Friday, December 21, 2012

Yule. Love. Musgo Stew.

      
First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Yule! 


For those of you not familiar with this holiday, it is very intriguing. Yule was (and is) celebrated in Scandinavian countries, but similar celebrations are common in many other cultures. Yule is based on the Winter Solstice and so many of our "Christmas" traditions originate from it. If you have a Christmas Tree, burn a yule log, go Christmas "caroling", hang up lights, exchange gifts, and have a BIG dinner- you participate in Yule traditions.

Yule is very symbolic, yet literal at the same time. It occurs on Winter Solstice (the first day of winter) when the sun is very low in the sky and we have "the longest night" of the year.  For those living in ancient times, this was a huge problem. They viewed the sun as the giver of life! If the sun suddenly disappears, life would no longer exist on Earth! I love this explanation of Yule that I found online.

"Try to imagine yourself in a very cold climate, where the Winter nights are very long, indeed. Firewood and food are both becoming very scarce and you have begun to fear for your own survival. As you keep a lonely vigil through this, the Longest Night, you feel as though the Darkness has taken over the Earth and the Light will never come again. Imagine your joy at that first spark of light and your hopes that, someday soon, the snow will melt and you will be warm and well fed! This is the way our ancestors must have felt about this time of celebration."

You can view this as the literal "darkness" taking over the world and sending all living things to their deaths. OR you could view it as spiritual "darkness" or "evil" taking over. Then, when the night is over, the sun returns!  To me, it's a very meaningful holiday.

It's so powerful to sync up with the seasons and understand and appreciate those cycles that were so sacred to our ancestors. We are still part of nature even though we live in high rise apartments and don't have to cultivate our own food. Syncing oneself with the season is so enlightening and really makes a person feel "at home" on our planet.


Dave and I are on vacation starting TOMORROW! So, on Monday of this week I cleaned out the fridge. I HATE throwing food away... especially organic veggies that are SO expensive in Korea. I took all the veggies, a package of  grains that was almost gone, a package of organic tofu and a left over stir fry from the night before and I made........

  MUSGO STEW



Sounds fancy, right?

"Musgo" cleverly comes from the English words "Must Go".  Use in a sentence:
         "These veggies MUST GO out of my fridge before we leave for our vacation, or they will spoil."

Here is what I did-

I cut all the veggies and put a little coconut oil, garlic, and fresh ginger in a large pot and cooked them in the oil for a couple minutes.

Next, I threw all the veggies in and cooked them until they were nearly done. The veggies I used were carrots (lots and lots), sweet potatoes, 1/4 head of cabbage and chopped up stems of kale, celery leaves, and beet chard.  Then I added the spices- cumin, lots of curry powder, nutmeg, cayenne pepper (just a tad) and turmeric- and mixed them in well with the veggies.

I then added water about 3/4 of the way up into the pot. I didn't have any freshly made vegetable stock, so I threw in an organic vegetable bullion cube, the grains (I used Millet), and the firm tofu (pressed).

I brought everything to a boil, and then turned down the heat to let it simmer for about 35-40 minutes. At some point I added in the previous night's stir fry (veggies and quinoa).

See the stir fry floating on top? :-)
After the carrots and sweet potatoes were tender, I added in lots of greens. I have been LOVING the leaves off the tops of celery!! If you are in Korea, you can buy them in the organic section of Emart where all the leaves are sold. I also added kale and beet chard and some other miscellaneous greens that were calling my name in the store.

Gorgeous! I prefer eating my greens raw, but they are SO nice in a stew on a cold rainy day!


I made SO much of this stuff that we have been eating it for dinner every night! It really hits the spot after the cold commute home at the end of a long day!


Don't ever throw away leftovers or veggies. Put them in a large stew! Get creative! Spaghetti, rice, mashed potatoes... nothing is out of the question for Musgo Stew! Now get out there any try it! I know lots of you are leaving on vacay soon too, OR will have lots of leftovers from holiday celebrations, so you'll have plenty of chances to experiment!! The key is spices and seasonings! Organic and salt free is the way to go! I hope you all have a great holiday season!

I did some interesting experiments lately.. I will be posting about it soon- so stay tuned!
*Hint- they involve chlorophyll and pomegranates...  :)


Now, I  MUSGO do laundry and pack for vacation.

Love to you all,
Meg


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5 comments:

  1. This is so great Meg! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Kristine! I can't wait to check out your blog! We are leaving in 3 hours for our flight! Eeeek! Have a great New Year!

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  2. Happy vacation Meg! Where are you headed to?

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    1. Hi Magda!
      We are headed to Bali, Indonesia! We are in the taxi on our way to the airport now!! Have a great new year!!

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    2. Wow, Bali sounds so much fun. Enjoy! And happy new year to you too! And thanks for the recipes you posted today. I shall try some of them for my potluck next week.

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