The first Estonian edition of the book Essential Nourishment, by Marika Blossfeldt, came out in 2009. The first English edition appeared in 2011. It is chock-a-block full of wholesome and visually appealing recipes as well as gorgeous photographs of food and European country scenery. Scenery of Marika’s beautiful Estonian farm, to be exact. This “life book” (so much more than a cookbook) is better than plane fare. It is a window into a world where time has slowed to a healing pace, where living in the present is all there is, and there is time to live in gratitude. Cooking is done in a mindful and seasonal way, with fresh food from the gardens and foraged ingredients. I love the way the text in this book is punctuated by frequent bits of information divided into “Essence” and “Action”. These are very real tools for affecting change.
Making life a work of art seems to come naturally to Estonian born Marika Blossfeldt. But tracing her roots, the journey back to her kitchen has been a full and interesting one. A globe trotting dancer and painter, early on in the 1970s and 80s she worked and performed in Berlin and later, New York. Eventually her career in performing arts took her all over the world. Some seventeen years ago, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and restoring an old farm.
Now an international art and wellness center called Polli Talu Arts Center (www.pollitalu.wordpress.com), this farm in Estonia is where Marika welcomes visitors, practices and teaches yoga, cooking, wellness, and tends her gardens. Her culinary skills were honed by a course of study at New York’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition and her life direction illuminated by the realization that body, spirit, and mind are one.
Good vibrations and lifestyle suggestions abound in these recipes; the balance of her food and presentation is palpable. Marika’s food is beautiful, delicious, nutritious, and fun. Regionally sourced, Estonian style!
image by Lindsay Taub
Laura’s Recipe Note: Pretty soon, we will have plenty of these lamb’s quarters in my gardens! Because of their wild nature, they are very nutrient-dense.
Lamb’s Quarters with Feta
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro
2 cups pure water
1 pound lamb’s quarters, leaves and tender tops only
1/4 cup olive oil
A little lemon juice
Fresh grated pepper and sea salt
9 ounces feta cheese, cubed
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the lamb’s quarters and cook quickly until tender, about five minutes.
Drain. Mix lightly with oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Add in the feta and mix carefully.
(From Essential Nourishment by Marika Blossfeldt, Delicious Nutrition, Beacon NY, 2009.)