Sankofa

The inaugural blog post for Break Bread Not Hearts is here!  This comes after years of countless hours at farmers markets, numerous crossroads and overcome obstacles within life and the never ending journey of soul searching.  The culmination of these processes and explorations is now an organization which will be the vehicle to effect change literally from the ground up.  

At the root of all flux is the unchanging aspect that we are all connected.  We must always remember and practice this.  In West African symbolism the Sankofa Bird represents the concept that as we move forward as communities and individuals reflecting upon the past will ensure a firm footing for all future endeavors.

Bluntly, in order to know where you're going you must know where you're coming from.

Urban eARTh Photo from Chef D'Esprit

Urban eARTh

Photo from Chef D'Esprit

We all come from the earth right?  Time to time we may seem far removed, but agriculture is the constant reminder.  Well this past weekend while visiting one of my favorite farmers markets in Pleasantville, NY I stopped by Little Seed Gardens.  They are one of the prime examples of sustainable farming in New York state.  Their website states, "We are committed to agricultural practices that protect land and human resources, build biological diversity, and produce quality food for our local communities."  All of these ideals and more are certainly effectuated efficiently.

Last year Little Seed Gardens began growing ginger and I have employed its sweet and spicy pungency into dishes from oatmeal to various curries.  Knowing the similarities of ginger and turmeric as they both grow as rhizomes I inquired whether they would attempt growing turmeric as well.  Fast forward a year and there is now locally grown organic turmeric which exceeds any I've tasted or cooked with.

My dog China agrees with my opinion.  She was struck by a vehicle last year right as Hurricane Sandy commenced and turmeric was utilized in a holistic approach to heal her broken leg and wounds.  There will be more details to come on this event and healing process in a future post.

 

Chef tested, canine approved

Chef tested, canine approved

Claudia Kenny, one of the owners of Little Seed Gardens spotted me as soon as I approached the freshly harvested turmeric.  She then proceeds to hand me several stalks of turmeric and requested I come up with a recipe utilizing this precious root.  For that reason I have created this post.  

Turmeric's use has roots within Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, a traditional healing system developed by yogis in India many millennia ago.  Currently 94% of the worlds turmeric originates from India.  Studies have proven turmeric to almost be a panacea.  

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (Inflammation is now believed to be at the root of all chronic disorders) which mitigate arthritic and other conditions of chronic pain.
  • Curcuminoids the family of compounds responsible for turmeric's health promoting attributes are antioxidants.  Therefore, the liver the body's master organ which regulates and processes all substances from food and drugs to purifying the blood receives an extra detoxifying hand from turmeric's fingers.
  • One of the world's leading authorities on Ayurvedic medicine Vasant Lad states, "Turmeric gives the energy of the Divine Mother and grants prosperity.  It is effective for cleansing the chakras and purifying the channels of the subtle body."

I personally love to add turmeric into any dish I prepare and will dive deeper into the extensive health benefits this plant provides in a later article.   But for now in the following posts here are several recipes I've created using turmeric and love as the main ingredients.

Giovanni Green

Chef D'Amour

 

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Love.