At Water At Sea

friends navigating life

What do these two pictures have in common?

Consider exhibit A. It is a seemingly innocuous, albeit ugly assortment of seeds and roots. A big freshly scrubbed galangal root. A few tamarind seed pods. Some worm-like looking turmeric. Wooden cutting board. Essential ingredients for Jamu, an indonesian curative elixir. If you read “Eat, Pray, Love” (and I won’t think differently of you if you have!), you’ll recognize the name as that of the “love potion.” Doctors would prescribe jamu to ailing patients and its various versions are reputed to cure just about anything that ails you. But why, Nicole, do you show us the ingredients but not the final product?


This leads me to exhibit B. A not freshly-scrubbed cat. A cat that is holding its paws over its eyes in seeming relaxation. But actually, he is sick. And his digestive system at the time of this photo, was broken.

Back to exhibit A. The jamu that broke the juicer. Somebody (me) had the brilliant idea of juicing galangal and tamarind. Galangal is pithy. It smells like a combination of eucalyptus and ginger. A nice but slightly medicinal smell. It’s hard to cut and even harder to juice. Lots of pith, not a lot of sap. Follow this hearty root down the hatch of the juicer with several fully seeded tamarind pods (note to self: dumb! dumb!) and crack…. the juicer is kerplunk. Finito. The small but essential plastic part that shields the auger has cracked beyond all recognition. I hadn’t even gotten to the pliantly wonderful tumeric. Galangal juice goes into freezer for later use.

Back to Marco. Unlike the juicer, this cat is broken no more. In fact, with a regime of antibiotics and twice daily laxatives, he’s acting like a 3-year old cat instead of a 13-year old cat. Romping around. Chasing sunbeams and box elders. Wide and bright eyed. Not sleeping 23 hours a day. It’s a good thing.

One day I will make jamu. We’ve ordered a new part for the juicer but I daresay I’ve learned my lesson. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to potions and concoctions that require less machinery.

Happy April! ~n

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