Archive for July, 2011
My daughter’s been away at camp this week and my son’s been with his dad. Needless to say, it’s been very quiet at my house. I don’t really like it. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with all the needs and personalities that go along with a full house, but it’s definitely more interesting than the alternative. And less lonely. Often, I hear myself complaining about never having any time to myself, but evidently I don’t really like it that much. I know I’m supposed to be a whole, complete woman all own my own, but I do really feel like my kids are a part of me, and when they aren’t around I feel kind of empty. And, on a more practical note, I like having someone to comment to during our favorite shows or someone with whom to share a late night snack. I guess I’m just ready for them to come home.
Speaking of coming home, our Chef Showcase is coming right up and lots of our old friends will be here. Living Light graduates who are presenting include Solla Eiriksdottir, Alicia Ojeda, Tina Jo Stephens, Judita Wignall and Christina Archila. We’ll also get to have our own Colleen Cackowski back with us for a few days. Don’t forget Living Light Instructors Vinnette Thompson, Martine Lussier and Amy Bacheller. And new to this year’s line-up: Chef BeLive. Of course, Cherie won’t just be demonstrating some fabulous new recipes, but will also be hosting the event with her usual poise and style. It’s definitely an event to look forward to, and tickets are still available. So – if you’d like to see all these chefs do their thing live and in person, give me a call and I’ll sign you up. It’ll be exciting here at Living Light during the three days of the Chef Showcase – not quiet or lonely at all!
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.
I love to weed in the garden, I love to iron, I love to peel apples: all jobs that most people regard as boring. But there is a calmness involved in doing these jobs, a rotation that allows your mind to shut down and just concentrate on the task at hand. I do not know about you, but my mind can soar through the universe, talk on the phone, and type at the same time: very efficient, but not calming. This weekend I finished weeding the front garden and started on the back. There is such fulfillment in weeding: not only the calmness, but the finished product is beautiful. I also found some Naked Lady bulbs by weeding, what a joy!
Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Discover Raw Green Super Foods From the Ocean! This is a class that is very enjoyable. I took it the first year and had so much fun walking along the coast and discovering food in seaweed as well as a great way to clean your hot tub – such a deal! Terry Nieves is fun to walk with and very knowledgeable about the ocean and its edible harvest.
We have chosen the next Hot Raw Chef! It’s none other than Living Light graduate Cristina Achila. Her winning recipe is for Pear Napoleon with Pistachio Crumble and Fig Confit and looks fabulous. No wonder she won! And if you missed the voting, like I always do, you can still watch the videos and register to receive the eBook of recipes. I totally suggest you do it, too. I have a copy of the eBook and there is so much fun stuff in there, including tons of summer treats. So just go to HotRawChef.com and check out the latest in raw culinary yumminess.
What summer treats do you enjoy the most? I am a watermelon fan and am so looking forward to trying both the watermelon gazpacho recipes featured in my new eBook. If you like watching demos, you should treat yourself to this year’s Chef Showcase at the Living Light Center. The line-up of chefs is impressive. You may want to use the warmer, dryer weather to ramp up your exercise regimen a couple notches. Or – spend it sitting still and soaking up the sunshine. Whatever you think will make your summer sweeter, be sure and indulge yourself. During the cold, dark days of winter, make sure you have some summer memories with which to warm yourself. How will you treat yourself this summer?
Archie and I do enjoy watching movies. We do not have cable television, but we own over 300 movies and watch them frequently. This week we went to the Coast Cinemas to see Transformers III in 3D. The night before we went to our friends home to watch Transformers I and II so that we could get primed for the current movie. Part 3 is great! Both the storyline and special effects were terrific and thoroughly enjoyable.
Next week we will see Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson and directed by Woody Allen. It should prove to be good by all the reviews I have read. Then we will see Harry Potter: It All Ends. I will cry, I know. Not only because of the content, but because the movies are over. Ah well, I have read the book four times and can read it at least once a year for my “Harry Potter” fix.
Living Light’s own 5 and 5 Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest has been very popular. Many people have entered, and many more have watched the videos. It is so exciting! Who will win? The Grand Prize Winner will show off their skills at the 2011 Chef Showcase, receive the Food Styling class for free, go to the dessert reception and have dinner at the Ravens. They’ll also get a ticket for the Showcase which includes lunch each day. The Runner Up will receive $450.00 worth of Living Light Classes, and the People’s Choice will receive $250.00 to be used towards classes, a stay at the Living Light Inn, or purchases in the Living Light Market Place or Living Light’s own Café. Wow!
I was driving south from Fort Bragg towards Mendocino and the Peace people were on the left hand side of the road, just like they are nearly every Sunday. I made the peace sign out the window to them, and felt for just a moment that old feeling from the 60s, when making the peace sign made you feel connected to the other person you were looking at, heart to heart. I felt it so strongly that tears spilled out of my eyes suddenly – a whole flood of them. And I realized that my heart was cracked open for a moment. Hearing all of the news of war and strife all over the planet every day takes a toll on the human psyche, and I also watched the documentary “Inside Job” over the weekend, about the financial collapse in the world economy and the people responsible for it. It came to me that the Peace people might do no more than stand by the side of the road every Sunday waving peace flags and banners, but the work they do is important and real. If it touches deeply just one heart a week it means the world.
I used to think that I’d always be passionate about the things that got me all fired up in my teens and twenties. Today, I couldn’t even tell you what they were. I mean – I remember reading certain books and feeling profoundly affected by them but now I couldn’t tell you why. Oh well – I guess as one grows older and enters the more settled and necessarily responsible stage of adulthood, one has to save one’s passion for things like paying bills and buying healthy food on a budget. That’s okay. I know I always felt strongly about things like voting and exercising one’s constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and I still do. Maybe not quite as vocally as before, but certainly in my heart.
It’s voting day here at Living Light! The polls close tonight at midnight Pacific Daylight Time. And guess what? I remembered to vote on time for this one. Yes – we will be announcing the next Hot Raw Chef next week. Pretty exciting – plus just watching what people were able to make with five ingredients in five minutes was fun. And I got tons of recipe ideas. Have you watched the videos yet? If not, I think you still can even after the polls close. Actually, I know you can as per my after polling adventure last year at this time. Anyhow – watch the videos, enjoy them and vote for your favorite Hot Raw Chef – right now!