Oneness Ministry

We are One

My Secrets to Cooking

The following consists of a few of my thoughts on cooking from a creative point of view. I love taking standard recipes and making them my own. I also love using what I have and creating something yummy. It really is easy, though it does take practice.

The secret to making a meal is simple really and consists of 4 parts. A sauce, a vegetable, a starch, and a meat. Think of the sauce as the base. There are 4 options here, broth (vegetable or meat), cream based (milk or lactose free), oil based (Olive oil or many others), or cheese based (like nachos or broccoli soup). Some of these options can be combined like in broccoli soup. In the broth category I include tomato sauce.

The next layer is a vegetable and includes many options. It is possible to skip this option as long as the vegetable is served on the side. We all need our veggies! Often the veggie is the main course as well, it just depends on the meals purpose and who is eating it. The whole balanced diet thing we were taught is school, does make sense, so don’t stray from this too far.

The next layer is the starch, which is optional. Many folks will use this as the base, as in rice or pasta. Technically peas and corn are starches, so sometimes a meal will have more than one starch. Other starches include potatoes, legumes, nuts, and any of the grains.

The last layer is optional and includes any meat, land or sea based. Take fried chicken for instance, this is a meat and should be served with a veggie and a starch like cornbread or mashed potatoes. Meat often serves the purpose of adding flavor to the meal and nothing else. Nothing wrong with this, just remember that protein comes from many different foods like certain veggies, starches, and sauces.

This approach was inspired by cooking fondue, where the first thing is to choose a base sauce to cook in and then the item to be cooked, like veggies, meat, etc. Cheese fondue with crusted sourdough bread and a dash of hot sauce… WOW. Hot pot would be another version of this cooking method, though Asians are not big on cheese, which is why I prefer it as I am lactose sensitive. Cooking by recipe can be a great way to get started and as you practice certain patterns will emerge. Certain foods go together as do certain spices. The topic of which spices to use fills entire books, so do your research. Then, practice makes perfect, so jump in and give it a go. There is no right or wrong, although the goal is to create something tasty and nourishing which doesn’t always happen. The other principle I follow when cooking is the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sequoia). Keep the number of ingredients to a minimum. I go by the five-item rule. There are always exceptions, to every rule; however, unless following a recipe you know is good, stick with the rules.

The other thing to consider is the pH of the food. Tomatoes are acid and help to break down tough foods like certain meats. It works really well with pot roast and Salisbury steak. Cream sauce is base and goes well with seafood. Since I don’t do milk anymore, I prefer to use oil and wine with my seafood. Wine is another acid I like to use because it adds lots of flavor. Stick with the standard, red wine for red meat and white wine for light meats and seafood. Another way to use pH is in marinades. By soaking food in a brine solution this can help make it juicer and softer when cooked. Alcoholic beverages, citrus juice, vinegar, etc. can also be used in a marinade. It all depends on what needs to be accomplished. For instance, gamey flavor of wild meats softened, cheap cuts of meat improved, or bland meats enhanced with deeper flavor.

If you are looking for a good source of recipes, I suggest using and Alton Brown’s recipes. Of course, there are many other good resources, so go where your gut takes you. Bon Appetit!

Sequoia Elisabeth

Oneness Ministry

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Suicide – Not A Choice

Transition can get to be overwhelming at times which can lead a person to look for an escape.  The pain gets too great and the options get too few, so what’s a person to do?  Suicide thoughts creep in and suddenly thoughts of death (escape) become overwhelming.  It seems so easy, a few too many pills or the slice of a knife in the right spot or one pull of a trigger. 

Let me assure you there is nothing to escape from.  Suicide is not the answer you seek.  What I will tell you is that those feelings are stemming from isolation and fear.  There are always options!  In some strange way, feeling like suicide is actually an option can be comforting.  Just keep it as option “Z”.  I like to list my options for remedying my situation from A to Z, which gives me 26 options to choose from and reaching option “Z” is very unlikely.  Just knowing that you have that many options is comforting.

Talk to someone who can relate to your situation.  Share your thoughts and feelings with someone who cares.  Ask for other options that maybe you cannot see.  If for some reason you cannot find someone who cares, which is not unusual in this situation, talk to God, Holy Spirit, Allah, Buddha, Great Spirit, Goddess, or whichever Deity you relate to.  By sharing your troubles the burden you feel is lifted. 

Shifting your viewpoint will help you move beyond your feelings of hopelessness.  Embrace whatever change is knocking at your door.  Welcome it in and see how you can best participate in this transition.  An “I can” attitude or “I can, with help” attitude will go a long way to moving you beyond the depressive state you are in.  Allowing others to help you is part of the give and receive cycle that life runs on, when we withdraw from this cycle our life stops flowing and depression sets in.  Getting back into the flow of giving and receiving will help to alleviate any thoughts of suicide. 

When other people’s happiness becomes more important than your own the dark veil of depression will lift and the light of Joy will re-visit your life.  Caring about others in a healthy balanced way every day will assure that suicide thoughts never visit you again. 

Something that I realized when I was holding the barrel of a 357 in my mouth many years ago, I am being very selfish!  I am not hurting myself, instead I am hurting those I Love and those who Love me.  I could see them crying and I could feel the pain I would have brought into this world.  I asked myself, do I want to be the problem or the cure?  In that instant healing began and I put down the gun never to return to that point again. 

If those thoughts of suicide return and they have, all I do is remind myself that there are people who love me and hurting them is not the kind of person I choose to be.  I am alive because I have a gift to share with the world and when my time comes I will gladly go. 

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”
Richard Bach


😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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