Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1980
Photographer: Claus Ohm
Puerto Rican Power!
Young Lords Party free breakfast program 1969
The November issue of Essence, with Idris on the cover, written by me, dream hampton, arrived in the mail today. Not mad.
“food is sexy…”
vertamae. smart. grosvenor.
friends, if you don’t already know who she is, please find out. memoirist, black beat, ex-pat, member of sun ra’s psychedelic madness, amazing cookbook author.
she will free you from the need for measurements w/her exhortations to ‘cook w/your vibration’ so that whatever you make, apart from ingredients used, is wholly representative of YOU.
all autumn everything
3 # bluefish, filleted, clean of all scales & blood*
2 heads cabbage
3 cups cracked rice
1 bunch carrots
2 heads eggplant
2 long sticks yucca
6 whole tomatoes, quartered
butter 6 TBSP + 4 TBSP hexane free palm oil
honey 2-4 TBSP
1 bunch cilantro
1 head garlic separated into cloves
6 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers halved
2 green bell peppers chopped coarsely
1 yellow or orange bell pepper chopped coarsely
1 bunch parsely
few sprigs thyme
preheat oven to 375
1- blend together the cilantro, parsley, garlic save four cloves, green bell, 1/2 habanero peppers, & the anchovies with 1/4 cup water to form a paste. slather this on the fish, & bake for 1 & 1/2 hrs, till crispy around the edges.
2 - roast tomatoes w/1-2 TBSP honey, & butter till gel-like, 1 & 1/2 - 2 hours, puree.
3 - braise the carrots in one pan with 1-2 TBSP honey, & 1/2 cup water, 2 TBSP butter till fork tender.
4 - in a pot, do the same with the cabbage butter & thyme, omit honey till soft
5 - in a pot, cover the yucca w/water & 1 TBSP butter & simmer till soft
6 - steam cracked rice w/remaining butter pureed tomatoes, & half of the palm oil
7 - blend together remaining peppers, the reserved garlic, & the yellow or orange bell pepper w/salt & pepper & a little water till a thick paste. handle with care.
serve on one gorgeous, large platter. enjoy.
*(a long note, but an important one: you can wash the fish off w/a brief soak in a lot of water with a little salt & vinegar, but if you have the time, i urge you to brine!!! in a 2 - qut. saucepan, boil 1 qut of water with 1 cup of salt & 1/2 cup of sugar. you can add any spices that you think way add to your recipe, in this case, lemon, fresh garlic, a touch of hot pepper but not too much.once these are boiled together, let the brine cool, then marinated the fish in this mixture, covered in the fridge for 2 hours. remove from liquid & cook as normal. for some mystical reason, this works by osmosis, the liquids exchange places, & the flavor is off the chain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
recipe by stefanie kelly
food for the gods trailing the path of the kitchen goddess…
retelling of the myth & adaptation of the ancient recipe by
chef/healer stefanie kelly
oshun is the sexiest grrrrrl… she seduces all, even the orisha beyond all orisha: orunmilla - god of divination. while all the orisha divine excellently, orunmilla is their boss. kind, disturbingly perceptive, strong, & depending on who you’re talking to either the left or right hand of olofi. k, dammit, a few words about olofi - any of the orisha can, for example be called upon to remedy or heal any situation, like illness for example. any one of the potencias (& there are many more than the popularly known 7 african powers/forces of nature) can be called upon to heal, & heal brilliantly they will. but if olofi is called upon, & called upon correctly, destiny will arrange itself so that the dis-ease was never there in the first place. either his left or right hand is obatala, white cloth god of mercy & healing/benevolence/nobility/creativity/clarity. & either his right or left hand is orunmilla. apataki abound, but the myth of orunmilla w/regard to his marriage to oshun illuminates her big-dogness in the realm of the psychic, & exposes her for the genius that she is, in the realm of the senses…
as the story goes, orunmilla went to great pains to win oshun’s hand. since her name was a secret guarded w/yemaya’s life, the condition on winning her hand was the knowledge of her secret name: oshun. orunmilla enlisted the help of ellegba the trickster/ruler of the crossroads/door opener/shape-shifter to glean this information for him. orunmilla had many diviners the world over who awaited his divine presence @ readings, ceremonies, etc. he had precious little time to spend, laying in the cut, even for the most divine piece of ass there ever was: oshun, yet to be debuted lover/healer/laugher/diviner/beauty. having so many houses to visit, he called on his mischievous friend ellegba - he would have time for this madness. in fact, it was right up his alley.
turned out that the crossroads rogue took to the errand w/alarming alacrity. from what he told orunmilla later, he went so far as to call on his chameleon-like gifts of metamorphosis, sometimes appearing to be an old, shiftless traveler hanging around the house, & when yemaya got suspicious (“one tough customer, ma dukes is,” he griped later on. orunmilla, bemused, & unsure of whether or not ellegba was trying to renegotiate his price, or honestly vent about his experiences, allowed him to continue), morphed once again into a young boy, playing on the road w/out guile. until finally, (“& boy was i glad. the little boy body was all tight, & listening to those two bicker back & forth is more annoyance than anyone should have to tolerate - ever.”) finally. finally @ a peak of an annoyance that only the mother of a young lady on the brink of marriage could possibly emote, yemaya blessedly barked on her lovely daughter - “oshun!!! you must think that the bathroom only exists for the purpose of your endless effing primping - it’s MY room - get out!” @ which point ellegba, filled w/an otherworldly glee, scurried down the road, body transmogrifying back to his original, malleable form. the next day, orunmilla poorer by ellgba’s fee, showed up @ yemaya’s house to cut the mythically long line of suitors & collect his real riches: oshun’s hand in marriage.
