Sunday, January 10, 2010

Beautiful Food Rituals: Maria Callas & Coffee

"Your daily life is your temple and your religion." Rumi

You'd never think the little girl that got kicked out of Hebrew school would grow up to be the same woman who loves ritual. But I am and I do. I love ritual of all kinds as long as there's no oppressive dogma attached to it. I create rituals out of my need for comfort and connection and beauty. One of my favorite rituals is preparing and enjoying my morning coffee. I love getting up early when the world is quiet and I can wake slowly from my dreams, journal and putter about for a good hour before I have to do anything or be anywhere. I don't like to speak in that hour. But I do love music and one of my great joys and new passions is listening to opera in the morning.

It started with Pandora. Do you know it? It's a free internet radio station that allows you to create playlists with your favorite music. So early one morning, with the sun pouring through my windows and a steaming bowl of espresso and steamed milk in front of me, I innocently plugged in the name Maria Callas into the Pandora search function.

The song that came on first was Callas' version of Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro. It completely stopped me in my tracks with surprise. Her voice alternately soared and delicately reverberated in the most gorgeous ways in my dining room and it was like my own personal church; so sacred in its way. It got me out of my head and into the moment. I love this ritual simply because it's a gift of time and space I give to myself. For you, it might be Lady Gaga and Genmaicha or Radiohead and Rooibos or Roy Orbison and Oolong. It's just a thought, but I recommend it highly.

Recommended Listening

The One and Only Maria Callas

Maria Callas was one of the world's most legendary divas known for her dramatic vocal range and style. She was a high profile member of the international artistic and social circles of her day and was also known for her temperamental behavior and scandalous love affairs, including one with Aristotle Onassis.

Coffee Preparation Notes

My coffee preparation of choice is a big warm bowl of stove top espresso with organic steamed milk and agave nectar or demerara sugar to sweeten it just a touch. My espresso is made with an inexpensive Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker 06799 and I use a Stove Top Milk Frotherto froth my milk. And trust me, it is gooood.


Karen said...

I loved reading this post - I too believe in creating that private, sacred space every morning. For me, it's green tea and my head plugged into a fine set of earphones, to disconnect from the noise of the busy household around me and connect with music that moves me. Thanks for sharing - cheers, Karen

Dana Joy said...

thank you so much Karen; I appreciate you sharing your own experience with us.

sherman8r said...

Even those of us who are non-religious understand non doctrinaire ritual. Morning coffee is one with which I can identify as my wife and I start out each morning with cups in hand. thanks, Dana, for sharing. Music is also important to my life, as foreground and background. Frankly, Callas can be a little shrill in the morning, but that varies on the quality of any given recording, and the particular stage of her career.

Sherman Kaplan

Dana Joy said...

thanks for being here Sherman!! It's an honor. dana joy

melissa said...

You always remind me to slow down &make time for myself, because I deserve it. Thanks Dana Joy for your beautiful post.