Tag Archives: brown sugar

Mak Manja’s Steamed Orange Juice Healer

13 Dec

My Mak Manja has given me so much in this lifetime – her wisdom, her love, her strength, the sanctuary of her home, her intervention when I had no will… and so much laughter and joy. If I could wish anything for you, it would be for a Mak Manja of your own, who guides you, watches over you and loves you through it all. Of course, I cannot arrange for a Mak Manja for everyone (I believe that’s down to karma and fate!) but… I can share with you this.

The last time she visited, I was getting over the flu. My Mak Manja brought me a gift. A bag of oranges, and some rock sugar. She made herself at home in my kitchen, and she proceeded to prepare me this amazing, blissful, divine orange juice healing potion. Its very simple, and even though I am not sure which natural healing medicine it comes from (Ayurveda? Traditional Chinese Medicine? Natropathy? Or may be just her own instinctual knowledge…), I do know that this juice has extraordinary healing benefits. The orange is steamed, in a covered mug, in a pot. For hours and hours and hours. Well, a minimum of two hours, but really, as long as you can … the result is an elixir which intensifies and concentrates the huge vitamin compounds in the simple orange – vitamin C, folate, vitamin B1, and vitamin A, amongst others.

Drinking this juice is like getting a massive dose of pure, unadulterated love & vitamins – it feels like a supercharged vitamin shot. It goes through you, and suddenly you feel… warm, strong, steady. Full of energy. Nurtured and supported. Its wonderful as a tonic against the cold winter months. And for those with lowered immune systems, or who are recovering from an illness – it is perfect. The gentle application of heat and steam concentrates all the natural goodness in an orange, and give you a massive dose of feel good love. Making this juice for yourself once or twice a week will up your strength and stamina, and will boost your immune system and vital functions.

Its a wonderful gift, because its so easy to make. And it makes you feel so good.

So even though I cant give you your very own Mak Manja, I can give you her recipe. Make it for yourself when you are feeling in need of strengthening and comfort, or better yet, make it for someone you love.

Take one orange. Or two if theyre quite small.

Peel the orange, but leave a little bit of the white pith on. Not all of it, mind you, but may be about half.

Put the orange in a mug. Squish it down. With a knife, make a little hole at the top of the orange, and stuff a few pieces of rock sugar into the orange. If you dont have rock sugar, its OK. Use brown sugar – half a teaspoon or so. Squish the orange down if its small, and add another and repeat.

Cover the mug tightly. I used a little soy sauce dish because it fit exactly, but you could use some aluminum foil. Put the covered mug in a pot which has a lid.

Pour room temperature water into the pot, about half to three quarters of the way up the mug.

Cover the pot, and place over medium low heat on the stovetop. The water will take a while to come to the boil. When it does, turn the heat down to the lowest you can go, and let it simmer for a minimum of two hours, and up to four or five, or even more. Check and top up the water every hour or two. You could also make this in a slow cooker, or in the oven, but I prefer over the stovetop, because thats how I learned it 🙂

Once you have grown tired of waiting for the orange to steam (I usually get impatient by the three hour mark or so), then switch off the heat. Let the water (which should be bubbling) calm down a bit. Use kitchen gloves or a very thick kitchen towel, and lift the mug out of the water. Remove the cover of the mug. You will have very soft, tender oranges, in their own liquid.

Place a sieve over a bowl, and pour the entire contents of the mug into the sieve.

Use a spatula or spoon to mash the orange – it will be spectacularly soft and yielding. Try and mash as much juice out of the steamed orange as possible.

Pour the juice into a glass (it wont be boiling hot – but it will be quite warm), and sip slowly. Drink your fill of love, healing and strength.

Banana White Chocolate Bread Pudding

12 Jul

Banana White Chocolate Bread PuddingI was supposed to go out to dinner tonight to see an old friend’s Mum. However, I think I twisted my back in the excitement of the World Cup finals! So panadiene it was, and I was in no fit mood to drive. After a little nap, I decided I needed to try and cook something comforting, soothing, and nurturing. So I looked in the fridge, and on the counter (new organic delivery today!) and pieced together this bread pudding. Oh my, YUM! So good. So simple, and very quick to make. Just the thing for making a sore back go away. Heh.

Just a note. I literally used what I had in the fridge. It worked out really well. If you have dont have port wine, for example, you could substitute it with a little wine or liqueur or some juice. If you dont have bread, but only croissants, go ahead and use them! Dark chocolate, and no white? Substitute lah. This is a very forgiving recipe.

I baked this in a round cake tin. You could use 2 loaf tins, or a square tin if you like. Serve with sour cream on top for a really lovely contrast.

  • 12 slices bread (white or brown), toasted
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp + 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 very ripe bananas
  • Couple tablespoons port wine
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk – I didnt have enough! So I used 1 cup milk, and into the measuring cup, I put 2 tbsp light sour cream and 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk. I made up to 2 cups with a bit of water and mixed all together. If you do have enough milk, and decide to use just that, then make sure to add 3 tsp sugar to the recipe (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chunks
  • A little brown sugar for topping

First of all, toast your bread in the toaster. This will dry out the bread, and also caramelise it (thats what the brown is – the sugars in the bread caramelising) and will add tons of flavour. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Once the butter is sizzling, sprinkle 2 tbsp dark brown sugar over the butter. Dont mix, but just let the sugar melt into the butter. Slice the bananas over this and let cook for a few minutes. Using a spatula, gently flip the bananas over, and add the teaspoon of vanilla and port wine. Let the bananas cook for about 3 – 5 minutes in this gorgeous sauce, and then take off the heat and let cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk (see note above), sugar if you are using, salt and tablespoon of vanilla. Gently mix in the cooled banana with all its juices. Tear the bread into chunks and add to the bowl, and mix well. Add the white chocolate chunks and stir to combine thoroughly.

Let this mixture sit for at least 10 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 180C. You want almost no liquid left and the bread to have soaked it all up. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, and pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, sprinkling a little brown sugar over the top 5 – 10 minutes before the cooking time is over. You will know its read when its risen and puffy, and there is no more liquid when you pierce the bread pudding with a knife.

Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Serve warm with a little sweetened sour cream on top. Soul comfort food.