In a cottage on a lake in the country outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, I find sanctuary in my kitchen and garden from the harried life of a Ph.D. student. Food is an object of political concern and intellectual curiosity, but especially a passion and a way of life for me. The kitchen, in turn, is a magical place of healing, experimentation, play, discovery, loving kindness, health, and peace. It is a place for singular meditative practice, a place for laughter and sharing. It's no wonder that all of my dearest friends also cherish cooking and baking.
The Empress is one of the cast of characters in the tarot deck, signifying creativity, ripeness, and the gestation of what is to be born. To me she is a symbol of nourishment, of life-giving, and all that I love about the act of preparing food. She also reminds me of the seasons, of the importance of waiting for the most delicious things we have anticipated, both in the kitchen, and in life in general.
Here, I reflect on the fruits of my labor in the kitchen, with an emphasis on local, natural, slow food, whole grains and raw, unprocessed, organic ingredients.