Blackened Brown / In a Periphery of Dark

For a blind man, perception levels sensed through the olfactory and tactile systems will have increased and become finer, to compensate for his blindness. Who is to say that the enhancement through the other senses does not result in more seeing than the man with healthy eyes is able to? Who sees more? Those hunting at night in the absolute absence of light, or those hunting during midday, whilst the absence of darkness overpowers every single shadow, forcing them into hiding?

Browns are dark. That is an important aspect helping them be brown. For myself, working focused on coffee topics and ways of connecting even the almost unconnectable to coffee, there is little choice, but to spend much time in the dark. At times I use reds, just to come out of the dark. A tomato might take a spot in an ingredients list just to give eyes and taste some needed rest from the brown life. And, please, be sure to view that ‘rest’ as an enhancement, not as necessity due to tiredness.

Going towards the opposite direction of using reds, we could darken brown as well. And who is to say that enhancing the dark with darkness will not bring beautiful shadows into play during the darkest sunless hours? A principal aspect of composition, be it as a musician or as a cook, baker or even lover, is enhancement.

Two sciences will have substantial thoughts to impart about darkness and its effect on the human organism, soul and mind. Darkness is much more than just lacking light. The first science – fairly unknown today – is the one considering the ‘Signatures of Nature’ and their connection to our health, or better said, their influence on respective organs and their functions. There are examples, like the red correlation between a beetroot and blood, or the similitude between the walnut shell and the brain. Basically, “like cures like”.

‘Five-Elements’ is the term used for a second science dealing with nature as a healing power, instead of applying pharmaceuticals. This one is referred to as a philosophy and it comes in several hues, including those from cultures in Japan, China and India. Other previous civilizations and cultures have worked closely with elements, just as homeopathy amongst us does today. These work with the flow of energies for the sake of balance and holistic health. They are fairly easy to understand and could be used on an everyday basis, in physical, as well as in spiritual contexts. The “five elements” refer not just to their given names, but to the types of energy they are. As a result, in their sum, they are not just five. For this reason the names will vary, according to cultural context.

Each element – i.e., Air, Water, Earth, Void, Fire, Metal, Wood, Ether – pertains to the natural and inevitable flow of energy, and through our individually and collectively given abilities and available knowledge we could wisely assist in steering with them towards a balanced life. All elements, in their value and correlation to one another, are to be considered in our daily ingestion. The five-elements concepts help us in understanding how to achieve this. This I see as the main guidance behind these spiritual philosophical ideas.

No movement in the kitchen goes unrewarded – many a time unnoticed, never unrewarded, either rewarding health or pain. Life carriers are seldom just what the naked eye can see. They are always based on energies, circling rightwards or leftwards, but always energies causing an effect on the carrier itself, on any opposing/encountered carrier and its carried energy as well.

The human hand substracts or adds, seldom under consideration of what the manipulation brings energetically. The whiteness of sugar comes from substracting its hues by excessive processing. When producing black lava salt, its extra intensity and darkness are achieved through enhancement. The sea salt is dried and subsequently mixed with lava (charcoal) in coconut shells. One may speak of a joint manipulation. Manufactum, hand made, bespoke, no matter how close a hand was to producing something, the hand will not necessarily be there for the better, often it will be quite un-handy to what is being manufactured.

Coffee and salt are a proven chemical pairing in a couple of fields and are also about natural manipulation. A pinch of salt (read khymos) works wonders and the skin is full of gratitude when rubbed with salt-coffee scrubs. But it is a loaded concentration of energies when we compose a bread with lava, coffee, cardamom, olive oil, orange juice and sea salt. What a congregation!

Because of its special taste being lost when immersed in hot water and the fine charcoal powder sinking to the bottom and thus being left as residue, it is strongly suggested not to use black lava salt for cooking. However, baking triggers a different chemical and physical process, avoiding such losses.

But for now, all men want is some bread – so, get the following:

  • 500 g whole-wheat flour
  • about 13 basil leaves (small)
  • 10 g black lava sea salt
  • 7 g coffee powder (very fine grind)
  • yeast for 500 g flour
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • about 330 ml warm fresh squeezed orange juice

Mix flour, salt, yeast and coffee first, to make sure the yeast is well-distributed. Then add olive oil and mix well. Finally add the leaves – some cut, some whole. After these are all well mixed, start adding the warm orange juice carefully. Keep mixing and subsequently knead all well together to achieve the right consistency. This might take about 15-20 minutes.

In a bowl lightly covered with olive oil, put the dough to rest for about 40 minutes, covered with a moist towel. Knead the dough once more about 10 minutes.  Then, prepare the bread mold – again with a bit of olive oil – and let it rest and rise until it doubles in size. After covering the form lightly with aluminum foil, the bread bakes 15 minutes by 175° and after taking the aluminum foil off, another 30 minutes.

Black Lava Salt, Whole Wheat Flour, Yeast, Coffee
Basil Leave
ready to eat
One possibility: with Parmesan and Olive Oil

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coffee bread, recipe, basil, leaves, Parmesan cheese

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