Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 130 June / July 2008 Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
 

Welcome
to the
Newsletter
of the
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
in Palo Alto,
California!

For information on our organization, click on About Us.


green onions
     Scenes from the wild 21st Anniversary Celebration
Scenes from the wild 21st Anniversary celebration of the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community on May 5, featuring karaoke!  Clockwise from upper left:  1) James, Ken, Ilona, and Veronika;  2) Carolyn;  3) Patricia;  4) Gary and Ken;  5) servers Jason and Collin.
 
 
How do I attend the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners?
 
Chef Gary Alinder, since 1987
Every Monday, 6:30 PM
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto
305 North California Avenue
at Bryant
1/4 mile East of Alma
Sit Down or Take-out, $15
Reservations Requested:
Call 650 599-3320 by
Monday 9:30 AM.
 
Open to everyone. Communal seating--new people easily integrate into our friendly group, which includes many singles. Make new friends on Mondays!

   
 
Coming Events
 
Monday, June 30
Meredith McCarty speaks on The Basics of Healthy Eating.
 
Friday, July 11 -
Sunday, July 20
French Meadows Summer Camp in the Tahoe National Forest, call 800 232-2372.
 
   
 
News and Announcements
Make a date with a friend to meet at a Monday Dinner, or come by yourself and make new friends! Either way, you'll get a great meal and a lot more--everyone wins!

Help publicize the Monday Dinners! An easy way to spread the word about our weekly community gathering is to click on the Tell-A-Friend link in the upper left of this page. Just fill out the form with the email addresses of up to two friends, along with any personal comments you'd like to add, and click Submit--this emails your comments along with pre-written details of the Dinners and a link to this website!

Another way to help is to post a copy of our Dinner Menus in public locations. For a pdf file suitable for printing, click here.

The 39th Annual French Meadows Summer Camp, sponsored by the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, takes place July 11-20 in the majestic setting of the Tahoe National Forest. Teachers include Ronald Koetzsch, PhD, Melanie Waxman, Bob Ligon, Denny and Susan Waxman, Bob Carr, Meredith McCarty, Dawn Pallavi, Carl and Julia Ferré, Mike and Maria Chen, Laura Stec, Barb Jurecki-Humphrey, Bhumi Russell, Mary Lore Simmons, Kerry Loeb, Shirley Tung, and Bob Ruggles. Delicious macrobiotic meals are prepared by Packy Conway, Susanne Jensen, and staff over wood fires. Also included are children's activities, campfires, cooking demos/classes, hikes, volleyball, variety show, and more--for a truly unforgettable experience. Fees are $810/adult, $405/youth aged 3 to 16; 10% discount for full payment by June 1, 5% discount by July 1. Partial stays and work exchange are possible. For more information, call Carl Ferré at 800 232-2372, pick up a camp brochure at Dinner, or visit any of the following:
See Community Connection for a profile of Chef Susanne Jensen, who does wonderful work at Willard School in Berkeley. She will be our guest chef on June 23 and July 21.

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! The Peninsula Veggie Potluck People, a spinoff of the Monday Dinners, sponsor monthly vegan potlucks. For the dates and locations of upcoming potlucks, visit http://pvpp.org or call Diane Wohler at 650 704-0669, or Harold Stephenson at 650 856-1125. Hosts needed!

The North Bay Macrobiotic Potluck Group usually meets the first Sunday of each month in Santa Rosa, contact Stephen Starkweather (), 707 542-9739, http://www.northbaymacro.org.
   
 
Summer Celebration!
 
June 30, 2008
 
California Corn Soup

Pinto Bean and Seitan Stew with Salsa and Tofu Sour Cream

Long Grain Rice with Pepitos

Summer Veggie Medley

Tossed Green Salad

Warm Corn Tortillas

Chocolate Mousse

Iced Cinnamon Grain Coffee

$15

Meredith McCarty speaks on The Basics of Healthy Eating

More Dinner Menus...

 
Cooking and Classes
James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking in Palo Alto, in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 852-9182.

