Good day everyone! I hope you all enjoyed those breakfast ideas in the last post. Perhaps you had a quiet moment to yourself over the weekend. Maybe you found yourself spitting mimosas through your nose at brunch. Or who knows, maybe both!
Today I wanted to share something special with you all. I asked my soul mate and fellow lover of all things coconut, Sway, if she would like to write something for my blog. She has a consciousness about her, a steady disposition, and a profound relationship with life. Plus, I love her a whole lot! I was so happy when she was just as excited about writing a post, as I was. She’s actually graced us with her presence on here before… a couple little reunions in Richmond (made complete with a hot chocolate request since it was written in invisible ink on the menu), and also when we went on a road trip to Florida.
Sway has traveled and lived around the world practically her whole life. She grew up in England, Japan and Germany before moving back to the US for her senior year of high school. Her travels have taken her to North Africa and all over Europe. When she came into this world she emerged from the crest of a breathtaking wave out in California. Dancing her way through life, she currently perfects her pointes at Alvin Ailey. She is also a freelance writer for Interview, is currently working on a book/magazine, and a few creative side projects. A lady on the move, especially when she’s running. And when she’s not on the move she finds stillness in her yoga practice. Of course, there is always room for older Woody Allen movies that make her laugh until she cries. So without further ado, here’s our guest of honor. Let’s start things off with a nice, refreshing beverage…
Watermelon and Coconut Slushie
1. Throw some watermelon chunks into the blender with some coconut water, and blend.
2. Add more or less of each ingredient until it’s a slushy consistency.
Note: honeydew is also another good/lighter alternative to watermelon.
I also make a coconut water americano with a shot of espresso over ice with coconut water as the “water” in the americano. Since coconut water naturally has a slightly sweet taste, there’s no need for any sort of sugars.
My interest was piqued when Katharina asked me to share a little bit about myself and the way I prepare and approach food and cooking, and how that relates to my general lifestyle. I addressed the issue like every other straightforward question I’ve been posed with in my lifetime–which is to say, I immediately sank into deep philosophical brooding.
If you think about it, these little daily idiosyncratic habits are (in my opinion) amplified fragments that reflect who we are as individuals. So with that in mind, the self-examination of any routine can become a loaded one.
So how do I eat? How do I prepare food? To put it simply, I eat and prepare food the same way that I engage in every aspect of my life. Internally, I weigh every option heavily and with great care, dissecting every possible outcome and then, when it comes time to act–I find myself relying entirely on instinct. I always take what I believe is the simplest route possible, which maybe doesn’t always translate to what is least complicated in reality. This is not necessarily time consuming, but it can be intellectually distracting. For instance, despite the fact that I often find myself circling Whole
Foods for 40 minutes–shopping basket tucked into the crook of my arm as I examine every new granola, google recipes on my iPhone, turn over packages to scrutinize ingredients–I always leave with the same items. The coconut water, the loaf of bread, avocado, rice, carton of eggs, roasted almonds.
In the same way, I stewed over writing this, completing two separate drafts with notes, before shutting off my laptop without saving, and beginning again at this very moment, refusing–for this final draft–to try and remember what I wrote initially. Could I have reached the same conclusions without the the charts, maps and outlines? Is it a waste of time if in the end they are thrown away, ignored for the visceral? I would like to think it isn’t. Maybe my internal fretting is my version of whisking an egg white into a foam, blending a pancake batter, dicing an onion.
I grew up scattered around Europe and in Japan, and it heavily influenced my diet in ways that do not seem unordinary to me, but can often cause others to blanche. I find a big order of salmon sashimi at breakfast relaxing. I’ve been lucky enough to have Katharina cook for me on numerous occasions and I approach her food with the same attention as a plate of raw liver and uni, which is to say, with great enthusiasm. I find the mechanics of detailed preparation to be exotic, and I delight in the obvious physical care and patience required for such undertakings.
In the same way, I also enjoy “cooking” for friends. My version involves very few ingredients, spices, mixing, or heating–but no shortage of endless mental attention and rumination. A tartine with a guerkin and hummus. Blood orange and olives left to marinate. A fresh papaya cut in half.
And I wonder, what does all this mean? Something so basic and unavoidable as food. This necessity in our lives that we find different ways to live with, to celebrate, and yet I handle this responsibility so gingerly, so ambivalently? What does it mean that my food preparation manifests itself so internally? Am I simply too lazy to prep, bake, mix or sauté?
But then I scrap all of that, and I think that the answer I find simplest is; we all play jazz a little differently. And while I can find myself fascinated by Coltrane’s Giant Steps
my version is probably a bit closer to Joe Pass.
I feel quite blessed to have someone so close to me be inspiring and very connected. To read more writing by Sway check out her collection over at Interview.