THE ALCHEMYCAL PAGES


[Home | Q & A | The Human Being | Yin & Yang |The Ginger Compress| Disease of the Month | Food and You | General Dietary Recommendations | Resources | Events Calendar|Personal Information |]


To Purchase "The End of Medicine",


ON PRESSURE COOKING


IN THE KITCHEN.

In changing to a macrobiotic way of living there can be no doubt that the most important change we make is to learn how to select, prepare, cook and eat our daily food. The knowledge and art of macrobiotic cooking is the most significant of all in human existence for on it depends the quality of life of the human individual and the earth.

The macrobiotic kitchen is at one and the same time an altar, a place of meditation, a sacramental space, an alchemical temple, a deeply-wise natural (wise because it is natural) pharmacy, and cooking macrobiotically is a ritual of profound gratitude and quietly ecstatic joy, the translation of the infinite wisdom embedded in nature into a strong and deep foundation for the individual and family.The individual and family that cooks and eats macrobiotically can become humble, strong, relaxed, open, healthy and vital, thus making the whole world in order; for when the family follows the natural order of things, then the community, society, culture, ecology and economy is vital, creative, calm, and deeply reverent.

There is no doubt in my mind the kitchen is the crux of civilisation and how we conduct ourselves in the kitchen and our attitude toward selecting, preparing and cooking our daily nourishment is the barometer of the the state of the culture - the social condition of the people of the world, the world economy and the ecology of the earth.

It is no secret the social condition of the peoples of the world today is one of strife, disarray, mean-spiritedness, plagued with degenerative and infectious diseases and addictions; the world economy is deeply bankrupt in a black hole of debt and the ecology of the earth is being raped, plundered, poisoned and pillaged. And of course the kitchen is no longer a place of cooking today - it is rather a place to heat up some 'convenience food' in the microwave after our "busy, dying day" if we haven't gone out to eat at some fast-food chain or fancy restaurant while we take our painkillers, vitamin pills and antacids.

Over the course of time I will be discussing many aspects of cooking and we start with the basics of getting started.

The Macrobiotic Kitchen.

To get the most (with the least harm) out of your home cooking you need to assemble a variety of utensils and supplies. For those who are beginning a macrobiotic practice it is sometimes difficult to know what these are and where they are available.

First (equipment-wise) and most important is a gas stove (calmer, chi transfers to the food). If you are stuck with electricity (excitable chi) you can use a two burner camp stove. They are found at outdoor activity stores like Any Mountain, Oshman's, Marin Outdoors, Target/Price-Costco, etc. Stay away from the one burner butane models for lack of efficiency. A more expensive alternative is to change your stove top. A solar oven is another possibility.

Second in importance, especially in this and colder climates, is the pressure cooker. Used mainly for cooking grains (our most important food), it provides the five elements of cooking; heat, water, salt, pressure and time, as well as containing all of the chi/life force present. Aeternum of Italy makes a durable, medium priced, stainless steel cooker (do not use any aluminum in cooking) in various sizes.

Third is a high quality vegetable knife. MAC is a decent brand. This is the main knife in macrobiotics.

The rest of the items:

Wooden utensils (better conductors of chi). Not all wooden bowls will hold water.

Grater. Many different kinds. I recommend the 4 sided, stand-up one, made in Sweden. Does everything easily.

Cheesecloth. For compresses.

Chopsticks. Slows down eating.

Cast Iron pots. Use all year around for iron but mainly in winter.

Assorted enamel, stainless steel, and glass pots, pans, and baking dishes.

Teapot.

Heat diffuser. For pressure cooking after coming to pressure to prevent burning.

Stainless steel veggie steamer basket.

Salad press. Lightly pickles ingredients.

Suribachi or Mortar & Pestle and surikogi. For making gomashio (sesame salt).

Tea strainer.

Wooden cutting board.

Bamboo mats for covering food.

Potato masher. (Not for potatoes)

Measuring spoons (starting at 1/4 tsp). and measuring cups.

Glass or plastic containers for storage or transport.

Wide mouth steel thermos.

(The above -with some slight modifications - was originally published in Macro Times and is used with permission).

A macrobiotic shopping list of basic food items:

25 lbs bag organic Short Grain Brown Rice.

2 lbs organic Millet.

2 lbs organic Barley.

2 lbs organic Rolled Oats.

1 lb organic Aduki beans.

1 lb organic 2 1/2 year old or older Barley Miso.

8 oz Pickled organic Umeboshi Plums.

1 pkt Pickled Daikon or 1 bottle Organic Sauerkraut.

1 lb seasalt (either Lima Seasalt or Si-salt).

1 litre good quality olive oil or sesame oil.

1 litre organic shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari.

1 16 oz bottle brown rice syrup.

4-6 oz kombu or wakame seaweed.

1 lb organic brown unhulled sesame seeds.

4 ozs Kuzu.

"Self Healing Cookbook" by Kristine Turner. "Basic Macrobiotic Cooking", by Julia Ferre´

All this will set you back about 100 dollars without the pressure cooker, which costs between 80 and 140 dollars depending on the brand. However, most of the above food items will take anything from a week to 6 weeks to be used up, so although the initial outlay is significant, in the long run eating macrobiotically is far more reasonable on your wallet or purse than eating the standard american diet. Of course, the pressure cooker will last generations.

Then the organic(preferably) vegetables can be purchased fresh every other day or so. You can begin learning how to cook macrobiotically by using the recipes on the Menus Page. However, I highly recommend you seek out macrobiotic cooking teachers in your area and take as many lessons as you need to learn how to begin teaching cooking classes yourself.

All of these things are found at one or more of the following in the Bay Area: The Macrobiotic Grocery in Oakland (510-653-6510), Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco (415-863-0620), Good Earth Natural Foods in Marin (415-454-0123), Whole Earth Access, Macy's, Longs Drug Stores, etc.

If you do not live in the Bay area then check your local natural grocery or through mail order from Gold Mine in San Diego, CA (800-475-3663).

Home |


e-mail : Kaare Bursell

Postal Address:
1041 Kains Avenue
Albany, CA 94706.

The Alchemycal Pages Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996-2003.