Archives for category: Cooking

IMG_0096

When I was diagnosed with cancer family and friends bombarded me with instructions on how to not only survive, but also thrive in the face of cancer. To be a successful cancer survivor you must eat a raw organic vegan gluten free diet, drink a green juice each morning, dry brush your skin daily, soak in Epsom salts and baking soda each night, drink a minimum of 15 glasses of reverse osmosis purified water daily, abstain from alcohol and caffeine, buy BPA free EVERYTHING, wear organic materials, meditate, practice yoga, get acupuncture, have an incredible therapist, buy an $800 air purifier, continue your career in a way that fulfills you and without any stress, get a therapy dog, and be an expert on any potential carcinogen (make up, cell phones, soy, celery anyone?). This is only a smattering of the most mainstream prescriptions that I received. Beating cancer was the easy part, but performing the part of healthy girl was another story.

Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_7565
This past weekend David Brooks wrote an article about daily ritual and creativity in the NYT. He cites the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work , which Joey and I actually found in a local Greenpoint book shop a few months ago. At that time, I was desperate to create some more ritual in my life. Floating from project to project, and physical ailment to physical ailment, I craved the stability that might come with daily routines and rituals. I’ve written about ritual a bit on this blog, and have searched for ritual in my daily and varying routines. I found some rituals in certain practices like traveling. But when it comes to my creative practices (writing and choreographing) I don’t have any steadfast rituals. I think I’ve managed to create much more stability in my life since stumbling across the Daily Rituals book at the beginning of the summer, but my days still lack ritual. There is not one thing that I do every single day without fail. Except maybe brush my teeth and take my pills. I don’t walk the dog the same way each day, I don’t eat the exact same thing for breakfast each morning, I don’t even have a ritualistic drink like coffee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Photo on 9-22-14 at 11.56 AM #3
Moxie tale for the day: ginger tea. Accompanied by a recipe for writing. Getting started is the hardest part. This ritual helps.

1 Early morning (early fall cool weather and clouds don’t hurt).
1 Bowl of oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit.
1 Cup of Ginger tea.
1 cute pooch on the lap.

photo 2photo 3

Some things are perfect. Even on days like today when the feeling of fall enters the air and work seems impossible. Like the way that I can clear small debris and liquids directly from the cutting board into the sink. No cupped hands to catch the scratch and precariously transfer it several feet over into the sink or the garbage. No drips along the way. Just one fell swoop. Design, my friends. It’s a beautiful thing.

IMG_0789
As I mentioned, today is mocktails, or Moxie Tales day on the blog. For my inaugural post, I begin with a throw back from last year.

The Sophisticate

Adapted from Jackson Cannon’s Sophisticated Lady

This week is bar week in our house. After three years of law school and one summer of intensive study, my husband Joey is taking the California bar exam. As two graduate students we know the importance of a stiff drink to close out the end of a difficult exam day and to celebrate the end of a rough few months of work. You need something that you can sip slowly; a drink that begs for a deep breath with each slurp. Where to turn when you’re craving a stiff and refreshing moxietail to stave off a rough day – or month – or year? The sophisticate is the perfect fix. Adapted from Jackson Cannon’s Sophisticated Lady as featured on foodandwine.com, this cocktail is a bit less sweet and a bit more sophisticated.

Read the rest of this entry »

I drafted some blog posts, ideas, and thoughts when I was first recovering from cancer and going through more rigorous chemo. Since then, I’ve wanted to move on, but some of the more fun cancer-inspired projects have stuck. One of these is mocktails. From here out, Monday is mocktail day on the blog.

Because of my medicine and my general quest for health, I’ve given up alcohol since my cancer diagnosis. One thing that’s shocked me the most about my decision to give up alcohol is the response that I often receive when I either refuse alcohol, or explain that, for at least the next two years [likely forever], I wont be drinking. People are shocked. Forget the horrendous side effects of my medicine, the fact that I’ve been delayed in my degree progress, or the emotional and mental trauma of illness. The fact that I no longer drink alcohol – or caffeine at that, the horror! – really upsets some people. I think it’s because drinking is a visible trace of my cancer battle. Most everything else has remained somewhat hidden within the comforts of my home. Joey and my immediate family see my struggles, my closest friends know about the intimate details, but beyond that I pass as incredibly “normal.” When I don’t participate in what I now realize is a bedrock social convention of our culture, I am all of a sudden publicly marked by my battle. What’s funny is that I don’t miss alcohol in the least. In fact, Joey has never really liked drinking at all, so he has gladly joined me in an alcohol free life that we’re both really enjoying.

Read the rest of this entry »

July is a fantastic month. It’s my birthday month. It’s the real start of summer. It tends to be slower, or quieter, if you will. I love July – it might be my favorite. And I love that there’s an official moment to celebrate the coming of July. Tomorrow Joey has off from work, his mom is in town, and my brother might come over. No better moment than now to get a little fête together. I’m thinking some veggies and dip, tabouli and raw slaw from Moosewood, some grilled sausages on buns, a big salad, cheese and crackers perhaps? Oh, and THIS. And a pie for dessert. And maybe some popcorn for fireworks (if we don’t get rained out!). Grazing. It’ll be a grazing kind of day. Because there’s no better way to indulge in slowness.

photo 1

photo 2 (1)

Adapted from Cookie and Kate’s recipe, which she adapted from the fabulous Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. I took Kate’s muffins, swapped the sugar for some honey (a generous dollop, maybe 1/8 cup), cut the salt to two grinds on my grinder, and swapped the butter for Earth’s Balance vegan butter. Voila. Whole wheat, honey, yogurt, lemon, blueberry muffins. They fill the apartment with the best smell and are perfectly moist and not too crumbly. Mmmmm…

Image

Lately, my mind and body are most free to think through complex theoretical conundra during moving moments at this tiny stove that.

It has been a week and a half since I last uploaded an entry to this very new blog. It’s funny, it was as if the moment I wrote down my anxieties about merging my home and work lives – or better yet how to deal with the fact that they are necessarily one and the same for me – I was able to move forward without preoccupations.

So what is it about the writing process that leads to these moments of crisis, or of upheaval, and then of letting go? For me, it is about impatience. I have impatience when I read, when I write academically, when I think. I have impatience for the future, finishing current projects and for wanting to know what is to come when this or that project is complete.  The interesting thing about impatience, though, is that it doesn’t work in dance. Dancing is precisely about moving between moments and focusing on the movements between as the content themselves. If you are rushing to a next “position,” your focus is not on movement at all.

The thing about writing personal thoughts and feelings down on a page is that it in some ways forces an exercise in patience. Rather than worrying about future preoccupations, writing down a current concern is giving it license to exist in whatever state it is currently. This, I think, is why, like dance, sometimes writing down can lead to moving forward. It’s a moment for reflection, but also for laying to rest. So, whatever counts as your “writing down,” whether it is dancing, or cooking, or writing, may we all find ease in spending moments moving through rather than racing ahead. We may find, in fact, that this propels us “forward” – whatever that might look like.