It has been two weeks since Bubu, our beloved dog, departed. I wrote Bubu’s last words and how he departed on my previous blog. https://sanaesuzuki.com/2021/06/02/animal-communication-bubus-last-words/ I have had many dogs and cats as my family this lifetime. It is harrowing when they depart and I grieve. As I wrote about Bubu’s aunt, Kula’s life on my blogs…
Since I am from Japan it is a joy when I get to teach class in my native language, which is not often here in the United States.
When January 2016 arrived one I made one of my New Year resolutions to teach my macrobiotic principle cooking class series in Japanese once again. The last time I offered this series in Japanese was three years ago. After that I only taught a single Japanese class here and there, so this time I committed to teach one every month. Students will benefit by learning macrobiotic cooking from a more complete, progressive program of courses. I am grateful that I have realized my goal and started the first class last week.
I taught Whole Grain part 1 cooking class last week. Introduced eight different whole grains: 1) short grain brown rice, 2) long grain brown rice, 3) sweet brown rice, 4) whole oats, 5) whole barley, 6) millet, 7) quinoa, and 8) buckwheat first (this was fun for students to know there are many whole grains and to identify whole grains since most of us do not know many whole grains are available for us to cook. I showed how to prepare and cook brown rice the traditional way (macrobiotic way), without a rice cooker. All the Japanese students know how to make white rice in the rice cooker and some know how to make brown rice, since rice cooker companies have developed the rice cooker for cooking brown rice. Japanese people usually never make rice without a rice cooker, and I was one of them until 1993. It means departing from a convenient routine, which is not easy for most of us. Japanese students are very polite, and they do not say much in class; I guess they do not want to interrupt the teacher, but after class some of them ask me questions or tell me their thoughts. During this class only one student who had lived in the U.S. for a long time spoke up. Most of them told me after class that they were a little concerned that brown rice would not be as tasty if they did not use a rice cooker, but they were surprised when all the three different kinds of preparation of brown rice came out so delicious, even better than when cooked in a rice cooker. In fact, they found the rice that got burned at the bottom to be tasty as well. That’s right, after having taught cooking for over 20 years, I still burn the rice, and I want my students to see me as I am – not perfect. I want them to understand that sometimes we burn the rice, and it is alright as long as we know why it happened. It is important to accept it, since making mistakes is part of life, right? We just need to know what happened and do our best to not repeat the mistake as much as we can (but we also accept that as humans we make the same mistakes over and over until we really learn).
In this class I showed three different ways to cook brown rice:
First, all the brown rice are washed and soaked over night.
1. in a stainless steel pot, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water and add a pinch of sea salt when it start to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. You don’t have to mention how much rice & water to add?
2. in a ceramic pot, called “Nabe” in Japanese, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water and add a stamp sized piece of kombu sea vegetable when it start boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
3. in a pressure cooker, 2 cups of brown rice with 4 cups water add a umeboshi plum (Japanese traditional pickled ume plum, which is very high in alkaline (organic California aged umeboshi plums can be purchase at Seed Kitchen) when it start to boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Since I had not used the pressure cooker for a while, the pressure did not go up correctly, and I was also talking to students when it was time to remove it from the stove, so the rice cooked too long, burned the bottom slightly. I quickly removed it from the stove when I realized that I was talking instead of watching the pot, so I kindly sent the good wish to the rice and said “Sorry to have missed your perfect timing, but I am sure you are going to be tasty!”
I added quickly blanched stems of kale to the burned rice to dress it up with green polka dots, so it looked and tasted better.
I also taught how to make gomashio (sesame salt which is usually recommended to eat with grains) condiment and quick water sautéed onion, carrot and kale.
There was no time to teach how to make the dressing so I served fresh tahini miso dressing from Seed Kitchen (my husband Eric Lechasseur and my restaurant in Venice, California) which was so tasty some of the students were pouring it over the brown rice. Everyone wanted to learn how to make this dressing in the next class.
We had a delicious lunch together outside on the picnic table under the California sunshine.
We all look forward to meeting again at the next class, Whole Grains part 2.
These below questions are from one of students who took the class. I want to share them for other Japanese students to see and learn from them.
やめる為のレメディーは、実際にはありませんが、甘い野菜のレメディーは、コーヒーを飲んで疲れ気味な膵臓を癒してくれます。（Love, Sanaeの本のページ１６４のSweet vegetable Drink参照）
When I moved to Santa Monica I decided to grow my own lemon tree, so I searched for the kind I would like most. It was not difficult for me to fall in love with the Meyer lemon, which is light and refreshing, sweet, and soft-skinned. I asked Eric to make a lemon pie as soon as my tree produced lemons. It was so delicious, and we could not keep it a secret, so Eric put the recipe in his first cookbook, “Love, Eric“, delicious vegan macrobiotic desserts. Each spring when my Meyer lemon tree produces fruit we make this pie, so I want to share the recipe with you so you can enjoy it like we do.
