Tarot by the Mouthful – The Fool

by Theresa Reed on March 29, 2015

Tarot by the Mouthful Theresa Reed and Kyle Cherek

Kyle is a foodie who loves Tarot. Theresa is a Tarot reader who loves food. 

Together, we host Tarot by the Mouthful: a mouthwatering, multi-media culinary tour through the world of Tarot. 

Sublime recipes. Soulful stories. Essays, videos, interviews and delicious surprises. 

Join us every Sunday for a new installment and get ready to sip, slurp, crunch and savor your way through the entire Tarot deck! 

This week: The Fool

Tarot by the Mouthful - The Fool

 

The Fool – The Fool represents the new beginning, the fresh start and the beginning of a new spiritual journey.  This carefree card also indicates the need to take a risk or a leap of faith.  Where do you need to take a chance?  What baggage are you ready to put behind you?  Look forward and don’t look back. The doors are wide open and you can move forward freely.

Kyle – The Fool is All

The Fool card, it seems to me, is all about  “the ‘feel’ of the thing, not the ‘think’ of the thing”.

Every chef, restaurateur, home cook, butcher, charcuterie maker, vintner, distiller, baker, hell even pastry chef, whom is attempting a dish in a new way, is working with The Fool.

A restaurant can’t be opened, cuisine can’t be pushed forward without risk or without the energy of the fool. The live kind.  The kind that reeks of new beginnings and is full of life. It’s the juice that drives us and the invigorating side of the coin who’s other half is failure.

Somewhere, between ambition, commitment, enervation and simply “doing it because it must be done”, chefs and cooks and those in the restaurant game work with this card each time they move the craft forward. Without the spirit of The Fool, no one, and I mean no one, takes the first step. The Fool embodies “risk” of  the ebullient kind.  His eyes are turned up, literally not seeing the downside, one step from disaster.

The verve it takes to open a restaurant is exceptional.  Starting a business is one thing, but putting forth sustenance, of either the high or low sort, corner dog stand or three-star endeavor is something entirely more.  Moreover, every time a chef or cook risks to move the tradition forward, whether with an innovation like Antonin Carem’s first version of a sous vide in pig’s belly, or Michael White’s play on tradition like his iconic Fusilli with Red Wine Braised Octopus and Bone Marrow, there is risk and The Fool’s power.   No craft can move forward without it. The Fool’s upturned eyes, and step off the edge. In good cooking, this spirit is crucial.

A few years back, on the red carpet of the James Beard Awards, I asked David Chang, the bad-ass chef of the Momofuku empire, if he had any advice to young chefs, “Burn and burn again” he said, “and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself.”

Theresa – The Fool and The Risk of a Perfect Soufflé

I am but a humble home cook with very gourmet tastes.  As a child, I often pored over my mother’s cookbooks, wishing she would whip up some exotic fare such as “baba au rhum” or chocolate mousse.

When I pressed for these fancy things, my mother would reply “those are too hard”.

This came from the mouth of a woman who made bread from scratch, Lady Esther cakes and Blitz Tortes, not to mention cream puffs that would put the ones at the state farm to shame.  She knew what she was good at and stayed in her comfort zone.

I, on the other hand, was more adventurous in my tastes and willingly dove in as soon as I had a kitchen of my own.  But even I, as daring as a cook I might be, stayed in my own comfort zone.  I too avoided certain things out of the fear that it might be “too hard.”

I especially avoided soufflés, those complicated, fussy egg creations that looked so elegant and light.  Although I would read about them, I never dared to try.

Until a few weeks ago.  It was time to put my fears to the side and dive in.

With my trusty Joy of Cooking by my side, I read through the instructions twice to make sure I was ready.  (My tattered copy has been a faithful companion for two decades.  It’s the one book I trust implicitly.)  I gathered my ingredients, took a deep breath, and began.

I carefully prepared my soufflé dish with butter and a thick coat of parmesan cheese (one can never have enough parm in my opinion).

tarot by the mouthful prepare soufflé

Then it was time to whip up my Béchamel sauce for the base.  I’m adept at making white sauces so this came together with no lumps.  After the sauce was completed, I added the cheese, seasonings, and egg yolks, one by one.

tarot by the mouthful whisk soufflé

Next, I beat the egg whites until they formed stiff, glossy peaks.  So far, so good.

tarot by the mouthful beat egg whites soufflé

I carefully folded the beaten egg whites into my soufflé base and then poured it into my prepared pan.

tarot by the mouthful fold soufflé

With fingers crossed, I slid the dish into the oven and crossed my fingers.  Everyone in the household was forbidden to make any noises or slam any doors.  I had heard that loud noises might cause the soufflé to “fall” and I was determined that I would not allow that to happen on my watch.

