Editor’s note: Robyn Swanson (pictured above), prep cook and sous chef for our Monday night dinners in Palo Alto, recently traded two weeks in sunny California for the snowy Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. What drew her there was an immersion course in macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute. This is her report:
I have been interested in macrobiotics ever since I became a vegetarian, back in 1995. I never cooked a lot of truly macrobiotic meals, since I enjoy simple things like taste and flavor, but I was still interested. I had always wanted to attend a program at the Kushi Institute (K I) in Massachusetts, but living in California all of my adult life, I just never found the time. I finally decided that it was an easy enough thing to cross off my bucket list (unlike, say, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro), and so off I went. The K I is housed in two main facilities: the North Hall and the Main House. The Main House has cozy rooms and shared bathrooms, while more dormitory-style rooms and bathrooms are in the North Hall. Classes are held in both. I was housed in the Main House and was quite happy there. The place is old, as are the beds and pillow—the Four Seasons this is not—but there is both heat and wifi, so I was content. The Main House (photo below) is old and rather spooky looking, but there is an air of calm and peace that prevails throughout both the house and the rest of the facilities. I went in March, and when I arrived, there was still a good amount of snow on the ground. Spring was waiting around the corner however, and by the time I left, much of the now had begun to melt.