urban tiger/ghetto fabulous dragons
our time apart has NOT been wasted, my people my people. my food loving people.
let’s talk about restaurants. I have a less than ideal relationship with them. but it’s really just like crack cocaine, to be honest. i am after the ringing of bells/heart stopping adrenaline rush (even though from what i understand, every hit of crack is actually a mini-stroke) that attends the pressure of the kitchen. & I get it every time I cross – willingly cross! – a restaurant’s threshold. so what’s the problem? why am i still bitching? why am i always complaining that the business of food is just like a meth addled lover: the worst thing for you. yet you cannot stay away.
all this to say that after my most recent sojourn through the culinary woods of NYC, the nugget of wisdom that accompanies me on the journey back to (teetering) sanity is this:
get you a dunkin hines cake mix. if you really want to be gangster, get ghiradhelli.
now jazz it on up. add lemon zest. add herbs, elegant ones that you have seen in bride’s magazine.
get you your frosting. in what? a box. again, get “creative”. add fancy liquors that tickle your fancy. spices that are possibly off the beaten path that titillate your schmancy. extra cream cheese or some shit. add color. get all unnecessary.
this is your dessert. & b/c nothing is as it should be, go ahead & now get started on your entree:
got a can of coke? get one. get some beef shortribs, yes from pathmark/costco, & pour the coke & 2 boxes of MSG over this, then cook it to death. while you’re @ pathmark, i am sure that your guests (ALTHOUGH IF THIS IS YOUR IDEA OF FOOD, THEN FRIENDS MIGHT BE SCARCE) will want more than one meat option – go ahead & pick up some of that delicious pre-fried chicken from pathmark.
what’s wrong w/you? you so high-seddity that you can’t get w/good ol’ takeout chicken?
also, definitely pick up some tilapia: who cares where it’s from/how it was farmed??? it’s fish, ain’t it? burn it in a pan w/some over salty spices, & let’s call that blackened. go ahead & cut some painfully unripe mangoes into a pre-made chicken (mmmm! LOTS of mayonnaise that came from goddess-knows-where) salad & once you hit that w/some jetro’s curry powder, then you are DOIN the got-damn ting.
asia should be dying, according to all the allergen consciousness around MSG. but look! in fact asians have a longer life expectancy/minimal cancer/diabetes …
vegetables? how about a salad? got any hudson valley ranch? packets or in the bottle? well let’s get it poppin!
finish everything off & hold it aside till your
victims patrons arrive. then please! feel free to nuke each & every plate on its way to the table.
i just quit a couple of jobs.
the irony is, that @ one of them, i was asked to sign a non disclosure. (i assumed that this meant that the owner, about whom i will disclose NO details, was on to something really exciting. & friends, i was SERIOUSLY in need of some funds.) “yes!” i thought. this is going to be fun – i can watch & learn how this cute, small cafe in a developing neighborhood is attracting both big ticket clients (lots of record industry types) & a loyal following from the immediate area.
but it wasn’t about the cleverness of the ostensibly old fashioned recipes. not @ this joint. b/c as i remember it, i got into this game to do things that it is not easy to do @ home. not to do things that i would never tolerate in my home.
nope. not the point.
my favorite establishments are the ones where the owner lightheartedly thought, oh, yeah! i know what i’ll do! open a restaurant! sounds fun, how hard can it be? just hire some friends/family, throw them some recipes i collected online or from a bunch of magazines w/no cohesive point, & open! it’ll be a great place to entertain guests, & i’ll always have lots of delicious food around. perfect!
it is not my aim to call anyone out specifically, b/c this is pervasive. it is why i hate the business, & why i shed a single tear for black restaurants/restauranteurs. b/c no one on earth will take you seriously, if you don’t. & that is all.
& so w/that in mind, I will be taking you on a journey through the illusion of good food – just enough fat/salts to please all – to our lip smacking destination – the magical reality of soul feeding vittles that heal, complete w/good fats that feed our brains & sexy exotic salts that remineralize our vitamin deprived bodies…
we, here in NYC, have utterly lost our way. this kind of crap is ubiquitous. & if you are not doing it this way, then you are quixotic/impractical/an out of touch food snob.
well then so be it. uppity negroes/negresses please unite. as the health industry is discovering, 30 years after the movement, the hippies were right. & all the “hippy-dippy” perjoratives were held up to the clear light of day when, years later, science finally kind of caught up w/what should be common sense (which just, sigh, ain’t common @ all): food, grown cared for in the ways it has been since the beginning of time, is healthier for you. the closer you can keep it to its natural state, the better. it should not be toxic/grafted. local/seasonal is best for the planet/our bodies.
what’s the fucking confusion?
three days before i quit one of the jobs, i brought the items i was testing for the new menu to the owner’s house. an associate of hers – one of the managers, in fact, who was apparently supposed to be tasting the food i brought, stood there, eating pathmark chicken out of the pathmark bag. he ate not one bite of the greens (freedome greens, BTW found in this blog) that i’d brought.
once i concluded my presentation, he took his final bite of his pathmark chicken & said, “delicious.’
long after the bitter end after my sis the Siren barked me through my overdue resignation letter, she was still chiding “fuck that! you betta get that heifer to sign a non-disclosure to the fact that you ever worked there!’ lmbao. love her.
moral of the story? honestly still figuring, a lot of confusionment. why would goddess ever put ME of all people in these respective (i want to say so many things)… situations?
i believe that in love, we must kiss some toads. this is no accident. those warty mfs must be kissed, b/c although Goddess WILL ultimately get you what is best for you, you have to be as clear about what you want, as you do about what you don’t. is this true of career dreams, too?
