Thursday, June 18, 2009

GET: Gentle Leeching

One day, when being bled by a German hirudineanist in my glorious New York loft, an Italian friend came in and commented that I had the beautiful pallor of a late medieval/early renaissance woman-child (you know, the ones that were confirmed as saints due to inedia and anemia). I assured her that even though I was covered with blood-sucking parasites, I was faring better than those unfortunates who, after all, never had the chance to experiment with tofu recipes and were sometimes burned at the stake.

In order to dispel the enduring bad reputation of blood-letting, I asked Helga Schmidt-Simmons, my personal leecher, to explain the remarkable benefits that can accrue not only from a regular blood letting, but even from the periodic application of well-hidden baby leeches just prior to special events. (Remind me one day to fill you in on the juicy details of the time that I strategically used my small jar to ensure that my skin tone and elasticity were ideal for a photo shoot in Figi.) Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for the use of this holistic technique and it's not everywhere, anytime (some would say "Never." but I humbly beg to differ and have the skin to support my position.)

Here's Helga on Phlebotomy:

I am a modern practicioner of the ancient and much maligned art of blood letting and have my own private practice in major world cities and some smaller, exclusive ones. I am always in a healing mindset. There is no healing that I won't undertake because I adore healing.

I am fluent in seven languages, including being able to read latin backwards. I attended school in Pisa and then completely my studies in Salt Lake City, which most people don't realize is the world-wide center for blood drawing. In addition to completing my PhD there, I was featured in a documentary about ancient horses and their migration from China. Although this may seen irrelevant, it's not.

Here, I hope to give you a clear picture of the sanguinary benefits of my particular techniques. Blood-letting techniques are based on the belief that the bodies humors guide it's health. Therefore food is very important in the overall equation of success because if a leech eats the wrong food it will be in a bad mood, which sucks. Therefore, in my practice, I have focused on making sure that the diet we feed our leeches is pristine and ultimately enchances their efficacy. As such, they are fed a steady diet of fois gras and a protein shake infused with basil. The fois gras ensures elasticity and the protein shake promises strong suction capabilities. The basil is metabolized in such a way that each leech is covered in a subtle sheen of basil oil extruded through the skin, ensuring that, despite the best sucking capabilities there is a smooth and painless adhesion. This is very important to my clients since overt sucking is some times upsetting to them. The dietary-based methodology is the only one of its kind in the world. Our clients are always happy with the results, which include:
  • An immediate reduction of blood pressure
  • A loss of appetite that can last for days
  • An enviable sheen
  • And, lastly, a temporary weakness resonant of long-forgotten Victorian ideals of womanhood

*If any practitioner claims the same feeding techniques make sure that they are actually following through. We have completed a certification process, which includes the Feng Shui requirements, that is extremely rigorous. If you are interested in our checklist please contact us directly at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

MAKE: A Cupcake Recipe

Nothing resonates with the sheer delights of childhood (or overcoming a difficult childhood with outthem) like the perfectly made cupcake.

The recipe below was shared with me by Bitsy Klein. Bitsy is an old school AC/DC fan, an avid collector of 14th century erotic Sanskrit poetry and a WJPS survivor (WASP-Jewish Parents Syndrome: Parents Who Feel Extremely Guilty Because They Genuinely Love Their Dogs More Than Their Children). Bitsy’s recipe below is filled with the guilty pleasures of an over-examined youth – salted butter, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, some more salted butter and a dash of cod liver oil (so surprising, yes?). I particularly adore the subtle juxtaposition of the salted butter in the cupcakes with the unsalted butter in the frosting. Heaven on earth, or at least Heaven at my house when she visits for our annual cupcake and cocktails.

YIELD: about 3 cupcakes
· 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
· 1 3/4 teaspoon powdered baking soda
· 2 teaspoon soda-ed baking powder (different from powdered backing soda – this is baking powder that has been liquefied and can be sprayed from a nifty pressurized can available only at Humberts Purveyors on Sloan Square, next to the Sacchi’s)
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (perfect for your vegan guests since I recently learned – sugar doesn’t come from ANY animal)
· 2/3 cup granulated sugar (ditto)
· 2 large eggs or 1 large egg substitutes, like in vitro eggs
· 8 teaspoons pure Cuban rum
· 5 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
· ½ cup , coarsely chopped (optional) Carob

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

Whip the salted butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about four minutes. She suggests five, but I have found that four works better.

Add the eggs or their substitutes, one at a time after you break them open. Beat in the rum. On low speed, add the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in the carob and cranberries.
Bake til done. To frost, let cool and then roll each cupcake in a vat of slightly softened unsalted butter. Even though it is slightly inconvenient these cupcakes are best eaten with a fork and knife but are worth every single slice.

For kids, serve without the silver ware, but make sure to have plenty of help around to clean up!

For more information about Bitsy Klein’s traumatic childhood and adult recovery, or to buy her new book check out her website

Sunday, June 7, 2009

BE: Food for Thought

Everyone always talks about Food For Thought - but what does that really mean? I don't really know. Do you? It seems like a wise thing to say, but if you reverse it is it more meaningful? Today I'm advocating Thinking for Food. Food can't think for itself and those of us who are more privleged in every way need to take a stand.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BE: Spiritual Drivel

One should always be on the alert for what I like to call "Sprivel" - spiritual drivel. This goes beyond road-side platitudes, like "If God is your co-pilot switch seats," or "Thou Shalt Not Kill or Commit Adultery" or "Be Nice." I had my "sprivel" epiphany when I realized that someone I thought was awful was a really nice person and that I had, for years, been malicious and hideously judgemental. I thought to myself that maybe I should reconsider my assessment after she willingly gave up her airline seats on the last flight out to Gstadd for me and my daughter last Friday. We really wanted to go and, although we tried not to whine when we got to the door of the airplane late, we just had to. She single handedly got the flight attendant (I secretly still like calling them stewardesses, it brings back warm feelings of the glamourous days of travel when you got all dressed up, were fed well and elegantly served by perky-chested beauties in lovely navy uniforms and faux-Hermes scarves...oh...) open the door and not only let us in. She then gave up her seat. I really underestimated her and felt that she was a nice person for the first time. I had been so unfair for so long. Then came the epiphany. There was lady in first class (who really looked a little iffy) and she witnessed my enemy's kind gesture and she said "Do unto others." I admit I looked blankly at her and she continued, "Are you really going to let her give up her seat for you? Don't you know the golden rule: Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated..." It was then that I realized: Ppphhh, that is such a load of drivel, wrapped in the sanctimonius garb of spirituality. Of course not, I said. It makes her feel good and makes me feel good to. Sprivel! It is a bottomless pit! Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.