Come on down today and drop off used kitchen items or new, have some Miso Soup and learn how to make it!!!
Monthly Archive Of February 2011
February 26, 2011
Come on down today and drop off used kitchen items or new, have some Miso Soup and learn how to make it!!!
February 24, 2011
If you missed the show click on this link to peep it!
Today I am a guest on the NBC Mid Day Show w/ Holly Thompson here in Nashville. I’ve cooked before on TV and I’ve always loved the process, getting it all done and in within a couple of minutes. Today’s show moved at a rapid pace, and the host has mad skills at moving through segments as she is an award winning journalist and producer; not to mention incredibly kind & graceful.
Again I felt as if I was learning an entirely new set of skills, I’m totally amazed that this is the path that life is taking me on, never before did I see myself COOKING let alone in front of 1,000′s of people.
When I was a kid Audrey Hepburn caught my eye, not the glamorous version seen on the big screen but the older more humbled woman cruising through Africa helping those with less. I knew in that moment that she was someone I wanted to emulate. I thought for so long that I needed to leave the country to help others, travel abroad sinking my hands deep into foreign soil. Funny how life brought me right back home to a neighborhood similar to the one that grew me, arms full of food.
For sure yesterday every character in my head was running wild, ’cause these folks all come from fear and judgment, I heard my grandfather “If you ever feel blue or afraid, ask yourself how can I be of service today”. I still do this, and when things feel too big, I pull it all back close to me and ask “How can I participate?” Every time I do this an opportunity appears for me to get out of my own way.
I’m excited to watch today’s show and see myself learning to do something new…Because every time I think I know I find out that I don’t and then I have to step up and learn…
Peep it if you missed it by clicking on this link! http://www.wsmv.com/video/26984829/index.html
February 21, 2011
I totally believe that life brings us together, meaning there are no chance meetings – what we need we attract.
Last week I met with Pastor Fuzz at Corinthian Baptist Church to chat about The Kitchen Item Drop Off event this Saturday Feb. 26 at The Integrative Life Center on music row. What I didn’t know is that two people from the health department were going to join us. The Noble Food Makeover is gaining attention; this is thrilling! I really enjoyed our conversation, and even better the fact there are possible grants to support the program and a desire to take this Noble Food Makeover CITY WIDE!
The night before Pastor Fuzz forwarded me an email from these two people but I was unable to open it, what I did see was one of the names “Willimenia”. I caught my breath, ‘cause this was my momma’s favorite name. My Aunt is Philomena and my momma always said she would have loved to name one of us Willimenia – funny little thing that sticks in a child’s memory.
I marked this moment in my mind and meant to ask Pastor Fuzz about the email; that was until they walked in the door. I immediately felt a connection to both of them as we share the same passions – to support our communities’ health.
At the end of our meeting I asked “Willimenia where are you from?” She answered “I am originally Liberian.” I went on to tell her that my best friend, my man of honor in my wedding – instead of a maid of honor is from Liberia – Alphonso. Then I told her about his family and how I’d fallen in love with all of them; as when I was living in College Park, Md – working & going to school his family had fed me on the weekends and offered me a “home” to visit, giving me a family to belong to. In her calmest most astonished voice she said, “He is my cousin, they are my family too”, then she told me her last name. You see the deal is that Alphonso comes from Liberian royalty, his family had led the government; uncles, grandfathers and father had all held positions ranging from President to Mayor of the capital city of Monrovia – a NOBLE tribe of humans. When Liberia went through their civil war his family migrated to the US. Alphonso has followed his noble families footsteps and recently has been appointed Secretary of Civil Rights for the State of NY. A few weeks ago I phoned Phonso, sharing my current goals and dreams – I was feeling down and tired out, ‘cause I so badly want to bring all that I’m doing to Nashville’s table & I’ve had a difficult time finding local support. I told him “Boy oh, boy would I love a team to help make it happen. He listened as any best friend does and then responded “Mee they are all coming soon, and as you say “This is happening”….
The following evening I attended an event at the Belcourt Theatre for consciousnashville.com, a website that my husband built to connect Nashville on all levels of conscious work from environment to spirit. After the event there was an after party gathering at The Integrative Life Center on Music row. There I spoke about the Noble Food Makeover and this coming weekends event. After I spoke the crowd moved in reaching for more information; I felt a huge wave of emotion wash over me. I moved through the room seeing for the first time that I am well and now able to connect to this great city and all that it has to offer. For the past two years my life was taking care of my girls, building PKIA & healing my body. I’d moaned that I was unable to form friendships, but on this evening I saw that it wasn’t Nashville, it was MEE. The wave of emotion is that I am now able to receive, I thought of Corinthian Baptist Church and Pastor Fuzz – how wonderful of them to open their doors, hearts and minds willing to make healthy changes, once again fortifying my resilience. It is no wonder Willimenia and I found each other at Pastor Fuzz’s table, a NOBLE team we are all building.
