August has been a whirlwind of activity as the first leg of my Rawsome Creations Fall Tour got underway: Beautiful British Columbia and our road tour up to the Raw on the Rawk Festival (see article later) took us to big cities, bucolic countryside, waterways of the Gulf Islands, raw food cafés along the way, and visits with our More Than a Nut Milk Bag customers. And a warm welcome to all our new newsletter readers we met along the way this month.
Along the road north, first looks at my hot-off-the-press Recipe Collection met with warm smiles. Eager buyers took away autographed copies, promising to stretch their kitchen skills with the new ideas in the book. Tester copies of the Recipe Collection went out to those of you who volunteered for first edition testing -- and to you Testers: THANK YOU . . . but be sure to get us your feedback soon. We'll be incorporating your thoughts, suggestions, edits, corrections, and ideas into the second edition soon.
While the Tester Offer has ended, the Recipe Collection is available, and I am pleased by the in-person rewards of having a book to present. This little (112 pages) book is so full of great ideas assembled over several years, and enhances the many, many uses of my More Than a Nut Milk Bag. Working together with Meagan Ricks brought about a sweet synergy, and enriched the book greatly -- thank you, Meagan!
So far, the changes and corrections are remarkably few for a first-time author's first edition, thanks in no small part to my wonderful team of proof readers, including my husband Mike, my webster Sienna, my editor Michael and my friends Rochelle and Barbara. It takes a village. . .
One unusual feature of the Recipe Collection that's worth mentioning is its online community -- to join, you'll need to buy the book . . . but then you'll be able to log in and download kitchen-ready recipe sheets of some of the book's break-through recipes -- Sweet Corn Chowder, Tortilla Chips, Corn Tortillas, Spinach Wraps, and a most interesting new ingredient being developed by Meagan, Bloomed Quinoa.
Brenda Hinton working alongside
Chef and good friend Jim Maurice
at his Rawsome Living Foods Café
Harbour House Hotel on Salt Spring Island, BC (home to our friends Jim Maurice and Chris Gay, the owners of Rawsome Living Foods Café), was the site of this first ever living foods festival. Bringing together friends and colleagues from neighboring islands and living foods enthusiasts from as far away as California, this enlightening weekend was inspiring for guests as well as for those of us presenting.
On the panel of luminaries was Preet Marwaha, owner of Organic Lives, an online resource and café in Vancouver, British Columbia, whom I now count as a friend. Despite a recent, devastating fire at their café, he and his wife are starting over and thriving due to the support of their customers. In his keynote presentation, Preet reminded us that every moment is indeed an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, start over, and begin making healthy choices.
My husband Mike enjoyed every minute; he was a great help as my fabulous assistant for sales at our booth, greeting festival attendees, local island visitors, and farmers market customers. He pitched my More Than a Nut Milk Bag, explained the new template, and showed off the Recipe Collection answering questions as an expert and sharing his living food stories. They loved him and enjoyed asking him, as a fully qualified raw food husband, how he makes it work living with me. With his great smile, he shared how much better he feels due to the choices he's making. (Way to go, honey!!)
One of the great delights about Salt Spring Island is that they have their own money. Sure, plenty of places have local currency, but as far as I know, SSI is the only place where a bank has stepped up to back the local currency. If this idea delights you as much as it does me -- I brought a bunch of SSI dollars home for friends; they're gorgeous! -- check out their website.
see photos from the 2011 Patisserie
Level 1 class on facebook
I'm away this week, beginning September with my last session at Living Light for 2012. Followed one week later with the annual Japan Living Beauty Association advanced trainings in Tokyo, I'll be there for 2 weeks teaching Level 1 Patisserie and Chef courses. As always I'm looking forward to the students and their amazing projects, as well as reconnecting with so many Japanese friends. The Patisserie course this year will culminate with the Fourth Annual Raw Sweets contest which always brings out student creations which amaze me in taste and appearance to rival any fine restaurant pastry selections. Someday traditional restauranteurs will see the opportunities available to place healthy vibrant sweets on their traditional menus. We have a beginning, and we're excited about the possibilities.
With the 2 1/2 week trip through the Pacific Northwest we had plenty of time to visit raw food cafés along the way. Saving Portland for our next visit, we focused on Seattle where we found two wonderful stops, Chaco Canyon and Thrive both were added to our must stops for next time.
Chaco Canyon, an interesting name I'd expect in the Southwest, is a 100% vegan café with plenty of raw options amongst their cooked offerings. The restaurant's warm décor, welcoming staff, and quick service despite a busy lunch hour impressed us. Portions were plentiful. My choicetarian husband got the Thai Peanut Bowl served with brown rice. I in turn got a raw Ginger Sesame Bowl -- just can't resist those Asian tastes! Our choices presented us with a spectrum of flavors, colors, and textures that we both loved. Sadly, we had no room for one of their great-looking smoothies for the road.
|"Our mission is to provide the healthiest food available in a restaurant setting; to demolish the myth that to eat healthy you must sacrifice deliciousness; and to provide a new choice where one was previously unavailable."|
Thrive was our next stop, and still full from lunch we got juices to go. Thrive has a great central location and offers a raw menu brimming with amazing choices. In addition to 100% raw salads, smoothies, entrees, and desserts, Thrive presents classes, juices, cleansing feasts, and lifestyle support. If I lived in Seattle I'd join their frequent customer program for sure. I loved their mission statement (see sidebar), and their hardbound colorful menu featuring beautiful descriptions and color pictures of all the menu choices.
