Category Archives: Culinary


I grew up drinking tea and later pouring it into your rice too!

You never miss your matcha until your well runs dry! 

I never thought I would miss this food that I grew up with.  During my fierce bout with assimilation. It’s so dee-lish!

“Ochazuke” is a very popular, traditional Japanese dish made by pouring hot green tea over rice with savory toppings.  It is a very light dish and people often eat it when he does not feel well or the stomach is in a bad condition.  Both Japanese green tea and Umeboshi (Japanese plum) are widely used for curing the stomach problems. Sometimes dashi (fish stock) is used instead of green tea. Nowadays most people use ready-made ochazuke packets, from companies like Nagatanien, but if you make Ochazuke by yourself, using green tea made from tea leaves, you will be able to enjoy more the health benefits of the Japanese green tea and it will be much healthier.

via COOKING WITH JAPANESE GREEN TEA: Ochazuke with Matcha.


chicken with prunes


oh!  Plums and Chicken ....Prunes....

There is nothing more friendly than a potato!  Silky pureed potatoes with some porcini mushrooms and 40 karat creamy butter?  When silky potatoes make friends with chicken and prunes?  Even braised chicken with apricots too. You are going to have some happy smiles all around.

I woke up singing about chicken with apricots today. I often make up songs for my dog Pasqua.  If I am getting even an inkling of a smile?  He feels it is his signal to play not fetch but to wrestle and walk on his two feet with a swagger. He does not just fetch the bone. He likes to make you work for it.

I might have to work a bit to cook this up?  I would add some spirits, like armagnac or at least some brandy or wine.  I have not drank any wine for some time, but when I do?  It will be with chicken and prunes!

Recipe a click a way.


chicken with prunes.

God is a flower


Over Hill ore’ dale, get over it with red clover.

“Have you ever taken a nip of nectar from the tiny florets of this familiar meadowland plant? The bees certainly do. Clover honey is one of the most common types of honey available, and bees visit red clover throughout the summer and fall.”


 003I was searching for the ubiquitous magical glass teapot and came across a lovely Japanese teapot with pink blossoms dreaming. I had hoped it was cherry Sakura blossoms, but it was red clover.

Bulbous butterflies of clover in sason jars.

A kite inside of a jam jar


 Suddenly, I remembered having a special moment sipping these blossoms, I perchance upon in Chinatown.  I felt strangely pink*  That is calm and sweet.  Just now upon reading about the wondrous health benefits of this simple globular orb?  I am quite impressed.  You can read about it by clicking on the above link.  It’s chemical properties have a hormonal effect of “softening”  Get me some of this quick!


Suddenly, I just remembered reading about Japanese wives whom had difficulties with their lives and visited special temples called “En Kiri”  Wise women would prescribe herbs, like shiitake mushrooms or arrowroot for tempering ones aggression.


Ancient  Asian botanists were so genius. 


They use God’s creations to address complex emotional issues with petals, perfume, calyx, hence our personal language of DNA.  We are prone to moods based on deficiencies.  The chicken or the egg ?

We have become so reliant upon man-made infrastructures instead of all the gifts we are given that even a sparrow knows.  Sadly, I hope God is not lonely at the banquet he prepared for us. I rest assured that she/he is smiling with all the angels saying “Come to me”  for all your cares and worries.

I feel assured looking at this magical orb, knowing I could never create such a pattern from water, air, earth and fire. How does he do it?  Therefore, I say “God is a flower”  I rest upon his mantle.

Bright Blessings.




Plin plin Tortellin! Yes, but jelly with white grape juice and ginger with black tea Coquelicot Gourmand and reduction of orange juice to taste the cuisine of ~

DSC_2343This is one of the reasons why I craved Italy?  I believe suddenly, that the classical which meets the endless imagination with skill and tradition fascinates every part of my love of the arts.  Thank you Spezie, for allowing me to post your intellectual raviolis!

