The holiday that includes chocolate, poetry, and love....that's my favorite!! Although I surely do celebrate romantic love (almost 37 years with my beloved!), I turn my mind and heart to a broader celebration as we near this Valentine's Day.
In much of Latin America, Saint Valentine's Day is known as "Día del Amor y la Amistad", Day of Love and Friendship, when it's common to perform acts of appreciation and affection for loved ones and friends. I love the stealth traditions in many countries of knocking on a back door, leaving treats (often chocolate!) and running away. And for me, I include my love for our precious natural world. So this Valentine's Day I celebrate all the ways love moves through me, touches me, delights and inspires me.
I'd like to share a Mary Oliver poem titled:
Honey At The Table.
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees - - - a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.
Visit Mary Oliver's page at Beacon Press here for more info.
This poem brings into my body and heart the feeling I get each week when I enter the kitchen to begin cooking for our weekly food share. It reminds me of what I take in to my heart, and what I give out to the food. It also brings to body and heart how I feel when I read the dreadful news updates, when I share with friends and loved ones the grief/horror/outrage that each day brings. And then I feel the power and joy of sharing the hardships with my loved ones, of the moment when our eyes meet, when our hearts rise together and we see a vision of love that can heal, when we find the hidden sweetness inside the darkness, "a taste composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found."
May we persevere together through hard times, may we find love and blessings in the most unlikely places, may we express love for our beloved earth through our actions, and may we each take time to secretly bring chocolates to the back door of someone for whom we feel affection. Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
Our first cooking class of the season is on Grains & Beans on February 25. You'll learn how to prepare a wide variety of grains & beans (find out all of Alice's secrets!), and then make dishes such as Grain & Bean Burgers, Linguine with Onions & Cannellini, and Mediterranean White Bean Soup. Pre-registration is required. See link below for further info.
Spring/Summer 2017 Schedule:
February 25: Grains & Beans
March 18: Pockets, Packets & Purses: Filled Goodies
April 15: Sauces From Many Cuisines, Building Blocks of Quick Meals
May 20: Fresh Pasta, Risotto, and Polenta
for more info. Come play in the kitchen with us! We have a blast in these classes, and everyone leaves with new knowledge, ideas, skills, recipes, and leftovers. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions. Hope to see you!