August 19, 2009
I’m done with raw foods. Now that school has started, I can’t handle being on the raw food diet AND working full time at a stressful job. It was fine (even fun) over the summer when I had nothing better to do. But I spent this past weekend (when I wasn’t shopping for work clothes and doing work I brought home) making raw things so I wouldn’t have to prepare anything during the work week. I’m completely sick of washing my blender several times a day and spending all my free time in the kitchen! So tomorrow I’m going grocery shopping – at a REAL grocery store! No more traveling to three different alternative grocery stores to get what I need. No more buying expensive raw condiments, like bland raw almond butter. No more $70 grocery bills. I’ve never been so excited to make a grocery list before, especially since I get to purchase REAL hummus (as opposed to the ingredients for weird raw hummus made from sprouted chickpeas that ends up tasting grainy and flavorless) and REAL crackers (not expensive dehydrated flax seed crackers that cost three times as much for a third of the crackers).
But it’s not all sad news. There are things I’ll still make, like raw fudge and chia pudding. Plus, I’ve learned some tricks, like if you buy a lime and cut it into adorable wedges, featured here:
and squeeze a wedge into every glass of water you drink, you’ll end up drinking twice as much water as you did before. As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing!”
August 2, 2009
Saturday morning I was awoken by the following conversation outside my window:
man: “Do you smoke?”
man: “Well, then your car’s on fire.”
woman: “Oh my god! Why is it on fire?!?”
At this point, I went from being half asleep to fully awake in a matter of nanoseconds. I jumped out of bed, looked outside my window, and fo’ sho’ – the trunk of her car was billowing smoke. The man called 911, and props to the IFD for arriving in less than two minutes. (No props shall go to the IPD, who strolled on the scene ten minutes later.) The firemen popped the trunk, took everything out and laid it on the ground, and extinguished the item that was smoldering. Then the woman looked over her stuff and said, “Hey, that’s not mine!” and pointed to a box. I thought, “Terrific! It’s probably a bomb that’s going to blow us all to kingdom come!” But I guess the firemen didn’t think so, because they opened the box and it was filled with what looked like rags. Then a guy on a bike rode by and told the firemen that two other cars were on fire just like this one earlier that morning in a different area of the apartment complex. Enter the arson detective who started interviewing everyone standing around, which by this time was quite a crowd and included a woman who was in the process of moving in with the help of her father. The woman looked young – probably 22, fresh out of college, and just starting out on her own. Her father had many questions to ask the fire department and the police, while one bystander tried (unconvincingly) to reassure them that nothing bad ever happens in this neighborhood. I think the consensus was that an arsonist had popped several car trunks, set some rags on fire, then closed the trucks and let the fires smolder. I heard the biker say that one of the other cars that was on fire earlier was completely totaled from fire damage.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
August 2, 2009
My lemon seeds are sprouting, and it’s fun to see all the different plant varieties that come from the seeds of the same lemon. There’s the fast-growing-with-two-large-leaves-and-two-tiny-leaves variety (center); the four-leaves-of-different-shapes-and-sizes variety (bottom); the three-leaf variety (top); and the slow-growing-and-shy-to-produce-leaves variety:
August 2, 2009
And to think, I grew it on my balcony! Since I don’t particularly like to eat tomatoes straight up, I ended up giving it – along with another smaller perfect tomato – to my grandmother who loves tomatoes. I have yet to hear if they tasted as perfect as they looked.
Unfortunately, all my other tomatoes don’t look quite as picture perfect. They all have scars or are starting to split, but should do just fine blended into a raw pasta sauce.
July 24, 2009
I don’t know about this raw food business. I didn’t like most vegetables when I ate cooked food, so I’m having a hard time eating them raw. Although I have found that a lettuce wrap filled with my favorite veggies (avocado, mushrooms, and sprouts), dipped in a Thai-style almond sauce is rather delicious!
However, that leaves me with one thing for breakfast (smoothie), one thing for lunch (salad), one thing for dinner (lettuce wrap), and some snacks (raw crackers with raw hummus, fresh or dried fruit, raw desserts). How boring is that?
Then I started thinking back to what I used to eat for breakfast (Frosted Mini-Wheats), lunch (Lean Pocket, piece of fruit, fat-free pudding cup), dinner (pasta), and snacks (crackers with hummus, Le Petit Ecolier cookies). Back then I ate the same thing every day, too!
So I’m going to keep trying, even though I can’t say if it’s starting to help with my allergies, since friends and family frequently invite me out to lunch or dinner. I think my raw options will expand once I take the plunge and purchase a dehydrator. Then I can try some recipes from Everyday Raw such as granola, BBQ crisps, and mac and cheese (made with seed cheese and squash).
July 8, 2009
I recently checked out the book Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler from the library. It’s a great book for urban gardening, and touches on just about everything – outdoor spaces, houseplants, composting, even dumpster diving for materials – with suggestions for other books to check out if you would like more information on a certain topic. One absolutely cool idea she had was for using bricks as make-shift window boxes. She suggested planting Sempervivum in the holes of masonry bricks and setting them on a window ledge. I was intrigued, as one of the windows in my bedroom overlooks the roof of the townhome next door – not an awesome view. But with her suggestion, I thought I might be able to spruce up my ledge.
It turned out to be absolutely charming! The middle plant in each brick is Sempervivum tectorum, and the remaining plants are Sempervivum arachnoideum. They are heat and cold hardy perennials, so they should last. And I can simply pick up the bricks and take them with me when I move!
I’ve also started growing things from the pits and seeds of fruits. I’m attempting to grow some avocado pits, a peach pit, some lemon seeds, and one of these:
It’s the seed inside the fleshy, hairy mango pit. None of them will bear fruit of course, but I do have high hopes for some righteous houseplants!