Macrobiotics in south of France is very special indeed. Wait ‘til you discover the Bio shops specializing in Lima products, the most delectable macrobiotic cuisine anywhere!
Bio describes organic vegetables, and locally grown, these are fresher than the California veggies shipped to Atlanta. Even in Baillargues, our niece’s village. My dear husband being Swiss, has family living in Monaco, Provence and Switzerland! Yep, we get to visit, and cook our delicious macro meals in these gloriously scenic places, too.
This trip brought a special challenge, and deep gratitude for all the years of my dedicated study. When teaching macrobiotic cooking classes, I always invite my students to learn everything they possibly can about macrobiotic benefits because one never knows who they may wish to help. Just 2 weeks prior to our departure we learned our nephew, Yves, who was the soccer goal keeper for France in his youth, was gravely ill. Suffering so much back pain he had been over-dosed with cortisone and developed the worst type diabetes landing him in the hospital.
Our niece, Carole, remembered the macrobiotic diet had helped her Uncle Fred after heart surgery; she was now interested in learning the macrobiotic diet for her beloved husband. We lengthened our stay with them to 4 days, and were on task the moment we arrived. We packed The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health, by Michio Kushi and Alex Jack; Warren Kramer’s a personal history form for a macrobiotic consultation, and Warren’s generous 96-page booklet for our resources. Everything else I shared were from my studies, my dedicated teachers and personal research. I was grateful for my every lecture, every cooking class & every book about macrobiotics.
Carole, Yves, William and Solene – their teen children – asked such wonderful questions, and truly listened and incorporated our answers immediately. Why can’t they have cheese? What about lean meat sausage? Ice cream, and yoghurt, surely that is still good for us? They appreciated our knowledge, and said macrobiotic diet made sense. They participated in food preparation from the get-go, with excitement! And complimented the tasty cuisine. They were amazed how delicious it all was. Remember this is France!
We shopped together for both food, cookware and kitchen utensils. With 2 new bamboo cutting boards and 2 chef’s knives we provided Carole and her most available helper, the perfect macrobiotic work station! A four-liter pressure cooker, strainer, acrylic cutting board for fish, glass bowls for sorting cut veggies, skimmer for blanched veggies and eliminating foam from beans were easily found at Carfour.
And the Bio Store was amazing! Lima products from Belgium filled our whole wish list for macrobiotic cooking classes! Tofu packaged in blocks or in smaller square servings made some delicately seasoned & delicious dishes. Seitan, by Lima, is seasoned exquisitely, perfectly packaged for a family of 4, delicious with vegetables – making another easily prepared dish. And the Lima tempeh in a jar is rolled like a sausage, slices so easily, and pan fries like a dream! Just make a yummy kuzu sauce, and you have vegetarian escallop du veau.
In addition, we taught them three different ways to prepare tofu, using the unique package for each preparation. Nishimi vegetables with kuzu ginger sauce, stir fry vegetables, steamed greens, blanched greens and salad, creamy corn soup and orange soufflé kanten! Have you even heard agar agar in a French accent? So lovely! We taught them pressure cooked rice, miso soup, polenta, bulghur, couscous which they already adored. We followed my criteria for macrobiotic cooking classes: the cooking must be quick, fun, easy and delicious! And it was.
Sunday Carole and Yves even took us sightseeing in nearby Nimes to the ancient Roman ruins between lunch and dinner, and the next afternoon walking an exquisite beach on the Cote ‘d Azure. Our meals were lovely, without rushing, full of wonderful conversations – English and French, translations – reminiscing, and gleaning information about this new way of eating and macrobiotic lifestyle suggestions. We were so gratified with this warm reception to our way of eating, and the best news is Yves reporting within the next three days increased energy, improved sleep and overall feeling better. We now look forward to continued excellent reports of improved health, and in August anticipate Solene’s visit to Atlanta, and teaching her more macrobiotic recipes for our Provence.family!