Interesting Times

May 22, 2017

“There is a Chinese curse which says, ‘May he live in interesting times.’  Like it or not, we live in interesting times.  They are the times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy

The Chinese curse referenced by Robert F. Kennedy in the quote above has never been successfully traced to any source in China, but rather to a British statesman.  Joseph Chamberlain, father of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, shared an anecdote about hearing the expression in a 1936 address to a political organization.  Whatever the original origins of the phrase, its interpretation as an ironic curse is reflected by the history that is currently being made in the United States and world today.

Robert Kennedy spoke of the 1960s generation as being one of both uncertainty and creativity, observations one could definitely make about our current political and artistic climate.  As a Yoga Therapist, I would add that both fear and creativity are associated with the sacral chakra, which, interestingly, corresponds to the color orange.

Whatever your opinion is of current events, these interesting times can often provoke anxiety.  Although I am a regular practitioner of yoga, prayer and meditation, I am not immune to the stresses of the extraordinarily interesting times we are living through at the moment.

While surfing through my YouTube suggestions recently, I came upon an instructional video about a simple 5 minute acupressure technique of successively holding the thumb and fingers of each hand with the opposite hand.  To my amazement, I felt a release from tension almost immediately.  I have continued practicing this exercise after dinner and before bed each night and the results have been wonderful.  I decided to look further into this method and found that it is from a healing modality called Jin Shin Jyutsu, which was founded by a Japanese man during the early 1900s and brought to the United States by his student and translator, a woman named Mary Burmeister.  I am no expert in this particular modality, but I intend to research the techniques further for possible use in my own practice.  For now, I am passing this one on to you as a simple meditation exercise that I have used successfully to reduce stress, calm, relax and center myself.

Here’s the instructional YouTube, which gives clear cut, simple instructions, albeit featuring a rather robotic automated narrator.  Just imagine you are taking a class with PZ-4CO, the female droid of Star Wars fame:

 

 

May the force be with you!

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Interesting times call for interesting tastes.  Blueberry Galettte with Turmeric and Ginger is a delicious and nutritious distraction.

Blueberry Galette with Turmeric and Ginger
This free-form tart, also known as a Crostata, is forgiving in its simplicity of preparation and satisfying in its tastiness.  With the added intrigue of Turmeric and Ginger, this blueberry tart qualifies as both trendy and comfort food.  I used one Trader Joe’s pie frozen pie crust (they come two 10-inch crusts to a pack) and their frozen organic wild blueberries.

1 single frozen pie crust for a 10-inch pie, thawed.
Flour for dusting
1 & 1/2 cups frozen organic and/or wild blueberries
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger root
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of black pepper
4 & 1/2 tablespoons organic sugar
1 & 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg, mixed with a little water

 

Preheat oven to 400°F

Line a large baking pan/cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place thawed crust on baking pan and dust lightly with flour.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll crust out a bit more until it is about 12 inches across (it doesn’t have to look perfect – the rustic appearance is part of the charm of a galette/crosata).  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together frozen blueberries, cornstarch, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper.

Place berry mixture in center of crust with a two inch border surrounding fruit.  Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the sugar and scatter the cold butter chunks over the top.

Fold the two inch border into the center of the galette, partially covering the outer part of the fruit area.  Make a few pleats with the dough in order to make the circle neat.  Again, this crust doesn’t have to be uniform in appearance; you just want to make sure the fruit doesn’t leak out during cooking.  Brush the folded edge of the pastry with the beaten egg (you won’t need all of it) and sprinkle edges of crust and fruit center with the remaining 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.  Let cool on a rack.

This is lovely with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8

 

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