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Pre-Passover Dwindling Pt.2: Batters Up

It’s 3 weeks pre-Passover and the Art of Dwindling has taken over the kitchen. The rice levels slowly wane, the flour bags begin to deflate and with every shake shake shake of the boxes of cereal I slowly break it to my kids that Cheerios will soon be going temporarily AWOL.

Scarcity is scary. And while Amazon will soon be replacing the goldfish with Yehuda Matzahs, the glass jars that were once brimming with grains and beans brings with it a sense of urgency. While these thoughts of turmoil may warrant pre-Passover self reflection (and possibly a therapy session?), on to the more practical aspects of this preemptive kitchen clearing.

Today I bend down, and open the cabinet next to the sink. It goes way way back. As if there were secrets, or a portal or a hidden well of water that was hiding in the back. It’s the kind of cabinet depth that, when you stick in your arm (your entire arm fits up to the shoulder), I can flail my arm around and catch something long forgotten.

To my dismay, I DID find an ENTIRE jar of mayonnaise. After the triumph of the goddess dressing, I was dismayed to find that unopened jar- that will now, like the Lost Arc in Indiana Jones, will remain closed indefinitely.

The next half hazard arm flail caught another hidden staple: flour. While a huge clear jar of flour does sit openly on a shelf, when the entirety of the contents fail to fit, the remainder goes into the cabinet of the abyss.

 

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So this week it will be pancake batter. Pancakes make a weekly appearance for dinner and continue to feed my younger daughter for breakfast.

Because the backbone ingredients of pancakes (flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, vanilla basically) are staples most likely on hand, and the toppings can range from creative to comforting,  these small bites can be individualized for kids and adults alike.

IMG_9249 2Pancake batter toppings also did their part in the pre-Passover dwindle.

I was slightly shocked to find that those Nestle chocolate chips purchased 2 for 1 contained soy, as stated by the disclaimer below the ingredient list.

While I have never been a food purist, my Passover habits from childhood still remain. And I love searching through ingredient lists and finding the culprits, rendering a certain food on the “no” list for the week. So chocolate chips and corn. Their time was up.

 

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Makes about 16 4-inch pancakes

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons oil

1 1/4 cup milk (add 2 more tablespoons if batter is too thick)

1 teaspoon vanilla

pancake toppings: chocolate chips, corn or shredded coconut

Combine dry ingredients In medium sized bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and combine. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place 1/3 cup batter in the pan,  3-4 pancakes should fit. Cook 2-3 minutes until browned, flip and sprinkle chocolate chips. Flip after 1 minute so chocolate chips do not burn. Once cooked through the center, transfer pancakes to a plate and cover with foil. Repeat with remaining batter.

 

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The Art of Dwindling: Goddess Dressing

Here we go everyone. . . pre-Passover kitchen cleansing anticipation that begins to pulse in the coming weeks before Passover.

Before the kitchen cleansing kicks into higher gear however,  we are invited into another preparatory practice: The art of the dwindle.

Dwindling is the using up of staples and dry goods, as well as dialing down on items like that Costco 2 pack of Cheerios.

Growing up in my household, we’d actually just move most of our non-Passover food stash into the basement and cover it all up with blankets. Yet there is something this year in my own household that is mysteriously drawing me into the art of dwindling vs. the stash and hide approach.

Dwindling calls us to be creative, to dig through and pool together those ingredients that will be making a disappearing act next month. To merge staples with fresh flavor and use them up in delicious ways. To prepare before the preparing even begins.

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And the first Dwindle Recipe of the Pre-Passover season: Goddess Dressing.

Tangy, creamy, and a great salad or sweet potato topper, Goddess Dressing hits all the notes and offers that satiety to a veggie forward bowl. Better yet. the lettuce, radishes and asparagus that will soon be popping up at the farmer’s markets go great with this.

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Goddess Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup mayo or vegan mayo
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup water, divided
1 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon coconut aminos, liquid aminos or Tamari
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients with 2 tablespoons of the water
in a food processor until smooth. 
Scrape down the sides and blend again. 
Add more water for desired consistency. 
Will thicken overnight.  
 

Bridging Time as an Awareness Practice

As I get older life gets faster and fuzzier. The practice of bridging time as a way to provide context and meaning to the in-between big life moments has felt very important to me. As  Mickie Simon and I chatted about in the creating space for joy Purple Honey conversation, it is often in the granular daily moments where we can connect to joy.

Bridging time is an awareness practice, and does not require a sitting, a meditation or even breath work (although all are great compliments!).

Jewish cycles have built in time connections that, when we tap into these, can feel grounding and help us move through life with a sense of anticipation and meaning. So,  I look to Jewish Time (moon practice, weekly practices, daily practices, blessings/transcending time, life cycles, etc.) to guide me on this journey.

 

close up of tree against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Most recently, I adopted the Practice of Bridging Time through reading Alan Lew’s book “This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared,” a journey through the lead up into the Jewish New Year. After three years of tapping into the wisdom of this guidebook, using its resources for soulful reflection (Cheshbon Hanefesh), and incrementally reflecting through the lead up into the New Year, that particular time of year has opened up into something new and fresh for me.

ALLLL of this to say. . .  as Passover is slowly approaching and will be quickly here (5 weeks away!) we have another opportunity to practice bridging time…this time through the act of the physical cleaning of our kitchen space and during Passover, the physical cleansing of our GI tracts.

