Archive for October, 2011
Every morning, I have a little centering ritual which includes looking up the patron saint, or saints, of the day. For example, today’s patron is Demetrius the Wonderworker. Don’t you feel better already? I know I do. It gives me the opportunity to read a little story someone thought was relevant and important and cool enough to actually submit for validation by the church. Are the stories true? Who cares! It’s a connection with the past and helps me get the day off to less self centered start.
Today we are setting up our annual Day of the Dead altar in the café. I love this yearly tradition. Employees here at Living Light are encouraged to bring in items to place on the altar in honor of someone who’s special to them but no longer with us here on the planet. The altar always turns out so beautifully. We’ll have to take some pictures to share in an upcoming post. It’s a community event, too, so there are altars to see all over town. Besides the altar, we’ll be participating in the celebration by offering a trio of raw Mexican chocolates in the café. This will also be the public debut of our new pastry chef, Donna Marie Heagen – a saint in her own right! Come check out her confectionery mastery! The cost is $5.00, but you get a five dollar certificate good in the Marketplace so it’s all good. Locals – definitely come check it out!
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!
I just found a video posted by Ronnie and Minh from our FUNdamentals class that was held in Las Vegas last week. Gosh – I wish I could have been there. An intimate group got to absorb the instruction from some real powerhouses in the raw food world. What a treat! And speaking of treats, Amy Bacheller is here at Living Light this weekend teaching her wonderful essential oil classes. If you haven’t taken them, I can’t recommend them highly enough. The two day package covers all the uses for essential oils, both culinary and spiritual. And – Amy’s gentle spirit imparts her vast wisdom in a very accessible way.
There’s nothing like learning from a great teacher. When I look back at my life as a student, not too many individuals jump off the page. But some do – real instructors imparting real wisdom. It’s a gift to be able to pass something on to someone else in an inspiring way. So many Living Light students are here to become teachers themselves. It’s very cool. We teach them to create fabulous raw food and they go out into the world to teach others, which is kind of how Living Light started in the first place. Cherie learned about raw food from Ann Wigmore and then went out into the world with her own gourmet approach to whole living foods. And here we all are!
Dan, Cherie, and Martine arrived in Vegas this afternoon, and are ready to rock and roll! There are still some spaces left in the class, so don’t gamble with your health – walk-ins are welcome to join the action in the city that never sleeps (and I don’t mean New York – apologies to Frank Sinatra). Luckily, the hours for the event are in the daytime, so if you are in the area (or know someone who is), what’s better than taking a chance on a sure bet? You’ll see dozens of top notch demos, and you’ll learn from the best –Cherie Soria, Martine Lussier, Brenda Hinton, Ronnie and Minh, and Diane Haworth – it’s a class act! You’ll see dozens of demos, for everything from soup to nuts, and learn about sprouting and kitchen gardening, setting up a raw food kitchen, fermented foods, and everyone’s favorite -luscious and healthful desserts! You can sign up on the web to take the class…last chance!
We had a break-in this weekend and were robbed. We went to harvest our organic corn and found only half was still there! We had been hit by raccoons. Aaugh! They may be cute little buggers, but not any more! Our goldfish are safe from them because we provide a four-foot deep pond for them and the ones in the wine barrel have a screen over them. We didn’t even think about our vegetables being in jeopardy! Did I say “Aaugh!”?
At Living Light, we will be through with the Associate Chef and Instructor course this week and then will be in the advanced course of Ethnic Flavors. The students will be learning to make East Indian Zucchini Dahl, Rawvioli with fresh Herb Pesto atop Tomato Concasse, fresh Corn Tamales and Transcendent Crab Cakes just to name a few recipes. This is basically a recipe development course, so there will be many more foods explored. After Ethnic Flavors, comes RawFusion Spa Cuisine: another recipe development course where students will learn appetizers and savory snacks, the art of dressings, sauces and marinades, and learn the art of plating and garnishing. Sounds good, huh?
Next Thursday, Living Light will be presenting its FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods class in Las Vegas, Nevada. This class is a full day of instruction and such a fabulous introduction to raw culinary arts. Cherie Soria and Martine Lussier will be instructing, so you’ll be getting the best of the best, as far as teachers go. If you’re curious about raw food and live anywhere near the Las Vegas area I suggest you go. It can be overwhelming to think about making a big dietary change. But knowledge is power, and learning a little about living food from the experts can go a long way towards demystifying the whole thing and getting you started.
You know – when I first heard that we were doing a FUNdamentals class in Las Vegas, I thought it might be a weird fit. Don’t get me wrong – I love Vegas. None of my experiences there were terribly health promoting though, if you take my meaning. But, on further inspection, I find there are a couple raw cafes in Las Vegas. So – at least the attendees will have somewhere to go for juice in the morning. And as our flyers say, “Have fun in Vegas, but don’t gamble with your health.”
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Or – the last day of the first part. Take your pick. Either way, everyday offers us opportunities to grow and change. Sometimes those opportunities feel like painful adaptations to circumstances out of our control. But it’s really all a matter of perception. And I’ve found that when life feels particularly out of control, it helps to focus on something manageable and positive. We can make a difference everyday by choosing a cruelty-free diet, for example, or just by letting someone know how happy we are to have them in our life. Today is also IT Superstar Teresa Ravella’s birthday!! I’m sure happy she’s in my life!
I don’t know much about Texas, but Teresa does. She’s from there and is my favorite Texan ever. I know things are bigger there and its flower is the yellow rose. And, according to a pot holder dear Teresa brought me this summer, it’s the Lone Star State. Everything else I know about Texas I learned from Terms of Endearment. I love to learn about new places, even if I can’t go there. Your chance to experience the Lone Star State while learning all about raw food is just a few days away! FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods is Living Light’s basic introduction to gourmet raw vegan food and is the prerequisite for all our other classes. We are taking this fantastic class on the road this month and our first stop is Austin, Texas. It’s not too late to register yet, but almost. So – do it today!