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Homemade Dill Pickles – Nothing Better for a Summer Picnic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumber Dill Pickles                      

 2 lbs. small pickling cucumbers

1 quart water

3 level Tablespoons sea salt

7 cloves of garlic peeled

1 Tablespoon whole peppercorns

5 bay leaves

1 Tablespoon whole mustard seeds

16 small dried red peppers

½ gallon jar

3 umbels of dried dill

5 fresh grape leaves

  1. Heat the water and sea salt lightly until the salt dissolves and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Wash the cucumbers and drain.
  3. Wash the grape leaves and pinch off the stem, also pinching off a little of the leaf where it joins the stem, as this holds dirt.
  4. Place the grape leaves in the bottom of the jar. They will also stick to the sides of the jar if they are a little wet.
  5. Pack the cucumbers tightly in the jar standing them vertically.
  6. Distribute the other ingredients as the cucumbers are added to the jar.
  7. Poor the brine over the ingredients enough to cover the cucumber tops. The tops of the cucumbers must be covered in brine to prevent spoilage.
  8. Place a piece of cheesecloth over the jar and secure with a rubber band.
  9. Let sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. Lactic acid fermentation speeds up in warmer temperatures and slows down in cooler temperatures. You will know when fermentation is active when a few small bubbles begin to appear in the jar and it starts to smell a little sour.
  10. Place the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator. The dill pickles will still ferment very slowly in the refrigerator, but will keep for months, unless of course they get eaten sooner.

Makes 2 quarts or ½ gallon dill pickles. The proportion of salt is 3 Tablespoons sea salt to 1 quart of water. To measure how much salt water is needed to make your dill pickles, you can pack your jar with cucumbers and then fill the jar with water. Pour off the water into a measuring cup and you will know exactly how much brine to make.

 The grape leaves are optional, but the tannins in the leaves make the pickles crispier. If you do not have access to grapes, wild grapes are plentiful and may be used as well. Select newer growth leaves that are more tender.

© Macrobiotics America

 

 


Goma Wakame Saved Me From a Dumb Mistake! by Cynthia Briscoe

Goma Wakame Saved Me From a Dumb Mistake!

By Cynthia Briscoe

      When Cornellia Aihara taught students how to make miso soup, she always explained the significant protection of wakame in miso soup. Wakame has the ability to chelate or bind with heavy metals and remove them safely from the body. Remembering her lesson helped me recover from an unwitting mistake.

This occurred perhaps 12 years ago. I enjoy repairing things around our home, a lovely solid Craftsman Style house constructed in 1924. The window screens and their original wooden frames sorely needed refurbishing. I bought this great little orbital sander to buzz off the peeling paint from the wood frames rather than messy stripping. I marveled at the many layers of paint. In my imagination I made up a history of the aproned women who chose yellow, apple green, peach or standard white. I pictured how they must have dressed or what color hair they had as I happily buzzed off layers of history back down to the bare wood with many changes of sandpaper.

I completed the project, but then started feeling very weak, so very tired to the point I could barely get out of bed as well as flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea and abdominal pain. A more seasoned repairman friend brought up the fact that I most likely had inhaled and ingested a great deal of lead paint dust due to the age of the house and the fact that lead based paint was used until 1978.

Who knew? I hadn’t known or I certainly would have worn a mask!

I thought, “How am I going to get myself out of this one?” Then Cornellia’s voice came into my head, “Wakame protects against lead poisoning, radiation exposure and other toxic pollutants we are exposed to every day.”

Thank you Cornellia!

I got busy and poured on the wakame – wakame in miso soup, baked wakame onion casserole, and goma wakame. Goma wakame afforded a concentrated amount of wakame that I could sprinkle on just about anything edible. I used it heavily on my breakfast porridge. It tasted great, so I knew my body needed it. After 5 days, I felt stronger. After 2 weeks I was fully recovered.

That’s the beauty of macrobiotics: the cure often lies in your kitchen. I would like to share with you a recipe for Goma Wakame (see below). It is delicious and rich in minerals. It is suitable for children or people who wish to reduce sodium, as contains less sodium than Gomashio or sesame salt. It builds strong bones and teeth and is highly alkalizing. Best of all, it can save you if you are dumb enough to sand lead paint without proper protection!

Goma Wakame
Powdered Wakame and Toasted Sesame Seed Condiment

1/2 cup sesame seeds

12 inches of dried wakame

  1. Place the wakame strips on a cookie sheet and bake at 350? for 12-15 minutes or until the wakame is very dry and crumbles easily.
  2. Grind the roasted wakame in a suribachi until it is ground to a fine powder.
  3. Place sesame seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Pour off the seeds that float to the top into a fine mesh strainer to catch the sesame seeds.
  4. Repeat the above process, covering the sesame with water and pouring the seeds and water through the strainer until just a
    small amount of seeds remain in the washing bowl. This method any small stones or sand in the sesame seeds, they will by heavier than the seeds and remain in the bottom of the bowl after the majority of seeds have been strained off. Check these last seeds for stones or pieces of sand. If there are more than two or three pieces of sand or stones, repeat this washing process again.

