Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Gourmet gruel?

The word gruel doesn’t conjure up images of fine food for most people, and for good reason. Historically, it’s what poor people ate because they had nothing more appetizing in their cupboards. But this peasant food can be a very pleasant food if you use your culinary imagination, and it’s a great way to ground and balance ourselves during the change of seasons.

Porridge is another word for grains cooked in liquid to a thick soup consistency. Oats and wheat and corn porridges are enjoyed around the world for their hearty substance, if not their outstanding flavor. Probably buckwheat makes that list somewhere in Eastern Europe, but it’s generally an under-used grain in the U.S.

Now I love to experiment with under-used foodstuffs. So in honor of the change of weather in my corner of California (last night we had our first rain), here’s a buckwheat soup that just might change your ideas about porridge.

It’s a recipe from my latest cookbook-in-progress, Longevity Cuisine. For the actual recipe, and for regular postings from that project, please bookmark For the foreseeable future, I'll be food blogging there more regularly than here.

And speaking of my other blogs, I’ve just launched a new one, where I’ll be posting regular (daily?) excerpts from a young adult fantasy novel I helped my friend Barbara Leal finish before she died a few years ago. Now it is fully edited and ready to be shared with the online world. My hope is that soon some wonderful print publisher will discover its magic and give it a home…

So, see? Even though I’ve been AWOL from this site for a while, I’ve been keeping busy. Hope you enjoy my latest offerings.

Blessings and bon appetit!


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