Posts tagged ‘vegetable’
Have you ever become caught up in a book or television program or anything, really, that consumed you? And even though you knew it was going to end and you were going to miss it when it did, you just couldn’t stop until it was over or used up? According to my kindle, I am 46% of the way through the last “game of thrones” book. And seriously, on so many levels – what a relief! I mean, I’m enjoying them wholeheartedly and am sure that this last book will leave me hanging on a cliff of excruciating torment and I know I have to wait, like, three years for the next one. But… I feel like I’m giving a whole lot of my disposable time, which isn’t that much anyway, to this series. What about trashy TV? And writing? And art projects? Not to mention my kids, my boyfriend and Amanda. Oh well – 54% to go. Look for a follow up piece on the separation anxiety I’m sure to experience when I’m done.
Sometimes, we have to make a choice to put the rest of our life on hold for a greater purpose. That’s what Living Light students do. They come here and spend all day every day for up to nine weeks in class, preparing themselves for new lives as raw food chefs. It’s overwhelming, and I’m so inspired by all of them. Their commitment is commendable. And I know that most of them, at some point, wonder if it’s all worth it or if they’ll even make it through. But – it is and they do – hundreds of them each year. As I’ve said before, it’s a labor of love – for themselves and for the planet. I’m proud of our students and am honored to be a part of their commitment.
Listening to the recent controversy surrounding an NPR story about organics, I was amazed that the “scientific findings” in this particular study seemed to refute the idea that buying organic produce makes a difference to health. And this in spite of a nationwide movement of people who are increasingly choosing farmer’s markets and locally grown organic produce (an even more important distinction, buying local, I think). On a personal level, I definitely notice the vitality of organic foods. In our salad bar, some of the greens are shipped from San Francisco and some are grown right here in Fort Bragg. The local ones look, taste, and feel much “brighter” and healthier. Nearly everyone knows that food picked right out of the garden has more nutritional value than vegetables that have been stored in your refrigerator for a long time. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, I say. Finally, when the United States is coming around to what Europe has realized for decades – that selecting produce grown on small farms, or growing your own with traditional farming methods does make a difference, a respected media outlet like NPR tries to tell us differently. The good news is that the public reaction and comments on the story were largely organic positive, which makes an immense amount of sense. The public is not going to be hornswoggled at this point in time. Sometimes its hard to believe that The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson came out almost exactly 50 years ago, in September 1962. Wake up scientists! You’ve been asleep almost as long as Rip Van Winkle. We all need to wake up to the fact that every choice we make that has to do with organics and supporting sustainable farming in our communities really counts. Whatever decisions we make about these issues will affect future generations and the planet for a long time to come. Which is one of the reasons I’m glad that serving organic food in our school and in our cafe has been Living Light policy from the beginning.
So – I’m all the way across the country now. My daughter is safe at music camp and Part One of our journey is done. I can’t even really begin to tell you about all the things we’ve seen and done, but I can tell you how much I miss the food at Living Light. To be perfectly honest with you, we aren’t doing too well with the whole raw travel thing. I know people do it all the time and buy stuff and bring it with them and prepare it and all that, but that requires a pretty high level of organization. I mean, it’s all I can do to keep ice in our ice chest, which means there isn’t any in there today and there wasn’t any in there yesterday. Oh well – we’ve been doing our best. We had salads in Gettysburg day before yesterday. I’d call them “chopped”. And we ate at a buffet yesterday – more salad and a stab at tostadas which wasn’t too successful. I consoled myself with Tres Leches cake and my daughter consoled herself by skipping cake. Of all the many people, places and things I knew I was going to miss on this trip, I hadn’t actually factored raw food high enough on the list.
I’ll bet there are some of you out there who can’t take the kind of food we have at Living Light for granted like I can. Maybe you can’t get a green juice everyday or even have access to an all organic salad bar. If you don’t, one option is to learn to make delicious raw food yourself, of course, and what better place to do that than Living Light? We can get you started on your way to a whole new way of eating or a whole new career in raw cuisine. Maybe you could open a raw food restaurant chain along America’s highways. I wish you would!
