the seven herbs of spring

seven herbs/nanakusa

it's beginning to look a lot like spring here on the island. how can i tell? two less days of rain a week, and sunrises come about six to seven minutes before six a.m. not after; sunsets are six or seven minutes after six p.m., not before. ah, yes, life on the equator or thereabouts.

i was foraging at my local japanese market, and came across a plastic packet simply labelled "eatibile herbs" containing a bunch of greens and some baby radish and a teeny tiny turnip. i picked one up, hoping i'd figure out what to do with it later. i found out their significance as nanakusa on amy's blog, a day too late. japanese tradition calls for one to eat nanakusa-gayu, a rice porridge mixed with nanakusa, the seven herbs of spring, on the seventh day of the year to help ward off evil spirits and promote good health and longevity. with the "interesting" year i'm having (as in the chinese saying "may you live in interesting times"--a threat if i ever heard one), i calculated that it was morning of the previous day in albania, so i could follow the tradition, even if it really wasn't my own, and hopefully reap the benefits. yes, yes, i know. my naturally superstitious nature is rearing its suspicious head, but having just heard that one of my uncles was visited last night by one of my other uncles (who died two years ago), and that my previously drop dead gorgeous aunt presently just dropped dead--i'm not taking any chances.


i followed amy's recipe from the previous year, and included the optional eggs. i found it to be rather simple and elegant tasting--a very clean rice-iness, a bit of saltiness, and indefinable herbiness that seemed more "green" than anything else. although i have been eating quite healthfully these days, this also felt quite cleansing, which perhaps is something i need. wipe the slate and start anew. look forward to the spring.


And did you dance around it three times clockwise and three times anti-clockwise just to be on the safe side?

Jokes aside, yikes what a change of year you've had!

hi bramble! well, last year at this time i was getting 3 hours of sleep doing crap but necessary admin work for the tsunami help blog, and freaking out about people i didn't know. now i'm freaking out about people i know. i don't know how big a change it is from last year. same anxiety. i guess it's what the new year is about, right? i can't work out if you read my other blog's entry, but despite all that's been going on, i'm doing...okay. better than okay. i'm good, really. i appreciate the small graces of the day and the great fortune i have in having a close family that i don't think i would have as a younger gel. again, to paraphrase nick hornby, if you really wanted to mess me up, you should've gotten to me when i was younger.

i'm going to do some appalachian hillybilly mama magic for you, santos! maybe it'll help some!

(although i might get it wrong since it's been a while... ;D)

i really, honestly and truly hope that your year gets better quickly! i gotta' second bramble's yikes!

take it easy, chica. i hope it gets better super soon!!

Hey Santos,

This looks so good! I always enjoy your blog so much- here's to a new year of blogging:)

raakkkkkkaaaaaaaaa! NEED THAT MOUNTAIN MAGIC! mountain momma. you will really NOT believe what is going on now.

hi tokyoastrogirl! it was quite nice. soothing, if food soothes you. happy new year to you and i look forward to the new year of tuna toast!


(Sorry, konnte keinen Mailkontakt finden, darum die Anfrage über diesen Kommentar.)

Ich habe eine Anfrage wegen Ihres Fotos http://images.google.de/images?q=tbn:x3GPAsGHwONKFM:http://static.flickr.com/41/84132541_99c2573186_o.jpg

Ich arbeite als Ernährungsberaterin und möchte das Foto gern für meine Klientenbroschüre verwenden. Würde mich freuen, wenn Sie mir die Erlaubnis dazu geben würden. Vielen Dank.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Andrea Witthohn


May I ask for the permission to use your foto http://images.google.de/images?q=tbn:x3GPAsGHwONKFM:http://static.flickr.com/41/84132541_99c2573186_o.jpg for my information broshure? I am working as a nourishing advisor. Thanks.

Greetins, Andrea Witthohn