I’ve been in Florida with my husbands’ family for the past 5 days and I’m so excited to return to Nashville and connect.
I hope to see you all on Saturday and if you can’t make it contact me at email@example.com and I will find away to include you in this wonderful process.
February 9, 2011
I grew up in a food desert in a poor African American neighborhood in Oberlin, OH, which is shocking to most because Oberlin is known for its incredibly conscious class of people. I was the daughter of a single mother who suffered a digestive disease, causing her to spend many days in the Cleveland Clinic. At 6 years old, my 9-year-old sister and I were in charge of managing the food stamps and making our way to the closest market – a convenience store that rarely stocked fresh produce. At our young age, we didn’t know what to do with the little veggies and grains that were available. Of course we purchased only what we knew how to cook, white bread, chipped ham, mayonnaise, milk & cereal.
Eventually we changed locations after my mother went back to school, got a better job and bought her first house. However the market was still a ways away and my sister and I remained in charge of the kitchen when our momma was not well; this meant walking through the cold Ohio tundra like winters in search of groceries.
One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given in life is to have lived in so many different social classes, from poor, to middle class, college student, Hollywood hip chic as a wanna be actress living the chic life w/ a diamond dealer and eating in the best restaurants in the world, to marrying into a truly southern family dynasty that has it’s roots in cattle and grocery stores. I’m now a rancher’s wife and a well-rounded food gal myself. All of these different experiences have given me an aerial point of view when it comes to what life is like in America’s kitchens.
The social divides within society have been the obvious, money, education & stuff, however today that divide is found on the dining room table and in the pantry. The wealthiest people and the poorest share something in common – they eat processed unhealthy foods, and the majority of folks wealthy & poor no longer have a clue what to do with whole grains, beans & most fresh produce. If it doesn’t come in a box & have a picture on it then we are lost.
One thing that I know is processed food is processed food, regardless of brand name, being labeled organic, or generic – crap is crap and the cheapness is that it lacks the natural freshness, vitamins & fiber that our bodies need.
FOOD DESERTS ARE NOT JUST LOCATED IN POORER NEIGHBORHOODS BUT IN THE AVERAGE AMERICAN KITCHEN.
Some folks live in a food desert and others have a whole foods market down the road and yet still most of us don’t know what to do with what is available.
I was definitely one of these people, most of the meals I prepared in the past were at least HALF processed, and maybe I added some veggies or meat. Had I not gotten super sick I probably wouldn’t have learned what I learned; now I’m cooking meals to prevent illness in my kids.
But have no fear ‘cause life is changing and if I have my way PKIA will deliver nobility via a cooking class every where I go.
This past weekend was packed with greatness I taught a USN evening cooking class and met a bunch of great women all well educated and attempting to do their best to make healthy food choices for themselves as well as their families. Just like the rest of us they are swarmed and torn with WHAT is healthy and what is not. Here is my rule if it’s fresh, low in sugar, found in it’s complete form not shipped off to a factory before arriving on your table it’s healthy.
I prepared a kid friendly meal of Miso soup with daikon greens & steamed tofu, millet mash with a yummy kuzu gravy – that was slightly watery – oops, collard greens w/olive oil & garlic, Israeli “schnitzel” tofu wrapping it all up with an apple kuzu drink for desert. These folks loved it and I felt the sweetness of success, as I’ve taken the basics of macrobiotic cooking and ancestral simple foods and created meals that heal.
On Saturday I met with Ravi Patel, the founder and creator of Nashville’s Mobile Market – his goal is to bring food into food deserts. This past Saturday he did just that.
First, I gotta give you the run down on what a MOBILE MARKET is, it’s a giant trailer that has been turned into a full on market packed with mainly fresh veggies and some grains like brown rice. The city of Nashville has been attempting to bring better grocery stores into the city’s food deserts but we all know how difficult a process this can be and why would a pricey market want to enter a poor neighborhood where most people can’t afford to shop. Ravi Patel decided to not wait and instead created the Mobile Market that comes to the all food deserts and sells fresh produce at a greatly lower price. By the way ANYONE can drive to where ever the Mobile Market is and shop it!
*FINALLY we are catching up to third world countries where this is how most folks get their produce and foods, via the back of a truck.