My kids and I are taking a little road trip this weekend. We do that a lot – just to change the scenery even if it’s just for a few days. This weekend is Record Store Day so we’re going to the big city to support independent record stores. But – we’re going on a really long one in the summertime. Living Light has graciously allowed me to take five weeks off in July and August and I’m going to drive across the country. The kids will be along, of course, but I will be doing all of the actual driving. We are going to see lots of relatives we normally wouldn’t – some in New Mexico, some in Wisconsin, some in Oregon. My daughter will spend another session at IMA’s rock and roll camp for girls in Massachusetts. It’s going to be quite an adventure – hopefully the good kind.
Living Light directors Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann and Culinary Programs Manager Martine Lussier are on a road trip right now. They just did a FUNdamentals class in Vancouver and are now in Toronto to do another plus participate in that city’s Total Health Show. Then they’re back to our side of the country to do a FUNdamentals class in Seattle and another in Oregon. It’s not too late to be a part of this particular road trip. You can still sign up for the FUNdamentals classes and check out our website for lots of other cool events that are happening in those areas.
Changing the scenery, even if only for a day or two, always gets me back on track. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed by my own life. Silly, really, because it’s pretty dialed in right now as far as work, home and balance are concerned. But still, sometimes I get a little anxious about whether or not I’m on the right track, headed in the right direction. Getting away for a couple of days tends to clear the internal air for me and I can settle back in with contentment. I’m looking forward to this weekend and a fresh perspective when I return.
I just found a flier in the printer about the juice we serve in the Living Light Café. We are now using juicers that use a slower squeezing process, as opposed to the high speed spinning kind we had before. This process greatly reduces the speed of oxidation and allows the juice to be stored for up to seventy two hours before degradation begins. This is good news as it allows one to benefit from all the healthy enzymes even if one can’t drink it right away. Our juice in the Living Light Café is always fresh, and now it’s also slow so you can choose how quickly you drink it.
I think slowing down is a good idea in everything – not just juice. I don’t just mean taking time to smell the roses and all that, although that’s a good idea, too. I mean really taking your time, like slowing your responses to life’s little surprises or starting your day with some reflection and requests for balance and guidance. I used to rush around a lot more than I do now – mainly trying to keep a couple steps ahead of myself and my own feelings, I guess. I try and live a more examined, transparent existence now and don’t mind spending time with myself. And I certainly don’t mind taking a little extra time to keep it that way.
I am retiring this week. After a little over 63 years I will quit working for someone else and work for myself, and Archie. Whenever we watch Avatar , Archie and I walk on air knowing the importance of our job as caretakers of our land. Now I, like Archie, will be able to do it 24/7.
This year, for the first time, we had enough tomatoes to can. I have never done it before, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Last year we had a few left over so we dehydrated them. Hopefully next year we will have enough to do both and/or to make salsa and spaghetti sauce and can that. We shall see.
I am so looking forward to doing my crafts and putting the garden to bed this winter. Then in the spring we will plant the seeds, and harvest all through the fall. One of my favorite jobs has been to sweep the forest. This means picking up branches that have fallen to either be put on a burn pile or used as fuel in our fireplace. One of the neat things about doing this is finding mushrooms or places where the fairies live. Maybe I will finish the children’s book and novel (actually two) that I started years ago. So many things to do; and all the time to do them in.
At Living Light, I have enjoyed talking with people from all walks of life and all over the world. One of my favorite stories is when I was fired by a prospect. I told her I was not 100% raw so after a few seconds of silence, she said quite fervently, “You’re fired!” and hung up. I do not know why, but that tickled me.
Most of our students are gentle, responsible and accountable. Cherie and Dan say that is because they are raw. I like that. Maybe we can convert the governments of the world!
