Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Cooking Style


The first leaves and buds of spring usually take several weeks to peek through the snow, unfold, and open (or if you live in Hawaii, the rain and chillier weather makes way for warm dry days again). In the same way, we can slowly modify our cooking as spring and warmer weather approaches. In addition to adding fresh greens to our meals, we can use more light cooking methods, such as short-time boiling, steaming, and quick sautéing. We may reduce the amount of salt and other seasonings slightly and fuse foods and pickles fermented for a shorter amount of time. During the long cold winter, the energy in our bodies often freezes, but as spring approaches, it begins to thaw and move upward and out. To help this process proceed smoothly, we begin using spring foods with upward energy such as wild grasses, sprouts and varieties of grain that have matured over the winter. Lightly fermented foods are also very helpful for releasing stagnated winter energy. Wild plants that grow in the neighborhood can be foraged. They give very strong energy and should be used only occasionally and in very small amounts. Wheat and barley have lighter energy than other grains and may be served relatively more frequently during this season. Condiments made with oil, miso, and scallions or chives are also especially enjoyable at this time of the year. As the weather turns warm, it is better to balance our meals with more lightly boiled vegetables and pressed or boiled salads rather than increase our consumption of fruit.

From Aveline Kushi's Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking

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