Halvah: Sesame Candy

People keep asking me, from the States, how I fill my days. So here it is! Another day in Paradise.
I got up at 5:30 today, because the air is so impossibly sweeeet in the morning, it makes me smile! After an evening out with my singing neighbors, Heidi and Greg, who took me for fish tacos and guacamole in the coolness of the evening air, to Agave Blu,
outside restaurant, went sleepily to bed after moonlight walking, woke up and meditated, did yoga, while sweeping the burnt orange tiles of my one room casita…and watering the garden and marveling at how fast EVERYTHING grows, except the mango tree, which seems to have some insect or disease eating it. So every day I do a special mantra for it while watering, and a special blessing from the four directions, plus heaven and earth, for the tree, for each member of my immediate family, and some special blessings for those who need it right now.I’ve put on my tea on the little gas burner outside the back door, in my outside cocina – kitchen area and I take my tea and sit in my garden, where I’ll pick my greens for my green smoothie : lettuce, parsley, cilantro today, strawberries and a banana from the hanging vine. Do a little weeding and take Tiko for a walk down to the river.After teaching Tai Chi today I ask the workers to keep an eye on Tiko and head down to the road, where I hail a passing taxi and go into town to pay my water bill and get some money from the bank, buya few special Pepino Dulces (literally meaning pickled sweets) for me – incredibly delicious, lavender-skinned cantaloupe type fruits, and an avocado I eat immediately with Aji (garlic sauce, OMG.)I stop at the Nursery on the way home, and get sixteen banana trees to line the driveway (50 cents each), some flowers I can’t resist, lavender for my herb garden, and some plant that keeps away mosquitoes, Yay!

Home again and I run in to have some Stevia-Chocolate in one hand, and pineapple and strawberries in the other, lots of water, then go in to rest in the cool adobe casita (little house), study my Spanish lesson for the day, do a little reading and check my emails. I rest, meditate and feel the golden light of my mother fill my chest, then watch “30 Rock.” 

In the evening I take Tiko on another long walk, shower with barely any need for the hot water handle, with herbal soaps from the market, walk in the clean air and wonder at the impossibly-amazing light, that looks like a pastel painting and is different every ten minutes, sit outside and picture having each of my family members in their own houses here on the land, on all this space, and people coming to retreat and smile. I cook some stir-fry with a bag of veggies, already cut up by a familia (family) in the Sunday market (God, I’m spoiled) and some plantano (plantain) chips and some yam cookies I made with Stevia.

After Skyping with one of my daughters I deeply, easily fall asleep after one last meditation and waiting for the soft breeze to cool my cheeks, leaving the incense burning in a bamboo burner, to keep the bugs and spirits  away while I dream.

That was today. Probably some intense colorful version of it tomorrow. From the luckiest gal in the whole world, I’m here!

QRecipe of the Day: Halvah

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Sesame seeds are one of the easy foods to find here – a staple of Ecuador. So its great to find them a make a super rich, super -nutritious sweet treat with  just a few ingredients! The sesame seeds are extremely loaded with nutrients, calcium, magnesium and copper, great for your kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1  c. sesame seeds, soaked 40 minutes to overnight. (1 c. tahini)
  • 3 T coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 c. coconut, dried, unsweetened
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • dash salt

Directions: Mix together all ingredients, by hand or in a food processor, depending on how crumbly you like it. Pat into 8″ square pan. Chill or freeze. Top with chocolate sauce, if desired. Cut into squares, stars, hearts, whatever you like! Options-You can use other things such as dates, prunes, date paste, dried cherries, apricots, coconut, cocoa powder or other nuts and flavorings, a dropper of chocolate extract, 1 T. cinnamon

Word of the Day: ajonjolí sesame

Travel Tip of the Day: You know what I like about Ecuador? Every business has a bathroom and everyone lets you use it. It’s  commonplace! The only thing is, you have to remember to bring toilet paper or tissues with you, for some of them. And you still can’t put your paper down the plumbing yet. Except in the Quito airport. I think it’s an awesome practice. I love how Ecuadorians respect their environment.

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