The Five-Minute Journal Entry

By Lynda Monk

Journaling and writing are powerful ways to get in touch with the stories and experiences in our lives.

“Each of the stories we tell and hear is like a small flicker of light – when we have enough of them, we will set the world on fire.  But I don’t think we can do it without story.  It doesn’t matter what community is in question or what the conflict appears to be on the surface, resolution and change will require people to own, share, and rumble with stories.”  – Brene Brown

Sometimes connecting with our own story and creative self-expression can get put on the back burner, slip away quietly without us even noticing.  One of the number one obstacles to journaling or writing for themselves that I hear my clients talk about is that they do not have enough time to write. Do you have this challenge too? Do you find it hard to carve out the time for your journaling (or personal writing practice)? Do you find it challenging to take time for yourself and your story?  If so, you are not alone!

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Frijoles de la Olla (Stewed Beans w/Pico de Gallo)

By Rebeka and Tec from the Hollyhock Kitchen

Did you know that 2016 is the year of the Legume? The recipe that follows is something all our Chefs at Hollyhock make most weeks, if not multiple times.  Beans are so healthy for us, and delicious!

Bean Facts (Recipe to follow)

  • Protein. The daily requirement of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.
  • Sodium. A 1-cup serving of boiled pinto beans contains only 2 milligrams of sodium.
  • Fiber. Pinto beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans.Women should aim to consume between 21 and 25 grams of fiber each day, while men should get between 30 and 38 grams. In addition to lowering cholesterol, pinto beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, pinto beans provide virtually fat-free, high quality protein. But this is far from all pinto beans have to offer. Pinto beans are also an excellent source of molybdenum, a very good source of folate, and a good source of protein, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6 as well as the minerals copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Check a chart of the fiber content in foods and you’ll see legumes leading the pack. Pinto beans, like other beans, are rich in fiber. A cup of cooked pinto beans provides over 15 grams. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that combines with bile (which contains cholesterol) and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, the dietary fiber found in pinto beans helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, pinto beans can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fiber foods.

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Not Enough

By Jude Bijou, who will be presenting Attitude Reconstruction: Build Joy, Love, and Peace in Vancouver on Oct 22-23, 2016.

Do you feel like you’re never enough? That there’s never enough time? Money? Friends? Great opportunities? Recognition? Do you believe if you had or did something else — got married, earned more, looked more beautiful, danced better, or had more time — you’d finally relax and feel okay? Do you believe more is better? Are you rarely satisfied? Do you feel deprived, unworthy, or anxious no matter how hard you try or what you do? Do you secretly measure everything against an invisible standard and come up lacking?

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Concord Grape Pie

By Tecuana & Rebeka of the Hollyhock kitchen

For the Pastry:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour ( Pamela’s artisan GF baking flour is a good alt. option)
• 3/4 cups cold butter cut into pieces ( or vegetable shortening for vegan)
• 3 tbsp. sugar
• 7 tbsp. (approx) cold water

Combine the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the butter is fully incorporated. Add cold water one tablespoon at a time, processing on high for at least 30 seconds between additions. When the pastry clumps together and forms a ball remove it, cut it in half and place the two pieces in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.


For the Filling:
• 6 cups Concord grapes
• ½ to 1 cup sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 3 tablespoons corn or potato starch
• 2 teaspoons water plus extra
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 large egg


1. Slip the skins off of the grapes (take one in each hand, press near the bottom opposite the stem end, and apply firm pressure; the entire grape pulp should pop out), reserving skins in a heatproof bowl. Place pulp in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the seeds start to separate from the pulp, place a strainer over the bowl with the skins and press the pulp through the strainer. Discard seeds. Stir in lesser amount of sugar, taste and adjust. Stir in salt. Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water to make a slurry, then stir into grape mixture. Cool slightly while you work with the pastry.

2. Roll out 1 pastry disc on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper to a 12-inch round; transfer to dish by placing pie plate face down in centre of the pastry, then flipping the whole lot over with your hand under the parchment paper to hold it in place. Lightly press the pastry down into the pie plate and then gently peel the parchment off. Roll the excess dough around the edges under itself and pinch it with your fingers to create a high-fluted edge. Roll out the other piece of pastry and use a small paring knife to cut leaf shapes. Roll small balls of pastry and vines by hand.

3. Position rack in centre of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Scrape mixture into prepared crust, dot with butter, and arrange decorative cutout pieces, if using. Whisk together egg and a little water to make an egg wash and brush over crust edges and decorative pieces.

4. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is bubbling. Cool on rack.

This pie is amazing with very plain whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

We’re Sitting on a Mould Mine

This interview by Richard Schiffman with Hollyhock Presenter Paul Stamets was originally published in The New Scientist, February 2016. Paul will be presenting Mushrooms: Wild & Mysterious at Hollyhock on Oct 23 -27, 2016

Tell me about the hat you’re wearing.

It’s made from a birch polypore mushroom. Our ancestors realized that you could get this tough bracket fungus off birch trees, hollow it out and put fire in it and carry it for days. This enabled the portability of fire that is so critical for human survival. When the same mushroom is boiled and stretched, it produces a fabric. There are only a handful of people in Transylvania who are making these hats now. Because of deforestation and the difficulty of finding large-enough mushrooms, the hats are becoming very rare.

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Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better. Our learning centres are located on Cortes Island and Vancouver, BC.