5.  Drain the seeds in the strainer.

6. Dry the sesame seeds before roasting. Place in a skillet over a medium flame. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, drying until the seeds no longer stick to the wooden spoon.

7. Heat a stainless steel frying pan over a medium flame.

8. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of seeds.

9. Place a lid on the pan. Shake the seeds in the pan in a back and forward motion similar to popping corn. The seeds are done when you can crush a few seeds easily between the thumb and fourth finger.

11. Pour the finished seeds into the suribachi with the powdered wakame. Continue roasting the seeds as described above until all the seeds are roasted.

11. Grind the seeds in the suribachi with the powdered wakame until about 2/3 of the sesame seed are crushed.

12. Serve a sprinkling on grains as a condiment. Goma wakame may be stored in an airtight jar for about two weeks for maximum flavor and freshness or store in the refrigerator to keep the oil in the seeds fresh.


CONDIMENTS: Dandelion Oily Miso

Dandelion Oily Miso

Dandelion Oily Miso

beneficial to the liver and gall bladder,  builds red blood cells

4 cups dandelion greens chopped into 1/4 inch piece
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon barley miso

1.  Wash dandelion, drain and cut into small pieces.  Separate roots and greens if using the whole plant.

2.  Warm oil in a heavy skillet.

3.  Add dandelion roots first, then greens. Sauté the roots first until golden, then add the chopped greens, cooking until the color turns bright green.

4.  Add miso on top of dandelion green.  Stir with a spoon or chopstick, breaking up miso into smaller sections until it melts into the dandelion.

5.  Shut off flame and place in a small serving bowl.

6.   Serve a rounded teaspoon on top of rice cream porridge or other grain.


CONDIMENTS: Gomasio (Gomashio)

Gomasio (Gomashio)

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1. Place sesame seeds in a bowl and cover with water.  Pour off the seeds that float to the top into a fine mesh strainer.

2. Repeat, covering with water and pouring out the seeds suspended in the water, somewhat like panning for gold.  Continue adding water and pouring off seeds until just a few are left in the bowl.  Check these last seeds for stones or pieces of sand.  If there are more than two or three pieces of sand or stones, repeat this washing process again.

3. Drain the seeds in the strainer.

4. Heat a skillet and roast the salt, stirring, until the salt is dry and loose.  The color may darken slightly.

5. Place the roasted salt in the suribachi and grind.  Periodically, brush the salt out of the grooves of the suribachi with stiff bristled pastry brush.  Continue grinding until the salt feels powdery and not “grainy”.

6. Dry the sesame seeds before roasting.  Place in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over a medium flame.  Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, drying until the seeds no longer stick to the wooden spoon.

7. Heat a stainless steel frying pan over a medium flame.

8.   Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of sesame seeds.  If the seeds start popping out of the pan and all over the stove top, reduce the heat.

9. Place a lid on the pan.  Shake the seeds in the pan in a back and forward motion similar to popping corn.  The seeds are done when you can crush a few seeds easily between the thumb and fourth finger.

10.  Pour the finished seeds into the suribachi with the ground sea salt.  Continue roasting the seeds as described above until all the seeds are roasted.

11.  Grind the seeds in the suribachi with the sea salt until about 2/3 of the sesame seeds are crushed.

12.  Serve a sprinkling on grains as a condiment.  Gomashio may be stored in an air-tight jar for about two weeks for maximum flavor and freshness.


CONDIMENTS: Watermelon Rind Condiment

Watermelon Rind Condiment

Here’s a novel way to make use of those otherwise discarded watermelon rinds.
One of the principles of macrobiotics is “no waste.” This recipe let’s us put it into action.

2 cups diced watermelon rind (white part with the outside skin trimmed off)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon barley miso (or to taste)

1.  Cut away the outer green skin of the watermelon.  Dice the white part into 1/2″ cubes.

2.  Warm the oil in a cast iron skillet.

3.  Add the watermelon rind.  Saute 2-3 minutes over medium high flame.

4.  Add miso.  Mix in until the miso melts.

5.  Cover pot with a lid and cook until the watermelon rinds are semi soft.

6.  Serve as a condiment for grain, bread, or pasta.


CONDIMENTS: Pumpkin Seed Sprinkle

Pumpkin Seed Sprinkle

1/2 pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup tightly packed dulse (yields about 1/4 cup

powdered dulse)

1.  Unfold dulse and check for sea shells and stones.

2.  Spread dulse on a cookie sheet and bake at 350? for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dulse can be

crushed easily.

3.  Place pumpkin seeds on another cookie sheet and bake at the same time for 10 to 15 minutes.

4.  Stir once after 5 minutes so the seeds bake evenly.  The seeds are roasted when they puff out and

are slightly golden.

5.  Place dulse in a suribachi and grind to a fine powder.

6.  Add roasted pumpkin seeds to the powdered dulse and grind with the pestle until about 2/3 of the

seeds are crushed.

7.  Serve over grains, porridge or creme soups.


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