Cooking with the Ancestors: Ambrosia & Frozen Fruit Salad

by Katelan Foisy

My grandmother passed away on Tuesday. The day before her breath started to slow and my parent’s noticed signs that she was ready to move on from this world. The same night I had intense insomnia, I always do when someone is about to pass. That week the caretaker said the cupboards in the kitchen opened and closed by themselves. That Tuesday I made a large Santisima Muerte in white. She comforted me while the energy shifted. Tornado warnings swept through Chicago and as my mother tried to get ahold of hospice I was frantically trying to keep my cat on my lap in the closet while tornado sirens blared. I called my parents to update them. The energy was extremely intense. A few hours later I got the call she had gone.

My grandmother was a talented artist. She and my grandfather ran successful businesses. They started the Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar which now is Equine Journal. They also owned a successful flag and stencil company Horse Country USA through ought the 80s and 90s, and then moved on to horse related antiques. They also bred and raced horses. I’ve written a bit about the Pedlar in the blog below and will link other “CWTA” with it.

Cooking with the Ancestors: Canadian Meat Pie ( Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar history )

Cooking with the Ancestors: Cree Bannock & Linzer Tarts

One of my grandmother’s unfinished watercolors.
One of my grandmother’s unfinished watercolors.

I remember as a child being in awe of my grandmother’s work. I’d go to her house and we’d practice painting. She’d always have a pot of coffee on and she’d have these small cups with children riding horses on them. She filled it with a little coffee and a lot of milk. “We call this girl scout coffee.” I’d look over her art tables filled with bits of stained glass from her various projects. She loved working in glass and often there would be drawn out designs with cut glass layered over them. She always had a watercolor painting in the works as well. She would have us watch a little demonstration on tv once in a while but one day I suggested Bob Ross and she shook her head disapprovingly. “That’s not how you learn.” I was 8 or 9 and thought happy little trees were kind of funny. She always knew she’d be some kind of artist. She would tell me of her mother who went to school with Claudette Colbert in Gramercy Park and her grandmother who ended up moving to Hollywood to marry a man who worked in films. My grandmother was proud of her heritage. I was enamored with the Hollywood bits of it.

She loved her horses.
She loved her horses.

She was a descendant of William Elder Brewster who was one of the original passengers on the Mayflower and served as the religious leader for the colonists. She would often talk about being a descendant of the Mayflower. I resonated more with the roots of my Grandfather who was French Canadian and Cree. Later we would find that we were descendants of Mary Bliss Parsons who was tried as a witch twice and it was her and her story that connected me to my Grandmother’s ancestry along with our ancestral ties to the railroad and a newfound connection to King Alfred the Great. It also provided me with an idea or root of where my seizures came from. Often times we don’t like certain parts of our ancestry or don’t connect with it. We of course have to accept it because their blood is our blood and their wounds can be passed on through the family. As I got older it became easier to understand. Those who left England left in trauma. They came to a land that was new to them and because they had not worked through that trauma, inflicted trauma on those who were there before them. This is why we so desperately need to work through ancestral trauma collectively and on a mass scale. Much of the systems set in place now have roots in trauma. The land holds onto that memory of trauma the way a body does and so the cycle repeats until it’s healed. This is why it is so important to do ancestral work. If you don’t know your ancestors fear not. Please look at the other two blogs on the ancestors linked above. There are many ways you can connect with them. Remember their blood flows through your veins. You do not need to know names, they already speak to you through thought and movement…

Read the full blog at The Vardo

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