Plin plin Tortellin! Yes, but jelly with white grape juice and ginger with black tea Coquelicot Gourmand and reduction of orange juice

Saturday, September 28th, 2013 anna maria pilgrim , standings , Coquelicot Gourmand , david sylvian , fine , gelatin , grape juice , mtchallehge , plin , frog , September , tortellini , black tea , raisins , pure gold , ginger 6 comments

I confess that I had tried to stuff the plin according to the strict guidelines of Elisa , having had many inspirations: the goose in the Venetian ghetto and onto the court in Padua, the goose breast with berries to greet the summer, the shoulder of piggy marinade with the leaves of Virginia creeper, discovered last cookingshow dedicated to vintage . But the light of September, who knows how to wrap up suddenly with his tone so warm and elegant, it gave me more inspiration: languid, slow, sugary. Such as figs and pumpkin, such as beans stolen from the bunch, as the first herbal tea.

And I wanted tea, which for me means moving from summer to autumn: so I chose one recently discovered and incredibly fragrant, and his hints rimandono a sweet oriental with notes of almond refined but especially poppy, petals of pink peony, cranberry and biscuit. It is a tea that \”sounds\”! Try to pronounce aloud Coquelicot Gourmand: tinkles like a bracelet loaded with charms and gives a smile. Well, I got out of competition alone, but by spreading smiles and perfumes. How Pippicalzelunghe 🙂

via Plin plin Tortellin! Yes, but jelly with white grape juice and ginger with black tea Coquelicot Gourmand and reduction of orange juice to taste the cuisine of ~.



Fried Artichokes Recipe with Mint

Artichokes are a little like fountain pens.  Super romantic, sexy and delicious! BUT?  Big pain in the toukas.  Alas, I shall brave the breviary of this ancient succulent , nearly biblical vegetable.   Jerusalem chokes versus Italian?  Often, a metaphor for being smart and witty but not so pretty?   But?  Translates across the board into delish!  So, I have 24 baby artichokes. where the tips are so sharp that I might be able to dip them in ink and write some sort of surreal psalm!

Here’s a recipe for one of our favorite ways to cook up the baby artichokes, Fried Minted Baby Artichokes. Tasty little tidbits we tend to eat much more than we intend to. One note on making them, be very liberal in stripping away the outer leaves. As a general rule, the darker the color the leaf, then tougher it will be after frying. Usually I’ll strip almost half of the leaves off of store bought baby artichokes.

via Fried Artichokes Recipe with Mint.

ireland | Farmette recipes, click if you fare


homemade clotted cream recipe click!

dulse butter

homemade Seville orange marmalady

seville orange curd for a orange meringue pie?

ireland | Farmette.


Mardi: Herbal-WiseMugwort has a long standing history as an enhancer of psychic powers.  It also has other properties that can be helpful when one is in need of strength, stamina and healing.  Unlike many other herbs, mugwort’s uses seem to be relatively well agreed upon by the different magickal disciplines.In Europe old wives, who were often the wise women of their towns and villages, used mugwort to aid their psychic abilities.  A weak tisane made from the leaves was sweetened with honey and drunk before reading cards, scrying or casting lots.  Note that mugwort is not recommended for ingestion when one is pregnant or nursing.  The same infusion, without honey, was used to “wash” cards, crystal balls, mirrors and runes.  A pillow stuffed with dried mugwort was thought to improve psychic power.Mugwort is said to improve stamina and strength if sprinkled in a person’s shoes.  While this is done in hoodoo with no particular ritual, Scott Cunningham tells us that the best results will be achieved if the mugwort is picked before sunrise while uttering the words tollam te Artemisia, ne lassus sim in via.In hoodoo, root workers burn mugwort on charcoal with frankincense or copal to encourage the aid of benevolent spirits.  Similarly, Wiccans burn mugwort with sandalwood to increase the efficacy of vision quests and psychic readings.Catherine Yronwode of the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. says that a red flannel mojo bag filled with mugwort, comfrey root and a St. Christopher medal will protect long-distance travelers not only from injury and illness but also from pesky annoyances like cancelled flights and lost luggage.In eastern countries, particularly China and Japan, mugwort is considered curative.  Incense made with mugwort was used by the Ainu people to expel disease, as the spirits who caused illness were repulsed by the smell.  Carrying mugwort on one’s person was also a balm for a myriad of ills, from headaches to insanity.  Bonne chance ~Header: Untitled illustration by Olaf Hajek

via HoodooQ: February 2012.