tarot by the mouthful  soufflé in the oven

It was hard to stay away from the oven door.  I peered through the glass, looking for signs of something happening.  Slowly, the soufflé began to rise!

tarot by the mouthful waiting for the soufflé

Forty-five minutes later, I pulled a glorious, beautifully browned and mile-high soufflé out of the oven.  It was light and airy – and utterly perfect.  My husband announced that it was one of the “best things he ever ate.”

soufflé

While this was a proud cooking accomplishment, the results didn’t matter. What mattered is that I overcame my unease and just did it.  That’s the spirit of The Fool – it’s that first step with complete trust despite the fear. It’s the jittery unknowing but doing it anyways.  It’s the chance that your soufflé (or any other event, path, etc) might well fail but still you move on and leap!

We don’t always get it right on the first shot but we try and try again because the beauty of life and tarot and cooking is that: the risk + the delicious journey that follows.

So what risks would you like to take this week?  Just do it!

Bon appetit!

Theresa & Kyle

 

Cheese Soufflé from Joy of Cooking

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter an 8-cup soufflé dish, six 8-ounce ramekins. Dust the insides with:

1/4 to 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or grated Parmesan

Shake out the excess.

Heat in a small skillet over medium heat:

I tablespoon of butter

Add and cook until softened, then set aside:

2 tablespoons minced shallots

Prepare the white sauce. Melt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat:

5 tablespoons butter

Whisk in until well blended and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes:

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use cornstarch to make this gluten-free)

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in:

1 1/2 cups milk

Return the pan to heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to cook, whisking, until the sauce is smooth and hot and has thickened, 2 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the sautéed shallots, along with:

1 1/4 cups lightly packed grates Swiss, Cheddar, or a combination of Swiss and

Parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground nutmeg

6 large egg yolks, added one by one

Beat vigorously to blend and set aside.  Beat until stiff but not dry.

Beat until stiff but not dry:

6 large egg whites

Pinch of salt

Stir one-quarter of the whites into the soufflé base to lighten it, then fold in the rest. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish, ramekins, or muffin tins. Bake until risen and golden brown on top, 40 to 45 minutes for a large soufflé, 20 to 25 minutes for individual soufflés. Serve immediately.

Joy of Cooking recipe for Ramp and Mushroom Soufflées:  http://www.thejoykitchen.com/recipe/ramp-and-mushroom-souffleés

Joy of Cooking cookbook: Joy of Cooking

photos from personal collection and Jessica Kaminski

Hungry for more? Click here to explore the entire Tarot by the Mouthful series, from the very first cardright up to our latest installment. Bon appetit!

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The Hit List – I’m Down with EPT

by Theresa Reed on March 28, 2015

An off-tune girl holds a positive test on pregnancy

I’m almost fifty and my normally reliable body has been quite wonky as of late.  It’s the big “change of life” mode over here so things are not predictable.

This “not knowing what to expect” business is not easy for a control freak like me. If I could micro-manage this menopause thing, believe me, I would.

I also cannot micro-manage my husband.

So when I didn’t get a period weeks after a bottle of wine and one careless night of passion, I went into full blown panic mode.

I have never, ever missed one.  Is this it?  Menopause?  Does it just stop like that?

Or…could I be pregnant?

Crap.

Now the real freak out began as every day I anxiously waited for a “sign” of something… anything.

And of course, my mind got real stupid, really fast.

I began scouring the web every night to see if it was possible for a woman of my age to conceive naturally.  It was. And to add to my angst, I was sure to find all sorts of horror stories about the risks that came with pregnancy at this late stage.

I went from that to researching how to get my cycle rebooted: vitamin C, headstand, herbs, you name it. I thought about all that stuff while doing a headstand…and still nothing.

“But my eggs are rotten” I said to myself while kicking my legs up to the wall. “This just cannot happen.”

I had horrible visions of my sorry gray-haired ass pushing a stroller and wearing a maternity bra.  NO NO NO.  (Confession: I had one itty-bitty second where I mused on how cute our baby would be.)

I don’t have time for an infant.  I barely have time for these asshole cats!

A baby at fifty?  My dad was fifty when I was born. Think about that: he was born in 1915 and had me during the swinging 60’s.  Talk about culture shock!  What kind of generation gap would I have with this kid?

Fifty.  I should be basking in my career, taking vacations, getting my AARP card, not changing diapers.

But I come from a long line of very fertile women. One grandmother had thirteen, the other had nine. We have a BIG family.  And me?  I got pregnant back in the day without a problem. My cycle was so regular, I was able to plan my children by astrology (not kidding).

