Heart Kitchen Ramblings

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Today is the day. Simon has invited me up to attend a little brunch he is preparing to mark the launch of Heart Kitchen. Steph is taking stills of all the wonderful food that Simon is lovingly preparing, but, what is this? There is a camera rolling. What the heck? A few photos have now turned into a film shoot in Simon’s inimitable style. “It will only take half an hour,” He states confidently, evidently aware that his band of followers are starving hungry, and getting more so by the minute because of the appetising aromas emanating from the kitchen.  Simon starts chatting to the camera, giving us fascinating analogies around the food he has sourced; for example, did you know that smashing (and I mean properly pulverising) a head of wet (i.e. fresh) garlic is far better than slicing it? Most people still like to slice their garlic into tiny slivers, but now here’s the thing……I am going to share a little secret with you. Garlic has an interesting quality; it heals itself, just like your finger would if you sliced through it with a nice sharp kitchen knife. The garlic wants to hang on to its juice – its life force, and therefore begins to self-repair to protect itself, thus locking in all its flavour and juiciness. If you throw slivers of this cut garlic into hot oil it will start to burn and taste bitter. However, if you SMASH it………it can’t heal itself so it will release all of its life-force and flavour into your food. So like the garlic, life rarely comes in neat little slivers; neat little steps; straight little lines….   We need to FEEL smashed – our relationships, finances, health etc. will all ultimately benefit when we release our life force. It is like our fuel, we become more alive, vibrant, connected….. we show up, warts and all…… letting more of ourselves out there and letting more of life in…..geddit? And boy does that garlic smell so wonderful when it is smashed! My favourite analogy however, is the one about the muddy water. Now Simon has 2 jars of water sitting on the counter; One looking very cloudy and murky and in no way clear; and the other has a thick layer of mud on the bottom but is beautifully bright and sparkly in the middle section, as clear as day as they say. (Who are they?) The muddy murky jar has been shaken and agitated, and will therefore take ages to settle into clarity; whereas the bright sparkly jar has been sitting quietly, minding its own business. Look at the 2 jars, what do you notice? The second, still, jar is perfectly clear. So why not take a few minutes, like the jar, to be still with yourself, – no, don’t reach for the coffee jar; step away from the radio – even Classic FM isn’t allowed, let alone Coldplay; put down Hello Magazine – a quick flick through the gossip is not being still – even writing your to-do list or stretching your hamstrings does not qualify as still! Just you, sitting, still. Not thinking, not planning, not eating a sandwich, and just being, quietly, effortlessly, tranquilly, STILL. When you have achieved stillness; focus on the area you may call your heart space and breathe into it, then be still with yourself for a while longer. If you can practice getting still like this, you should find that the stillness created enables you to ‘get present’ with your delicious food, or indeed any other aspect of life, even when you are doing other things; so that you can be right here, right now, and not drifting off into cloud cuckoo land, which is not very helpful at all, especially when you are chopping with sharp knives! (See above 😉 ) While you are practising getting still and focussing, does anything POP UP? Let Heart Kitchen know what happens when you try this little exercise, we would be really interested to get involved in a heart-centred conversation around it. Meanwhile, back at the Heart Kitchen shoot; Simon is busy chopping, chatting, sharing and creating – more of which to come later. We (Sue, Simon, Steph and I) sat down some two and a half hours later (OK so we are working on the timings) to the most delicious locally sourced; lovingly prepared lunch of smoked gammon, poached egg, asparagus, hollandaise sauce and sourdough, – recipes of which are to follow, but, suffice to say, we did real justice to that lunch. I only hope he will do many more of them, so that I can share some more of his insights with you.

Author: Celia

The Rambler, AKA Celia Dulieu
Celia has been sharing food, wine, recipes and friendship with Simon and Sue Gale for more than 15 years.
In a former life she was a mass caterer, working for large companies such as Selfridges, London; but after moving to the countryside with husband, 2 kids and dog, she resurrected her love of food, - particularly by entertaining her large extended family to lunches ,sharing informal get togethers with friends, and developing her small but productive kitchen garden. She is passionate about all things to do with food and wine; from where it is produced to how it arrived on her doorstep.
Celia’s love of meeting people, visiting places and trying different things has culminated in being invited to get involve with writing up the experiences of the Heart Kitchen and sharing her love of food with you through her ramblings.