2012’s Archive for Blog of the North Bay Macro Group

12.2.12  Thirteen people attended the holiday potluck. We warmed ourselves by our host’s brand new fireplace while enjoying festive decorations, good company, and a delicious assortment of foods. We ate aduki beans with onion, carrot, Kombu, potato, and tamari, and a variety of mixed greens with cubed tofu that included chicory, kale, cabbage, and mustard greens. Other vegetables served were beets and carrots, squash and burdock, steamed kale, carrot coleslaw, and kabocha squash. Brown rice and gomashio were there, as well as sushi made with carrots, cucumbers, tofu, shitake mushrooms, and ume plum paste. Sides included whole wheat bread, corn muffins, sliced persimmons, and apple-pomegranate juice. After dinner, we listened to holiday music played on the recorder and guitar.

Macrobiotic ingredient spotlight: Adzuki (Azuki or Aduki) bean: This bean was first cultivated in Japan around 4000BC and is the second most popular legume there after the soybean. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and is considered “Yang” or warming. It is classically cooked with pumpkin and served with brown rice. The beans should be soaked for at least 2 hours before cooking. Simmer 1 cup beans in 4 cups filtered water for 45 to 60 minutes.

11.4.12  November featured an abundance of local winter squash, including the butternut variety, in which one person brought baked and another boiled and herbed. A soup featured acorn squash combined with rice and other vegetables. Another dish featured kabocha squash combined with adzuki beans. Also served were steamed leafy greens, pasta, quinoa salad, hijiki sea vegetables with peanuts and gomashio, millet, short-grain brown rice, and home-grown raspberries. For dessert we celebrated a November birthday with delicata squash apple walnut cake. There was just enough delicious cake for the 12 people present. After dinner local musician David Field played fun songs on his guitar, like The Crawdad Song, The Fishing Blues, Baby Beluga, and Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.

Macrobiotic food of the month: Gomashio or sesame salt can be sprinkled on grains, noodles, or vegetables for added flavor and nutrition. In a skillet, toast brown sesame seeds and salt, then grind with a surikoji or pestle in a Japanese grinding bowl called a suribachi until about three-quarters of the seeds are crushed. Gomashio is especially good with brown rice. Recipes may be found in many Macrobiotic cookbooks.

10.7.12 Nine potluck members brought a variety of colorful, seasonal Macrobiotic dishes. We enjoyed miso soup with kohlrabi, carrots, wakame, and green onions, kabocha squash with tofu, apples, and ginger, a barley and kale salad, a vegan quiche made with tempeh bacon, tofu, and spices, an edamame and kale salad with dried cranberries, natto with tamari, lightly steamed kale with sesame seeds, green beans with kale, and brown rice cooked in an Ohsawa pot. After dinner we had kukicha tea and listened to David Field play songs on guitar.

Macrobiotic ingredient spotlight: Kabocha squash is commonly called Japanese pumpkin. It is a winter squash similar to buttercup squash. Its naturally sweet flavor is at its best in late summer and early fall. (see picture above.)

9.2.12 We enjoyed a warm late summer evening out on the back deck area. Eleven people brought delicious and nutritious homemade foods. We had wakame sea vegetable and cucumber salad, miso pasta soup with wakame, yellow squash casserole with black olives, petite brown lentils with shitake mushrooms, steamed red cabbage, steamed beet greens, green cabbage and mushrooms flavored with ume plum vinegar, grapes, a loaf of bread, baked red beans, and brown rice cooked in an Ohsawa pot with an umeboshi plum. After dinner we celebrated two birthdays and enjoyed strawberry walnut cake.

8.27.12 Dave from the Slice of Life Restaurant in Sebastopol requested more flyers for our potlucks so he can put them in the restaurant window. That’s very nice of Dave, and we support Slice of Life!

8.12.12 At this potluck we ate outside and the sun was hot. Then the sun went down and it got cold out. Some hightlights were: we had great home-made onion pickles and wonderful tomato soup. We also had lima beans and a big bowl of fresh berries. After dinner we went inside and he musicians started playing and we had fun. The new kitten “Ash” was there! She arrived via a coyote! Just ask to hear this story!

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