Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls

Talented family all around! Forget Acai bowls, this morning mama and I had delicious and absolutely nutritious superfood ViBERi (my auntie and uncle’s business) smoothies in cosy and beautiful Miami Valley Pottery (Soroosh’s cousin’s business) bowls xxProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Superfood Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowls
Serves two 

2 frozen bananas (using frozen bananas gives them a delicious ice-cream consistency)
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 unsweetened yoghurt of choice (I used coconut yoghurt)
2 heaped tsp ViBERi freeze-dried blackcurrant powder

Whizz together in a high-powered blender (might take a bit of patience if using frozen bananas) then top with favourites (I used Ceres Organics Paleo Breakfast Mix) xx

Miami Valley Pottery

Ever since our thanksgiving trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio, I have been itching to write this post.

I was introduced to Naysan’s work before I was introduced to Naysan’s person. For an entire month, I basked in the pleasure of using his beautifully hand-crafted earthenware in Soroosh’s home. In the mornings, I drank hot coffee out of his cozy mugs and in the evenings I ate various delicacies from his alluring dinner plates. Though Naysan’s creations were not the only crockery available, they were the only ones I chose. Why? Because as I later explained to the Artist himself, something about his work made my gastronomy experience, magical. I’m serious. It was as if I could taste the love, the passion and the hard-work.

It was during this time that I was also reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic book. So, I was firing (excuse the pun) with ideas on arts, crafts, and overall creative-living in general.

When I finally visited Miami Valley Pottery and came face-to-face with both Naysan and a room full of his work, I was in awe. I still am. Here was a man who had dared to enjoy. To have followed his calling (in a materialistic world where most art and artists are not approved), trusted it, and lovingly and diligently brought it forth both for himself and the world around him to enjoy. And in doing, he became successful. Successful in the sense of living an amplified life, an expanded life, a happier life and a hell of a lot more interesting life than most. As a thriving young artist, Naysan and his everyday creative life inspired me to be more.

Here are a few pictures of his works, including a snap of his bathroom >.<
To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it. ~Oshoimage-3-png-5
Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. ~Bahá’u’lláhimage-4-png-18
So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? ~Elizabeth Gilbertimage-6-png-10
In this wonderful new age, art is worship. The more thou strivest to perfect it, the closer wilt thou come to God. What bestowal greater than this, that one’s art should be even as the act of worshipping the Lord? That is to say, when thy fingers grasp the paint brush, it is as if thou wert at prayer in the Temple.~’Abdu’l-Bahá


20 days to go. I am trying my best to make the most of every day, knowing that when I look back on my time here, I’ll only remember the good and miss it. Terribly. Today, I am appreciating Nishiawakura, the village next to mine. Not only is it home to some of my dearest friends in Japan, it is also beautiful and, bursting with raw talent. From Olivier and Hiromi’s bread to Lifa and Akiko’s woodwork to Naho sensei’s pottery to the fresh herbs and vegetables lovingly cultivated by sweet old couples. Of course, Nishiawakura’s talent is not limited to this image for it seems almost every inhabitant there is making and creating in the hope of putting their unique mark on the world.

Thank you, Nishiawakura. I am going to miss you.

An Unexpected Friend Part Two

Remember my friend Yasu? Last night, her and I went to our pottery sensei’s house to shape our creations. This is the final part before our pottery gets cooked in an oven. For dinner, Naho sensei served us the most delicious Japanese curry with chicken, carrot, eggplant, potato, onion and radish in the most loveliest handmade bowls (after dinner we had Japanese matcha). I especially LOVED her boat-shaped bowl. I thought it incredibly charming. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. A simple compliment on it in my broken broken horrible Japanese and it was mine. An unexpected friend, numero dos. This morning I served home-made muesli in it for myself. This afternoon, I will visit Naho sensei with a bag of oats. I am going to teach her how to make the same muesli for own.

An Unexpected Friend

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ―John Joseph Powell

I was introduced to Yasu unexpectedly. One day, after living in Japan for over a year, I came home to a box of chocolates on my doorstep. A letter was attached to it. It read:

“Ms Anisa

I am Yasuko from upstairs.

When I was tired from moving work, you gave me a dessert. That was very delicious and thank you so much for that. I wanted to always talk with you.
But I will move on April 30 to next village.
The new address is Nishiawakura village.
If you don’t mind, could you hang out with me sometime?
I am really bad at English, but I hope we could be good friends.”

The dessert she was referring to was actually a blueberry smoothie that I made for my neighbors after seeing them gardening on a hot day.

When I finally met Yasu and asked her why she hadn’t introduced herself earlier she said that she had been too shy/scared. Can you believe it? One year of loneliness, living below my now best-friend.

Alas, we have done much since the letter: smoothie-bowls, food outings, yoga-classes, dinners with her family and yesterday, pottery class followed by a home-cooked Japanese dinner and my black-rice pudding for dessert. On the latter, her father told her mother he absolutely didn’t like it. He said this in Japanese but I understood regardless (hehe) but, no matter. It must have been an unusual taste though black rice and coconut milk is readily consumed in Asia. Yasu’s father reminded me of the many times my own father has made inappropriate comments in Persian thinking no one (but us) can understand him when they (the non-persian speakers) can easily read his facial expressions or sense his intent! Oops hehe.