This time of year is hard on our bodies because the weather is very wonky (it was +14 and sunny on Wednesday, then today it was -2 and snowy), confusing our bodies and immune systems. Try to take extra care of yourself until Spring starts (March 21). With all of the wild wind these days, don't forget to still wrap yourself in a scarf before leaving the house. Now is also a good time to make a batch of Change of Season Soup if you have it on hand (I hope to sell packages of this soup mix at my future practice; it is tastes surprisingly pleasant and is very soothing).
In celebration of the Earth element, I decided to try making congee. One classmate of mine has this porridge-style dish every morning and I've been wanting to try it for awhile now. Another classmate recently posted a savory version of the dish here. Well, my troubled Spleen (see above) finally gave me the kick-in-the-butt I needed to get into the kitchen and make it myself! Congee is a slow-cooked porridge-like dish made of rice and water. It is a popular dish in Asian cultures. Rice is cooked very slowly and for a long time to fully cook the rice; cooking it until it resembles... mush. The point of this dish is that the rice has been cooked so long that it is basically digested, making it very easy to eat when the Spleen (the organ responsible for digestion) needs a break. When served warm with some spices (think cinnamon and ginger), it is very soothing and warming. Comfort in a bowl!
1 cup brown rice
10 cups water
10 cups water
Bring the water and rice to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Cover (leaving a tiny gap for steam to release) and let it cook on low for five hours. Serve warm with cinnamon and ginger (chopped fruit--like dates or raisins--and nuts or seeds are all optional toppings). Makes 6 servings. Reheat leftovers before serving (the Spleen likes warm foods!).