Marin-based cookbook author, lecturer, and macrobiotic food coach Meredith McCarty offers the following:
•  a cooking class, Summer Pleasures, in Oakland (June 14) and Larkspur (June 17), $50. For details, call 415 381-1735 or visit http://www.healingcuisine.com.
•  a lecture on Managing Menopause, June 26, 6:30-8 pm, $25, Redwood High School in Larkspur, register at http://www.marinlearn.com.
Macrobiotic Chef Julie Ong teaches a macrobiotic cooking class on the first Saturday of every month at Manzanita Restaurant, 4001 Linden St (at 40th), Oakland, 3-5:30 pm, $45, call 415 312-0241 to register, visit http://omkariwholisticliving.com for information.
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

Meredith      
Meredith McCarty will speak on The Basics of Healthy Eating on June 30.    
On June 30, Holistic Nutritionist (Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator) and Cookbook Author Meredith McCarty will speak on The Basics of Healthy Eating. Healthy eating is one of the four aspects of a healthy lifestyle (along with exercise, stress management and group support). This enjoyable practice contributes to both disease prevention and recovery. Do you know:

•  Which food groups contribute to maximum health?
•  Which nutrients are most important: protein, minerals, vitamins, fats or carbohydrates?
•  Which kind of carbohydrates are best?
•  Where fiber comes from and what its purpose is?
•  What the difference is between animal and plant proteins?
•  What staples you need to have on hand to create a sense of ease when time is of the essence and you're hungry for really good food?
To make getting started easy, you'll take home a shopping list of healing foods, a week's worth of quick and easy menu plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a resource list for more support.

Meredith became involved in macrobiotics in the 1970s, and worked as an Associate Editor for Natural Health magazine and a co-Director of the East-West Center for Macrobiotics in Eureka. She has written three very popular cookbooks: American Macrobiotic Cuisine, Fresh From a Vegetarian Kitchen, and the award-winning dessert cookbook Sweet and Natural. Meredith started Healing Cuisine in 1995 to offer teaching, consulting, lectures and related services; visit http://www.healingcuisine.com.

No presentation is scheduled in July--have a wonderful summer!

   
You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.
Anonymous
Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Baruch (Benedict de) Spinoza
To have the power
to forgive,
Is empire and prerogative,
And 'tis in crowns
a nobler gem,
To grant a pardon
than condemn.
Samuel Butler
Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.
Carl Sagan
 
Quinoa-Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Makes 3 to 6 servings or 6 cups

Quinoa (makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups):
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1-inch piece kombu seaweed
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Lemon Vinaigrette (makes 6 tablespoons):
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or part flax oil
  • 2 teaspoons natural soy sauce or umeboshi vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed
Vegetables:
  • kernels of 2 ears yellow corn
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in 1/2-inch pieces, or sugar snap peas, or 1/2 cup English peas
  • 1 carrot, diced small
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 rib celery, diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill or cilantro, chopped
  • 3 to 6 butter lettuce leaves for serving
Steps:
  1. Rinse, drain and soak quinoa in measured amount of water for 15 to 60 minutes; no more or quinoa absorbs too much water. Drain water into measuring cup. Note the amount, discard it, and bring measured amount of fresh water to boil in a small pot. Add quinoa and salt. When boiling resumes, turn heat low to cook covered until liquid is absorbed and grains are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Grains will appear translucent and the germ ring will be visible.) Transfer quinoa to a bowl by fluffing with a fork. Allow to cool.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients. Steam or boil corn, green beans or peas, and carrot until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and toss with quinoa, remaining vegetables and herb. Dress and serve on individual lettuce leaf cups.
Optional Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts or almonds, or 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
Nutritional Analysis (for 6 servings, per serving):
•  Calories: 203
•  Protein: 7gm
•  Saturated Fat: 0.33gm
•  Fiber: 4gm
•  Carbohydrates: 37gm
•  Fat: 4gm
•  Cholesterol: 0
•  Sodium: 54mg
•  Calories from Protein: 13%
•  Calories from Fats: 18%
•  Calories from Carbohydrates: 69%

by Meredith McCarty


Scenes from the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners
Scenes from the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners
Get a great meal, make new friends, and join in the fun at the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners in Palo Alto:  Yoga Meets Dance with yoga teacher and superb dancer Jessica Ruby Hernandez (center, rear) on May 12;  and the 21st Anniversary Celebration with karaoke singing on May 5!
Community Connection
Teaching a cooking class at French Meadows Summer Camp
Susanne displays
freshly made tortillas
from a cooking class at
the French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp.
   