It is also in this Passover lead up time that spring can be felt (although, let’s turn up the warmth by like 10 degrees please), it is lighter, daffodils are emerging and birds are singing.

So as we hold all of this, a Bridge of Time can be formed through our own actions.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting some Bridging Time Practices:

-Food and Recipes to dwindle what's in the fridge
-Physical Clearing Rituals to create space
-Body Ritual
architecture bridge footbridge hanging
Photo by Anthony DeRosa on Pexels.com

 

In the meantime, Happy Spring and

Be Well!

xoxo

Jodi


	

8 Bites in 8 Nights

This year I have been wanting to deepen my connection to Chanukah and I connected with four Jewish women through conversation, to find new ways into this 8 day ritual. A ritual that, for me, was full of family love and fun, yet I sensed there were other dimensions.

So in the launch of my Podcast Purple Honey, I gratefully received the gift of female conversation. It was in this connected conversational space that I got to meet Judith- a Chanukah linked story I never had heard never heard before.

Judith was the strong, courageous and insightful woman who led her Jewish town from impending invasion into victory, by wooing the Greek General with her beauty, luring him into his tent and, while he was in a drunken stupor, sliced off his head! (WHAT the Whaaat??!!)

And I met Hannah, a tragic story from the book of Maccabees, where the daughter of the High Priest and her seven sons became Martyrs.

And then I learned about connecting to Hanukah through the SEASON- cold, dark, and windy- a season that is begging us to stay home, put on our fuzzy socks and put our feet up by the fire.

And then there’s the dark MOON. That is getting darker each night as our candles are ablaze.

And I rekindled my love of candles. Traditionally a ritual occupied by females, Chanukah invites everyone to light and everyone to build. And as Rabbi Sarah Tasman taught me- when we all build form the deep dark depths of what makes us, US- this is called our Chochmat HaLev or “wisdom of the heart”.

Summary: There are so many moving parts to Hanukah, so many connections we can make, and as a custom based holiday we can do ALL the THINGS we want.

So here, I embrace all the THINGS through a Taste Meditation.

Here’s how I am going to try it out: After lighting each night, I will have a bite of food. Each bite of food represents a part of the mosaic we call Chanukah and in saying a food blessing and tasting, we literally internalize what the essence of Chanukah feels like to us on that particular night.

Here are my 8 bites in 8 nights. I am going to intuit which order I will taste these each day.

Feel free to add your own bites and make this yours!

Goat Cheese

the food Judith fed Holofernes, the Greek General, which made him thirsty for wine which led to Judith slicing off his head.

Olives

To sustaining light in ourselves, within our families and in our communities.

Dark Chocolate

Sitting with the dark moon and the dark nights.

White Chocolate

Welcoming the sliver of moonlight we see at the end of Chanukah.

Clementine Oranges

Honoring the round moon and imagining the moon dark then all lit up.

Gin Gins

Hugging our own inner light, our Chochma Lev that creates from Gratitude

Pesto on Toast

To the oil that sustains and moves us towards our vision.

Honey

To the sweetness of Community and Connection. To the women in the Chanukah story and to the women in our lives that supported us and made us who we are today. To helping lift up other females.

Going Kaleo

Going Kaleo

it’s fall time. cold and cloudy on some days. sunny and crisp on others.

As the last eggplant and tomatoes fall from their respective vines and hit the ground with a soft thud, i look to the heartier crops to feed fresh to my family in the colder darker months.

While the acorn and butternut patch produced less than expected,  my last hope for homegrown fall fresh sits in a weedy 4×12 raised bed: kale. Set in the ground in July as babies, they are now all grown up and ready to come to the kitchen.

kale

In tasting kale salad for the first time some years back, it was love at first bite. And when we started growing it at home, it turned into the “you complete me” kind of love. We were food growing neophytes then and kale was so prolific that we felt like successful gardeners while also reaping the edible rewards regularly.

While store bought can be tough on the teeth at times, homegrown was the perfect combination of tender with a bite. And while there is cliche attached to the curly kind (garnish from the 70’s?), that is what we grew and what we loved. Kale is perfectly suitable for stews and stir fries, yet when in salads, it rocks my salad world and takes me into new salad galaxies.

Our garden slowly goes to sleep, and it will be the bold and dark, earthy and deep flavors of kale that will keep our hearts and bellies satisfied,  our plates fresh and our local produce longings tamed- at least through part of the winter (with  hoop house dreams to extend the season even more)

The kale salad on my plate this week comes out perfectly satisfying every time.  This is more of a “cooking by looking” recipe and uses surprisingly few stems to fill the salad bowl.  5 kale leaves, torn from the stems (about 2 cups and fills up a single bowl). Drizzle oil, lemon or vinegar and salt and pepper. Top with sunflower seeds and mozzarella and toss together. a hunk of bread seals the deal. If you are sharing and need a bigger salad bowl, use more of each ingredient. Robust kale wilts slightly when dressed, is emboldened when joined with an acid, and is fortified with additions of crunchy or chewy fruit, grains and proteins. Perfect. Meal. Salad.

Kale Salad

So this fall, i wish for you all to fall for kale- and for a kale romance to grow in your garden and/or on your plates.

May your eating be happy and your hearts be fresh.