Don't Try This at Home!

Reading the fantastic Viktoras Kulvinskas interview in the latest issue of Get Fresh inspired me to re-read some of his publications. One of the 'Seven Secrets of Success' listed in the interview encouraged the making of fermented food '... it nurtures friendly bacteria, and is loaded with enzymes and B-complex vitamins ... Cultures that are long-lived always include at least one form of fermented food on a daily basis'. His Life in the 21st Century had a suggestion from a contributor re. jelly coconut fermentation (and I'd just picked up a stash from a new source). The instructions were easy: simply chop the jelly coconut up finely, put it into a jar and seal it until bubbles appear (around 24-48 hours). Then mash in a ripe banana. The contributor wrote that 'To me it tastes like scrambled eggs. Fruitarian egg substitute'. To me it smelt like very bad eggs, so much so that I couldn't even bring myself to taste it!!! More on Viktoras soon ...


Synchronicity #2

The synchronicity doesn't stop at #1. I was going to post on my love of compact raw booklets, starting with the recipe booklet by the Funky Raw gang (I'm guessing from viewing their website that the booklet has been newly republished with a colour cover). I have 'key moments' in my raw journey and the booklet's 'Real Risotto' (with cauliflower being the chief ingredient) was one of them. As I child, I was never a fan of this particular cruciferous veggie, and I insisted on a heavy cheese sauce to disguise the taste. Reading the recipe for 'Real Risotto' I just thought 'no thanks' and carried on turning the pages, but the word 'cauliflower' kept popping up in my brain. Finally, I succumbed. It's now one of my favourite autumn meals. Lo and behold, when thinking about posting re. this, a picture of a very similar dish 'Curried Cauliflower with Currants and Pine Nuts' (albeit cooked and using florets rather than reducing the cauliflower to rice-size particles) appeared in the aforementioned Great Chefs Cook Vegan in a series of recipes devised by Cat Cora ...

The booklet's introduction quotes one of the Funky Raw contributors, Steve Charter, 'Just like normal eating, most people tend to rely on a relatively small number of standard meals that they rotate and vary. So if you get a good set of basic raw food meals then you are more than half way there'. It sounds so simple and obvious but as we all know sometimes things are easy to read but harder to put into practice. Charter's advice is so worth it though. Keep experimenting until you have about a fortnight's worth of recipes that you adore. Raw became infinitely easier when I worked this out for myself! The booklet itself might be small, but it's crammed with tried and tested recipes for daily use. The cover states that this is Volume I, so I hope Volume II appears soon ...

Synchronicity #1

Isn't it funny when the universe responds to musings? I was lamenting recently to one of my closest friends who is a hot-shot graphic designer of cookbooks (Nigel Slater, Ottolenghi, Angela Hartnett etc.) about vegan and raw books published in the UK. I'd love it if as the raw market grows these books looked like some of the classics she's crafted (not too chef-y, not over-designed, but not too kooky and fall-apart paperbacks that have tiny print runs either!). Lo and behold, through the post arrived the very beautiful Great Chefs Cook Vegan (admittedly US published), a book by chefs (the majority neither raw or vegan - thus no rampant didacticism) who outline their enthusiasm for grain, vegetable and fruit based dishes. A few of the recipes are through and through raw, and because the others are vegan they're very easy to adapt. It's given me some great new ideas ... Thank you to the very generous person who sent it (you know who you are - xxx).



We went to Brighton last Sunday and did some of my favourite things: the early morning station market, the monthly farmers’ market and stocking up at Infinity. It was a last-minute decision (one of those which so frequently turn out to be spot-on). The weather was gorgeous for the 2nd of November – it has been gray, cloudy and uninspiring both since and before. The bright colours of my resulting pictures inspired my juice choice the following Monday morning. It was simply an amalgamation of things sculling around: home grown beetroot, carrot and cucumber, hand-picked apple, and then a few organics from hotter climes, ginger, orange and lemon. Like last-minute travel decisions, it turned out so well that I’ve drunk the concoction every day since.
In regard to gorgeous decisions, I couldn’t let a post pass without reference to Obama. Rebecca Walker (as ever) has posted beautifully on the President Elect.


Kitchen Inspiration

Continuing on the simplicity front, I bought a favourite Australian interiors magazine on Friday which always seems to feature at least a couple of exquisite ‘natural homes’ amongst the frou-frou designer offerings in each issue. This kitchen is a dream ... rustic, light, simple (and I love the fact that they’re using the cooker as extra storage space!)...


World Vegan Day

It’s world vegan day today. It’s probably the ‘done’ thing to offer a recipe, but all I can think of is pears. It’s like I’m an addict. I’ve been buying them from the orchard around the corner and simply slice them with a mandolin (to try and fool myself that I’m making an effort with my diet!) and munch away. They’re divine. Thankfully, Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw arrived today, so I have an offering ... Unlike his earlier co-authored Raw Food Real World, this book is a paperback, but the same slick production values remain. Indeed, it’s an excellent book to show to non-vegan sceptics. Kenney is clearly a genius on the piping bag front – all his puddings look so deft of hand! I was particularly interested in the raw ice-cream cones (the recipe uses fresh pear!), and I’ve mentally stored it in my head for Christmas celebrations ... (the instructions went a little askew in the book itself, but they’re printed up correctly on Amazon).