All this ran through my head for weeks.

Along with even crazier stuff:

I began to wonder if I “manifested” this in some weird twist on the Law of Attraction.  I had been bugging my kids to give me a grandkid.  Had my wishing for a little grandbaby backfired on me?

And even more dumb: I started reasoning that the stupid Duggar woman hadn’t gotten pregnant in a while – we’re about the same age and she’s way more reckless than I am.  If she’s not popping out any more kids, I probably wouldn’t, right?

I began making deals with myself: I’ll stop bugging my kids, be more careful, blah blah blah.

Yeah, it got a bit inane and insane over here.

But the biggie: I didn’t feel pregnant.  Not one bit. I am body-conscious so I know when something is up inside.

I felt nothing.  Zero pregnancy symptoms.

After weeks of all this fretting and speculating, my husband added his two cents: “Well, your breasts have never looked smaller.” Not sure if that was reassurance or an insult (Note to self: he’s been watching a lot of Scarlett Johannson stuff lately.  Must check her breasts later.).

He also finally got sick of hearing me and sagely said: “why don’t you put your mind at ease and just take a test?”

So there I was last week, buying an EPT test.  At almost fifty years old.

In the morning, I unwrapped the test with shaky hands and got busy getting my test happening, all the while cursing my body, the gods, my fruitful ancestors, the Duggars, etc…

The results came in two minutes later: negative.  BRIGHT.  No mistaking it – it was a definitive no.  Whew.

I’m not pregnant – I’m just getting old.

Becoming an elder may sound like a not-so-great tradeoff but right now, I’ll take it!

theresa reed the tarot ladyI prefer positive tarot cards, not positive EPT tests!

Other stuff:

Fred Durst does not want you to confuse him with Robert Durst. And he’s doing something about it.

Very clever: The Poet Tarot & Guidebook.  Wonder if it works for rap?

What would happen if young men read some of the mean tweets sent to women out loud?  This.

Need an easy idea for an April Fools Joke?  Here ya go.

Google wants your site to be mobile-friendly.  The King of Pentacles over at the Game of Tarot Thrones has a tip for you.

Bummer news for Wisconsin: we lead in shrinking middle class.

I’m not only a tarot reader, I’m also a yogi.  Learn about my secret wee studio in this interview over at the fabulous Yogipreneur podcast!

Are you a fan of the Wild Unknown Tarot?  They have an app now!  Get yours and get your tarot on, app-style!

I love James Altucher and really dig his post over at Positively Positive: The Ultimate Guide to Self-Sabotage.

Danielle LaPorte lays out how to set your standards and ethics with one simple question.  Boom!

I keep on top of the news in my old NY hood over at EV Grieve.  I was horrified to learn of the explosion on 2nd Ave this week.

Old pics of NY city squatters.  I remember those days well when I worked at the anarchist newspaper!

Bernie Sanders spells out why we need to overturn Citizens United.

These women are powerful beyond measure: Acid attack victims post for a calendar to show their beauty to the world.

Do you get insomnia?  Fast Company tells you how to turn it to your advantage.

How to eat healthy when you’re broke as sh*t.  When I was broke, it was beans ‘n rice on constant rotation.

So into this: Hip-Hop’s New New York.

This is a great photo essay – I’m always intrigued with Russia. What does it mean to be Russian?

We’re talking about the beauty of the wise women years over at the Midlife Midwife Project with Lisa Briggs this week.

I want to hang out with Tim Gunn, every Sunday. 

This is wise as hell advice from Melissa Caesura: It’s not how much you’re earning.  It’s how much you’re keeping. <-Think about this advice the next time you hear someone bragging about their six figures and big “team”.

On my wish list: Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000.

I love Gretchen Rubin’s work and this may be a book to check out: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.  Always looking to improve myself, yo.

I’m also eyeing up this new book from Dr. Barbara DeAngelis: Soul Shifts: Transformative Wisdom for Creating a Life of Authentic Awakening, Emotional Freedom & Practical Spirituality

 

What I’m Grateful For:

Red pens

A real day off

Frozen pizzas on busy days

Sweet emails from strangers

Dinner with friends

Road trips

Reliable children

Soundtrack for 3/28/15: Down with OPP by Naughty By Nature – might as well go old skool today in honor of my oldness:

Have a nifty week, kiddos!
Theresa
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

pictures from stock photography and personal collection

Wanna learn to read tarot cards? Enter your email below and get your free Tarot Card by Card manual plus the Rookie To Reader e-course. These simple, super-fun lessons will get you reading tarot...even if you've never picked up a deck before!

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