   
 
  Making a Difference
 Through Cooking
  An Interview with
    Susanne Jensen
 
    by
Gerard T.
     Lum

Chef and caterer Susanne Jensen is in her ninth year as a cooking teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District. The district has a USDA grant to teach kids to garden, incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet, and stay healthy.

Four days a week, Susanne teaches natural foods, vegetarian cooking to students in grades 6-8 at Willard Middle School. The student population at Willard is the most diverse of any school in Berkeley.

The 6th graders have a cooking class every two weeks. The 7th and 8th graders choose from several elective classes; the most popular is Susanne's cooking class, which meets twice per week. She also teaches a class which meets after school.

The school has an organic garden, mandated by the California Nutrition Network. Garden production includes herbs, tomatoes (September), pumpkins (October), grains (April), salad greens (May), and summer fruits (June). Gardening teacher Matt Tsang, in his 11th year, maintains the garden with assistance from two AmeriCorps helpers (a domestic Peace Corps).

Students use produce from the garden in their cooking class on a seasonal, harvest of the month basis. Occasional eggs are provided by ten resident chickens, who also enjoy life as pets pampered by the students. Susanne gets additional food needed for class from the central kitchen of the Berkeley public schools, and from Berkeley Bowl Marketplace.
Susanne teaches 27-30 students at a time, in a beautiful cooking room. The room has three cooking stations, each fully equipped with its own sink, stove, etc. The students are divided into three groups, led by Susanne, a second teacher (in science or language arts), and an assistant.

Within the 90 minute class, students do everything to put on a meal, including setting the table, washing and cutting vegetables, cooking, dining, cleaning up, and doing laundry. With so many students, some as young as 10, it can be challenging for Susanne to keep everyone busy and on track.

Typical class preparations include Chef's Salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and breadsticks, and crepes with strawberry and peach compote. Recipes are often holiday-themed; a perennial favorite, in February for Chinese New Year, is Pot Stickers.

Students typically take a lot of pride in setting a beautiful table with tablecloths and plates. While dining on their preparations, they learn social skills and table manners. Susanne fosters a family atmosphere, especially valuable for students who do not regularly sit down at a family meal.

A highlight for the 7th and 8th graders is the Iron Chef competition, where students choose what to make and create their own recipes.

In 2007, students built an outdoor clay pizza oven with help from Bernhard Masterson, a clay oven building expert who came from Portland, OR, to help with the project. Funding came from donations and a grant from Wells Fargo. (See a Berkeley Daily Planet article.)

Each year, Willard computer students format and print the recipes created/adapted by Susanne for the class--one year they compiled the recipes into a cookbook with photos. Susanne hopes to include the original student recipes produced for the Iron Chef competition in a future publication.

The annual Spring Day in May, filled with fun activities, signals the approaching end of the school year. This year's festivities included a big Taco lunch in the garden, serving 245 people. The day before, students in three of Susanne's classes chopped the needed vegetables, including 50 pounds of onions cut into rings for grilling.
Tenuous Beginnings
In 1992 a Berkeley parent, Yolanda Huang, started the Willard Greening Project, an effort to improve the environment at Willard Middle School. This resulted in the planting of a garden at the school.

In 1998, Yolanda applied for and got a California Nutrition Network Grant for Willard and five other schools. Susanne's involvement began when Yolanda asked her to teach the cooking classes. She knew Susanne from macrobiotics.

For the first three years, facilities were minimal. Susanne and the kids were cooking on butane burners in the cafeteria, without running water. Committed to nutrition education whatever the circumstances, Susanne focused on the basics: techniques of cooking, how ingredients go together, and how to make delicious dishes.