And our all time favorite this trip -- Our friends and event hosts Jim and Chris and their Rawsome Living Foods Café on Salt Spring Island was our home away from home for five days. Jim and Chris have a terrific menu with specials changing weekly and a full compliment of wheatgrass shots, juices, smoothies, soups, salads, breakfast items . . .and, of course, divine desserts. Their culinary creations inspired me. For me, the family-style dinners around the group table at the café where highlights of our time together. Salt Spring Island is a farm to table mecca with local farmers, artisans and artists thriving in this creative, inspiring, beautiful community. I can see why Chris and Jim have made it their home for so many years.
For those of you who are health-minded, vegetarian or vegan, here's an app you must have: VegOut. We LOVE it !! In every city or out of the way place we went, we just turned on Mike's iGizmo, started the VegOut app -- it knew where we were (via secret GPS coordinates I guess . . .scary!) -- and up popped vegan, raw, vegetarian restaurant options within a decent radius of our whereabouts. Such fun!! We tried some out-of-the-way places, turned friends on to some new places they'd never heard of, and shared some great meals along the way. See, you can stay healthy on the road and with new technology, it's even easier. VegOut is $2.99 for the download and worth every penny.
I won't give this issue too much space, because we've been talking about it for months now. But I do want to share some new things to help you keep this issue in the forefront of your mind. Remember to VOTE YES on 37 in November and tell all your friends to do the same. Below are some links to peruse -- to like on Facebook, post to your newsfeed, forward to friends -- and generally support any way you can as we Californians move closer and closer to the November vote.
You out-of-staters can help: get in touch with your California friends and explain to them how important this issue is. We deserve the Right To Know what's in our food. Simple as that.
Things are heating up in the GMO/CA Right to Know arena. Two of the largest companies who stand to lose if Prop 37 passes, DuPont and Monsanto, are feverishly spending enormous amounts of money to defeat the initiative. Think about that: corporations investing in the preservation of ignorance! If that isn't a scandal, what is?
Our California Right to Know campaign is spending, too, but without obscene corporate backing, their funding is much less. It's not too late for you to side with the angels and press their 'donate now' button. They could use any donations you can spare to keep up the fight with Goliath.
Here's the new CA Right to Know TV commercial which will start running shortly.
My editor Michael is always interested in seeing what the other side is doing, and here's his report on the well-funded opposition's website.
Isn't it remarkable how politicians and shills for big corporations have learned to turn the language against the truth? They're at it again here with their characterization of a people-centered information requirement as "the deceptive food labeling scheme." These same profiteers opposed the labels that show the amounts of fats and sodium in their products too. The Oppos' position: an ignorant consumer base is best for business.
The Oppos state that this act will cost the average California family hundreds of dollars a year. How could that be? They don't say. Maybe because they want to punish us for caring about what we put in our bodies, and this is an excuse to raise prices? How much could it really cost to label GMOs -- a penny or two a package? It takes a lot of packages to add up to hundreds of dollars, so this is another corporate effort to make us fearful. (But you should be cutting down on the packages of "food-like products" you buy and using authentic food instead, right?)
The Oppos say that our need to know is unsupported by science. How could knowledge possibly be "unsupported by science"? We know that anyone can buy "a scientist." (Of course the Oppos mean that GMOs have been deemed "functionally identical" by "the scientific community" -- the scientists they've bought. Elsewhere, and we've covered this in this newsletter, honest unbought scientists are reasonably sure that GMO crops are NOT "functionally identical" to their open-fertilized kin.)
The Oppos say "payday for trial lawyers" because the law was written by a lawyer -- now that's a hoot! Most legislators are lawyers, and they write all the laws not written by lobbyists. The Oppos point to special interests -- yawn -- but the only time anyone complains about "special interests" is when they aren't included.
The Oppos' list of sponsors doesn't include a single public-interest organization -- nobody but us corporate giants like Monsanto, Cargill, Hormel, Hershey, Kellogg, General Mills, Sara Lee -- champions of the public welfare . . . NOT.
The Oppos pretend to represent farmers, and yammer about damaging "small family farms" . . . If you believe that, you should read what actual family farmer Will Allen has to say about that.
When a corporation prefers profit to people, it's the job of We the People to remind them who they work for.
Remember to check in the member section online for full page copies of the Recipe Collection recipes. (see page 102 of your Recipe Collection for log-in information). We'll be adding a few more recipes to the Reader Community including some variations to the Recipe Collection recipes during the next few months. Our first variation, online now, is a quicker version of Mexican Wraps. We'd love to hear from you if you've a variation you'd like to share.
I always say it's all about the sauces -- and when it comes to flavor, that's so true. A great sauce can make everything taste so much better, and different sauces can change up the same veggies night after night.
Before the summer is completely away from us and we begin thinking about warming foods like soup here's one more recipe to share for those Wrap and Roll parties. Fresh veggies are still plentiful in the garden and at farmers market. So pick up some cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, sprouts, avocados and anything else catching your attention, take a look at our online recipe for successful veggie rolls slice everything uniformly thin (chiffonade) for rolling and enjoy one our my most favorite sauces. Thank you goes out to Cherie Soria of Living Light for this one, Bon Bon Sauce. From her original book Angel Foods, it has been a favorite in our house for years. Oh YUM !! (Be sure to double the recipe so you have some left over, it freezes well for next time you're in a rush for dinner ideas.)
More than a NUT MILK BAG
The past month has been enriching in so many ways and I'm looking forward to the next leg of the Fall Tour. Japan next then on to Bali to visit with my More Than a Nut Milk Bag seamstress, the charities we help fund with More Than a Nut Milk Bag sales (Bumi Sehat and Widya Guna Orphanage) and a fabulous first time event at Five Elements Healthy Hotel outside Ubud.
Here are a few parting memories of my August Adventures:
What a rush, to hold an actual book that I myself assembled in my hands....
As you read this, I am just finishing up the third engagement of the Rawsome Creations Fall Tour here in Bali....
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