More rice, lockdown angst and autumn bounty.

Recently I wrote about hot wet rice – comforting, nourishing dishes such as risotto and congee which are perfect for cool weather and this time of isolation and quarantine.

Two of my friends have been enjoying rice-based dishes lately, and they’re worth sharing.

First up is Acupuncturist Sarah George in Launceston, Tasmania. Her risotto features a number of Asian mushrooms, and a beaut discussion of the Traditional Chinese Medicine qualities of each ingredient. In her post, you’ll also see just how beautiful it is there in Tasmania.

Our mutual friend and yoga teacher Sam Seghers loves all-things-Japanese and her contribution is Green Okayu. As well as delicious recipes and some great food photography, Sam’s is a deeply moving post.

Around about the time Sam posted her recipes, my daughter – locked down interstate – shared a post by Belgian Psychotherapist, Esther Perel: What Is This Feeling? Anticipatory Grief and Other New Pandemic-Related Emotions. There’s some beautiful, sensible guidance in Esther’s post. See how it sits with you.

And at my place this week? With autumn upon us we’ve an abundance of red and green in our kitchen, including our first-ever persimmons.

A couple of years ago I completed a course in Food as Medicine offered by Monash University. One of the key messages was “try one whole food each week which is new to you”. This week it’s persimmons.

The ones most commonly available here are the Fuyu persimmons, and that’s what I think we have, although it’s possible they’re the Sharon fruit which is an Israeli variety.

Once ripe they feel like a heavy little balloon, filled with water pushing against the skin. To eat the Fuyu or Sharon variety as-is, just slice the top off and dip into the jewel-coloured, almost gelatinous flesh with a spoon. It’s a perfect mid-afternoon snack.

Persimmons are a good source of Vitamins C and A, fibre, and a modest source of Iron and other minerals. You can eat them as-is, or use them in a number of ways. SBS has a number of recipes here.

In Traditional Chinese Food As Medicine, from my taste-test and observations, I think we can say that this variety of persimmon is a little Warm, a Blood Builder, and may help to Regulate the Centre and Replenish Fluids.

The guidance here and in the posts I’ve shared do not replace the essential care and attention of your primary health care providers. If you’re unwell, please see your doctor or call a crisis helpline if you’re struggling with overwhelming emotions or thoughts.

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