MAKES 1 PIE (9 inch pan)
For the pie crust:
1 cup spelt flour
3⁄4 cup unbleached flour
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup maple sugar
1⁄3 cup safflower oil
1⁄4 cup water
For the lemon filling:
1 cup plain amazake
1 1⁄2 cups lemon juice
1⁄4 cup rice syrup
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract zest of
2 1⁄2 tablespoons agar flakes
4 tablespoons arrowroot
1⁄4 cup apple juice extra lemon zest for garnish
To make the pie crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add the oil and water, and knead quickly to form a dough. Allow dough to sit for 15 minutes.
4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough in to a circle to fit a 9-inch pie pan. (Dough thickness should not exceed 1⁄4-inch).
5. Gently line the pie pan with the dough and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the lemon filling:
1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the arrowroot and apple juice, in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, whisking constantly.
2. In a small bowl,combine the arrowroot and the apple juice, then whisk into the lemon filling.
3. Continue cooking and whisking a few more minutes. Remove from flame and allow to cool slightly.
4. Pour the filling into the baked pie shell. Garnish with lemon zest around the edges and refrigerate until firm.
from “Love, Eric “Delicious Vegan Macrobiotic Desserts Cookbook
Spring is a time when everything is growing, but at the same time sinus and skin allergies are starting to exasperate us.
In Macrobiotic practice, these symptoms come when you have had too much protein and animal fat. This remedy helps to detox excessive protein, animal fat and also release cholesterol. It also helps the function of the liver and gall bladder gently.
Leafy Greens and Red Radish Remedy Drink
Makes for 1 person
½ cup minced greens (kale, dandelion and collard)
1~ 2 grated red radish,
2 cups filtered/spring water
1 umeboshi plum (California organic ones can be purchases at Seed Kitchen)
1. Add minced greens in a small stainless pot over medium flame and bring to almost boil.
2. Bring the flame to low and simmer for 3~5 minutes.
3. Strain the greens* and put back the remedy to the pot on low flame and add red radish.
4. At the end add umeboshi plum and transfer to a cup.
• Use this greens left over from straining for soups or to sautée with other vegetables.
Do not boil. Have this remedy before breakfast for 7 to 10 days, take 3 days off, and then repeat for three months.
Personal counseling inquiring email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Happy Pooch is the remarkable story of a woman and her dogs. Over the last 20 years, Sanae Suzuki has pulled herself back from the brink of death — twice—by using a healthy diet and a holistic lifestyle approach. During these periods of brave struggle, she pondered the idea that what was working for her might just work for her pooches. By feeding them human-grade, plant-based foods, she saw them recover from illness, become more vibrant, and live to ripe, old ages. Healthy Happy Pooch is their story.
This book is immensely practical and includes over 50 recipes you can make for your pooches’ dinner tonight, as well as tips on everything from supplements, to what kind food and household items to avoid, to flea shampoo. Healthy Happy Pooch is also a heart-expanding tale of dramatic healing, canine friendship, and a woman who has harnessed the power of nature.
The word “macrobiotics” originated from Greek “macro” – large, long, “bios” – life, and “ticks” – skills. Macrobiotics is a philosophy of life, following the Chinese principle of “yin and yang,” which guides us in creating a balance.
Macrobiotics is a lifestyle that encourages living with the natural order of life.
Although Macrobiotics is considered an approach to life rather than a diet, food is a major component that shapes our daily life.
Whole grains are the staple, supplemented by locally grown organic vegetables, beans and sea vegetables, all prepared with traditional methods of cooking. Eating simple, natural organic foods, while avoiding highly processed and refined sugar foods, is the bottom line. It is important to lean from macrobiotics that foods can have both good and bad effects on your body. Also, the way we eat not only shapes physical health, it shapes psychological and spiritual wellbeing. The key lies in balance. In a macrobiotics diet, the composition dishes and choices of foods are adjusted according to the season, the climate, geography, and one’s age, gender, health condition, activities, and life circumstance.
Practicing macrobiotics gives you the strength to stay in touch with your feelings and bodily signs, maintain mental awareness and clarity, and help rediscover your true self.
from Love, Sanae Healing Vegan Macrobiotic Cooking Book page 239