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Monthly Archives: November 2010
Just in time for the holidays…
IN FIORE LIMITED EDITION PRINT, 2011: “Les Proprietes Alchimiques des Nourritures” Alchemic Properties of Food is a listing of the alchemical properties of over 100 foods. 22″ x 34″ Newsprint. Edition of 1,000.
Available for $20 starting November 30th at Parfumerie In Fiore and www.infiore.net
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
Eating simply. Winter squash, sage, garlic, olive oil, butter, salt, pepper and fire.
Squash are gourds that grow on vines and are part of the melon family. Due to their high carotene properties, winter squash exert a protective effect against many cancers, especially lung cancer. The fleshy rinds of many squash are edible, while the seeds are known to be highly nutritional and widely used for medicinal purposes all over the world. The pumpkin is the most eaten squash; it is a symbol of prosperity and fruitfulness in China, even though the first pumpkins came from India. Hollowed-out pumpkins with scary faces are used to frighten away evil forces on Halloween night.
Sage is a powerful protectorant and healing agent and was sacred to the supreme gods, Zeus and Jupiter. Today, its healing energy is said to originate from the Virgin Mary. According to Medieval folklore, all you have to do to become immortal is take a little sage each day, especially in the month of May. Toads love sage and are said to be attracted to the plant’s primal power. The most powerful sage is picked on the summer solstice at the first ray of dawn, though an old superstition says that you should never pick your own sage but always buy it from a stranger. Sage opens one’s artistic faculties by stimulating the Throat Chakra. It is known that the herb kills bacteria, prevents spoilage, aids digestion, and reduces high blood sugar. It is also a remedy for angina, edema, and night sweats.
Garlic was known and used at least as far back as 3000 BC. In early antiquity, it was sacred to the goddess Hecate and left at crossroads as a sacrifice to her. The pungent cloves were also used for protection against evil and to break curses and hexes, and psychic cooks rub garlic into pots and pans to remove negative influences that might contaminate food. When eaten, garlic stimulates the immune system to protect the body, although it is said to induce lustful behavior in some people. Garlic is a proven antibiotic, cholesterol reducer, blood pressure reducer, and general heart remedy.
Olive oil dates back at least 5,000 years, and the versatile oil was burned in lamps, used in cooking, and applied as an ointment in purification rituals. Even today, in North Africa, the plough is smeared with virgin olive oil before it cuts the first furrow of the planting season. The ritual is designed to ease the pain of mother earth before she is raped and fertilized by man.
Butter is the churned cream of milk and was part of the Mesopotamian diet around 3500 BC. The ancients considered it a miraculous and sacred food, because it was a solidification of the nurturing properties of milk. Butter adds tenacity to all types of food and is used to soothe troubled relationships.
Photo courtesy of whatkatieate
“Harem,” by photographer Lalla Essaydi
On view at Edwynn Houk Gallery :: 4 November 2010 – 15 January 2011
Shot in a former harem in Morocco, this stunning photo series features women swathed in robes that echo the traditional patterns of decorative Moroccan tile. Having navigated the labyrinthine corridors to reach the actual harem quarters, the models are at once camouflaged with the decoration that surrounds them and emerging from the traditional spaces they once occupied.
Essaydi was born in Morocco, raised in Saudi Arabia, educated in Europe and the US, and now living in New York. Her work examines ideas of women in Islamic culture. “In my art,” Essaydi says, “I wish to present myself through multiple lenses — as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.”
“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” –Lauren Bacall
CLOVES are the dried flower buds of a coastal tree. They are used to attract love and money and for psychic protection. The Chinese called them “birds’ tongues,” and Europeans referred to them as the “grains of paradise.” Cloves are said to help one penetrate illusion, and the Romans burned them as incense to keep others from making up lies or gossiping about them. In the Middle Ages, cloves were used to fight the plague and cure impotence. Today, herbalists prescribe them as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent.
CINAMMON comes from the fragrant bark of an evergreen tree of the laurel family and is thought to increase spirituality and psychic insight by stimulating the Crown Chakra. The tree must grow for eight years before its thick bark is mature enough to be harvested. Cinnamon oil was used in the mummification process by the Egyptians and was applied as a holy anointing oil in ancient Hebrew rituals. Cinnamon was also sacred to the Greek god of ecstasy, Dionysus. When it is burned as incense or added to foods, cinnamon raises spiritual energy to a higher level. The spice is recognized for its healing properties and is used as an antiseptic and painkiller. It is also known to stop diarrhea, lower blood pressure, and increase insulin production.
CARDAMOM, also known as amomum, is a zesty flavoring made from the seeds of an Asian plant. The alluring power of cardamom is said to increase the strength of marriages and all types of unions, and the ground-up seeds are used to make love potions. Because of its superb aroma, cardamom was burnt as an offering to the gods and became an ingredient in many perfumes. It was also used as a sore throat and cough remedy and to expel intestinal worms. The spice eases upset stomachs, and it is often added as a flavoring to coffee or cocoa.
Allspice is made from a plant native to tropical America and got its name because its aroma and flavor resemble a combination of various cooking herbs. Considered a lucky spice, it is said to promote health in an individual and prosperity in a family. Allspice is burned as incense to attract money.