Before I get on to other things, did you guys see the moon? This was the view from our doorstep on Tuesday morning: the moon cleansed and renewed after the eclipse of the night before. Being as far west as we are, we got to see the eclipse very clearly: magical and unique indeed.
Hail to Vitamix!
For today, I start with a big shoutout to Vitamix! About three weeks ago, I taxed my Vitamix for the first time, making a raw refried-beans-type pate with sunflower seeds, dried tomatoes, etc. I'd never asked that particular machine to do something that challenging until that day, but used to do so routinely when I cheffed. It never got to the 'shut down' point, but it did begin to emit a smell of burning rubber. When it was still emitting a strong burning-rubber smell just making smoothies for several days after, I contacted the company, concerned. They started by giving me some troubleshooting tips, and told me to keep in touch with them and let them know if it didn't clear up. When it continued to smell 'wrong' I let them know, and they sent me a shipping label. As soon as I sent out the machine, they sent me a new one!
Not only am I delighted and impressed with that level of customer service: being without my Vita for five days really brought home to me how very much I enjoy having it. I can't believe I went along so long making smoothies with my little immersion blender! They are simply not as good, although that is also a wonderful tool. I was so happy when we got home from hiking on Monday morning and there was the box on the doorstep.
Revisiting Old Loves and Finding Some New Ones - Chocolate and Other Delectables
With the holidays approaching, it's been time for me to
Remember this mess I showed the other day? The contents of the food processor get explicated with full recipe over on Lori's blog as part of her 12 Days of Christmas Progressive Post.
For the rest of my multitask, I made the 'Congo bars' from Sarma Melngailis' Living Raw Food as well as getting a whole lot of chocolate and chocolate sauce prepped.
And while I'm relaxing some inhibitions, I did make this a very-low-sugar version. I used powdered xylitol instead of maple powder and a mixture of vegetable glycerine and coconut nectar instead of agave.
We took half of it to a holiday party with friends of Phil's who are very conventional eaters, and everyone loved it, and no one knew it was low-sugar.
But now I have the Vitamix back, I can try some new things too! For a beautiful piece of serendipity, I got a copy of Sweet Gratitude through interlibrary loan right around the time that I got some irish moss and some flavor extracts from Elaina Love. I miss being so close to Cafe Gratitude, I miss doing raw chef work and I miss Elaina: she was a wonderful head chef to work with and for.
Now, though, I think I'm in love. Both with the book, which I think I need to own, and with the irish moss. This morning, I made my usual smoothie for breakfast but put some irish moss paste and some blueberry flavor extract instead of a cup of frozen blueberries. I actually stayed full for longer with the little bit of irish moss than with blueberries, and it tasted great!
A coconut chai at lunch, with coconut milk, coconut oil, a little coconut cream powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice, a bit of fresh turmeric root (which is why it's yellowish) and some irish moss paste:
A question: do you taste along when you're fixing goodies? Generally, I don't, partly because I worry about calories way too much, and partly because so much of the time I'm fixing foods that I can't eat and so am used to not putting my hands (or any of the food) anywhere near my mouth. The one thing that I find it hard not to taste along with is chocolate! It's so tactile, so sensual, so close to our own body temperature in melting point... And just a few licks when cleaning up after making chocolates is enough to put my adrenals in a bit of a spin. What to do?