Damsons: the most painterly of fruit.

Snippets of joy from all over the place:

Beautiful hippie wedding.

New(ish) blog that promotes growing your own raw food. Farmers’ markets are fantastic but growing (and picking!) your own is the way to truly understand nature’s cycle(s).

Recipe inspiration. I’ve made no raw ice-cream this summer. I just haven’t felt the inclination. Not much cacao love either ... This changed my mind though. A frozen key lime pie dipped in chocolate ...

A raw version? There’s a recipe for the former in I Am Grateful (pp. 140-1) and I think we all know how to make raw chocolate don’t we?!


Blackberry pie

As promised a fortnight or so ago: a seasonal recipe for blackberry pie. I hadn’t forgotten my promise, it’s just that as soon as I make this pie it vanishes, hence taking a photograph proved problematic (as you can see a chunk has already been carved out)...

This is essentially a ‘root-around’ the cupboard recipe. You can use almonds, pistachios or macadamia nuts in the base depending on preference. Equally, the mesquite, cacao and carob combination can be altered to taste, and sultanas and raisins can be used instead of currants. The filling is culled from the Cafe Gratitude coconut cream pie recipe, substituting blackberry juice for coconut milk. To make the blackberry juice pulverise 1lb of blackberries in the Vitamix and then use a sieve to obtain the juice.

Base: ¾ C cashews, ½ C currants, ¾ C buckwheaties (i.e. soaked, sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat), 2T coconut oil, 1T mesquite, 1T cacao powder, 2T carob and a good squeezing of lemon.

Process in a food processor (rather than a Vitamix) until slightly sticking together (I find it best to process everything except the coconut oil and then add that last). Press down firmly into a 7-inch pan (lightly greased with coconut butter).

Filling: 1½ C blackberry juice, ¾ C of coconut meat, 4 medjool dates (take out the stones!), the scrapings of a vanilla pod, 3T lecithin and ½ C of coconut butter.

Process everything in the Vitamix apart from the last two ingredients. Once everything is pretty much smooth add the lecithin and coconut butter and blend again. Pour the filling on top of the base and put in the fridge to set. Decorate with blackberries or whatever else in the way of fresh fruit is to hand.


The Great American T-Shirt

Sometimes you want to mix it up and sometimes you want to keep it simple. The same goes for clothes as well as (raw) food. In summer, vest tops and t-shirts or a blouse? I’ve always gone for the (vintage) latter. Skirt or shorts? Again, the latter. Recently, that’s changed (or at least the former choice has), perhaps because it’s so much easier to now buy organic cotton t-shirts.

I’ve come to a realisation that I really am a child of my decade (the 70s). I’m more than happy to veer between mixtures of earthiness and glamour, which is in essence my summing up of the decade. The 70s book The Great American T-Shirt makes the case for both ends of the spectrum. A cornucopia of folks, known (for example, Lauren Hutton, Patti Smith, Martin Scorsese, Angelica Huston, Betsey Johnson...) and unknown wearing t-shirts . What really made the book for me was another of those ‘raw moments’: a whole page devoted to a Dick Gregory t-shirt advertising his ‘Food Fun’...

*** On the subject of clothes, the autumn edition of Permaculture has a review of this book (out on the 17th of this month) which looks like a good read ...


I want ... #2

... a Woodstock handmade home.

Via this site ... in turn via this book.


Raw Food Equipment #2

The cherry stoner: it’s an innocuous little thing. It doesn’t look like much at all. However, if you’re faced with pounds (and I do mean pounds) of cherries, it will transform your life. No more slips of the knife, no more rooting around for the cherry stone with your finger and thumb losing valuable flesh in the process. Just pop the cherry in, press the lever and out pops the cherry stone sans excess flesh. It’s not just for cherries either. It worked beautifully with the small and oh so fragrant yellow plums from the other day too.


Sissy Spacek: fasting, meditation, tough girls, the state of ‘adagio’ and no regrets...

Everything that I touch at the moment doesn’t turn to gold, but it does seem to have a ‘raw’ message. This is from a 1977 issue of the fashion magazine 19 that I picked up in a junk shop ...

'A year ago, Sissy never even got a second glance from anyone, but now Sissy has definitely hit the big time ... So what does she do? Does she buy a purple Rolls Royce? A San Simeon mansion in Beverly Hills? No ... she goes on a fast! “It’s true,” she said. “I felt I had to remove myself from the pressures which built up with the sudden success. I didn’t know a better way of doing it than going on a fast ...

Fasting is great because it allows you to eliminate all the physical impurities from your body. But, as far as I’m concerned, the mental cleansing is far more important. After several days of fasting, your mind becomes so clear and clean. In the process, your senses are heightened too ...

The most interesting aspect of the fast is the insight which develops. It allows you to examine yourself and your problems. Amazingly, you’re able to recall incidents from your childhood which you thought long since forgotten ... The confrontation of past with present gives you a new understanding in dealing with your daily life ...

I often went on fasts for several days during the shooting of Carrie ... When the rest of the cast ate, I meditated. I never studied under a guru or anyone like that. I picked it all up from books. Like exercise, meditation helps me a lot during a fast. But I also meditate whether I am fasting or not. Forty minutes a day ... meditation has a very soothing effect upon my nervous system and combats the strains and stresses which seem to accompany this sort of profession ...

There are a lot of tough girls out there in the world fighting to make a name for themselves and to get recognised. They’re trying very hard to escape from the crowd of anonymity. Sure, some are actresses, but they are in other professions too. These girls are in an emotional rage, but they don’t always know why ... Thankfully, I was never so completely consumed by my career that I couldn’t see other choices, other exits ...

I believe that life is a sort of game where you may succeed or again you may not. But you have to live it in a state of ‘adagio’ – complete relaxation which allows you full communication to better achieve your goals. I never pushed as hard as I might and not for a moment do I regret it”’.