Sophia Rose’s video collage of Alicia’s books and art, with Alicia’s song 1966

Sophia Rose, very creative herbalist, writer, photographer, designer, life artist, and my good friend, assembled this video collage of art from my books and photographs of me and my communal friends in the early 1970s in Northern California, to a fragment of my autobiographical jazz waltz, “1966.”  You can savor Sophia Rose’s divine herbal and artistic offerings at La Abeja Herbs.

Gluten-free Maple Nut Muffins (Re-purposing Leftover Gluten-free Baked Goods)

Preheat the over to 380 F.

Line muffin pan with unbleached paper muffin cups (or make muffin cups from squares of unbleached oven parchment paper)

Break leftover gluten-free baked goods into pieces, tossing them into the bowl of a food processor. I used cinnamon-raisin bread to make these muffins tonight, but any sweet (as opposed to savory) flavored bread, roll, cake, cookie or pastry (or a combination) would work as well. Use the food processor to reduce the baked goods to crumbs.

For every cup of crumbs, add:

A beaten organic pasture-raised egg (this gives batter the same expanding flexible structure while baking that gluten does)

1 or more tablespoons of maple syrup (less sweetener needed if the crumbs contains cookies or pastries)

¼ cup of raw organically grown walnuts or pecans, pulverized in the food processor
1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil

Optional: ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon (if you are using cinnamon raisin bread crumbs, you don’t need it)

¼ cup pure water (the amount depends on the inherent moisture of the ingredients. Just add a teaspoon at a time while blending, until the batter is thicker than pancake batter, but more liquid than cookie dough)

Once you have a thick batter, stop the food processor, and stir some organically grown raisins and dried cranberries into the batter.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling them about 9/10 full. They will rise, but not a lot.

Bake about 20 minutes (the sides and tops should brown a little bit).

Leave the muffins in the muffin tin until cool enough to handle, then move them to a rack to cool completely – or, serve them warm.

Videos, plus a magazine article with photos, all by Hikaru Hamada during my summer 2015 Japan tour

Kaorico Ago Wada’s portrait of Alicia Bay Laurel at Cafe Millet, near Kyoto, on June 13, 2015.

Here‘s a link to Hikaru-san’s article and photos in the magazine he founded in the 1970s and has edited since then.

Here‘s a link to a video he made of my performance at Art Cafe Naksha in Awajishima of a famous old peace song, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” on July 11, 2015.   I tell the story of the song (at some length) before I sing, but, once I begin singing, people join me, and, in the instrumental break, and to the end of the song, everyone gets up and dances in a circle, echoing the lyrics: “…and the people in the streets below were dancing ’round and ’round…”

Here is a link to a video he made of my performance at Modern Ark Pharm Cafe in Kobe of my song Beautiful, Beautiful, June 28, 2015.

Here is a link to a video he made of my performance at Modern Ark Pharm Cafe in Kobe of my song Paisley Days, June 28, 2015.

Many thanks to you, dear Hikaru Hamada!

My Dozen Vegetable Plus Avocado Green Salad Recipe

LOTE salad illustration

 Salad illustration from Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel

(Please insert the words “organically grown” in front of each ingredient. Yes, I know tomatoes and olives are not really vegetables.)

Lettuce (my fave is red lettuce, but whatever you prefer)
Arugula or spinach or dandelion greens or baby sunflower greens
Grated carrots (I’m loving the ones in a variety of colors)
Grated daikon root and/or grated beet
Sliced radishes (also loving the ones in a variety of colors)
Sliced cucumber (usually Persian or hot house)
Sliced and chopped red cabbage
Cilantro leaves (whole) and/or basil leaves (sliced)
Scallions (cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
Sauerkraut (preferably homemade, but packaged is OK)
Pitted olives (I like green, because they don’t stain my teeth)
Cherry tomatoes (also love them in a variety of colors)

(Of course, all of the ingredients are optional, depending on what you like and/or can medically tolerate.)

I like to offer a half avocado (Hass, mostly), to each person having the salad. If the avocados are small, I offer a whole one.

Dressing: two parts olive oil to one part freshly squeezed lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar with “the mother”), seasoned with freshly pressed garlic and pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Sometimes I soak (and remove) a branch of fresh rosemary from my garden in the olive oil before adding the oil to the dressing.

