Sweet Potato Delights - Junko Maria Furugori
This was one of the desserts served at
this year’s Autumn Retreat and it brought some openly expressed delight around
the lunch table.
I had fun adapting Japanese macrobiotic chef, Deco
Nakajima’s recipe. The
more juicy nature of the orange -fleshed sweet potatoes we get
here in England, compared to the yellow-fleshed ones more
common in Japan, called for a few extra
ingredients to create a good consistency. The only secret to making this easy
and quick: cook the sweet potatoes and apple until just soft enough to be able
to mash. If you feel adventurous try discovering
and using different varieties of sweet potatoes. Enjoy!
Ingredients: (To make
approximately 16 portions)
3 medium Sweet potatoes (steamed, peeled and
1 Apple (peeled and cut into
3 Dried apricots (chopped)
½ tsp Sea salt
2 tbsp Tahini
¼ tsp Vanilla essence
30-50g Ground almonds
powder to taste
Rind of 1
A dash of
oat or other grain milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C,
Gas Mark 5.
- Dip the
apple cubes in salted water (approx. ½ tsp + 100ml water) and place in a
small saucepan. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and simmer with the lid on
until soft enough to mash.
the mashed sweet potatoes, apples, apricots, sea salt, tahini, vanilla
essence and orange rind in a bowl. Add the quantity of ground
almonds to create a thick enough mixture to form into mini sweet potato
shapes. Adjust with the oat milk as necessary.
- Use two
spoons or a wet cloth to form the shapes and lay on an oiled baking tray.
for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and serve either hot or
This week has given me a lot of joy.The first meeting with the other students
went well. The group was diverse mixture with men and women in reasonable
proportion, and there were some people I already knew.
We had some lessons together with the
students from the other courses (Taiko and Purification), which brought
dynamics and comfort in the group. And after I got to know the others better, I
realised that several women had the same problems as I, which gave me even more
connection to the group.
We started the day with the wonderful exercises that I have
been accustomed to all these years through the shiatsu training. The food was
delicious and like a treat because at home I have
to take care for my husband and son and here it was like a holiday.
Tomoko’s yoga lessons were fascinating.
They were sometimes challenging, but she helped us very well to get the right
attitudes and made more aware of our own body.
The taiko lessons by Grete were a welcome
surprise, and despite of my sore arms, shoulders and neck, I was not bothered
by that, in my surprise. In fact it felt good. This was something I needed, to
build up condition in a good way. So it is definitely worth of repeating.
Jan’s lessons gave a good balance to the
other lessons, and were very pleasant and interesting. When we had a treatment
time every night, I enjoyed both giving and receiving.
A very nice group, a lovely week. Great
experience. I met many nice people, amazing teachers and cooking crew. I
was glad that the staff people also participated in the lessons. I enjoyed the
course, and will come back as soon as possible. Thank you!
(Jenny Coppelmans - www.jennysmassage.nl)
It was a great week and just what I needed. For the last few
years, I was stuck in a low point. I am almost recovered, but the process has
not finished yet. This week was tremendous.
In the taiko lessons, I re-found pleasure to express myself
physically in a beneficial way. In the lessons with Tomoko, I re-found the stability
and subtlety of the body. These experiences were to feel the subtlety of the body,
to let everything cooperate and activate, and to use all capacity. I feel;
training of the body is training of the mind, and it is the basic support for
all we do in our creativity to reach the maximum joy, gratitude and expression.
I may be a bit over-joyed at present, and now have to translate
this into my daily life to carry on my work, as promising not to avoid but to
face difficulties and challenges without fear. I feel myself growing to be
stronger and positive. The process to reach my deeper level has
been on for a while, and this week was an extra push into this direction. (J.V)