While I still haven’t been able to put into words just yet my experience at Matrilumina, details of my time there find thier way into my everyday routines now as tiny gifts. Small proof I was actually there and it wasn’t a dream. The beautiful organic gardens of Esalen nourished us so deeply. Our food was rich, clean, freshly picked and wildly flavorful. I preferred to take my breakfast alone, over looking the giant turquoise sea, waking slowly with just the sky before our full day of gathering together. I miss this short hour of simple morning meditation that my early-to-rise children don’t always allow. But I have managed to recreate, to the best of my ability, one of the amazing cereals that was prepared for us there. Both my kids eat the heck out of it too, which is a blessing in and of itself. Our usual quinoa cereals have always been on the sweet side, raisins, coconut etc. But this savory version they created embodies the richness that the Matrilumina week was so filled with.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa. Reduce to simmer. Cover, let stand 11 minutes. When finished fluff quinoa with fork and remove from heat.
Saute 1/2 an onion in a bit of oil or butter until translucent, maybe 7 minutes or so. Chop three kale leaves, removing the ribs, and stir fry 3-4 minutes until vibrant green and a bit soft. Add a splash of water or broth if the veggies seem to stick to the pan. Remove from heat when finished.
(for my vegan lovebugs, the cereal is quite amazing without the eggs as well)
Fill small pan with water. Bring to boil. Add 4 eggs with a spoon, carefully. Boil, uncovered 6 minutes. Remove from pan with spoon and rinse under cold water. Peel.
Prepare Dish Delish
Stir greens into quinoa. Add a splash of herbal vinegar or lemon juice, and a double splash of aminos, like Bragg’s. Stir in a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a bit of nutritional yeast. Fill an oatmeal bowl 2/3 full with quinoa greens mixture and add two soft boiled eggs. Mix and mush all with a fork. Add salt to taste. Enjoy.
Nourishment of this kind seems so much deeper than noting the amount of protein and vitamins in the kale. It goes beyond recent arguments and ‘scientific’ studies about the nutrient content of organic foods. No. This kind of nourishment feeds us not simply at a cellular level but a soulular level. With every bite, I inhale the freshness of sea air, hear the waves crashing against the dark rocks, exhale as my fears and worries soar on with the silent morning seagull. It’s a multi-sensory imprint of an entire experience that deeply fed me. One, that I can relive as soon as any one of those same sensory memories are triggered. The mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. So even among the chaos of a morning with two hungry tots arguing over the bowl with the bunnies on it, kettle whistles blowing and butts needing wiped, the moment the first bite hits my tongue, and that taste memory connects to my heart, I am back at Big Sur hearing the waves crash, watching the seagulls soar and a new kind of meditation emerges. The StoryFood Meditation.
This is one of those recipes that my daughters will receive. One that I hope will stay in our family for generations. As well as the story that created it for us. About how mama was brave enough to fill her baskets and relish in a week of self-care. About how important that choice is. About the connections made, and how so many things grew out of it. I crave this connection again to our healing experience. I miss the time of storyfood. You know, Aunt Susan’s perfect pie crust, and that amazing soup you made the fall when all the pumpkins went bad. Where what we feed ourselves is more than the nutritional value of its components. It’s a connection to an experience, a lifestyle, a story, that doesn’t leave us empty and have us running to the cabinet to fill up on nothing. But instead, it’s a memory, awakened by our sensory experiences creating a connection to our past by leaving gifts to our future.
I’d love to hear if you have a StoryFood. Please share in the comments if you like.