Sometimes I boil, chill in ice water, and then peel, a couple of seven-minute (pasture-raised) eggs and slice them into the salad, making it into a one-dish meal. Other times I add cubes of baked tofu or cooked tempeh instead eggs for protein.

Schedule for 2015 Japan Tour

The very last performance of the Amana Band (Hiromi Kondo on African percussion, Sachiho Kojima on electric bass, and Yoko Nema on harmonium – and we all sang) was on July 4, 2015. We were all modeling purple clothes for the Little Eagle fashion show at Tenkuu No Cyaya in Tamagusuku, Okinawa.

Schedule as of July 13, 2015

06/05 Naot (shoe shop), in Kuramae, Tokyo, book signing for Mille Books’ “Welcome to the World” by Yuko Hirose and illustrated by Alicia Bay Laurel, live talk and art show, start at 19:00 http://naot.jp

06/06 Café Slow in Kokubunji, Tokyo, live music, featuring the great traditional Japanese singer Ikue Asazaki, plus Little Eagle fashion exhibition and fashion show, start at 19:00, phone 042-401-8505 http://event.cafeslow.com/?eid=1080760

06/07 Asaba Art Square (private) live music and art workshop in Kanazawa, Yokohama, start at 17:00, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Asaba-Art-Square/119204188128611

06/13 Café Millet in Takao, Kyoto, live music, Little Eagle fashion exhibition and fashion show start at 14:00, phone 075-741-3303, http://blog.cafemillet.jp/

06/14 Cacao Magic in Kyoto, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 15:00, phone 075-757-8914, http://www.cacaomagic.com/

06/20 Café Jisouan in Sue, Gifu, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 14:00, phone 0572-65-2010, http://jisouan.blog.fc2.com/

06/21 NAOT Shoe Shop in Nara, live music and gallery show of original drawings from Living on the Earth. Start at 18:00, phone 074-220-6887, http://www.kazenosumika.com/

06/27 (Nepal fundraiser) at Little Eagle Atelier in Nishio, Aichi, live music and fashion exhibition, start at 15:30, phone 0563-53-3393, http://www.little-eagle.net/

06/28 Modern Ark Pharm Cafe in Kobe, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 19:00, phone 078-391-3060, http://www.chronicle.co.jp/shop/shop_MODcafe.html

07/03 Café Unizon in Ginowan, Okinawa, live music with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Takuji, and Little Eagle fashion exhibition. Start 19:00 phone 098-896-1060, http://www.cafe-unizon.jp/

07/04 Tenkuu No Cyaya in Tamagusuku, Okinawa, live music with Sachiho Kojima, Yoko Nema and Hiromi Kondo (the Amana band), plus Little Eagle fashion show and fashion exhibition.  Start 17:00, phone 098-948-1227, http://www.ten.hamabenocyaya.com/

07/05 Art workshop at Donto-in, Tamagusuku, Okinawa, start at 01:00, phone 070-5812-9088, https://www.facebook.com/sachiho.kojima

07/08 Mana Natural Café, Naha, Okinawa, live music event with Sachiho Kojima. Start 19:00.

07/11 Art Café Nafsha in Awaji-shima, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 19:00, phone 0799-64-1121, https://www.facebook.com/cafenafsha

07/12 Art & Craft Village in Misaki, Okayama, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 18:00, phone 0867-27-3733, http://arts-craftsvillage.com/

07/16 Manos Garden in Hiroshima, live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 18:30, phone 082-294-5660, http://www.manosgarden.com/

07/17 Urban Research/DOORS in Osaka, live music event. Start 19:30, TALK : 19:30, LIVE : 20:00. Phone 06-6120-3270, http://www.urdoors.com

07/19 Bagus in Wakayama live music, Little Eagle fashion exhibition and fashion show, start at 19:00, 073-444-2559, http://www.wakanoura.com/bagus/

07/24 Kagure in Omotesando, Shibuya, live music and talk, CANCELLED.