This week’s nugget of wisdom: according to my mother, The Sam Jackson of relationships, fathers are, by definition, motherfuckers…
@ any rate, all this toxicity leads me to fast/cleanse/the wisdom of Dr. singha, creator of the mustard bath for detox, & of this Ayurvedic cold syrup that I intend to use as a further shield for the princess & I from the flu shot for the 3rd year in a row:
Dr. Singha’s Cough Syrup Recipe
1 – 2 small red onions, finely chopped
Equal volume of organic raw liquid honey
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
If the cough is chronic, add:
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic
Finely chop onions. Place in a non-metallic bowl. Add an equal part of organic raw liquid honey. Add the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and garlic. Mix with wooden spoon. Cover.
Let the mixture stand for 24 – 36 hours at room temperature. The honey will draw out liquid from the solid ingredients. Strain the mixture and pour in glass jars with lids. Refrigerate.
Dr. Singha suggested use: 1 teaspoon of this mixture can be taken as needed.
Please note: It is essential that no water come in contact with this mixture at any time during its preparation. The addition of freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice can be most beneficial. You may choose to keep one jar of the original recipe, and a second jar mixed with citrus juice.
According to the Celts, winter is a cosmic sleep. A time to gestate. Cleanse. Rest. Heal. To dive deep, & resurface. & if you are an urban tiger ghetto (fabulous) dragon like me, then you are probably in need of some regenerative recipes for your demanding schedule:
There is no reason to drink anything other that lemon ginger iced tea during this season, preferably sweetened w/buckwheat honey. All honeys are homeopathic. They heal you w/the pollen, protecting you from hay fever & a broad spectrum of other allergens. Raw honey is full of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants. It has mad anti-bacterial, anti-viral & anti-fungal properties.
In addition it:
Strengthens immune system
Stabilizes blood pressure
Balances blood sugar
Indigestion Buckwheat honey specifically addresses bronchial problems, ridding the lungs of any excess fluid & is commonly prescribed by naturopaths to children under 6 as a safer & more effective cough suppressant than those found either prescribed or over the counter.
Turmeric is one of the holy benchmarks of Ayurveda.
Turmeric is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, & anti-aging, & it’s fabulous yellow is energizing & soul brightening. It has a subtle, bitter taste profile, which will both deepen the taste of the ginger, & balance the sweetness of the honey.
Supernatural Lemon Ginger Iced Tea
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 – 9 lemons, depending on size/juiciness). Meyers are nice for this but any lemon is great.
2 large ‘hands’ of ginger, sliced about 1/2 inch thick & bruised w/the back of the knife or a mallet
A handful of fresh turmeric root, chopped roughly & bruised
1 TBSP. Whole black peppercorns (black pepper multiplies the absorption of healing turmeric by 2,000!)
Water, preferably filtered, about 1 gallon
Raw Unfiltered honey to taste
Boil the ginger, turmeric, & black peppercorns for 45 min. Allow the tea to cool . @ body temperature, mix in the desired amount of honey, cool to room temperature.
Serve over ice. A nice revision is lime juice instead of, or in addition to the lemons.
After this, insert: “lastly, appears that I owe y’all some recipes from the last post about kundalini foods. I will release a recipe for each chakra along w/subsequent blog posts here, until we have covered all 7.
Let us begin w/the root:
1st chakra, mooldhara: root place red/black: survival/elimination – spicy beet salad w/roast garlic, matsutake mushrooms e.o. bk pepper, & balsamic vin – trying to make the rent? see yourself as successful, as safe/taken care of/secure, & while you are eating your beet salad, also visualize your root chakra as the lovely, juicy, clear red of the beets. taste the earthiness of the beets, & feel yourself rooted to the soil, cared for/nourished ENRICHED by the soil.
this is kundalini food magic.
Roast Beet Salad w/Black garlic, Walnuts, & Goat Cheese for 10 – 15 people
roast 6 beets @ about 450 for 45 – min to an hour for medium sizes & allow to cool. skins should slip right off. then cut them into 1 inch cubes. add pink himalyan sea salt, copious black pepper, & if desired, 1 drop only – essential oil (e.o.) of black pepper. sautee in
1 TBSP grapeseed oil
w/roast garlic, 6 cloves chopped roughly,
3 cloves black garlic:
also chopped roughly, on high heat till the garlic becomes extremely fragrant, but not burnt.
when the beets have given up all their liquid & begun to caramelize, remove from heat & set aside while you dress the greens:
to clean, dry, hand-torn greens, singly or a mixture of red leaf, green leaf, & butter lettuce, add olive or grapeseed oil* to coat. then add the plum/balsamic vinaigrette:
6 cloves garlic
10 drops fish sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
6 TBSP umi (plum) vinegar
6 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP lime juice
1 drop black pepper essential oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 TBSP e. v. olive oil
whir in a blender/food processor everything except for the oils. in drops, then a mid stream, add the oils one right after the other. this will render everything creamy, as it emulsifies. add sea salt to taste – & taste; you may not need it!
add to the vinaigrette to your discretion. then toss in
1 – 2 cups shelled walnuts
the cubed beets
garnish each plate w/1 tsp. fresh goat cheese, which looks stunning against the beets, i feel.
grapeseed oil has tons of vitamin e, & has an extremely high smoke point, so for regular saute & even for deep frying, below 400 degrees, there is no chance of rancidity. it is chock full of healthy, unsaturated fats, a fine balance of omega 3′s & 6′s & powerful antioxidants.
Soldier on/keep warm. The darkest days of winter have already passed – the dawn of spring apparent.
Happy eve of spring.
thank you for reading!
All recipes exclusive to chef/healer Stefanie Kelly