Sunday, November 25, 2007

13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Perhaps you have heard of them already, perhaps not. Each time I am reminded of their work, I am filled with gratitude and hope. I am reminded also of the danger and fear we live with, and the urgency for us to act now, each in our own ways and collectively in community. Here is the Grandmother's statement, and a link to a trailer for a documentary film that is being made about their work.

Statement of Alliance

WE ARE THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS who came together for the first time from October 11 through October 17, 2004, in Phoenicia, New York. We gathered from the four directions in the land of the people of the Iroquois Confederacy. We come here from the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic circle of North America, the great forest of the American northwest, the vast plains of North America, the highlands of central America, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the mountains of Oaxaca, the desert of the American southwest, the mountains of Tibet and from the rainforest of Central Africa.

Affirming our relations with traditional medicine peoples and communities throughout the world, we have been brought together by a common vision to form a new global alliance.
We are the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. We have united as one. Ours is an alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children and for the next seven generations to come.

We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth, the contamination of our air, waters and soil, the atrocities of war, the global scourge of poverty, the threat of nuclear weapons and waste, the prevailing culture of materialism, the epidemics which threaten the health of the Earth's peoples, the exploitation of indigenous medicines, and with the destruction of indigenous ways of life.

We, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today. We come together to nurture, educate and train our children. We come together to uphold the practice of our ceremonies and affirm the right to use our plant medicines free of legal restriction. We come together to protect the lands where our peoples live and upon which our cultures depend, to safeguard the collective heritage of traditional medicines, and to defend the earth Herself. We believe that the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future.
We join with all those who honor the Creator, and to all who work and pray for our children, for world peace, and for the healing of our Mother Earth.

For all our relations.

The link to the film trailer is

Monday, November 19, 2007

Roasted Pears with Bleu Cheese & Walnuts

We had our first dusting of snow when we woke up this morning! How exciting! The maples are still covered in flourescent orange leaves, so it's a dramatic landscape. Of course, I managed to leave the camera at the shop, so I can't post a photo. Sorry.

I'm starting to think about Thanksgiving. It's not always easy to focus on what we are thankful for, and I am glad for the reminder to pause and reflect.

I'm also thinking about the meal we'll cook. I got this recipe for baked pears the other day, & think I'll make that for dessert. (Thanks, Andrea!) I'll substitute a chevre for the bleu cheese, since that's our preference. Usually, I make a pumpkin cheesecake, but I think I'll take a pass on that particular high-calorie recipe this year.

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

4 pears, halved, but not peeled or cored
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled good-quality blue cheese
1/4 cup walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange the pears, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Strip the leaves from the thyme branches and sprinkle over the pears. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon a generous teaspoon of crumbled cheese in the center of each pear half, return the pears to the oven and roast until they are tender and the cheese is soft, about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, put the walnuts on another baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving plate and sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the top. Serve hot.