07/25 Surfers’ in Zushi live music and hula show with Miho Ogura and her halau (hula troupe), and the Inoue Ohana Band Start at 16:00, end at 20:00, phone 046-870-3307, http://surfers.jp/

07/26 Chikyu-ya (“Earth Café”) in Kunitachi, Tokyo, with the Inoue Ohana Band, plus Miho Ogura and her hula halau. Hawaiian music and dance! Starting at 20:00. Also featuring the band Little Tempo. Phone 042-572-5851, http://chikyuya.info/ CANCELLED

07/29 Live music with dinner in Gifu for Murmur Magazine, at Smoke House Warawazu, with Millet Hattori and friends. 18:00 open, 19:00 dinner, 20:00 live music. http://warawazu.yu-yake.com CANCELLED

07/31 Art Gallery Ze 489, Ojino, Mugegawa, Seki-shi, Gifu 501-2602. Phone 0575-46-3878. Open at 18:00, start at 19:00. http://murmurmagazine.com/event-school/#sec01 CANCELLED

08/01 Susu (Furniture and furnishings shop) in Setagaya, Tokyo, book signing for Mille Books’ “Welcome to the World” by Yuko Hirose and illustrated by Alicia Bay Laurel, live talk and art show, start at 19:00 http://www.susu.co.jp CANCELLED

08/02 Gallery Kan in Fukushima live music and Little Eagle fashion exhibition, start at 18:30, phone 024-932-8756, http://www.gallery-kan.com/ CANCELLED

08/04 Under The Light Yoga Studio in Yoyogi, Tokyo. “Instant Book” art workshop at 13:30 and live music event at 18:00. Organized by Rie Kuwahara of RieTreat. Mail@rietreat.com, http://www.rietreat.com/ CANCELLED

08/08 Peace Concert at Hiroshima Nagaregawa Church, start at 14:30, phone 082-221-1813, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hiroshima-Nagarekawa-Church/1549946931922363


Alicia’s first vinyl LP – Music From Living on the Earth – released in May 2015

05-05-15-AZ-home-back cover of my first vinyl LP

“Music From Living on the Earth,” my first ever vinyl LP arrived today – 5 copies. EM Records, in Osaka, made the LP from my first CD, the one I released in 2000 for my self-made eight-month national tour promoting the 30th anniverary Villard/Random House edition of Living on the Earth. On the back cover is a photo that was taken in 1971 during a New York City book tour for the Vintage/Random House second edition of Living on the Earth. EM Records licensed it from the Associated Press.

05-05-15-AZ-home-cover of my first vinyl LP

I somehow never imagined my music would be recorded on vinyl. During the years that 33 1/3 albums were the standard presentation of singer/songwriters, I was writing lots of songs, but I was not at a professional level as a musician. By the time I felt ready to record, at age 50, the technology had blessedly changed. I could produce my own CDs, instead of hoping to be discovered by a record company. So, I did. I’ve made eight of them, so far.

05-05-15-AZ-home-side A of my first vinyl LP

However, I actually WAS discovered by a record company. Koki Emura, the owner/producer of EM Records, saw my first two CDs when I posted them at the CD Baby online indie record store, where he was browsing for new releases. He knew my book, and he knew it was popular in Japan. He bought copies of the two CDs, listened and liked them, and offered license them both for distribution in Japan with Japanese language covers and liner notes. They were released in Japan in 2005.  The following year I began doing concert tours in Japan, and I sold plenty of them for him.

05-05-15-AZ-home-postcard ad for my first vinyl LP

In 2014, Koki Emura proposed that “Music From Living on the Earth” be released as a vinyl LP.  Of course, I agreed. So here it is. A thousand thanks to you, Emura-san!

Review of the LP, Music from Living on the Earth, on soundohm.com:

“Alicia Bay Laurel is well known as the writer and illustrator of one of the classic books of the back-to-the-earth movement, the 1970 hand-written guide to living the good life, Living On the Earth. She is also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, the latter skill honed by studying with John Fahey. The songs on Music from Living On the Earth were composed concurrently with the writing of the book, permeated by the sun and soil of the commune life. Bright and earthy paeans to the natural world, featuring ABL’s pure, strong, and uplifting voice atop her fluid, confident, and deft steel-string acoustic guitar fingerpicking, her style showing that she learned well from Fahey. She also collaborated with San Francisco Tape Music Center co-founder Ramón Sender Barayón, who contributes the 40-voice choral arrangement for the closing track. Although these songs were written as the ’60s became the ’70s, Music from Living On the Earth was actually recorded in 2000, first issued as a self-produced CD, and reissued on CD by EM Records in 2006 (EM 1047CD). This 2015 15th anniversary edition is its first appearance on vinyl, and includes liner notes by the artist as well as English and Japanese lyrics, allowing listeners to again hear ABL’s blues, jazz, and Indian music influences meld with folk roots to glorious effect.”

