Indian Erotica, Fermenting, Christmas, Guava, and Vegan French Toast

Fermentation station: I made raw sauerkraut the day after Christmas, using the new fermentation kit my husband gave me. It’s a resourceful device that lets me use the mason jars that I prefer to use for fermenting.

One of our hippeastrum reached its peak on Christmas day. Perfect timing.

New obsession: raw guava. I had a big bowl on Christmas eve, and guava in my morning smoothies.

Christmas breakfast: absolutely yummy vegan vanilla cardamom and almond challah bread French toast, baked slowly in the oven. It rose like a soufflé and was tender and light. A little agave drizzled over the top.

Mono meal Christmas dinner: oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with a touch of olive oil and Himalayan salt. We both hogged big bowls of it.

Indian erotica: there’s no explaining my moods in literature. On Christmas eve, I immersed myself in these poems.

We enjoyed a wonderfully quiet, uneventful Christmas. This wasn’t by accident: my husband and I planned it this way. We visited our mothers around Christmas day, but spent December 25 alone together, reading, watching football, snuggling with the pups, and eating too much. We kept gift giving simple. We slept a lot. Today is December 27, and we both feel completely relaxed, rested, happy, and grateful.

This morning’s smoothie is standard banana, but with two raw guava added. Raw guava is my new obsession. There’s a big bowl in the kitchen, and its sweet, tropical fragrance fills the air. It’s so heady you can almost taste guava just by inhaling it. Guava seeds are very hard, though. All you can really do is swallow them. There’s no chewing them. I remove the seeds before adding guava to smoothies.

As if he can read my mind, one of my husband’s gifts was a fermenting kit. I was planning on making sauerkraut this weekend using my old-school method, but this kit has ramped up our fermentation game. There are two big mason jars of sauerkraut fermenting on the kitchen counter this morning.

Some bad news: my yellow ‘Good Hope’ clivia, which was in the garage for its winter dormancy, froze and withered. Interestingly, the orange clivia right next to it did not. So, I moved the orange into a dark, cool cellar room, where freezing temps won’t be an issue. I chopped the yellow to about one inch tall, watered it deeply, and placed it under the grow lights. It may make a comeback, but I doubt it. I took the loss pretty hard. I’ll be shopping for another yellow clivia.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone about their spirulina experience. I’ve been using Terrasoul spirulina for a long time, but on a friend’s recommendation have ordered one pound of Nutrex Hawaiian spirulina Pacifica, which should arrive today. I’m looking for the purest ocean-chill and most iron-and-phytonutrient-rich spirulina that’s available and affordable. Let me know where you source your spirulina from.

I’m listening to the Gyoto monks this morning. These are the 35-year-old recordings taken in Tibet by scholar Houston Smith. Now and then, I crave an empty room and these recordings at full volume. Have you ever seen Tibetan monks in deepest meditation? I have. It’s magic. Literally. Sometime I’ll write here about the experience.

And another documentary I want to recommend: it’s a 2011 film called ‘Hannah’. It’s the story of the life of Hannah Nydahl, a Copenhagen-born Christian who turned to Tibetan Buddhism in early adulthood while on her honeymoon in Nepal with her husband Ole.

There, they met and became the first Western students of a very holy man, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, H.H. the 16th Karmapa. 

She and Ole spent the remainder of their lives bringing the Dharma to Europe and America and perfecting meditation. Ole continues the work today. Hannah inspired thousands of seekers to join her in living the Dharma. Her life was extraordinary. Her death from cancer was an inspiration.

In a few days, it will be the new year. I’m looking forward to it. There are no resolutions, only a list of things I hope to accomplish, people I will bless, animals I will love and protect, a mother I hope to make proud, a practice I will continue to develop, and a wonderful husband I hope to make happy.

Live in peace.

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