Monthly Archives: May 2015

Moving to Center: Autism and Qigong

I sit next to him and ask him how he is feeling. His eyes quickly dart around the room as he continues to repeat a line from a Disney movie he has just seen. I tap his hand in hopes of getting his attention. Finally, he looks up. He now stands across from me and is jumping up and down flapping his arms as he continues to repeat the Disney line. I place my arms on my lower abdomen and instruct him to do the same. He begins to punch and kick the air.

Breathe in.

He takes a deep breath and lets out a yawn. His arms are momentarily calm and then he starts punching the air.

Breathe out.

He yawns and kicks the air. His movements are becoming slower now. I begin moving my arms up and down with my breath and instruct him to follow me. He is now whispering the Disney line and has his eyes closed. He anticipates my next movement and starts speeding up. I tell him to slow down and follow me. His movements begin to sync up with my own. He is becoming quiet and his body more relaxed. At the end we sit down, cross-legged, on the floor. I instruct him to place his hands on his knees, palms up. Boy in a suit in lotus position

Breathe in.

He shuts his eyes tightly and leans his head back. His nostrils flare and his chest rises as his lungs fill with air.

Breathe out.

His body slumps down. He is quiet, fully relaxed and calm. He opens his eyes sleepily and then looks at me.

 

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Making Butter and Tasting Memories

It was basic kitchen chemistry but it felt like magic. I had never made butter as an adult, and now having just finished I was truly amazed. It seemed like it had separated in an instant, turning from a homogenous white substance into a clump of yellow butter submerged in translucent buttermilk. The taste was incredible and incomparable to any store bought butter I had ever tasted. My only thought was, why had I not done this sooner?

I had decided to attempt making the butter a few weeks prior. I kept returning to this childhood memory of churning butter at a day camp down the road from my grandmother’s home. I still remember each of u2015-01-26 21.43.44s taking turns at the butter churn, moving the cream up and down for what seemed like an eternity. When it was finished my teacher handed each of us a saltine cracker and generously spread the fresh butter onto each one. As a child raised on margarine this was likely the first time I had ever tasted real butter. I still remember biting into the cracker and tasting how fresh and creamy it was. Now, decades later I am returning to that memory and happy to say it is as good as I remember!

How to make butter (for those without a churn)

There truly is nothing simpler! Get one pint of high quality heavy whipping cream. Place it into a one quart mason jar. 2015-01-26 22.15.57Start shaking. Pass the jar to someone else, keep shaking and shaking.

At first it will turn into fluffy whipped cream, after this it will separate and you will magically be left with butterfat and buttermilk. Pull the butter from the jar, run it under cold water and carefully squeeze it, removing as much buttermilk as you can. Repeat this step until the water no longer looks milky. Salt if desired and enjoy!

If you decide to refrigerate the butter, it will be much harder than ‘normal’ butter. This is due to the higher fat content in the homemade stuff.

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