it worked out well. orunmilla was that nigga. energetically, he raised the bar on oshun’s goddess-hood. her beauty, already a scandal in the orisha community, became world reknown. her rulership of the kitchen & the bedroom was a phenomenon for the mature mac. her demonstration of her gifts in these areas cemented his devotion to her for all time’s sake. no one was prepared for her psychic prowess. but there it was she was a confoundingly accurate reader. since the honeymoon has to end some time, even for divine newlyweds, the time came for orunmilla to pull himself out of his marital bedchambers, & get back to work. when he did, he realized that he was happy & grateful for his work. he was humbled before the extreme devotion of his devotees. any reader, either w/out or w/an altar to orunmilla is said to have a place in his home for orunmilla & when ritual occurs, he is called there - sometimes to more than one place @ once. he visited each of his priests w/gladness in his soul. still it couldn’t be ignored. the demand was, just subtly less than when he got married. & as the days, weeks & months after his marriage flew by, he noticed his business trickling to almost… nil. how grateful he was to bump into his good old friend ellegba, hanging around the corner bar as he passed by, so deep in thought that he barely noticed his artful friend, craftily watching from his perch. “it’s weird, isn’t it,” ellegba spoke to his unspoken worry. the great orumilla’s clients - drying up! whod’a thunk it, right?” his cruel cackles petered out w/a withering glance from the diviner. “ahhh but thank olodumare that i am who i am…” the rogue sighed. orunmilla turned his laser sharp psychic attention to the wayward orisha. “yes yes yes. i get it all. all the secrets!!! & for such a small fee, i can be convinced to come up off my info. streets is watching, & from what i understand there is a new reader in town who has her own style & has apparently learned well. from the best there is…” after handing over yet another fee to the grifter, orunmilla found himself, an orisha who thought he’d heard everything, shocked to the bone to be informed that his greatest competition was sitting up in his own living room happily receiving clients that he used to call his own. his wife had her own style & was much loved. she had learned from her close proximity to the beatific oracle that she’d wed. “& it’s not like she took something from you that was not up for the taking… i hear she has a nice bedside manner, is very loving in her readings, & everyone knows that she’s not hard on the eyes… “ orunmilla was blind w/rage. he immediately petitioned obatala for divorce. he couldn’t believe that he’d been made such a fool of, in his own house, no less. talk about sleeping w/the enemy. obatala the just judge, & eternal buffer for the orisha, soothed all their souls: since the clients that oshun “stole” had actually willingly come to her for her guidance, & since she had a soft, lovely, healing quality w/her incredibly accurate & joyful readings that did something different than any other orisha, it was ruled that her gifts were hers to keep. orunmilla could not under any circumstances put up w/the outrage, & they were divorced. (the graceful incandescent beauty was far from devastated. orunmilla was constantly out of town, & to be honest, she & her next husband, chango had already begun to woo one another. so she recovered almost too quickly from the split.) oshun received a street cred that she would have never attained had she not loved orunmilla. & orunmilla got his clients back, for the most part. he also got the admiration of all those who love the spirit of beauty. of all the male power in the universe, he would always be the first to have bagged oshun, & the man to grow her into a mature goddess @ the height of her young powers. every person/god/dess that we meet & love makes an indelible impression on our soul/path/destiny. for this reason, orunmillas eleke, (ritual necklace/bracelet of power) formerly green, had oshun’s color yellow added to it. this immortalizes her as a reader of equal excellence to orunmilla, even though orunmilla remains the boss.
all readers bow before orisha oshun.
when cooking for orisha oshun’s favor, purity & freshness are the whole point. she does not, under any circumstances eat left overs. so don’t even try it. she loves seafood, spinach, eggs, oranges, pumpkin, honey, sugar & watercress to name a few of her preferences. one of my favorite plates for her is:
5# shrimp, marinated in seville orange juice
5 bunches fresh spinach
halve all ingredients - one part is to feed the goddess. the other half is for you.
very simple - w/the first half, saute the shrimp for one minute, throw in the super clean spinach. then the eggs, & stir to firm. once the eggs are cooked, put the food into a hollowed pumpkin, or a halved calabash. pour liberal honey over all, then offer these, humbly to the goddess of creativity/fertility/music/love/wealth w/ a yellow candle, & these areas of your life will light up -
now to adapt this for humans, saute in olive oil (sacred to venus!!!)
5 cloves sliced garlic, till lightly browned around the edges
throw in the
2 &1/2 # spinach till wilted, then the
2 &1/2 # shrimp, saute till pink
pinches of himalayan pink salt, & pink pepper, ground (the color pink is sacred to her haitian cousin erzulie)
the eggs can be scrambled & served on the side. & the honey can be served in chamomile tea, her favorite beverage.
love & happiness. thank you for your time.
#gourmet #feast #orisha #oshun #orunmilla #ritual foods #ochin-ochin
GENIUS: Salt N Pepa…literally
by the great food anthropologist, Jessica B Harris
2 TBSP dried cayenne pepper
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
dash dried garlic
salt & pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste & if you’re one of those,
1/2 Tsp. palm or coconut sugar, brown rice syrup or honey
recipe by stefanie kelly
#food #gourmet #recipe
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