Macros: Water, Flower, Shofar

waters of Niagara Falls
Water is the first of my three macros for this week. This is a detail of the waters of the American Falls of Niagara Falls.

market flowers
Detail of Highland Park Farmer’s Market flowers.

shofar ram's horn
The tail end of the shofar, the ram’s horn, that is sounded every day in the Jewish month of Elul. One does not blow into this larger end of the shofar but into the other, smaller end. It is not easy to do, but if I purse my lips together in a certain way, I can get the right sound.

For more macros, see:
Macro Monday

Wet Raspberry Macros

raspberry with with raindrops
Finally, we had a day without oppressive heat and humidity! It’s been raining almost all day, and in the morning I enjoyed photographing raindrops on my raspberries.

berry bottom with drop of water

top of a raspberry

raspberry top rain drop

For more macro shots:
Macro Monday

Corn – Macro Monday

corn
Photographing corn – the kernels are quite shiny and smooth.

corn
My friend who grew up in Minnesota said yellow corn is animal feed – but I like both white and yellow corn. Do you?

For more macros:
Macro Monday

Macro of the Giant Peach

peach
OK, it’s a regular-sized peach, but I liked the title.

peach skin
I bought these peaches at the farmer’s market on Friday.

For more macros, visit Macro Monday:
Macro Monday

Andromeda Shrub Flowers – Macro

andromeda flowers
These tiny white flowers are on my andromeda shrub.

andromeda flowers
Same andromeda shrub: these flowers have turned a pinkish red color. What else do you see? Looks almost like blood to me. Click Andromeda and scroll down to see the bush in context – you will see how tiny the flowers are.

For more macros:
Macro Monday

Daffodil Trumpet Macro

daffodil macro
Now that I have a macro lens, I can finally participate in Macro Monday. What a pleasure to view raindrops on the trumpet of a daffodil up close. See more terrific macro shots:
Macro Monday

Pick N Choose Macrobiotics

carrot_watercolor
Some snippets from Klara’s macrobiotics group:

Newbie asks: What to do about challah on a Friday night (or the lack thereof)?
Some responses:

As for challlah Friday night. I have two thoughts. First is the difference between the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. I think the blessing say thanks for the bread etc. So, I have no problem saying the blessing over a piece of whole grain, or sprouted bread. Extending even further, why not substitute one grain for another. Why just wheat, why not rice. I have said the “ chamotzie” over rice, quinoa, hato mugi etc. many times. The other thought, is that even though challah isn’t remotely macrobiotic, if it makes you feel good, spiritually, physically, or in any other way. Have some. I’ve done that many times too. Macrobiotics is supposed to fit into your life, not the other way around

Klara’s response:

my compromise is I buy a very small unyeasted roll – and even then won’t eat it all – I have a friend who used to make rice kayu bread – which is half flour and half rice – and she would steam it. Steamed bread I was taught was easier to digest.

I was quite surprised by Michael Rossoff’s suggestion that it’s ok for me to have 1 – 2 slices of bread a day – so you see, I wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t go for counseling. As I said, each person had different needs.

Links from Klara’s macrobiotics group:

A recipe from Klara’s macrobiotics group:

Fresh Tekka

Ingredients:
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced carrot
1/2 cup minced burdock
1/2 cup minced lotus root
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon barley miso diluted in a little water
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon orange rind
1 cup spring water

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables in the following order, onion, carrot, lotus root and burdock.
Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
Cover with a lid and simmer on a low flame for at least 1 hour or until soft.
Add the diluted miso and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the ginger and orange rind and stir gently.
Remove from heat and serve over hot brown rice.

Comment from the recipe writer: You could use any of these veggies instead – parsnip, turnip, cabbage or squash – failing that use carrots and onions on their own. The relish changes every time we make it and even more so with different veggies – how splendid and wonderful a few simple adjustments can be!

(Comment from me: I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’ll print it and put it in my recipe book to try soon).

•   •   •

Note: I only follow a bit of the macrobiotic diet myself, in that I try to eat many vegetables, brown rice and beans. Thus my title of “pick n choose”: perhaps you can find a part of the diet to adopt?

Another Note: if you just pick and choose a little of the diet, you aren’t going to experience its healing effects. However, many of us like to put a toe into a pool before diving in…

Echinacea Flower – Coneflower

coneflower echinacea flower

I’ve wanted to grow echinacea flowers in my yard for a while. This season I’ve got a large one growing in my front yard. Years ago, I grew some in the back, but that area has become too shady. Supposedly, they reseed easily, so I shouldn’t deadhead too much. We shall see.

I couldn’t decide which photo to post, so here are two echinacea photos.

coneflower echinacea flower

Thursday Challenge theme is: FLOWERS (Colorful, Closeups, Gardens, Arrangements,…)

Creamy Yellow Vegan Soup

curried yellow creamy bean soup
Creamy Yellow Soup with Curry, Celery and Beans

This soup needs a name. It didn’t originally have curried spices. I got it from a macrobiotic newsletter. It didn’t have amounts, so I’m not sure I can call the source a real recipe. And the main ingredient in the original was broccoli, which I didn’t have and I didn’t feel like going back to the store to get, and I felt broccoli was too rough for the creamy texture that I wanted. Surprisingly, it has no onion. I think every other soup I make seems to start with an onion.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white northern beans, soaked overnight and then cooked with kombu
  • 2 pieces of kombu
  • 1 tsp. thyme (I used fresh from my garden)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 garlic clove
  • olive oil to saute the celery
  • 1 heaping tsp. turmeric
  • 1 heaping tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. white miso
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Soak the white beans overnight and cook with two pieces (about one inch) of kombu. Saute chopped celery and chopped garlic in olive oil or coconut oil. Cook the sweet potato; discard sweet potato skin. Puree the celery, garlic, thyme, sweet potato, beans and kombu in the food processor. Add the turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Reheat the pureed soup on the stove. Stir in a spoonful of miso just before serving.

Garnish with scallion or whatever fresh herb you have available. In the photo are some leaves of fresh oregano from my backyard.