Thursday, December 11, 2008

Full Moon and Sick Times

With all this clear weather as of late, we've had an amazing string of moony nights here on the Lost Coast. Crystal clear, twinkling stars, frosty grass, and white liquid moonlight spilling all over everything. No need for headlamps, and it shines in on our faces through the skylight while we sleep in our cozy yurt loft. Yesterday afternoon, we were returning from town and took a pit stop while on the Wildcat (the road between Ferndale and Petrolia), and as I chanced a look behind me to the east, a giant, transparent moon was just above the golden horizon. Oh, it makes the heart sing! And tonight, as the sun was setting, there it comes again, hovering over the dip in the ridge to the northeast.

The neat thing about the solstice full moon is that it describes the path of the summer sun. In other words, where the moon came up tonight is where the sun rises on summer solstice. This is a valuable piece of design information, if you want to get a sense of where the sun is on your site and you don't have access to other kinds of tools.

Otherwise, this is also a time of year when everyone and their brother is sick, getting sick, overcoming sickness, or worried about getting sick. Our whole family was sick during this last calendar week, and everywhere I go, I hear of others, and hear the coughing and congested noses. More time indoors with windows and doors closed + drier air to dry up throats and noses, due to woodstoves + holiday eating of rich and sweet food along with extra alcoholic beverages + less exercise + more time spent in indoor places with lots of people = ripe breeding ground for viruses of all walks. Our little family is always working on eating well, but especially this time of year, toning down the dairy and sweets, trying to exercise more, and wash hands wash hands wash hands. It's amazing how far hand washing will take you! While we were sick, I made

Kira's Sicky Soup...

1 onion
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
5 cloves garlic
grated ginger (to taste, optional)
1 bunch chard, chopped, including stems
chopped (or a can of) tomatoes, about 2-3 cups
chicken stock
cayenne (to taste)
1 pkg. bean thread noodles
tofu (optional)

Saute the onion slowly in some olive oil in a big soup pot until it is transparent. Add the celery, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, cayenne. Saute a few minutes longer. Add the stock, some extra water, and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. When carrots are cooked, remove some water to a small bowl. Dissolve several teaspoons of miso with the small amount of water and set aside. Put bean thread noodles, chard, and tofu into soup pot and boil a few moments longer. Turn off the heat. Add the miso slurry into the soup and serve with whole grain toast and a tall glass of water or tea. Eat for several meals in a row, even breakfast! Yum! I was grateful the other night for garden carrots, chard, and tomatoes.

May you all enjoy lovely full moons and good health throughout the winter season!

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