Friday, July 18, 2008

Places we like in Dublin

Definitely Food Co-op at No 12 Newmarket. Keywords: people, food, shopping, small, local, organic...Friendliness in the air. We like to go there on Saturdays for shopping and lunch. Usually there is a lot of other parents bringing their kids. Max loves to play chase with them :-) People seem to know each other very well. In the "Freedom Cafe" the veterans and apprentices of the sustainable lifestyle sip their fair-trade coffee and chat lazily. It's so relaxing and optimistic. That's why I'm a little bit addicted to this place :-)

What gluten free products can be found in there? Apart from vegetables and fruits, there is always a vendor of gluten free baking - nice Austrian man selling also grain's mills. However, for Max's lunch we prefer to bring our own flask of home-made warm soup, the fear of contamination is strong...
Anyway, for today's recipe I have something essential in my mind, like friends and good food, all in one place. One word - gomasio. Do you know it? No, not yet?

It's one of the principal condiments in macrobiotic cooking (which I'm still learning). It is also called a sesame salt.
All you need is sesame seeds (unhulled if possible) and sea salt, also a suribachi (a japanese mortar) or a mortar and pestle.
The proportion of salt to sesame seeds depends on age and level of physical activity. For extremely active adults 1 part salt to 8-10 parts sesame seeds and for small children 1 part salt to 16-20 parts sesame seeds is OK.
How to do it? According to my Polish teacher of macrobiotics:
- wash seeds carefully using a very fine mesh strainer (in Ireland I always buy organic sesame seeds which are clean so I don't wash them);
- soak 8 hours with a little bit of salt;
- wash and roast (when wet) using a frying pan (medium heat); dry seeds burn easily, be careful because it's easy to overroast them (in this case they are bitter and not good);
- roast the salt (it releases moisture from the salt and helps to make fluffy gomasio);
- place the roasted salt in a suribachi and grind until it becomes a powder;
- add the hot (grind easier) roasted sesame seeds to the roasted sea salt in suribachi;
- grinding should be slow in a circular motion until each seed is half crushed and coated with salt; if you grind gently , gomasio would be sweeter.

It keeps fresh for 10 days if it is in a fridge (in a glass jar). Avoid making too much at a time, better to have fresh every week.
Sometimes we eat it very quickly. We probably need calcium (sesame seeds contain more calcium than cow's milk!).
And slow, careful grinding is a good meditation, isn't it?
And the strong nutty smell during grinding!
And the simple and pure form of suribachi!
All my senses are delighted :) I'm fulfilled.


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