I’m in the process of moving out of my wonderful house right now. It’s a long story about how and why I decided to do this, but I know it’s all for the best. I’m still hoping to continue hosting the intimate “Underground Cafes” that have been happening once a month there, with great live music and simple but undoubtedly gourmet meals that are served to the guests who mostly sit around the wood stove on pillows on our floor. Things like morel and wild rice stew with preserved lemons, fir oil, and nettle pesto, gluten free buckwheat oat bread, elderberry sundaes made with homemade, organic coconut milk ice cream are all included in the donation, along with the performances. And then, we also have herbal teas, herbal products and elixirs, and my chocolate truffles for sale. Yes, it’s even more fun than it sounds! (our next one is March 14th, you can message me– “Elka Wilder” on FB for details and reservations).
It’s been such a bittersweet time, these last days making magic in the kitchen with my beloved sisters, who are all also in the process of moving out. Actually, at the moment, only Monica is left, of our original tribe of Seven Wild Sisters (this is a reference to a book by Charles DeLint that Kiva cherished and I had not yet gotten around to reading, but am greatly looking forward to doing so, once life calms down a bit!)
On a bit of a tangent, one day we all figured out that there was an interesting ladder of ages happening in our little tribe:
Bri’s the youngest, although it’s pretty hard to tell, at 24
Next comes Kat, Monica’s best friend from Missouri, who’s 25
Then it’s Julesy, who 26
Then it’s Monica, who is 27
Then Hollie, at 28
Then Jessica aka Camitza, at 29, deep in Saturn-return land….
and then me, who is at least twenty years older than most of them!
Really, we are all older and younger than our years, and one of the things I like best about how we were together is that we often got to feel the strange truth of this non linear reality we shared. I especially loved when we would act like really small children together, or old married couples, or fussy, indulgent grandmas. But, at the same time, we also sometimes brought out the teenagers in each other, all of us. Which was quite fun, sometimes… but sometimes, not so much! So many stories I could tell, and maybe will, someday… we’ll have to sit on them for a little while, first.
So, in the past few weeks, the Orange House kitchen has been a busy place. I taught them all how to make Fir Oil, the way Kiva and I did it in the canyon. We processed a huge jackfruit and made hummus with its seeds. We’ve been making lots of Nettle Pesto with the last of the dried nettles Vittorio gave me last Spring. Kat and Monica made a lot of CBD oil, garlic honey, Fire Cider, and Elderberry Syrup. I made a big batch of very thick elderberry syrup to use at the Underground Cafes. Monica’s been making tinctures with the herbs she harvested from the gardens she tended last year. One day (that I was, thankfully, not at the house) Kat said she washed ten racks full of herbal product related dishes! Oh my.
One of the big reasons I’m moving out is that it seems way too easy in that house to spend all my time in the kitchen. And you all know how I cherish those hours, but time keeps flying by and there are other things I intend to create in this lifetime besides amazing foods.
For one, it really is time to get some completion happening in cookbook-land! Stay posted, it’s happening!! And music making is becoming way more of a priority in my life. Honestly, if I could work it out for my finances to be covered somehow, I would be working on music for most of my waking hours. There’s so much I want to learn and create. But for now, I’m seeing my kitchen skills, and the cookbook as a way to help make the music studies and creation possible. We’ll see what happens!