Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Ancients

When I woke at the break of dawn, I was feeling rather ancient. I rolled over, swung my legs up the wall for 10 minutes of Viparita Karani (legs-up the wall pose) to reset my mind and renew my spirit. As the blood coursed down my legs from my feet, I thought of nothing, my eyes closed. Kitty Hawk, not intuitive, broke the spell with her not so delicate paw, her nails catching my shoulder. Then she spoke. "The bowls are empty." She wasn't using her inside voice. OK, alright already, I'm up.

Today's theme is ancient grains; it will be ancient all the way around. Leaves fell into the Emperor of China's cup long before the Ethiopians discovered the stimulating effects of coffee. Today it will be tea. The coffee press is getting a rest.

It's Wednesday, the slow day in the office. I turn on the computers, check the emails, read Seth's blog and the Writer's Almanac, take out the garbage and the recycling, and brew a little green tea. The Ancients probably had nuts and berries for breakfast so I'll start with some almonds and a handful of strawberries. I will graze myself to lunch.

One Three and I run out to the baby broccoli plants to de-worm them. We started 2 days ago when it became apparent that something was devouring our plants. We aren't keeping records but we have pulled off about 30 of the little hungry green soft rapidly growing things, thrown them into a bucket and dumped them in the far corner of the yard for the spiders. I suggested we feed them to the crows, but One Three came up with the spider idea. It's a better idea. We picked a little mint and basil for the lunch salad and then for fun, a little thyme, rosemary and marjoram.

It's a morning for running errands and I look forward to a stop at Pop's to pick up my leather sandals that have been pretty much glued to my feet for the last 2 years.

Pop's repairs everything and it looks like he is especially busy. Maybe we aren't the throw away country we once were. He's an organic hobby gardener, it's nice to chat with him.

Lunch today will be with the first meeting of the 3rd Wednesday of the Month Philosophy Club. I drive up the coast listening to NPR. They are talking about the discovery of 10 Double Eagle gold coins. It was just getting good when I hit the mountains and lost the station. But, there was the ocean and I soon forgot all about the drama of the gold coins. As I pull off the freeway my mind turns right, then left and right and right and left and I pull up to the Italian's house and give her a nod. With a lump in my throat I turn left and head to the Philosopher's house. I'm bringing vegan. The Philosopher will supply the Chinese Tea directly from China via her well traveled neighbor.

I walk in her door and discover they have started without me. They're already talking about praying incessantly. How is that possible? Not the starting without me, the praying incessantly. The only two things I can do incessantly are breath and pump blood and I think that is quite remarkable. These Club meetings will be very enlightening I can tell.

Lunch is Quinoa Tabbouleh with lettuce, tomato and avocado, Honey Dew Melon and blue corn chips. (Blue corn has more protein than yellow or white and is one of the oldest varieties of corn, but probably not as old as tea or Quinoa or Teff.) What? Teff? In a minute.

The recipe for the Tabbouleh comes straight off the Red Mill Quinoa package. After the quinoa is cooked and cooled, it's simply a matter of assembling the ingredients. Here it is:

2 Cups cooked and cooled Quinoa
1 Cup chopped Parsley
1/2 cup chopped Scallions
2 Tablespoons chopped Fresh Mint
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Chill for about 1 hour before serving. Serves 3. The package says it serves 6. Silly.

For dessert I made Teff Pudding. What's teff? The smallest grain in the world is all. An ancient grain. A complete protein ( all 8 essential amino acids) The grain has a high concentration of different nutrients: a very high calcium content, and high levels of phosphorus, iron, copper aluminum, barium and thiamine. A big advantage, the iron from teff is easily absorbed by the body. Has lysine levels higher than wheat or barley. Because of this variety, it stimulates the flora of the large intestine. Teff is high in carbohydrates and fiber. It is also a rich source of other minerals including magnesium,. boron, copper, phosphorus and zinc. (ref wikipedia)

Teff pudding is, well, it's, how should I say this? It's, well, healthy. Like one of those not quite delicious treats you find in the health food store. I made it with carob. Before I share the recipe, I'll try it with cocoa instead. Stay tuned.

I headed home, via the coffee shop. I admit it. I needed my fix. It was early evening and I really had little need for dinner. A little adult beverage and a handful of blue corn chips and I was set. Not in the mood for a book tonight. Philosophy on my mind. I phoned a friend, surfed the TV channels without satisfaction and headed to bed early.

All in all, a good day.

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