118: yoga yum

Last weekend I went off-Cape for one of my yoga training weekends. Saturday's topic was yoga philosophy, mantra and chant. The day ended with  an event called kirtan, which is  a kind of yoga-singing-prayer kind of a thing. It is really fun! It's a great way to pray- with other people and so joyfully.  My new cousin Liz is part of the group that came in to lead the singing, which I was just thrilled about.

Since I knew I would be seeing Liz, I made up a shirt for her in a design I thought she would like:


and of course I had to wrap it up all pretty-like:


I am a little bit nuts about having to save every tiny scrap of fabric. Lately I have been  using these thin little strips as ribbons to wrap presents with.  People love it and it makes me happy. ( See honey, I  use all this crazy stuff I save!)  Liz loved the shirt even before she knew that I made it for her! Yay! It is such a simple gift to make and so easily cutomizable for a person's individual taste.

Liz is a yoga teacher and a therapist and we just connected right away when we met last spring. She is actually my father's cousin. I call her my new cousin because I only just met her! But it feels like we have known each other for a long time. It feels so natural to be  together and reall share deeply, not just chitchat and small talk.  It is still hard for me to remember that she is an actual blood-related family member! She feels like an old friend.

I stayed overnight with her, which was absolutely lovely. It was like continuing the  learning from the yoga training. We listened to Indian music, she made home made Indian food for me!

Of course, being a total spaz, I had to take pictures of each stage of the cooking:


 Aren't the colors awesome together?


We blessed the food in a traditional  way that she has learned in her time with the kirtan group.

Watching Liz prepare all the spices was such a treat. It was like watching someone make a magic potion! I was ridiculously excited.

I couldn't resist:


The spices and ghee cooking:


Chana and spinach cooking:


 The result:


Isn't it beautiful?
We sat down to eat and talked yoga and food, philosophy and family.
It is such a new experience for me to have that kind of connection in my family.  I have to thank my Dad for hooking me up with Liz.  Last spring he urged me to contact her. He said she reminded him of me, that we have a striking resemblance, that we have similar interests and that  he thought we would really connect. Now, I have to tell you, I think this may have been the first time in my life that anyone in my family has urged me to do anything, so I really took note. I am so glad I  did! Thanks, Dad. You did a good thing there. ( I don't think he really reads this, but I just wanted to put that appreciation out there.)

And boy do we have a resemblance! Everyone in my yoga training was like, " Is that your mother? Is that your sister? Oh my god, the resemblance is amazing!"  I have to point out that they may have mistook her for my mother because she has long white hair, which makes us look like there is more of an age difference between us than there really is! Now I wish I had a picture taken of us together so I could show you. Next time!

In the morning, Liz made a super yummy breakfast, too. 


Oranges, mango and kiwi . Yogurt in the cutest little dishes with adorable garnish.  Freshly grated nutmeg!


French toast with toasted coconut and warmed craisins.


A fully set table and some chai and oatmeal to boot! That Liz. She knows how to do it up, man.

It is so inspiring to be around her. Every Sunday she does breakfast like this for herself! The cute dishes, the pretty garnish, the set table. All of  it. It is her special day to really rest and take care of herself. I just love that.

Thank you , Liz for taking such great care of me!

I love to be cooked for. It makes me feel so loved. 


oh, yum.


Would you look at that? Those strawberries are from my garden! After I took this shot, I sat on the counter ( legs swinging) and talked  on the phone with my Best Friend  and ate half of them.  Yum.

That enamel colander came from a thrift store- it has little strawberries printed on the inside surface. I have a thing for enamel colanders. Enamel in general, I suppose!  How many more times can I say enamel in this paragraph? Enamel, enamel , enamel! Now it doesn't even look like a real word to me.

The linen hand towel has bees all over it and says " Busy As A Bee". Yard sale, of course! You may know already that I have a thing for bees.  The name Melissa  means  'honeybee'.  It's from A Greek story about a nymph named Melissa who taught man about  honey.  I feel like I already wrote about that- but I went back and looked and I couldn't find it. Forgive me if I am repeating myself already.

While we are on the topic of  Strawberries in Yummyland, let me tell you about this awesome salad my friend Cindy made for me about a month ago. I have been telling everyone.  Have a look-see:


Mesclun greens, tomato, strawberries and avocado! You won't believe how yummy. Tossed with an orange champagne vinaigrette.  Tangy and original.

Cindy rules. I'll tell you more about Cindy next time.  She is a great cook ,  a dear friend. 

Go make a salad!! 

cardamon, mom

I say cardamon, you say cardamom.  We're both right.

mortar and pestle.jpg 

 I love me some oatmeal.

Lately, instead of putting in cinnamon, i use  cardamon and it is *so* yummy. Every morning I make my oatmeal , add just the right amount of  brown sugar and douse it with soy milk. Then I  throw some cardamon seeds in my mortar and pestle, grind 'em up, and  sprinkle it top of the milk.
Of course, i could grind up a bunch of cardamon all at once and not have to do it every day. But that would mean i wouldn't get to use my mortar and pestle every day. I do love to use my mortar and pestle.


I have had this  every day for 8 days straight.  When my sweetie saw it the first time, he said, "Honey, why did you put pepper in your cereal?" I love that guy.

And isn't that the cutest tea towel? I love teatowels. I wanna make some.