The Fool's Kitchen . . .
Inspired by photographer Dina Belenko’s “Ordinary Magical Kitchen” collection (examples above), I decided to expand my planned culinary topic into two posts.
Recently I’ve thought about publishing a small version of one project I laid out many years ago. It was called The Fool’s Kitchen: A Tarot Cookbook—and I suppose it might as well be called that still.
At the time, I created a proposal, an outline, and several sample pages (with recipes). It really is a cookbook, by the way, not a grimoire. Never mind why I didn’t go ahead with it then—long story. But looking at it now, I think it would be a great deal of fun to finish.
Here are the four main parts:
Welcome to The Fool's Kitchen: An Introduction to Archetypal Cooking
The Trumps Set the Table: Twenty-Two Foolish Feasts
The Four Food Groups: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles
Further Foolishness: Enriching the Kitchen Journey
Here are some example menus from the “Twenty-Two Foolish Feasts”:
High Tea for the High Priestess
A Picnic for the Empress
A Square Meal for the Emperor
Fast Food for the Charioteer
And here’s a further look into the “Four Food Groups”:
Modern science provides a different view of matter and energy, but the four elements still organize our psychological sense of the cosmos very well. Earth is stable and solid, air fine and sharp, fire warm and quick, water cool and fluid. Together, they make up our world of experience—and the world, in turn, gives us the amazing array of foods we enjoy.
Corresponding with fire, the Wands group encompasses the foods that excite and energize us, along with cooking that makes use of fire: spicy recipes, grilled and roasted foods, fondues and raclettes, peppers, onions, and garlic, Italian, Indian, and Mexican cuisines, the picnics and cookouts of summer.
The water suit of Cups resonates with foods that feed our feelings and with cooking that makes use of water: fish and shellfish, steamed and boiled foods, Chinese and Japanese cuisines, juices and beverages, pastas and grains, sweet dishes, and the harvest bounty of fall.
Swords, the suit of air, brings together foods that engage our attention and cooking that makes use of air: sharp and tangy flavors, fruits, souffles, cheeses, crunchy foods, French cuisine, cold foods and salads, the fresh and delicate foods of spring.
Finally, the Pentacles group, corresponding with earth, is about foods that nourish the soul and cooking that intensifies flavor: root and cruciferous vegetables, baked and braised and stewed foods, cuisines of Africa and the American South, the comforting richness of winter’s food.
These are just a few glimpses into the rich categories of the four Tarot food groups. Each section would be filled with recipes, quick-meal tips, and food lore. Here’s an example, from the Pentacles section:
Ask people to guess what’s in this exotic spread, and no one will ever suspect anchovies! Its rich, mysterious flavor would make it a favorite of the Nine of Pentacles lady. Take anchoiade on an evening picnic, with slices of toasted French bread, a blue cheese (such as Stilton or Saga Blue), and a smoky tea like Russian Caravan, or perhaps a rich red Zinfandel.
You will need:
2/3 C hazelnuts (shelled)
1 C dried figs (quartered)
1 2-oz can anchovy filets with oil
3 large cloves of garlic (pressed)
1/4 C olive oil
Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet and toast in a 300° oven for 5 minutes. Put the nuts in a food processor and chop roughly. Add all other ingredients except oil and pulse until the mixture is an even consistency. Then turn the food processor on and slowly pour in the oil. The spread should now be a grainy puree. Anchoide will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks, and makes a terrific treat for unexpected visitors.
Come back tomorrow for an Empress-worthy dessert!