Let’s face it, you’re not going to have a perfect year and all of the things on your To Do list are not going to get done, and someone’s going to get hurt, and you’re going to wake up one morning and wonder what is it all about. This will happen in 2014.
But there will also be love, profound love, joy, kisses, delicious food, hot showers, a child laughing and most of all music and dancing. Invite these things into your life. Today I woke and meditated and my chant was I love you Rachel * I love you Rachel * I love you Rachel.
It’s New Year’s Eve day and in a couple of hours I’m about to throw down with a woman I met online who lives in Israel and writes about Kosher Soul Food – much like what Michael Twitty is doing with Africulinaria. He chose to be a Jew while my Israeli friend chooses to embrace her Sephardic blackness. We are cooking together to start our new year off with food that nourishes our soul.
In our kitchen, Tin and I are going to traverse Toledo, Spain to Istanbul, Turkey and Aleppo, Syria, and then Havana, Cuba to New Orleans, Louisiana yoking in Senegal, Africa. This is our combined heritage and we’re going to mash it up in the kitchen and make food that is Black and Jewish and delicious.
Soul food – what is it? There is a vocabulary for Southern African American soul food, much like the Sephardim have their vocabulary for rich tasting delicacies and New Orleans elevates this vocabulary to pairings like the Holy Trinity (onions, bell pepper and garlic or celery depending on your background) and traditions that are time-honored and enduring.
What’s on our menu – brisket with West African spices, funeral grits, stir fried rice with black-eyed peas and collards and okra, kibbe, smothered cabbage, and honey walnut cake.
Those black-eyed peas are the eyes of god that bring you luck.
The cabbage is green like money and it helps you prosper. (I’ll hide a dime in it like I do every year.)
The grits are sustenance.
The brisket and it’s African spices ensure you won’t go bored in the New Year – the spicier the better.
The honey walnut cake is for sweetness.
Champagne will be served to keep your spirits high.
The kibbe is deep fried in oil and like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa it is about a container for light.
You hungry? Come eat with us my friend. My friends, my readers, my peeps, you bring me great joy – some of you have reached out when I needed you most. My goal has always been to become self-actualized and I want you to come with me on this journey.
In 2014 – Proceed with Love and may all your fire-breathing dragons be colorful in 2014!