The Pothole Between Worlds

My daughter came home from school today and began explaining what she had discovered while researching the history of Halloween online.  It sounded something like this…

“Mom, I know how Halloween got started.”

“Oh, yeah?  How?”

“Well, see, the Irish believed – a long time ago – that on October 31st the pothole between worlds got really thin and that spirits could get through.  They left milk and treats out to try to make the spirits happy, and if the spirits didn’t think it was good enough they would play tricks on them.”

“Oh, really?”  (Totally serious face…totally thinking about the pothole between worlds…trying to decide if I should ask her if she meant portal.)

“Yeah, and they wore costumes to confuse the spirits so they would leave them alone.”  (I decided not to say anything.  I rather like the idea of a pothole between worlds.)

I have been thinking of this all night, and I think she may be on to something.  We often talk about road blocks and potholes in our lives.  What if one of those potholes really WAS a pothole between worlds?  It kinda makes you wonder what’s on the other side.  It’s an interesting idea.  You’re just cruising through life, minding your own business, and BOOM!

Pothole.

Maybe someone left out some milk and treats…I’d better go check…

A large pothole on a country road.
Image via Wikipedia

(Almost) A Whole New You

Ever wished you could have a fresh start?  I know I have from time to time.  What’s interesting is that we literally get a fresh start every few years and most of us never realize it.  Did you know that almost every cell in your body is replaced periodically?  Some have a faster turnover than others, but most cells are replaced every 7 to 10 years.  That means each day when you wake up, some part of you somewhere is getting that fresh start.  How cool is that?  The main exception to this is neurons – you have to take care of those babies, because they are the only ones you get.

Each time you choose to start or continue a healthy habit, you are nurturing those new cells – literally making them healthier than the ones before.

What will you do with your fresh start?

Cattails

Cattail heads to use as tinder in the firepit and shoots for a snack!

 

This is the part you eat. You have to peel the outside leaves off to get to the cattail hearts. The white part is the best - once it starts turning green it doesn't taste very good. You can cook them, but I personally think they taste best raw - sort of like cucumber...

 

Sprouted Brown Rice

Sprouted brown rice with adzuki, squash, and kombu (and a little chicken)...

This is my favorite rice recipe to date:

  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 1/2 c. wheat berries
  • kombu (kelp)
  • water
  • carrot juice

Here’s the process…put the rice and wheat berries in a sprouting jar (i.e. a jar with a mesh lid).  Rinse WELL.  The water will come off very cloudy the first few times you rinse it.  After a few good rinses, fill the jar with water and allow the grains to soak 8 hours or overnight.  Pour the water off, rinse again, drain well, and lay the jar on its side.  Rinse and drain every 8 hours or so until you see little sprouts start poking out the ends of the grains.

Pour the sprouted grains into a pan.  Add just enough water to see it through the grains, then enough carrot juice to bring the liquid up to a level that barely covers the rice.  Lay a piece of kombu on the top.  Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer until the liquid disappears.  Turn the heat off and let sit covered for at least 10 minutes or until ready to serve.  Take the kombu off the rice, fluff it up with a fork, and you’re ready to go!

This is a really easy way to cook rice.  Sprouting it makes the nutrients more bioavailable and allows you to cook it with less liquid and a shorter cook time.  The carrot juice gives it a bit of a sweet flavor.  It doesn’t taste carrot-y at all.  The kombu naturally salts and seasons the rice and adds more minerals than regular salt would.  This is crazy good, healthy, and easy!  You can eat it by itself (it’s that good) or top it off with beans or veggies.

Adzuki, Squash, and Kombu Recipe

 

Burdock Stir Fry

This was a fun (and tasty) dinner I made this week.  The best part was that my parents were visiting and had to eat it!  My dad is a farmer, and he thinks I’m crazy for intentionally growing “weeds” that he sprays to keep out of his fields.  Well, my dad the farmer ate burdock and LIKED it.  HA!  (Weeds =1, Dad = 0)

This is a burdock root.  It is really long – this is actually one root cut into four pieces for easier handling.  You can either gather your burdock wild or purchase it at an Asian market.  It has many uses as a medicinal herb, from supporting the kidneys and liver to aiding digestion.  It is full of antioxidants and minerals.

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