Friday, October 26, 2007
the other day i had an appointment at an herbal clinic to discuss a variety of aches and pains and discomforts i've been experiencing. the verdict is that i have too much dampness in me, and that i have strengthen my blood and eat more warming foods. i came home with a large jar of tincture that i'm taking three times a day. the session also prompted me to dig out an old recipe.
in 1995 i took a life changing class with herbalist kami mcbride called "cultivating the herbal medicine woman within." it was after taking this class that i studied massage, landed a job at an acupuncturist's clinic, stopped medicating when i menstruated, and eventually, after having a my own child, trained to be a doula.
at the clinic the other day the main herbalist opened up a jar of dong quai for me to smell. the strong amazing scent transported me right back to the acupuncture clinic where i once worked. every day i would weigh and package a variety of bulky, aromatic chinese herbs so that patients could go home and brew medicinal teas. i loved having the patients come up to the counter, asking me questions about the herbs, marveling at the roots and berries and barks and cicada shells (yup). i loved the smell, the sound of the scale, the feel of the herbs under my hands as i pressed them into bags. i was calmed by the acupuncturist's soft voice and sense of humor. and i was satisfied with how much he healed people, and how i got to play a small role in that. it was such a great job. i miss it.
when i came home from my appointment i cracked open my old notebook from kami's class. i treasure that notebook. there is such a wealth of information in there, and lots of personal anecdotes relating to my life changing process during the class. i fished out a recipe she passed on to us for a warming morning soup. it's been years since i've bothered to prepare this paste, and it's about time.
warming soup or winter paste or green wonder or whatever name you see fit (paste pictured above)
1/2 cup Miso (any variety)
1/2 cup Tahini
1/4 cup Spirulina flakes or, if using the fine Spirulina powder, 1/8 cup
crushed Garlic and grated Ginger to taste (lots is best!)
Mix it all together
Store in a container in the frig
Boil water and then cool a bit so you don't kill the Miso
Add 1 cup water to 1 tblsp paste and stir
start your day on a warm, nourishing note.
cats are warm too!
p.s. the bundt cake is awesome. moist and apple-cinnamon-nutmeg savory. nourishing to the spirit, but i'm not so sure how nourishing it is to the body!