Grace, Giving Thanks
Excerpt from: Cooking for the Love of the World
Awakening Our Spirituality through Cooking
by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt
When two or more are gathered together in unison around a meal something special is allowed to happen. This special mood and feeling could be described as being bestowed by grace. The word grace comes from the Latin grazia, which means ‘the divine gift of radiance, which brings joy to the heart’.
At the table, before I begin to eat, I settle myself and move into the region of my heart. Centering in the realm of the heart has a quality of reverence. I enter into this space between the physical world and the invisible world of spiritual forces. It is possible to simultaneously be fully present in both realms. I feel it in a very bodily way as a subtle and gentle force of beauty, light and warmth. In this region of the heart, the boundaries of the body expand, my perception opens, and both worlds emerge vividly and intensely. Here in this living space I feel ‘the divine gift of radiance which brings joy to the heart.’
I may say a prayer or express my gratitude for life, my family and friends and all the forces, beings and people that helped getting this meal to me either silently while in the realm of the heart or out loud. When I am with children I sing a joyous song or say a seasonal verse. I contemplate silently how the nourishing rain, the warmth belonging to the sun, the worms, the farmers and the loving hands of the people who cooked the meal all contributed to the creation of the food I have in front of me.
Appreciation streams through my being in preparation of receiving the ‘sacrifice’ all foods make whether of vegetable or animal origin. The wheat kernels have given their lives to the flourmill and become bread as nourishment for me. As I eat the bread the grains ‘resurrect’ in me and become part of the processes that are creating a human being in order for me to fulfill my tasks and meet my destiny in life. I sense the responsibilities that clearly follow.
There is much to be thankful for every day at every meal, here together!
Find a quiet space within yourself and connect with gratitude in a way that is real for you. Ask yourself, “What foods do or don’t support my healthy functioning body, clear mind, stable emotional life and stamina?”
“What foods do or don’t support a healthy local and global economy and ecology?”
Golden Polenta Triangles
In traditional American Indian cooking, whole corn is cooked with lime or wood ash until the hulls have loosened and the corn is soft. The corn is rinsed and cooked again before it is ground into dough. This dough, called masa, is used for especially tortillas. In this dish corn is milled, roasted, then soaked in a rich broth, and boiled until soft and smooth. If the weather is very hot, soak the cornmeal in the refrigerator, or use water with an added dash of vinegar, instead of soup stock.
1 cup corn flour or meal
2 1/2 cups nourishing stock, cooked on bones
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 –1 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter for frying (optional)
Roast the freshly ground corn flour lightly, in a heavy bottom pan, by stirring until a delightful aroma is released, and the flour is slightly golden.
When the flour has cooled, place it in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot. Add the soup stock. Let the cornmeal soak 8 hours in a cool place.
Add sea salt and bring the corn mixture to a boil, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Place a flame spreader under the pot and cook covered over low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse a glass bread pan in cold water. Pour the cooked cornmeal, or polenta into the pan and let cool completely.
Transfer polenta to a cutting board. Cut the polenta into thick slices then on the diagonal, to create triangles. Serve polenta triangles at room temperature with hot beans, or fry the triangles before serving.
Cooking for the Love of the World:
Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking
by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt
A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking.
"Cooking delicious nourishing meals - with heart and soul - is easy, fast, and fun with this great guide. Everything you need to know is right here - along with exercises and experiences that will help you love cooking, love yourself,
and love the earth."
-Susun S. Weed, Author, Healing Wise
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