 

buy Music from Living on the Earth as a CD

Borcht Salad for a Hanukkah Latke Party

12-21-14-CA-LA-Lyndia's latkethon-borcht salad

Tomorrow I am going to the Hanukkah latkethon of Lyndia Lowy, my friend-since-we-were-12, who has been frying potato pancakes (and carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato, and zucchini pancakes) for weeks (and freezing them). Usually fifty or more of her best friends show up. Our tradition is that I bring a massive tossed salad of my own recipe, which, because of its similarity of ingredients to borcht soup, I call Borcht Salad.

My feeling is: If everything else on the menu is oily, hot, starchy and golden in color, then the complementary dish should be cool, crunchy, spicy, sweet, sour and deep maroon and purple – and made from super fresh, chilled, organically grown produce.

I use a Champion Juicer without the lower screen or plate, so the veggies are quickly shredded by the rotating blades. A food processor with shredding set-up works well, too. The Champion Juicer just makes it, well, juicier. However, it does NOT mince a red onion; that job is best done with a good sharp food prep knife and a cutting board.

Unless I have a huge serving bowl, I like to prepare the vegetables ahead in four equal bagsful, so that the next salad can be quickly put together when the serving dish is empty, or serve the salad in four large bowls along a banquet table.

Machine grate and divide into four parts in four zipper bags:
3 large beets, peeled and cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.
5 pounds of carrots, scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
3 pounds of daikon radish (optional), scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
1 whole, small red cabbage, with the stem removed, cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.

In a separate bag place:
1 whole red onion, peel, tip and top removed, cut into quarters and then minced

In 4 separate bags, place:
4 whole red leaf lettuces (one per bag): each leaf washed and dried in salad spinner, then torn into pieces by hand.

To assemble: pour the contents of one bag of shredded vegetables and one bag of torn lettuce into a large serving bowl and toss with minced red onion, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper.

How to Make a Lace Snowflake

12-07-11-AZ-home-decorated tree-details

Here’s how an antimacassar (a lace doily, often affixed to the arms and backs of overstuffed chairs, in bygone eras) can be made into a lace ornament for a Christmas tree. At a crafts store, buy a bottle of stiffening agent. Lay some waxed paper on a table, put the antimacassar on top, and paint the stiffening agent on both sides of it. Let it dry on the waxed paper (and wash the stiffening agent out of your brush!) When it’s dry, it will hang perfectly flat. A small paperclip, unbended into an S shape, makes a good hanger for it.

My friend Randy Carnefix explained how these doilies got their peculiar name. A century ago, many men used an oily hair dressing made in Makassar, Indonesia, from coconut or palm fruit oil, perfumed with essential oil of frangipani (plumeria) blossoms. In an effort to protect their appolstered chairs from the greasy heads and fingers of men thus groomed, housekeepers began placing lace or embroidered pieces of cloth on the backs and arms of their chairs. When styles changed, the antimacassars began to show up in thrift shops.  That’s where I found the ones hanging on my tree.

Winter Roasted Vegetables

IMG_1630
                  Vegetables ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 400 F. I used organic beets, carrots, parsnips, red potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in larger-than-bite-sized pieces, arranged on parchment paper that was lightly painted with organic virgin coconut oil (after being placed on a cookie sheet.) Next I brushed the vegetables with more coconut oil, and then placed branches of fresh rosemary around them. In my oven, the baking time was 25 minutes, but yours may cook faster. I tested the vegetables from time to time with a long cooking fork. When tender, they are done! Served them hot, drizzled with organic extra virgin olive oil and a tiny bit of sea salt.

IMG_1632
                                 Vegetables after baking.