This past Saturday he was at the Edge Hill Projects and folks were shopping. I was like a Chihuahua as I moved through the Mobile Market, ‘cause my main goal has been how to bring the food to the neighborhood surrounding Corinthian Baptist Church where the Noble Food Makeover is taking place, I practically jumped on Ravi Patel when he said he would not only bring his mobile Market to my Open House Event on the 26th of Feb. but, that he would work with me to bring the food truck to Corinthian Baptist Church on the days I taught cooking classes – what does this mean? It means that the neighborhood surrounding Corinthian Baptist Church will no longer be a FOOD DESERT but instead be a FOOD OASIS!
Yahoo, my plan is to eventually work with this Mobile Market to enter all the food deserts and teach classes with what they have on the truck that day.
Saturday night I climbed into bed exhausted and inspired, the gals from the USN cooking class encouraged me to keep my feet moving by being so open and kind, the Mobile Market & Ravi Patel were a message that THIS IS HAPPENING….I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep knowing that soon Nashville will be connected by A MEAL THAT HEALS….
February 2, 2011
“If I Die Young”
-The Band Perry
It’s only Tuesday and already the week feels as if it is moving at a rapid speed and once again I am reminded of the duality that is part of living.
I dreamed Sunday night that I was in some city somewhere that was flooding, I watched the water gush around me, I didn’t panic but relaxed into the dream wanting to know what happened next. This is a great thing, ‘cause I truly believe that how we navigate our sleeping dreams is the same rhythm that we move through the waking dream that we have created – also known as our life.
Personally I see the water as emotion, big waves coming and going. Instead of reacting with fear I just allow it flow – ‘cause we all know that you can’t stop the waves only learn how to surf them.
This morning was proof as we started the day watching Isabella perform in her schools talent show, she sang The Band Perry’s If I Die Young. She wore a long white dress with a tulle skirt underneath and cowboy boots and stood in the center of the stage with unbelievable confidence and beauty. I felt a huge wave of honor wash over me, my daughter has become someone who can hold her own, and she is brave and capable. In fact all of the children were truly mirrors of the school that they are attending – they are a reflection of how they are held within the school environment – with support and love.
Lee and I then climbed in his truck and headed out to the ranch, he needed to check on something’s while I hung in the cattle company office writing. The rain was pouring down as this giant storm that is moving across the US found its way to Nashville.
At Christmas time I wrote a blog “A Ranch Life”, in this blog I shared meeting with Mr.& Mrs. James Lewis. They’d worked on Lee’s family ranches out in Colorado as well as here on our ranch in Nashville. The two of them had spent the evening opening a window back into time, allowing me the opportunity to see their world as well as the world that my husband comes from.
Last year Mrs. Lewis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and yesterday morning she died. I had wanted to cook for her, to try to build her up and maybe help Mr. Lewis feel as if he was doing something physically to help her. However with the holidays and the school starting back I hadn’t made it out there and shortly after meeting her she began the process of leaving her body, not eating much more than 3 bites in the past month.
Mr. Lewis said that The Ranch Christmas party was their last date night.
When Lee told me she had passed I immediately wanted to say goodbye.
Many folks had shown up to pay their last respects and Mr. Lewis was unbelievably sweet, with everyone that approached him. Seeing Lee he opened up and began sharing stories of A Ranch Life, the two of them passed times gone by back and forth.
I felt strangely drawn to Mrs. Lewis resting in the casket, and wanted to be closer to her, I knew there was more for her to share.
The casket was covered in beautiful handmade quilts that she had made; also there were her oil paintings each of a place she’d been.
In parts of South America they believe that if you stand in the shadow of someone within 48 hours of their death you will see clearly whom they were, as they too are reflecting from the other side the life that they have led and the person that they were.
I stopped before a stain glass window that she had made and was also on display, I felt as if I had walked into a doorway of her life, images passed through my mind as Mr. Lewis narrated in the background. I saw her in the arms of her momma born Frances Elizabeth in the panhandle of Texas, I watched as her father discovered Tennessee just after world war 2 and decided to settle, I witnessed her youthful beauty at 16 when she met her husband to be. I watched her raise children and move cows on horseback, I saw her stand as a woman strong and elegant; she climbed mountains in front of me and set grand beautiful tables presentable for a king. And mainly I watched her walk with her husband; they were partners and a team. Mr. Lewis said he’d not ever left her side not until she passed and he heard god tell him to sit down he’d take it from here.
Someone approached the casket and placed in her hands a yellow rose, sent from her 97 year old momma in Texas and Bella’s voice rang through my heart:
“Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
ain’t even grey, but she buries her baby”.
I then heard Mrs. Lewis whisper into my ear, you go forward girl and be brave – live a big life, just like me. Suddenly I felt as if my shoulder blades opened up and wings pushed through my skin – I stood in her shadow and walked away with the ability to give my dreams flight.
Again I am reminded that we do not know the extent of ones influence, until it is upon us.