Oh the freaky-deaky things I’ve been eating

I got into raw food around Thanksgiving time last year. And let me be clear on this: I’ve never gone exclusively raw. I’ve just added a lot of raw food to my diet. I don’t know what it is, I just couldn’t walk past the raw food cookbook in the book store and not stop and look at it. It was just as simple as that. I find it fascinating. So I made a few of the patés, the ‘Not Tuna Rolls’ since I had so recently gotten into Korean food and had a lot of Nori at the time, and the zucchini pesto. I was put off by how long it takes to soak the raw nuts, but other than that, I loved it. Since I got the cookbook back from my sister-in-law, I have gone on another raw food kick. I don’t know why I couldn’t just go on a vegetarian kick. But then again, like I said, I’m not exclusive with it. I tried the veggie sandwich this time. You use romaine lettuce where the bread would go. I found it was a bit untidy, but it would probably be better to use extremely fresh lettuce. I made ‘Not Tuna Rolls’ again and still don’t know what I think of them, other than they are nicely filling. I also made avocado boats, tomato stacks, date-almond cookies and cream of zucchini soup. It was after the zucchini soup last night that I began to get a little discouraged, at least for the moment.
Here are a few of the conclusions I’ve come to:
It takes a lot of effort at first, but tapers off quickly because there are only so many ingredients you would use in a raw food diet. There is a nice variety, but you can still get them all in one cartload.
The unexpected surge in energy is a welcome bonus. SO welcome.
It seems to make me sensitive to subtle flavors in things. I could never have sat around chomping on carrots, celery, broccoli and cucumber. That is, however, exactly what I’ve been doing for the last two days.
You have to soak the nuts for at least four hours. Otherwise the patés don’t come out creamy enough to dip veggies in, or spread on anything.
When the zucchini soup came out with way too airy of a texture, I felt frustrated because I’d gone through all that work for nothing. However, it turned out that it just needed to sit in the fridge for a while.
So I’m sitting here happy and full after a dinner of zucchini soup and spinach. I never thought I’d say that.
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Camping pics

Here are the pics from our camping weekend, where we celebrated my mom’s retirement and enjoyed Tim’s excellent cooking. The entire family made it out there.
I got up early on Saturday morning and got a little time to myself, which I used to photograph the Joshua Tree next to our tent with the moon, and the sun hitting the rocks beyond our campsite. We were guests of Caryn’s and got to enjoy the ranger campsite. I am now spoiled for camping up there. We also saw a desert tortoise, which I put in a previous post, and a baby rattlesnake. Tim saw a coyote while I only heard them, at 3 a.m. on Sunday.
We had several friends up there as well, and we gave mom a cake and sang a round of “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow”. We had tried to make it at least a little bit of a surprise for her, but she had grown suspicious early on. She is, after all, a mother of four.
We all had a great time.
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I’m not easily confused or anything

I was leaving the grocery store in Playa last week and while waiting for the light, I realized I was staring at this bench. It’s down the street from the airport. One of my friends guessed that it was maybe somebody’s version of graffiti. I mean, if you have money to burn, and if you want to mess with people’s heads, and you can do so by renting out a bench and writing whatever you feel like on it, then hey. And sure enough, there I am, scratching my head, staring at this bench.
Robot bench
It turns out it’s for a movie.

Burrowing owls in Joshua Tree

There’s a nest of burrowing owls near my parents’ house, inside of someone’s yard. They are a funny animal with an intense stare. Even if there wasn’t a chain link fence, I couldn’t get any closer to them, because they’re pretty skittish. The parent owl was quick to tell the kids to get back in the hole and then fly off and give me a piece of her mind from further away. It’s funny that they would raise their babies in a spot so close to two streets, with cars probably going by every few minutes, when there are so many other out of the way places that they could have raised their babies. The six foot fence probably gives them a little bit of security, but I doubt they did that on purpose. They are, after all, birds. The parents stare suspiciously when people go by, and the babies just stare.

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Petcam at BBQ

We celebrated my mom’s retirement over the weekend in the Joshua Tree National Park, camping both nights and celebrating with BBQ and cake on Saturday. The whole family and many of her friends were there, and we all had a wonderful time. I’m editing/ retouching the pics right now. I also brought my petcam, and clipped it to the dog for a while. After I realized that the dog was probably going to be laying by the picnic table for a long time, I clipped it to my shirt and continued with my evening. The little camera took pics every 3.5 min until I went ahead and put it away because it was getting dark.

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Kicking off the summer with Paella

My boyfriend Tim lives across the street from an Elk’s Lodge, so he and all of his friends in the area all joined together. It started out as a small group, when I met him in ’05, but now it’s a pretty large group of them. They have a great bar there, and a huge kitchen. Tonight, to kick off the beginning of the summer and to break in the huge Paella pan that Tim bought his friend Billy for his birthday, Billy made us all a great big Paella. He used fresh, delicious seafood, chicken, and a whole mess of other delicious ingredients and cooked up enough for about 20 people. Tim was stirring it with what was pretty much a small oar.
We definitely plan to do this again.

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