So much to talk about!!! This may be a very long blog post, beware. ; ) First and foremost, I need to share about the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that I belong to. Pretty much, you prepay for organic produce to keep the farmer, well..farming. The farmer I work with, Stella McPhee from Horny Toad Farms, is so generous with her produce it's a steal! The amount of produce she sells for simply $20 is remarkable. I got my first CSA basket this past week: an Armenian Cucumber (these are so cool...crazy long and they look like flower petals when sliced - check out the pictures!), four regular cucumbers, eleven Anna apples, five peaches, five tomatoes (Heirloom, Zebra, and Roma), a bag of mixed greens (basil, mint, chives, lemongrass, beet tops, and purslane), four grapefruits, a bunch of carrots (a dozen with greens attached - which I like in smoothies as well), a four pound watermelon, eleven onions (white, red, and baby), seven different peppers (mild and hot), and a potted chive plant - that you can cut the tips off to eat and it will continue to grow! I can't believe how much I got for such a reasonable price...and all organic to boot! No wonder I can't help but share it with everyone I know!!! And the fun thing is that it isn't set in stone...I have different people doing different things. One person is getting two baskets in one week and then skipping the next, another is getting half a basket at half the price, etc. I love that I can work with people to help make everyone happy!
My third Raw Recipe Night was held this past Saturday. It was my first dessert class, and pies are the perfect beginning into raw desserts. They are ridiculously easy to make with simple ingredients. The first we worked on was a Lemon Meringue Pie. Since it was Independence Day weekend, I made mine into a lovely little flag. Cute, isn't it? :) This is the most inexpensive, delicious, and the easiest to make. Two ingredient crust, four ingredient filling...takes less than five minutes to make.
Last, but not least....there is one topic I don't think I've mentioned before in my blog: raw potlucks. This is where a group comes together and everyone brings a different raw dish...pretty self explanatory. There are seven or eight different Raw Potluck groups in the area and they all hold different kinds of potlucks. Some are small (10-20 people), some are large (100-200 people), some have themes (ice cream, chocolate, etc), and some host classes (kind of like mine). I attended one for the Fourth of July last evening. It was a Raw Ice Cream Party. You could either bring ice cream/sorbet/or supplies, or you could offer some money. It was also a pool party/fireworks party as well. It was held right off of Squaw Peaks, which is a small mountain range in Phoenix that you can hike...breathtaking views and the weather was just right. I brought my Vitamix and made banana based ice creams: Mint Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Blackberry. They went FAST! There was also lots of different ice creams, many sorbets, and some syrups, sauces, and nuts to garnish with. I ate far too much, which is usually what I do at potlucks (because there is so much to try!). Someone had brought a watermelon, so I made some watermelon/mint juice for everyone to refresh themselves after all the ice cream sampling. There are three reasons to go to these potlucks (in my opinion). First, the food: there are always dishes that I don't make (either they have exotic ingredients, take too much work, or I simply don't need more than once a year). The food is simply incredible...and since there aren't many raw restaurants in the area, it's a great way to eat food that I didn't have to prepare personally. ;) Second, the people: everyone is excited to meet others who share the same passion for raw foods, the same open minded stance regarding health, and the incredible energy we all possess even AFTER we fill our bellies. Third, there are almost always fun activities as well. Last night we had a swimming pool with a diving board (which I had LOTS of fun on...pictures might come later) as well as fireworks, some raw groups go on hikes, there are retreats up north in the mountains and forests and down south in the hot springs, trips to the Grand Canyon, and at one of the potlucks I went to someone was using flaming nun chucks. Never a dull moment at one of these get togethers. ;)