Tag Archive: Goddess Kali

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Other Vegetables (and the Goddess of Sequencing)

Cooking is not only an exquisite opportunity to notice and appreciate the various characteristics of the elements of our meal and how they react to heat and fat and cooking times and methods, but a wonderful way to appreciate how everything is ordered in time and space and to honor Kali — the Goddess of Sequencing.

Brussels sprouts seem to be fashionable this year.  I’ve always liked them.  My preferred method is to braise them:  saute lightly in olive oil and/or butter in a heavy pot with a lid, splash some dry sherry, wine, or vermouth into the cooking pot and stir until the liquid is absorbed, add some broth or water (not quite to cover) plus salt and herbs of your choice, simmer until the brussel sprouts are tender and the liquid is absorbed.

My friends are gushing about roasted brussels sprouts.  I think the tenderizing, fat-adding delight of roasting has made the much maligned brussels sprout more accessible:  toss with olive oil, salt, garlic, and herbs such as rosemary and thyme.  Roast at 400F until tender and browned (15-20 minutes).  Use peanut oil, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce or Braggs amino liquids for an Asian meal.  Try safflower oil, turmeric, ground ginger, garlic, and ground coriander seeds to serve with Indian food.  Use just butter (or if vegan a light, relatively flavorless oil such as safflower or canola), salt, paprika, and pepper for an Eastern European flavor.

Whenever I roast vegetables, I toss in an extra head of garlic (separated into cloves), and serve some with the vegetables and reserve some for cooking something else with roasted garlic.  Include a variety of vegetables.  Just remember that different vegetables need different cooking times.  To recognize the mysteries of the Goddess of Sequencing in time and space — you have two choices in roasting vegetables.  You can cut the vegetables into different sizes (so you would leave brussels sprouts whole, cut winter squash or turnips into cubes a little smaller than the brussels sprouts, and potatoes into wedges or rectangles that are narrower than the brussels sprouts for them all to be golden and tender, but not overcooked at the same time.  As an alternative (as we do with sauteing or stir-frying), you can add different vegetables at different times.  You might need a combination of both techniques.  If you wanted to add mushrooms to the mix, since those would need to be larger than brussels sprouts, you would want to add the mushrooms later lest they get withered — how much later depends on the size of the mushrooms relative to the other vegetables.

Enjoy (and give homage)!

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Gardening, Cleaning, Cooking (and Vinyasa Krama and Kali)

Vinyasa krama is the art of sequencing.  How a yoga practice or flow is sequenced can determine whether it is uplifting or inward going, exhilarating or calming.  When we are trained and attentive, we start to know the most optimal order to open our bodies and our focus to align with the time of day, the season, the weather, our mood, and our health.  This incredible art helps us be positioned and aligned in a way that we feel free in time and space, rather than being constrained by time and space.

This morning while I was out in the garden, I was thinking a lot about vinyasa krama and the goddess Kali — goddess of, among other things, time and change, and thus, of sequencing.  I woke very early, brought to consciousness by the long light of the solstice even through closed curtains.  As I went about my morning, rinsing the sprouts while heating the water for my morning coffee; cutting back the greens and herbs before starting breakfast; doing the major pruning and clean-up before doing more decorative garden work; finishing cooking before taking out the recycling; applying a facial mask before starting to vacuum; never walking up or down the stairs empty-handed; waiting to gather the bills until after I was clean and waiting for friends to arrive, etc., I realized how important sequencing is to the richness of my days.  By knowing the best way to order tasks for my needs, my day is simultaneously productive, unhurried, and enjoyable.

By the time my friends arrived around noon, I had meditated, taken care of the garden, gathered food for my own breakfast and to share with friends, talked to neighbors, cleaned the house and myself, done a little asana, written in my journal, and sorted the mail.  Had I not known from long experience and conscious attention how to sequence all the different elements, knowing which ones went together, which took longest, which ones if done earlier or later would create double clean up, etc, I would have been tired and the tasks unfinished.  Instead, after brunch, I came home to a tended garden, a freshly made bed, and time to enjoy a quiet evening.

These sequencing principles also apply for me on major projects at work.  If ordered one way, the work is exponentially harder, the deadline a fearsome thing; if ordered another way, everything comes together mostly as it should when it should.  When I order my work with attention (this assumes others cooperate with this endeavor), I have time to do a good, careful job and still take breaks, eat well, and leave the office in time to take or teach yoga class.

Whether you are doing your home yoga practice or cooking or working, choose to sequence the elements of your practice, your activities, or your day, with attentiveness, reverence, love, and respect, and Kali will support you and not show you her most fearsome face.

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