When asked about Susanne's classes, Yolanda giddily exclaims, "Susanne's genius is taking whatever they have, and always being successful in whatever they cook. They do extraordinary things. She is an artist and master at work. Hundreds of kids go through her classes each year." After a few years of this, the school realized what they had, and gave her a beautiful classroom.

Yolanda has nothing but admiration for Susanne, and is inspired to expound further, "If we are interested in teaching peace, it starts with sharing food. We don't eat with people who are our enemies, we eat with people who are our friends. It's more than math and English."

On Teaching
As a teacher at Willard School, Susanne never has two days that look the same. On days that she comes to work moving slowly, within a half hour of arriving, she is energized by students who "keep you young."

Susanne's work teaching healthy cooking has immediate benefits, and will likely serve students well for the rest of their lives. But she sees her role going far beyond cooking; most importantly, she provides positive reinforcement for students who do not always have real, positive role models. Though trying at times, she has learned to see the best in them, and to be supportive.

"If you can find that little place to connect with... It is easy to get upset, but if you can hold that upset-ness and see them as human beings, it can change your relationship with them, and you can make a real difference."

With her characteristic humility, Susanne is grateful for her job. She cites its benefits to herself, in being better able to relate to her own teenaged daughter Sophia, 14.
Macrobiotics
When asked about her macrobiotic beginnings, Susanne replies, "In January 1981 I started my first cooking class at the Kushi Institute in Boston. I still remember sitting in class feeling overwhelmed by all the exotic names like hiziki, rutabaga and collard greens (coming from Denmark I had never heard about or seen) and thinking I would never learn all of this. However, slowly I caught on and took one class after the other until I had finished all the levels, as it was called at the time and started assisting cooking teachers and macrobiotic counselors. I used to assist Aveline Kushi and Michio Kushi. Eventually I was asked to teach the cooking class for the level one students. I taught various classes at the Kushi Institute for a period of four years. But eventually I needed a new adventure and came to California to study yoga."

At the annual French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp in the Tahoe National Forest, Susanne leads the camp kitchen along with Packy Conway and James Brunkow. The kitchen staff prepares up to 150 meals at a time, on outdoor stoves without refrigeration, with occasional intrusions from hungry bears. The kitchen is highly organized and functions like clockwork, producing three superb, healthy meals for each of the nine days of camp.

The kitchen staff at work at French Meadows Summer Camp
The kitchen staff at work at French Meadows Summer Camp.
Susanne is third from the right.

Working with Susanne and other expert cooks in the camp kitchen is an excellent way to learn macrobiotic cooking. The work/exchange program for staffing the camp kitchen always fills up fast. And the person next to you learning to cut vegetables will quite likely become a lifelong friend.

Susanne also caters and teaches macrobiotic cooking classes in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner Mike Hummell and friendly daughter Sophia. Their home is a frequent and welcome destination for their many friends.

Susanne will be our guest chef on June 23 and July 21. Gerard T. Lum is editor of the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community newsletter.
From the Editor
Email Notification of Newsletter: To receive an email notification each time the Newsletter and Dinner Menus are published on this site (every two months), .
 
Mailing List Policy: To get a printed copy of the Newsletter and Dinner Menus delivered by postal mail, or call the phone number below. To offset the expense of producing the Newsletter and Menus, we suggest a contribution of $10/year or more. The date and amount of your last newsletter contribution appears on your mailing label. Write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community", and mail to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Road #9, Mountain View, CA 94043, 650 903-0447.

We periodically review our mailing list. Those who have not made a recent contribution are subject to removal.

Tax-Deductible Contributions: We welcome and can use additional contributions to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, as income from the Dinners does not pay all of our expenses. We are a nonprofit organization, so additional contributions are fully tax-deductible. Send contributions to the address in Mailing List Policy above.

Back Issues of the Newsletter and Menus: Click here.

 
This website uses the Georgia and Verdana fonts, designed for legibility on the computer screen.  Download them free for the PC or Mac from Simply the Best.