Elephant Walk: Elephant Ear Grilled Cream Cheese & Chutney: Elephant Pose
Picture a beautiful, plush, immense plantation on the island of Ceylon, circa 1940’s. Now add the characters; Elizabeth Taylor, as the new young wife, who must tough it out in the shadow of her deceased father in law, still ruling the ancestral home, Ratnagalla. He rules family and servants at Ratnagalla from the grave, through the ominous portrait of him that hangs for all to see in the great hall. Then, there’s her husband, a number of years her senior. He is haunted by the dark cloud perpetuated by his dead father. Add in the mysterious servant, Apuhami, who constantly creeps around the house spying. What’s up with that? It’s a story of holding onto the past, something that we in Yoga practice try never to do. In this case, holding onto the grim past is robbing the future happiness of the newlyweds and almost destroys their life together at Ratnagalla. Even though the characters are rich and living the good life, there is an ominous force that is palpable. For Yogis, there are loads of lessons in this classic film, filmed on location in breathtaking Ceylon, about what is truly important in life. The cast includes many great elephant actors, who do a lot of stomping about the plantation to teach us the final lesson! A must see! Great to watch while eating our recipes below. Don’t forget to make like an elephant with our Elephant Pose, while you’re waiting for the sandwich to grill.
Elephant Ear Grilled Cream Cheese & Chutney Sandwiches
2 slices of Rye bread
2 oz of cream cheese
Butter for toasting
Filling: Bela’s Raisin Chutney
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread the cream cheese. Add your choice of filling and grill away to perfection. The rounded halves of the Rye Bread look like Elephant ears, but taste a whole lot better.
Bela’s Raisin Chutney
1 c. raisins 4 Tbsp. water
1 hot green chili (optional) 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Salt to taste 2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger 2 Tbsp. grated coconut
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until it forms a paste. This chutney will keep in a refrigerator 2-3 weeks unless you make a lot of Elephant Ear sandwiches and eat it all up quickly.
Standing Elephant Pose
Stand with your feet about 1 1/2 feet apart. Take a deep breath and upon exhaling, let your head fall onto your chest, while slowly lowering yourself bending forward towards the floor. It is not a goal to reach the floor, merely to hang free from the waist to relieve tension in the shoulders and neck. Keep your knees flexed for leg comfort and let your arms dangle loosely. At some point you may clasp your hands loosely together and swing them so that they look like an elephant’s trunk swaying to and fro. Practice for a few moments then release hands and slowly begin to come back up to a standing position, as you bend your knees slightly to avoid back strain, moving one vertebra at a time and keeping your head relaxed onto your chest until you have completely straightened up. Open your eyes, then slowly lift your head and correct your posture.
This pose is excellent for improving facial appearance, loosening the spine and relieving tension from neck and shoulders.
Please remember to check with your physician before practicing Yoga if you are under care.
Click HERE to read the previous episode of Yoga, Dinner and A Movie.