Mala Shop

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tiger Ebony Wood Pocket Mala

27-Bead Wood and Poppy Jasper Pocket Mala

Sometimes the simplest things are the most special.

"Tis a gift to be simple,
tis a gift to be free,
tis a gift to come down
where you ought to be"

from "Simple Gifts", the Shaker dance song.

Partly because I like to keep things simple, you can only find Compassion Malas in my online shop. I don't sell to stores right now. That may change some day, but for now it means that when you order, you'll be getting your mala straight from the hands that made it—mine. And that keeps things simple and sweet. I get to know each customer just a little bit. And I like that.

Bless you and yours!

Monday, November 21, 2011

His Holiness the Dalai Lama - Moved by Compassion

Even His Holiness cries. Moved by reports of nine Tibetans who set fire to themselves recently over Chinese governmental oppression, he wept. This photo is from the blog TibetSpace.

What good can come out of seeing this?

It's a reminder that when Chenrezi (Avalokiteshvara) cried over the suffering of beings, the tears falling from his eyes created lakes from which rose White and Green Tara to benefit beings. The Dalai Lama is considered to be an incarnation of Chenrezi in human form. So these are tears not just of sadness, but of infinite compassion. The writer of TibetSpace explained this so eloquently.

His Holiness is human, yet he embodies and teaches compassion. We can learn to open our eyes and hearts to those suffering, and to help the Tibetan cause we can visit Tibet House to donate and find out the facts as well as read about Buddhism and meditation. You can also write to your representatives to support Tibetan rights and the preservation of their culture.

Sometimes a sad picture opens your heart.

Peace to you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Lion and the Lamb

My lion and my lamb...

The lion is the one on the left. The lamb is the luscious lab baby on the right. Usually, by day, Gidget the cat fends off Stella the dog with hisses and scratches. Since Gidget is Stella's main company during the day, Stella doesn't take no for an answer. Her friendly ways have apparently won Gidget over. At least at night they're starting to look like best friends.

And no, they don't help me make malas. They stay away from the beads and beading table so that your malas will be free of allergens. I do my best.

But they're lovely company.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Italian Butternut Squash Casserole

From the Garden of Eden CSA this week I brought home a wonderful-looking butternut squash.
Round at the bottom, tapered towards the top like some gourds; it looked promising.
The only problem is, no one in my family eats squash except me.
Last night, when the refrigerator was pretty empty of anything "real" to cook, I took a stab at the squash.

Okay, there's not a whole lot that's Italian about this casserole, unless you count oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, and French bread. Still, I have to call it something. Here's how I did it. Please try it and let me know how you'd change it.

Laura's Italian Butternut Squash Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake one butternut squash whole for one hour at 350 degrees after stabbing repeatedly. (Do this to get your aggressions towards eating healthy food out at the very beginning, if you like.)
3-5 slices of stale French bread—toasted
Splash of olive oil
2 eggs or 1/4 cup egg plain substitute
a splash of milk or soy milk
About 1 and 1/2 cup grated cheese of any kind—maybe more
oregano and garlic powder—1 and 1/2 tsp each
1/2 large jar pasta sauce of your choice, so long as it's tomato-based

After squash is soft and cool enough to work with, remove seeds and discard. Then remove flesh from the squash and mash. (You don't want any peel.) Add two beaten eggs or egg substitute, a splash of milk, and herbs. Mix together until moderately smooth. A few small chunks aren't going to hurt.

In a small but relatively deep casserole pan, pour some olive oil. Place a slice of toasted bread on it.
Put a layer of cheese on that. Spoon some squash mixture onto this, keeping to the shape of the toast. A little spillover is okay, but you want this to be a bit like a layered loaf or lasagna.

Put another slice of toast on top of that, followed by a layer of cheese and another layer of squash mixture. Keep stacking until you've run out of bread, and put a layer of squash on the top of all that. Sprinkle some cheese on that, gently pour half a jar of pasta sauce, and cover with a light sprinkling of cheese.

Bake with foil lightly covering but not touching the top for 40 minutes; remove the foil for the last 15 minutes. Test with a knife to make sure the squash has set to a medium texture—not as soft as before, but not as firm as a cake or souffle.

Remove, cool slightly, and slice with a serrated knife. Try to serve so that the layers are preserved.
Can be served with hot sauce.

Okay, that's my first effort at squash casserole. Even my extraordinarily picky 17-year-old son ate some, and so did my husband. They both said it was good. I like it, although it may need sausage or more olive oil. As far as I can tell from reading about butternut squash, my family is now protected forever and ever from getting colds and diseases. That's how powerful squash is.

And that, even more than its taste, is probably why we should eat it.

Bon Apetit!