© L.R. Heartsong

Cookbooks and Lemons: A Taste of Morocco

For a once-professional chef, I don’t own a lot of ‘cookery’ books, as my dear British friends call them. A decade ago, I possessed a significantly larger number than I do now (books, that is, not friends). As a cook and self-confessed bibliophile, well, it was a bit of a love affair in the larder.  In


Polenta à la Marlena: Food for the Soul

“Stirring polenta counterclockwise is to flirt with calamity.” Such are the words of author Marlena de Blasi, relaying old Umbrian folklore of kitchen wisdom and superstition in one of her bestselling memoirs. For several years now, ever since reading The Lady in the Palazzo (the first book of hers I discovered, though it actually comes


Tea with Nigel: A Cook Who Writes

A winter storm approaches and the sea is heaving and restless. Seated in the small dining alcove of my cozy writer’s studio, I gaze out at surging waves of liquid pewter, listening to their dull roar. Some seasonal piano music plays quietly in the background, creating a holiday mood while a large red poinsettia and


Provence, 1970

I just finished a lovely book. For those who read the Soul Artist Journal on my Soul Quests website, you have probably noted that at the top of the sidebar of the SAJ page, just above the subscription feature, I list the book(s) that I’m currently reading. If you receive this via email, for better or


The Soulful Kitchen: A Feast for the Senses

Late afternoon.  I’m peeling potatoes in the kitchen, standing barefoot on a fringed area rug that fails to sufficiently hide the ugly, old brown linoleum. As my thoughts hover behind me at the oven, noisily debating dinner, the smell of earth wafts up to arrest my attention. My hand stops mid-motion. I raise the smallish,