Posts tagged ‘mendocino county events’
Last Friday, Living Light participated in the Fort Bragg Food Bank’s first annual soup and chili cook off. And guess what? We won!! Our Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder beat all others – quite the vegan victory, if you ask me. We were up against some local heavy hitters, too. I’m so proud of Joe and his whole kitchen/café crew, especially Living Light Gourmet Raw Food Chef grad, café employee and chef extraordinaire Elyse who made a most beautiful hostess at the Living Light table. I’m also proud of our own Amanda who planned the event and sits on the food bank’s board of directors. I got to witness this sweet victory from behind the bar, where my boyfriend and I served local beer and wine to the soup-hungry attendees. If you missed the event, you can come in and try this award winning treat in our café – just call ahead and see when we’ll have it available. But be sure and come next year. We’ll be defending our Golden Spoon against all comers and it’s for such a worthy cause – especially at this holiday time of year.
Speaking of the holidays, I think it’s time for fellow blog goddess Kristin and me to start rocking our holiday blogs for 2012. We like to use this time of year to reminisce and share holiday stories and ideas. It’s pretty quiet here at work as the school closes for a few weeks and the new year rush doesn’t usually kick in till after Christmas. It gives us a chance to highlight some of the more personal sides of Living Light and its employees. I bet we’ll have more examples of the role Living Light plays in the local community, too – more reasons to be proud. The Golden Spoon is a great start, though. I can’t wait to see how we’ll top it next year!
Sometimes the funniest things happen when we least expect it. I moved into a new place last September. One of the tasks I’ve left undone is replacing the shower head with a water filter version. Yet something has held me back – fear of plumbing? When I finally decided to tackle the “project”, it was as easy as twisting off the old shower head and replacing with the new – I did the job with my bare hands! Hmmm…just goes to show you that sometimes our slightest fears can hold us back from something we really want to do. Which reminded me of something Cherie mentioned a few days ago. When she gives inspirational talks, she asks people what is holding them back from living their dreams. Many people raise their hands when she mentions time or money. And then she always says – don’t let time or money (and I might add fear) hold you back from what you really want to do. A favorite quote of mine is “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” Would you like to live YOUR dream and be among our Living Light graduate success stories? What’s holding you back?
When I lived in Oakland, California I used to make a conscious effort to connect to the part of the world on which I was living. It was pretty paved over and who knew if those weeds under the overpass were indigenous or not. The estuary was right across the freeway from my loft, but it was pretty industrialized, too. I used to make a point to remember the ground, the water, the sky all used to be wild and natural and we were living on a piece of the earth. Now I live in Fort Bragg, California and am ashamed to say I now have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the beautiful, wild and natural setting I’m in today. The trees, the flowers, the powerful Pacific is all right there and sometimes I don’t even notice till bedtime when I take a moment to review what’s right with my life. Oh well – being conscious and appreciative and careful with the gifts we’ve been given is a full time job and I’ve already got one of those.
Wild Mendocino was appreciated by my daughter and lots of Living Light employees this past Sunday as our directors, Dan and Cherie, sponsored a mushroom lecture and hunt. The event was led by Ryan Snow, mushroom expert, who gave the talk and then led our intrepid seekers through the woods. My daughter went with my roommate (who also happens to be Living Light’s Student Services Manager) and they came back with tons of mushrooms and knowledge. And the fresh faced flush of a day out in the wild part of the world. My son and I spent the time shopping for valentines and playing air hockey, in case you were wondering. We came home all flushed with competition and consumerism and ready to eat the spoils of the hunt. Modern life doesn’t always mix with connection to one’s surroundings, but it sure tastes good to try.
Halloween has come and gone making it official – the holidays are upon us! Besides heralding fun holiday blogs, this means celebrating, honoring traditions, entertaining and connecting. Thanksgiving is in just two short weeks. Two! For me this is an opportunity to connect without a lot of entertaining. The kids and I always go up to the mountains to see my dad who takes us out to a beautiful Thanksgiving meal. I’m really looking forward to seeing my dad, and hopefully my brother and his wife as well, and since I don’t have to cook or anything I’m also going to try and create a collage of gratitude (I’m tired of lists) to illustrate those things for which I’m truly grateful this holiday season. I know it will be fun and hope it will help me focus on what’s really important. Maybe the kids will want to make one, too!
Our soon to be certified Gourmet Raw Food Chefs are in their last week of advanced culinary classes. This week is Raw Event Catering and Elegant Entertaining and they are going to be actually doing just that with a catered lunch available to the public. The menu is Mediterranean and is absolutely delicious! Locals – you should come. Who doesn’t love a lunch out and this one is well worth it. I’m so proud of our students. I’ll bet they’re ready to connect with their loved ones at home after being here for so long. And, I’ll bet they’ll be leaving us with all sorts of exciting inspirations for fabulous holidays.
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!
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.
Remember “The Pie Song” from the movie Michael? “Pie, Pie, me oh my! Nothing tastes sweet, wet, salty and dry all at once so well as pie! Apple! Pumpkin! Minced an’ Wet Bottom. Come to your place everyday if you’ve got em’. Pie! Me o my! I love pie!”
This Father’s Day, the Comptche Fire Department put on a barbecue as they do every year. The neat part is that they have pie – every kind of pie imaginable. So we went and had pie and beer, then went to sample the other veggie fare, then more pie! There was music put on by the locals and dancing. What a day!
My favorite pie,raw or cooked, is pumpkin – can not get enough. Living Light’s pumpkin pie is so good that our local Harvest Market buys them from us to sell to their customers. Yummmmm, it is good! Hurry and sign up for Pastry Arts – Unbaked! so you, too, can “unbake a pie”!