Monday, June 23, 2014
Mom's Apple Pie.
I was taking a moment to remember being my mom's kid today (since her birthday is coming up on June 27th!), and I couldn't help but thing about all the ways she fed me. Mentally and emotionally for sure, but most importantly: physically. Mom had a way of making everything taste delicious. If she prepared it, there was a magical caste to it, that could not be duplicated. I even remember my brother asking her to "make him a pickle", which really meant, taking it out of the jar, and delivering it half-wrapped in a paper towel, folded just the way he liked it. I know that not everyone out there had a mother like this, but we all have this fantasy, if not our version of " mom's apple pie", or the equivalent. My mother spent hours in the kitchen. Yes, she was one of those dream moms who catered to each family member's needs. She made that her job and responsibility. Even early on, my mother's favorite memory of me was the bonding she felt from breast feeding me. This is an unusual thing for a mother to share with a child, I am sure...but it says a lot about her. Mom loved to feed me. And I loved to get fed by her. As I grew up, our family meals changed from lamb chops to brown rice, hijiki, dandelion greens and pressed salad. We became macrobiotic days due to my dad's influence. As his health needs and dietary education changed, so did the menu. We eliminated dairy, sugar and meats from the diet. One thing that never stopped, was my mom's loving hand and creativity. My mother would fill my sack lunch with care, which would always include a fun note, and foods that were delicious and my favorites. As our restricted diets took over, I began to restrict, and reject the nurture. I see this now, looking back. That food is like the mothering for my body, as exercise is the fathering. For so long, I turned away from the mothering for fear of being too dependent. As I have grown up, and grown down into my family roots, I turn towards more my mother and to the locally grown organic foods and to the simplicity of the diet we adopted when I was about age nine. As I recall my favorite foods, I can feel myself sinking into the foundational love which I was fed all along. I would like to share with you one of my favorite macrobiotic desserts: strawberry kanten. Kanten is a gelatin, but made from sea vegetables instead of animal hooves. Agar agar is a gelatinous seaweed that replaces jello. You can add any type of fruit juice and fruit to create the cool Summer dessert you desire. Here's a basic recipe to follow.
3 cups filtered apple juice
2 T. agar agar flakes
2 cups sliced strawberries (or blueberries)
In a medium saucepan, combine juice and agar agar flakes over medium heat and stir often until it boils. After is comes to a boil, reduce heat. Keep stirring as the dish simmers until agar agar is dissolved. Approximately 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooling. Add fruit.
Arrange fruit in dessert cups or place in 9 inch pyrex glass dish or glass bowl. Pour gel over fruit and let it set in refrigerator for 2 hours.