|Photo Credit: SmartyGirl's Kitchen Rock Sugar and Fresh Pears|
He is joking. However, I can understand how my tonic making can seem a bit like sorcery. Sometimes the smell of dong quai, a bitter root can be overwhelming in the winter. Other times, he is intrigued by my red bean dessert soup and asks me to if I'd be willing to freeze the red bean dessert into popsicles for him. I am an anomaly but so was my grandmother who taught me these holistic remedies.
Though she was the daughter of a Western-medicine trained surgeon, my maternal grandma took an interest in Chinese herbal remedies unlike her siblings who became conventional doctors, nurses and hospital administrators. Originally she was on the nursing track because of her parents' wishes but they allowed her to become a teacher and later a businesswoman instead because she became woozy at the sight of blood.
|Photo Credit: SmartyGirl's Herbal Therapy Rock Sugar Poached Pears|
|Photo Credit: Flickr Jon Mountjoy Barley|
|Photo Credit: Flickr Oncetherewasagirl Fries|
If you've eaten many heavily salted and fried foods, you might feel very thirsty and irritable. When I want to "cool down" my system, I rely on rock sugar dessert soups. I am not a Taoist but I have researched that Taosists would agree that pears and rock sugar are "yin" or cooling ingredients.
Fresh Pears Poached in Simple Rock Sugar Syrup
3 cups of water
1 ripe fresh pear sliced
1" cube of rock sugar
Dissolve lump of rock sugar in water by boiling on high for 10 minutes. Slice a fresh pear, leave the skin on and simmer for 8 minutes in the syrup. Serve warm or chilled. How is this different from canned pears in corn syrup? I can't give you the food chemistry explanation. However, I can tell you that corn products are from the other spectrum of "yang" or warming ingredients. Processed foods are "yang" also.
|Photo Credit: Flickr _e.t Green Tea Ice Cream|
Contact me if you'd like to share your childhood stories of herbal therapy.
Two other dessert soup recipes and Chinese herbal remedies can be found below: