Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter
Number 109            December 2004 / January 2005            Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

to the
of the
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
in Palo Alto,

For information on our organization, click on About Us.

green onions
     Longtime volunteer Jane Kos serves soup.
Longtime volunteer Jane Kos serves Chef Gary Alinder's legendary soup to hungry diners.

17 Years of
Vegetarian Dinners
Chef Gary Alinder
Every Monday, 6:30 PM
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto
305 North California Avenue
at Bryant
1/4 mile East of Alma
Sit Down or Take-out, $13
Reservations Required:
Call 650 599-3320 by
Monday 9:30 AM.
News and Announcements
This issue debuts a new feature, Community Connection, where Denise Huajardo Springer profiles one or two members of our interesting and diverse community. This month's feature is entitled Simply Paul Schmitt.

Thank You to the many who have contributed to our Fundraising Drive! The drive continues through the end of the year. For information on contributing, see the section below.

Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year! Dinner will not be served on Dec 27 and Jan 3.

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! For information on the December or January potlucks, or to host a fun potluck in your home, call Harold Stephenson at 650 856-1125, or Diane Wohler at 650 369-1858.

Where to dine out? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for timely information and reviews on local vegan/vegetarian restaurants,

A Taste of Health and Healing Lifestyles & Spas present Holistic Holiday at Sea II. Cruise for 7 nights on the breathtaking Costa Mediterranea to San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John, Catalina Island, Casa de Campa, Dominican Republic and Nassau, beginning February 27, 2005 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Teachers include Michio Kushi, Yogi Amrit Desai, Ohashi, Master C.K.Chu, Sherry Rogers, M.D., Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, Christina Pirello, Verne Varona, Denny Waxman, Patrick McCarty, Lino Stanchich and Jane Quincannon Stanchich. Rates from $1095. Call 800 496-0989 or visit
Coming Events
Mon December 6: Patrick McCarty speaks on What You Should Know About Natural Healing.

Mon December 27: No Dinner, Happy Holiday!

Mon January 3: No Dinner, Happy Holiday!

Mon January 17: Amy Lansky speaks on The Impossible Cure.

Peninsula Macrobiotic Community Fundraising Drive
Many individuals channel their particular skills--and some extraordinary talent--into our Monday Dinners. We operate on a shoestring, with volunteers doing much of the work. Each Dinner, collectively produced, encompasses not just Gourmet Vegetarian Dining, but also networking in a vibrant community, support for those seeking a healthier lifestyle or dealing with a serious condition, education in macrobiotic and other health areas, and a firsthand taste of The Great Life. We have found a formula which has produced magic for an incredible 17-1/2 years now!

We need your support for these activities, so we are holding a Fundraising Drive in Nov-Dec of 2004. At every Dinner, contribution envelopes and boxes will be prominently displayed, and an announcement will be made about the Drive. Donations to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community are accepted in any amount: $10/year is suggested to support the newsletter; larger amounts are applied to both the newsletter and other expenses, primarily insurance, and will also give us additional operating flexibility to handle rising costs.

Write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community", and mail to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Road #9, Mountain View, CA 94043. (If you are on our mailing list, the date and amount of your last contribution appears on your mailing label.)

Donations, including $10 amounts to support the newsletter, are tax-deductible, as the PMC is a nonprofit organization. The PMC acknowledges contributions with a letter explaining their tax deductibility, sent automatically with contributions of $20 or more. (The letter is not normally sent for smaller contributions, but will be sent on request--enclose a note or call Gerard at 650 903-0447.)
Cooking and Classes
Chuck Collison, Assistant Chef of the Monday Dinners, is a personal chef and runs a meal service in Marin. Call 415 258-0528.

James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking in Palo Alto, in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 852-9182.

Anne Mark does takeout meals and lifestyle recommendations, and teaches macrobiotic cooking classes in Palo Alto. On Sunday, January 9, 4:00 PM, she teaches a cooking class Sushi, Rice Balls, and Travel Foods, $35, call 650 843-0255.

Cookbook Author Meredith McCarty teaches a series of three seasonal cooking classes in Jauary and February; for details, call 415 381-1735 or visit

Carolyn Peters is a private chef and caterer for creative healthy cuisine in San Francisco. Call 415 810-3496.
Volunteers Miklane Janner and Bob Griffiths prepare takeout dinners.
Volunteers Miklane Janner and Bob Griffiths prepare takeout dinners.
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On December 6, Macrobiotic Shiatsu Counselor Patrick McCarty will speak on What You Should Know About Natural Healing. Patrick will introduce the Seven Principles of Change that govern natural healing. He will also give us Four Simple Guidelines that can help us connect to vibrant health.

Patrick studied at the Kushi Institute in Boston and the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and co-directed the East-West Center for Macrobiotics in Eureka. He has lectured and taught at locations around the world, and readily shares the knowledge and experience from his very active counseling practice.

Ten years ago, computer research scientist Amy Lansky began a journey to try and help her three-year-old autistic son Max. She found the answer in Homeopathy. As Max gradually made a complete recovery, Lansky began to study this alternative therapy and eventually became a practitioner herself. She also wrote the best-selling book Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy (R.L. Ranch Press, 2003). In her talk The Impossible Cure on January 17, Amy will begin by describing her own family's experiences with homeopathy. She will then go on to discuss homeopathy itself--its history and philosophy, scientific studies, and what undergoing homeopathic treatment is all about. A list of local homeopathic practitioners will also be provided.

Amy Lansky received her doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in 1983. After many years working at various Silicon Valley research institutions in the area of artificial intelligence, she made an unusual career move: she became a student, writer, promoter, and, most recently, practitioner of homeopathic medicine. This was prompted by the miraculous cure of her son's autism with homeopathy. In addition to her homeopathic practice, serving as an editor and columnist for a variety of homeopathic publications, and promoting homeopathy through her book, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, Lansky is a board member of both the California Health Freedom Coalition and the National Center for Homeopathy in Alexandria, Virginia.
Winter Solstice Celebration
December 20, 2004

Sparkling Apple Juice

Split Pea Soup

Hearty Seitan and Winter Vegetable Stew

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet and Tart Braised Red Cabbage

Mixed Green and
Radicchio Salad with
Raspberry Vinaigrette

Cranberry-Walnut Tarte with
Tofu Whipped Cream

Grain Coffee and Herbal Teas


More Dinner Menus...

Although sukiyaki is a one dish meal that can be prepared in under 20 minutes - it is very nourishing, especially rich in protein and iron. It was traditionally prepared in a cast iron flat bottomed skillet. It can be enjoyed as a complete meal if noodles are included or prepared as a vegetable side dish along with others and grains in a meal.

  • 1/4 cup seitan, sliced into thin strips (tofu - plain or fried, dried tofu or pre-cooked tempeh may also be included in addition to or substituted for the seitan)
  • 1/4 cup carrots, sliced into thin half diagonals
  • 1/4 cup onions, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1/4 cup leek sliced into half moons, or scallions into 2 inch logs
  • 1/2 cup broccoli or cauliflower, sliced into small florets
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage or bok choy, sliced into large diagonal strips
  • 1/4 cup winter or summer squash, sliced into thin wedges
  • 5 or more white mushrooms, halved
  • 2-4 small servings udon noodles cooked al dente
  • sesame oil
  • shoyu
  • mirin (optional)
  • spring or filtered water
1.  Wipe sesame oil on the bottom of a skillet.

2.  Place all the ingredients except the cooked noodles in sections around the perimeter of the skillet.

3.  Place the noodles in the center and on top of the vegetables and other ingredients.

4.  Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the skillet.

5.  Sprinkle a few drops of soy sauce and mirin over all the ingredients.

6.  Cover the skillet, heat to high steam over a medium high flame.

7.  Steam on medium high for 4-5 minutes.

8.  Watercress or other delicate greens may be added in the last 1 minute of cooking right on top.

9.  Serve right from the skillet.

by Michelle Nemer
Community Connection: Simply Paul Schmitt
Paul Schmitt and Joy Black
Paul Schmitt and Joy Black at French Meadows Summer Camp 2003, where he worked in the Children's Program.
This new section will feature one or two Peninsula Macrobiotic Community members each issue. The purpose is to get to know each other better and to provide information for striking up conversation and building connections. This column is based on my belief that each of us has unique gifts to share and a story to tell. Those featured here will range from those well known to many community members to those relatively unknown, from those who volunteer much of their time to those whose gift lies in their perspective on their limitations which might prevent them from giving in traditional ways. Please join in embracing what our community members have to share.

      by Denise Huajardo Springer

He no longer works as an engineer for Hewlett Packard. He has a gardening business using hand tools - rakes, brooms, pruners and a hand mower. He teaches organic gardening one day a week to elementary school children. He plays trumpet in the Brass Liberation Orchestra at protest rallies in an attempt to bring a healthy alternative to angry chants. Far beyond a merely idealistic thirty-something, Paul Schmitt's life choices are deeply considered and he follows the sound of a different trumpeter.

Educated as an engineer at the University of Michigan he was presumed to end up working for the auto, defense or food processing industries, none of which fit his values. In 1995, his brother lured him west with tales of seven engineers hired per day in the Silicon Valley. He worked for Applied Materials and then Hewlett Packard.


Cooking & Classes



Community Connection


"The land of beige cubicles never served me spiritually so I swam like heck to find kindred spirits." That's what got him into the environmental movement volunteering for organizations such as Bay Area Action (now Acterra) and Hidden Villa and completing the Santa Clara Master Composters Program. This helped him meet a lot of people who "either weren't doing the computer thing or were doing it and still maintaining their sanity."

In his last days at Hewlett Packard, Paul took a pay cut so he could shorten his hours and volunteer at the Hidden Villa Community Supported Agriculture Program every Wednesday. The Program provides members of the local community with a weekly supply of fresh organic vegetables. Members purchase a share of the harvest at the beginning of the season and receive baskets of vegetables once a week throughout the growing season.

At this point, Paul never had more than two days in a row of office stress. When his time at Hewlett Packard finally ended, Paul had built up savings and a network of supportive friends. He founded his landscaping business on word of mouth and is now "able to be as employed as [he] want[s] to be."

Paul is a member of the Voluntary Simplicity movement having participated in Simplicity Circles and read several books on the subject. He is thoughtful when I ask about economic security saying "Enough is not easy to define in our culture - the word is not even in existence. For many people that is a constant exploration. I actually save money with what some would consider a meager income. I say, that's enough for today. My level of financial consumption is extremely low. I have a good idea of how much I spend and earn every month. As long as what I earn is greater than what I spend, I feel alright. I save more money than I think I need."
I asked how he balances today with his future. He says that, "Today is easy to define. When you talk about buying a house in Palo Alto, then it's not enough. In Michigan, friends buy houses for $60 to $250 thousand. If it came down to it and I said home ownership was where I need to be in life, then maybe I would move. There are millionaires out here who don't have enough. It's a tricky thing."

In 1996, he took free cooking classes at the, now defunct, Wild Oats Market in Sunnyvale. There he met Laura Stec, who was the first person to use macrobiotics in a positive way in his life. He was introduced to the Monday Night Dinners, when friends told him he had to hear Michelle Plumb speak there. He became a regular diner in 2000, when he moved to Palo Alto.

He is now doing some cooking for the Monday Night Dinners. "All the chefs are just great. They're really together. I like to work for people who have it together. I can't stand anyone who doesn't. I'm not always the best manager so I really like to work for someone who is. They're entertaining, too. They tolerate my sense of humor. I crack a lot of jokes. If I spend five hours cooking with someone - it's nice that that's welcome."

When our conversation turned to water filters (Paul just purchased a reverse osmosis filter) and I mentioned how 1984-esque it is that we have to filter our water in order for it to be clean and healthy, he points out that "we grew up where we expected everything to be in front of us - coming of age in the 80's. Everything was there and convenient." What a twist on the indignant assumption that we can consume as we wish and still have clean water coming out of the faucet. And yet Paul has been actively involved in stopping the fluoridation of tap water.
How does Paul keep a positive attitude in the face of environmental devastation? Paul uses humor like a nutritional supplement. He says he's "trained well in irony - the ability to see humor in what is essentially a negative situation. Rather than preach fire and brimstone and doomsday like all the fundamentalists and whatever religions on any part of the earth, I'm just kind of making my peace with it all. I review the comedians of the past for help. The Menlo Park library has the largest section of comedians on CD that I've seen. George Carlin and Robin Williams got me through last week. Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner are getting me thru this one."

Paul also recommends the Tom Robbins novel, Jitterbug Perfume, for gaining a long-term perspective on the rise and fall of political empires. The protagonist is alive for many times the normal life span. Paul suggests that, "If you had lived to see empires rise and fall, you would probably have trouble taking any of it that seriously. And you'd just do your best to duck from them and live your life the best you can." He ties this to the timeless, big-picture perspective of Macrobiotics.

Paul says in summary, "I've been very fortunate. I feel I have been privileged to be able to do this. I've been supported by a lot of people."

Denise Huajardo Springer, pictured here with friend Sophia Hummell, attends the Monday Dinners with her husband Kim and young son Nathan.
From The Editor
Email Notification of Newsletter: To receive an email notification each time the Newsletter and Dinner Menus are published on this site (every two months), .

Mailing List Policy: To get a printed copy of the Newsletter and Dinner Menus delivered by postal mail, or call the phone number below. To offset the expense of producing the Newsletter and Menus, we suggest a contribution of $10/year or more. The date and amount of your last newsletter contribution appears on your mailing label. Write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community", and mail to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Road #9, Mountain View, CA 94043, 650 903-0447.

We periodically review our mailing list. Those who have not made a recent contribution are subject to removal.

Tax-Deductible Contributions: We welcome and can use additional contributions to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, as income from the Dinners does not pay all of our expenses. We are a nonprofit organization, so additional contributions are fully tax-deductible. Send contributions to the address in Mailing List Policy above.

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