Mead – Nectar of the Gods

Drinking Mead – Woodcut, circa 1600Honey is the oldest sweetener known to man. Just when “man” first discovered this delightful treat is a matter of considerable conjecture. However, it is quite possible that Og, son of Ug, was the first to observe an animal raiding a bee’s storehouse. With his native curiosity aroused, he decided to see what was the particular attraction of this golden liquid. A dip… a sip… a lick of the lip… then “OUCH”! Og made his second discovery of the day. Bees have stingers! It wasn’t long before Og invented fire, so he could have smoke to put the bees to sleep, thus avoiding the painful consequences of his honey habit.One may only guess at how the “invention” of mead may have come about. Personally, I think it was more a matter of discovery! Consider this scenario; the bee tree has been broached and some of the honey drips into a hollow at the bottom. There it mixes with rainwater and sits around for several weeks. By happy chance, Ig, son of Og, son of Ug, sees this spill in the base of the tree and believes this to be more honey. He takes a taste and finds it somehow subtly different from the normal flavor. Maybe not quite so sweet, but with an extra little “tang”. Many sips later, the fermented honey is gone and Ig weaves and wobbles his way back to the cave.Now, you may think I am just making up tall tales, but it is quite likely that this is how man first discovered the joy of mild intoxication. Later, Ig’s great, great grandson would experiment and refine the process under more controlled conditions. Possibly, he started with hollow gourds, filling them with various mixtures of water and honey, and letting them sit at the back of the cave for differing lengths of time. This was sufficient for a small group of hunter-gatherers but, with the formation of clans from related families, there was a need for larger quantities of mead. Thus, pottery was invented. Large earthenware crocks were made for the sole purpose of containing the fermentation process. Now, the whole clan could get high! Eventually, the news of this remarkable discovery spread. How is that, you may ask. Because there was a need to tell the neighboring clans about the joys of mead, language was invented. By this time, the clan brewer had been elevated to a position nearly equal to that of the chief and the shaman. The language they created was simple at the first, but sufficient to communicate concepts like “Wow! What a blast!” and “Oh, my aching head!”. Of course, as mead evolved, so did the language. There came a need for words like, “bouquet”, “flavor”, and “lingering aftertaste”. Words were also invented to facilitate the trade in mead. Much later, money was invented as a means of exchange, so even clans without a competent brewer could enjoy the benefits of mead. Not long after that, taxes were invented as a way for the chief to get a little extra in his own pocket. Somewhere in all that, the wheel was built so large quantities of mead could be easily moved to the market.

via Mead – Nectar of the Gods.

What’s the 5 Points and Essex Street Market got to do with Love?

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The scrapbook is pretty large, about 15 x 17. Each linen page is pasted back and front with scraps of printed woodcuts and engravings hand-colored with watercolor paint.
The whole thing is dirty, creased and coming apart— but its fabulous.

In terms of American History?  You would not have to go too far in New York to find a T REX or some semblance of ancient architectural tid bits in our own Gotham city.  There is no place in the whole of the U.S.A that fascinates me more than the Lower East Side of New York and most especially the area  called 5 Points where immigrants landed circa 1840’s and of course earlier.   A sullied  and insipid version, which was attempted to be covered in the film, Gangs of New York by Martin Scorcese.

  Scorcese’s version of our very own local anthropology focused solely on the personal lives of the rival gangs, but covered very little of the cultural magic of the very area where he was born.

Scorcese lived briefly, I stress very briefly right here in Little Italy on Elizabeth Street adjacent and above Mary and Moe Albanese, the local butchers.  Mary lived to the grand old age of 100 and her son, Moe still serves the community in terms of local restaurants.   Elizabeth being aka the Sicilian street then.

I was deeply disapointed and the only culinary anthropology which exists in his film, is the bloody steak of Bill the Butcher. Bill is  a fictional character undoubted influenced by Mary and Moe! Alas, I am positive Mary and Moe made a better dinner.