Last night my kids and I watched The Parent Trap, circa Lindsay Lohan. It was fun to all curl up together and watch a movie we haven’t watched in years. I can remember my mother and me watching the same movie, circa Haley Mills, on similar evenings throughout my childhood. Sweet memories. I’m taking those same little sweeties to see The Kills on Friday. I can’t say I’m coming up with any similar memories with my mom on this one. But we did go to the theater quite a bit. Those are sweet memories, too. We’ll see if this weekend’s rock’n’roll adventure proves to be the stuff memories are made of. I’ll let you know.
I also wanted to let you know that I just had the most delicious bowl of soup from the Living Light Café. It was creamy corn chowder. Yum! I was so hungry and that soup really hit the spot. All vegan, of course, and yes – it’s hot. Here at Living Light we don’t expect anyone to be 100% raw unless they want to be. As fellow blogger Hilloah likes to say, “We don’t preach, we teach.” We feature cooked grains and soups in our café along with all the raw goodies. Anyhow – with the days getting shorter and the temperature dropping at night, a bowl of soup is often just the thing. Come in and check it out!
Esterlina Winery had their annual picnic in Philo of the Anderson Valley. They had the usual picnic fair, but their side dishes of salads and fresh fruit were the most interesting and delicious.
The trip to Esterlina was a good break for Archie. He works so hard on our Great Room. Right now he is putting up redwood siding on the house and building a new hearth for the fireplace. He is making it to where you can sit on it and warm up if you are cold. In the winter we will group chairs around it as everyone will want to chat in comfort.
This week at Living Light we are having the 2011 Showcase where twelve of the top raw food chefs will demonstrate their best raw vegan recipes. If you can not make it to Fort Bragg, you can still watch the event by purchasing a Gold or Silver package and viewing it on your computer. You can also upgrade the packages by adding the DVD selection to your cart and get last year’s showcase as well. Now that’s a deal!
This weekend was pure bliss. Saturday I did the laundry, organized and cleaned up a bit and in the evening we went out to dinner at Chapter and Moon with friends. And then to Cotton Auditorium for a production of Broadway tunes put on by the Gloriana Singers. We have some real talent here in Fort Bragg!
Sunday I just sat outside and watched the wind ruffle the small yellow flowers on the ground, the white butterfly setting on one flower, then another, the bees hovering around the peach tree. I had no desire to read, crochet, watch a movie, or bake. I did do a little weeding and found some of our Naked Lady bulbs. Now that they will get some sun, perhaps they will bloom.
Here at Living Light, we are all looking forward to the Chef Showcase in a couple of weeks. Imagine sitting in the audience and watching renowned chefs preparing some of your favorite foods and then you get to taste it as well. Yummy! On the first evening you can join the chefs and eat at Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino. The day before the Showcase begins you can Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Discover Raw Green Super Foods From the Ocean! Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 6:45am to 11:00am; class will meet promptly at 6:30am in The Company Store.
I’ve long been a fan of Zen priest, author, and cook Edward Espe Brown. I still have a recipe book of his from the Tassajara Zen Center I got back in the 80s. The thing I liked about it best then as now, is that while he included some recipes in the book, he added ideas about how to be fully present with the food (especially vegetables) and create dishes mindfully and spontaneously. He even told a funny story about when he accidentally burned a huge batch of kale and was congratulated by his diners on the delicious barbeque taste. “How did you do that?” they wanted to know. Ah, the kitchen life. As my friend Martine Lussier says, “Peace Begins in the Kitchen.” I picked up an old copy of the Buddhist Review Tricycle from the fall of 2009 at the thrift store and found a whole article about mindfulness in the kitchen, with a quote from Brown’s Zen master Tenkei: “See with your eyes, smell with your nose, taste with your tongue.” Which reminds me of another fun quote from The Fantastiks: “Plant a radish, get a radish, not a Brussels sprout, that’s why I like vegetables, you know what they’re about!” Which brings me to the Living Light Chef Showcase: Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen here at Living Light August 26-28. In three days, you’ll see 12 chefs, 24 raw food recipe demos and if you keep your senses focused, you’ll learn more than you can imagine about being fully present with the food.