Much as I had resisted, fought, and bellowed against regimentation through secondary school in Germania, I ended up jack-booting my own creativity.
Shocked the heck out of me. I'd become what I had loathed.
I came back mono-chromatic, and in art school, reached for charcoal or brown oil pastels, not exuberant splashes of color.
My heart had grown drab. Line me up gray, with the lead toy soldiers.
I planted flowers as though assembling them for martial inspection and got stressed at any deviation from color uniformity!
A summer school in Mexico sent me hurtling out of my internal catacombs.
I stepped off the plane to hundred degree heat and drenching humidity, but also to bright parrots in palm trees, ravishing scent of tuberoses, and totally improbable cascades of Bougainvillea.
Just a wild abandon of hot tropical "clashing" colors. My armored heart quaked at such chaotic beauty, an on-the-spot healing.
Am remembering my gratitude to the Latin world. l look out on scarlet and gold nasturtiums awhir with hummingbirds...
...magenta and orange geraniums, crimson and salmon roses, fuchsia cosmos, purple butterfly bush and Heavenly Blue morning glories. Color healing in the raw.
All this while munching down a simple high-nutrient meal of vitamins made in one's own kitchen. From forbidden food!
In Imperial China, a purple-black rice was reserved for the Imperial family. It's an heirloom rice rich in the purplish antioxidants of blueberries and acai, without the sugar.
Can't thank Mao for the devastations of the so-called Cultural Revolution and the subsequent ravishment of Tibet---but you, I and proletariat can now enjoy "Forbidden Black Rice."
In the US, it's sourced by LotusFoods:
Forbidden Black Rice - The Emperor's Exclusive Grain
It's already extraordinarily endowed with nutrients, but let's increase them! This easy-breezy sprouting technique can be used with Bhutanese red and short grain brown rices as well:
1 c. Forbidden Black Rice
1 stainless mesh colander
Slightly larger diameter pottery bowl
24 hours before intended meal, set rice in colander in the bowl. Run water over it to rinse the rice of harvest dust. Swish it up and down in the water a couple times. Drain water from bowl. Pat bottom of colander to release excess water.
Cover rice in colander in bowl with a folded dish towel and set in a warm place. In twelve hours or so, rinse again. Here are two variations on the theme, evening meal or breakfast:
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
5 whole black pepper corns
Himalayan salt to taste
Handful of frozen or freeze-dried peas
Bring 1 3/4 c. liquid, spices and peas to boil in a heavy pot, using either filtered water or veggie stock or bone broth. Add sprouted rice.
Simmer covered for ~35 min.; fluff with a fork and then let sit for a few. YUM.
1 tsp. peeled whole cardamon seed
1/2 stick cinnamon
5 whole cloves
1 Tbs coconut oil or grass-fed butter
1/2 c. chopped apple
1/4 c. currants or raisins
1/2 c. walnuts
1 3/4 liquid: filtered water, or milk or coconut milk
Simmer rice and goodies covered for ~35 min. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt or splash of almond milk.
To conclude, the above are kitchen improv's, not recipe absolutes. Have written them down with a nod to a dear aunt/kitchen wizardess, who keeps her recipes in a three-ring binder.