apples

Spirited


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My grandmother would wake up before everyone in the house to take long aromatic baths that left the house smelling like a bouquet of flowers.  She would then float around in her gown doing one thing or another.  It wasn’t until I was older did I realized that she was performing a morning ritual that was preparation for her day’s work.

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My grandmother once owned a candle shop, among many other ventures, called Wickies.  I knew that she practiced magic.  She was paid to perform and prepare spells.  But it wasn’t something that we really talked about.  It was just known.  When she did speak of it, she said that she practiced “white” witchcraft.  She was a keeper of the witches’ oath to “do no harm to others”.  Her mentor, “The Chicken Man”, lived in New Orleans, La.  She would often make road trips to visit him.  The drives from Denver to New Orleans consisted of road trip games, fried chicken, white sliced bread and music by the Gap Band (can you hear Charlie Wilson’s signature coo?) , I love road trips to this day.  We took a lot of them.  Once in New Orleans, there would be hushed conversation between her and the Chicken Man in his House of Voodoo followed by bags filled with anointed supplies she needed to practice her craft.  Back at the candle shop she had all of the things one would imagine a witch to have.  Candles, oils, stones, teas and herbs, sachets and such things.  The candles, in particular, fascinated me.  Black skulls, wax molds of naked male and female bodies, pillars of all colors and sizes and various designs of candle snuffers kept me intrigued.  Her counseling sessions; however, seemed to be held more so at home than at the shop.  I did my best to eavesdrop, but mainly I would just see people leave from the living room couch with enchanted sachets and very specific instructions on how to carry out the spells she cooked up for them.

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The kitchen was also sacred space.  As it were, the practicing witch was also an amazing cook.  I loved her cooking.  In my opinion, no one’s cooking could compare.  There was a close second though; my daughter’s paternal grandmother can throw down too!   But ultimately, my grandmother’s cooking ruled supreme for me.

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I was her right-hand girl when it came to kitchen responsibilities.  This included preparation of shopping lists, grocery shopping, cleaning, and assisting in the kitchen.  She was very well organized and structured in the way things were done.  Canned goods were always organized with the items having the earliest expiration date in front.  All labels faced forward.  All jars, wiped clean.

I knew I had been blessed with the kitchen wand when she called on me to make her breakfast.  It consisted of only one egg, over-medium, with a slice of toast.  The egg whites had to be cooked through, but not crispy and the yolk runny, as for the toast, it had to be golden brown and perfectly buttered from edge to edge.  It is a gross mistake to assume that cooking eggs properly is a simple task and for a young teen this was daunting.  Others had tried and failed.  I’m a perfectionist by nature and a people pleaser so I wanted nothing more than to show the matriarch that I could manage the kitchen.  This would be how I proved it.  I passed her test and was the only one of her children and grandchildren “allowed” to cook for her.    To have this seal of approval was an honor and I have been charming people with food ever since.

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I certainly have inherited many of my grandmother’s ways.  After all, she raised me.  Drawing candle lit baths is a cherished practice I’ve adopted as my own as is making enchanted meals.  My ceremonial dress is a simple white Williams-Sonoma half-apron with crisp borders and double front pockets.  After my apron strings are tied into a neat square knot, I am bound to link my energy to the task at hand and cast my cooking spell.  Confections are the “easiest” to enchant because of their versatility.  They can be made with any flavor, formed into any shape, made into any color and decorated innumerously.  It’s plain to see the work being done.  With a few select ingredients, I’m working roots almost unconsciously.

the-dark-side-table-settingMy tabletop is my “cook’s altar”, I adorn it with sacred “artifacts” appropriate for whatever the eating occasion.  My tricked out Halloween theme this year honors the season of the witch and in particular my grandmother.

She enjoyed celebrating and having a good a time.  In that spirit, my daughter and I went to see the musical “Wicked” at the Gershwin theater in New York City.  We equally enjoyed the reading the book and the performance about the true story of the witches of Oz.  On Halloween night, however, I took my son to the midnight showing of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”.  Something my grandmother did with us.  It literally horrified him.  It, along with the production team involved in the experience, far exceeded his threshold for vulgarity.  He admitted that he had never experienced anything like it before and he could just as well do without.  He couldn’t believe my grandmother took us to see this show.  I could, Tim Curry was brilliant in this film.

This was a harvest season to be remembered, apron strings 10-30-2016-gina-and-mani-elphaba-pillarreleased, my work is done.

