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Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to the Compost/Coffee/Heart medicine workshop and the facilitator Celena de Luna walked us through a dope tea ceremony where we sat with the tea and imagined what the herb looked like and what our hearts looked like. She later asked us what did we see in our hearts and I was too embarrassed/ felt kind of too vulnerable to share. But lol I’m willing to share here.

For me, this particularly tea and looking into my heart was actually kind of scary/painful. At first I felt a big bold jolt maybe a boom and I could sense that that was the first barrier being released. Then, I felt a silent stillness and slowly all I could feel and see were scars, some old but some new. Those scars slowly pulsed into a sort of grounding rhythm. I had no idea what the herb was or looked like, I assumed it was like a berry/flower thing and felt that I was just trying to project that into my vision… I have a horrible habit of pressuring myself to think or act in a certain way, I have a very hard time just letting myself be free. It’s almost like the more I try to be free, the more I analyze and judge myself for how free was I really being… (a very strange mean girls-esque habit that I’m working on).

Later in the class we learned that the herb was hawthorne and is in the rose family and helps to protect our heart. It can replace aspirin and helps lower blood pressure and allows for focus as it clears our arteries and holds a strong energy that helps to bring us to safety. We learned about so many other herbs and their relationship to the heart and I was just blown away with how all of these plant medicines work together to give so much to us humans. Each plant she explained has so many characteristics and healing properties. It was also very cool to learn things from other people in the workshop that also shared their different knowledges about the herbs and plants. The CCC was enlightening in that the space created for synergistic relationship building. Synergy is a key theme in Elinor’s nutrition class where we are learning about how everything in the ecosystem works together to bring nutrients to one another.

I often hear the phrase, Food is Medicine, but this week this phrase has deepened its significance and roots inside me. even though I’m sure corps like Whole Foods commodify the phrase to boost its profits… remember that food as medicine doesn’t have to be inaccessible! it never was in the past…

Cooking Project:

I’ve been a bit behind/ to tell you the truth… exhausted. My heart and compassion goes out to all the servers, busboys, cooks, dishwashers, and service workers who work that min. wage/hardly no tip/40+ hours life. These past few weeks I was presented the challenge of cooking for my family while my mom worked late… my family in particular my dad, is one hard person to please. His palette despises garlic and anything that veers away from traditional Japanese flavors… (even though a lot of Japanese food is adapted from other cultures!) I love garlic and love to eat other cuisines and my cooking just kind of reflects that.

But here’s some things that passed my dad’s taste test:

  • Sara-udon: originally a Chinese dish. In Japanese it just mean plate noodles. lol so lame. In Vietnamese it is called mỳ xào tôm thịt– which translates to bird’s nest with shrimp and pork- which totally makes better sense. The noodles create a birds nest and on top you have your stir fry that is thickened with starch water. For this dish I feature pak choi from Sarvodaya farms!
  • I tried to make braised pork: Buta-no-kakuni 豚の角煮 which translates to cubed pork lol another lame one. I used garlic chives from the farm as a substitute for green onions to stew the meat. The dish also uses ginger. So because I was using loin and not the belly…. the meat wasn’t as soft as I would have liked it but it was eaten.

  • Still working on that dressing… haven’t had time to be creative.