Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Comfort of Chamomile-Honey Tea, the Dove & Olive Branch

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

Last night I watched the film "Milk" and it brought me back to my days and life in San Francisco--a place of love, hope, diversity and change. I was touched by the acting, true story, one which had a bittersweet ending of tragic loss and earned triumph--which brings me to present-day full of life's ups and downs...
As an intuitive who works often as a phone psychic advisor, you'd think I'd have a built-in wall by now since I deal with peoples' woes from around the globe. Like a cool, calm, collected personality of a healing Indian doctor, I have fine-tuned my emotions, but it's sipping plenty of hot and sweet chamomile-honey that helps me get through the calls and help people feel better and more balanced.

Speaking of loss, today, I finally made the phone call to Gemma Sciabica, my dear cook-bakeress mentor and friend. It was time for me to acknowledge the passing of her beloved husband, Joseph. I could feel her pain and it saddens me. A lot. Meanwhile, I sit her next to her cookbooks and my HEALING POWERS books and see stories and pictures about the late Joseph, who lived to 95 years young. Joseph was an olive oil maker since 1936. His father, Nicola, and he began with grassroots of olive oil production, which he learned in Sicily, Italy, as a young man. In Waterbury, Connecticut, in the 1940s, it was common for Joseph to deliver a load of wine grapes and olive oil to an Italian family in the city. In fact, Nick Sciabica & Sons sold olive oil directly to Italian families from 1936 to 1968.
Fast forward to the 21st century. As I penned in my book, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil (Kensington), Joseph followed the traditional Mediteranean diet--the foods found in each and every one of Gemma's cookbooks--progressive gems that show how olive oil is the primary fat of choice for good health and longevity. I'm also talking fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry, nuts, and, of course, olive oil. Joseph also had one glass of homemade red wine with his dinner each night. And yes, chocolate played a role in his life, too. He did eat chocolate almonds in moderation.
As I sit here I am sad that we lost a fine man, just shy five years of 100. Joseph was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and icon in the olive oil world. I keep hearing Gemma's words she shared with me today about looking at the olive trees and thinking of her dear Joseph, a goodhearted man who always treated her like a lady. Joseph led a happy, complete life with a loving wife and family. As a romantic, I am deeply sorry to see an old-fashioned couple (who were together almost 70 years) be separated.
May God watch over these two eternal lovebirds and provide peace of the symbolic dove and olive branch to each of them--and anyone else who endures the bridge over trouble water.

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