Bewitchingly yours,

Gina

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-16-2016-the-dark-side-witch-finger-cookies-rackWITCH FINGER COOKIES

YUMMY CHOCOLATE MUMMY CUPCAKES

ENCHANTED CARAMEL APPLES

MEATBALLS & MARINARA SAUCE

Desire for Love


“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men.” Song of Solomon 2:3 

Refresh Me With ApplesAs we all know, apples have a long history as a symbol for love and sex, they are a representation of the Goddess of Love and lovers have exchanged them as a token of their affection since the Ancient of Days.  It is a romantic and timeless love food.  If you carefully carve a heart into its peel and say “Love for me” while holding this thought as you bite clockwise around the fruit from where you first penetrated it, slowly consuming the heart and envisioning “the apple of your eye”, you will unite your own energies with those that exist in the apple and manifest the love you desire.

 As we approach Valentine’s Day, remember to give the love you desire.  We are always either attracting or repelling.  We attract to us what we first become and not until we send out love vibrations can we receive love in return.

 I am hosting a series of sessions on the practice of attracting your love interest with food.  Over a cocoa martini or red velvet coffee, your choice, we will discuss the aphrodisiacal powers of CHOCOLATE and learn how to make ‘Nipples of Venus’ bons bons as seen in the movie Chocolat!  There are only 8 spots open per session, so reserve your seat right away!

Be the lover you crave.

Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour

Psst! Reserve your seat today for the Cooking with love and CHOCOLATENipples of Venus’ experience.  Space is limited. Click here!

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Malicious Red Delicious


Picture1Autumn’s sweetest mistress was forbidden from the beginning…

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“Refresh me with apples for I am faint of love” Song of Solomon 3:5

When studied carefully, apples reveal the source of their sorcery. Cut in half lengthwise, the seeds form the shape of ovaries, representing feminine energy. When cut in half widthwise, the seeds reveal the five-pointed star, the pentagram, a magical symbol. The tree that bore the forbidden fruit was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Wisewomen and witches alike love apple trees, with their knowledge, they use the branches and fruit to cast many a love spells.

“Art thou the topmost apple

The gathers could not reach

Reddening on the bough?”

Arousing lust and sensual delight, Adam could not resist the forbidden fruit any more than Eve.  Eve was the apple of Adam’s eye, but it was Adam that a piece of the apple got stuck in his throat, forming the lump we call the Adam’s Apple, a mark of the “fall”. My sexed up version of pork chops smothered with apples and onions is also a mark of fall.  Adam’s Apple Chops.

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Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour, a Culinary Seductress

Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.” Song of Solomon 2:3 NLT

Adam’s Apple Chops

This recipe is the sexed up version of smothered pork chops with apples and onions.  Serving size, two.

 Chops

  • 2 pork chops (on-bone, ½-inch thick cut – Grazin’ Angus Acres)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 white onion, julienned
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (or Dorot garlic cubes, my fav)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons creole/Cajun blend (like Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of Maggi (seasoning sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup apple bourbon (Food52 recipe)

 Apples

  • 3 Red Delicious apples, cored and sliced in ½ inch wedges
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple juice (Red Jacket Fuji Apple juice)
  • ¼ cup apple bourbon (Food52 recipe)
  • ¼ stick butter

Brussels sprouts

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 2 slices apple smoked bacon, diced
  • ¼ white onion, diced
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon

Cooking Directions:

Evenly season both sides of the chops with spices, dried thyme and Maggi; lightly dredge with flour.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.  Add the pork chops and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the pork chops and transfer to a plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the onions, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown, add the garlic, stir in the broth, apple bourbon.  Cook uncovered until the sauce comes to a boil.  Add the pork chops, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the pork chops are fork-tender, about 45 minutes

Meanwhile prepare the apples. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar, apple juice, apple bourbon, and cinnamon, reduce to a slow pouring liquid.  Add apple slices, coating them with the sauce.  Simmer until sauce thickens.  Add apple mixture to the skillet of simmering chops.  Sprinkle in rosemary.

For the Brussels sprouts, heat a heavy skillet, add bacon, allow to brown, then add onions, a splash of chicken broth, bring to a boil, add Brussels sprouts, steam with a squeeze of lemon

To Serve: Place one chop on the center of a dinner plate and smother with a ladle of skillet gravy including onions, layer with apples, and top with a sprig of thyme.  Place several Brussels sprouts artfully beside the chop.