  Bill’s cooking technique is to barely take his tough as nails cut of beef on a pointy tines and let the fire barely breath over it like a stifled whisper.  He would pan fry some for less than a second over his diabolical fires and then with  his blackened teeth (and not Cajun!)  : Chew it up blood thirsty like a swamp beast. It’s impossible not to have mixed feelings about this powerful portrayal.  Lewis invites us to a terrific and amazing character he plays, as Bill the American Butcher! 

His strange accent so lush and angular with squawks and little admonishments of staccato trills and his favorite word “Festoon”. He has  invented a brutal hormonal TRex  cocktail of testesterone  and mad cow diseased mad man! Of course later he has played an award winning version of Lincoln.  How ironic and apropos.  Alas, American history is  a wee bit more than senseless violence and blabbering hordes of primal ooze.

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The fictional book , Gangs of New York, the novel written by Asbury spoke of the area just South of Canal street called The Five Points. I have waltzed the streets in search of magic.  A few documentaries have covered the myriad of tunnels beneath the ground which allowed a few lucky insiders a private world of travel.

Fortunately there are remnants of each eventually thriving culture, be it Dutch, English, Irish, Chinese and Italian have left an indelible mark recording

American history.

I was hoping that Scorcese would delve a bit more into their intricate cultural tapestries as Coppola manages to do in the Godfather series.  But?  You just have to walk to Ludlow street and this historic district to learn about the later periods when the rich Jewish and Italian cultures made their entry.  I love the Farmers Market and the area once known as the 5 Points.  I love to envision what these early settlers ate and drank?  Wore and bought?   What books if any did they read?  Where did they live and how?  The Tenement museum gives terrific tours and you never know what will be dug up?  An old accordion from an organ grinder to antique shot glasses or even ?Exploring these areas for me is much more interesting then Mystic CT and it’s hard biscuits the sailors ate or their enchanting  figurines and scrimshaw carvings.  I love every inch of the Lower East Side.

The reinvigorating of the Farmers Market is no doubt a luxurious and expensive version of what simple fare the poor peasants may have endured?  Alas, you can find a lush dichotomy of old and new. 

Before Farmers’ Markets Were Cool: Essex Street Market19 Thursday Jan 2012Posted by ny history walks in Lower East Side, Manhattan

≈ 1 CommentTagsculture, Essex Street Market, Fiorello LaGuardia, food, history, immigration, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, tenements, travel, WPACourtesy of the New York Public Library.In 19th century New York City, it was not uncommon for the poor and working-class to buy baked goods, produce, and even meat, downstairs in the open air from sidewalk peddlers in front of their tenement buildings. By 1930, 47,000 families made their living as pushcart peddlers, most of them heavily concentrated in the Lower East Side.Courtesy of nyc-architecture.comThe legal and economic battles between today’s food trucks and their competing storefronts emulate the yesteryear rivalries between pushcarts and merchants. Merchants complained about the garbage and unsanitary conditions of pushcarts; they also felt threatened by vendors aggressively “pulling in” customers and offering the opportunity to haggle over prices. City officials claimed the pushcarts prevented police and fire vehicles from passing through.By the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia made it a mission to eradicate “pushcart evil”, calling it “a blemish on the face of the city” that must be removed. He envisioned a brighter, cleaner Lower East Side that erased any vestiges left from its ethnic immigrant past. Under LaGuardia’s leadership, new laws forbade any goods from being sold on the street.Fiorello LaGuardia, 1940. Courtesy of Library of Congress.Financed by federal WPA funds, Essex Street Market was opened in 1940, eventually growing to 475 vendors spread out over four buildings. 70% of its vendors were Jewish, the remainder was predominantly Italian. Peddlers who were forced off the streets and could not afford indoor spaces became unemployed.Essex Street Market, 1940. Courtesy of Shopsins.WPA Photo of Essex Street Market and 122 Delancey Street. Courtesy of New York City Municipal Archives.The Essex Street Market along Delancey Street today.Jeffrey’s Meat Market, the last original business from Essex Street Market, closed in 2011 due to financial difficulties. Kidneys, neck bones,and lungs were among the most-requested cuts by customers when Jeffrey’s great-grandfather and grandfather operated business in the Market. In the business’ latter years, Ruhalter began to offer venison and wild boar as the demographics of his customers changed.

via Before Farmers’ Markets Were Cool: Essex Street Market.

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