great cook.
Instead of Turkey,
he’s doing Beef Wellington.
He says he doesn’t want to cook too much,
but for an Italian?

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 22.
And then weirdly,
we have 
another Thursday in November.

Does that mean I have more time
to get ready for Christmas
or just
 another week of Holiday madness?

Food Vibes and a Meditation for the Senses

I love good food.  I love to cook it and I love to eat it.  I once dumped a guy after two dates when I offered to cook him dinner. As I was preparing to saute onions for a cajun dish, he turned up his nose and said “No onions, they make me crazy!” Huh? What do you mean they make you crazy? Are you allergic? “No, they just make me crazy!” That was our last date…How can anyone not like sauteed onions? Well, maybe I was a little harsh, but I don’t think it would have worked out anyway. On that same date, he took me to the Hialeah Race Track and taught me how to handicap horses. I picked the winning horse, but he bet on it to show. Have I mentioned yet that I’m psychic?

Food is such a sensual part of our human experience. It helps to define cultures; it’s probably safe to say that food is a distinctive component of all cultures around the world. It serves to bring people together. Sharing a meal is one of the most basic and powerful ways to share of oneself.

So what is it about the energy around food? Yes, I could go into the whole thing about tastebuds and the five known tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). Yes, I could explain the vibrations of the food molecules and how they interact with our nose and tongue.  But I’m not going to. I’d just say that I think the attention we give our food is symbolic of how we feel about ourselves.

At home, I take great care in preparing my food. Peter and I cook together most nights. Sometimes he plans the meal, sometimes I do. We both chop and slice, we both cook at the stove, grill or oven. We both clean up. It’s our time together after work, a special time to talk, taste and nourish ourselves – a reward after a long day.

When I go into a restaurant, I’d like to think that I can feel the energy coming from a well-prepared dish. And I try to spend a few moments looking at it, enjoying the textures, colors and smells before I even taste it. Only after I’ve used my other senses, do I allow myself that first bite.

What does this have to do with energy healing? Well, all feeling, including the “common” senses, are about emitting and picking up vibration. So paying attention to them sparks our sensory awareness and helps us to use those senses while we’re doing the healing.

So when you sit down (and please do sit down!) to your next meal, I’d suggest the following: Feel the vibration of your food before you take your first bite. Appreciate all of the people that participated in getting it to you – the farmers, shippers, wholesalers, stores, chefs – however it made it to that plate in front of you. As you take your first bite, allow yourself to truly taste. Is it salty, sweet, savory – a hint of bitter? Those are the vibrations of the food and the events that made it possible to get it there. As you swallow, invite the food to gently assimilate into your body, nourishing the organs and cells. Stop and take a breath between bites. Put down your fork a few times – make it a rich and powerful experience…and let me know how it goes.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012