Wednesday, December 16

Winter in the Raw

Ooooh, it is so cold outside, we actually have some frost on the ground today - and this is UK, the country of mild winters. Having said that, it is pretty humid here a lot of time, the cold just crawling right beneath your clothes and making you shiver. This, if not another time of the year, is the time of struggle for any raw foodist not quite anchored in the un-cooked way of living, as our body, and mostly our mind, keeps reaching for the warmth and comfort of old cooked favourites - you all know what these are for you, right?

To help myself stay motivated during these cold times and also during the festive season that is upon us, I went to a wonderful workshop a week or so ago called 'Winter in the Raw'. Twenty people plus have gathered in Karen Knowler'shouse to listen, smell, watch and taste Nina Dench's creations that will help us stay raw during winter with a bang. Her food was so scrumptious and delicious, most of it easy to prepare as well, I came home full of hope and ideas. I am not always very good with making my own recipes but I find that I can adapt other people's recipes to my taste quite well, and having suddenly over 20 new recipes gave me a lot to play with.

We got a little taste of everything Nina made and also were treated to a lovely lunch (see above) of Rosemary and Vegetable Tartlet with a trio of salads - Red Cabbage one, Curly Cabbage and Carrot Ribbons - and a small lump of Sage and Onion Pate on the side. It was amazing and so filling that I had to go for a little walk around Karen's farmhouse to help me digest, or else I would have wanted to sleep for the rest of the day and would have missed on the best part to come - the deserts! The Orange and Apricot Sauce was to die (or live!) for, and I have made it for myself for breakfast a few times since then. It is so yummy, zesty and light, a real treasure; you can see it resting happily on top of the Christmas pudding on the picture, but it is yummy enough on its own by a bowlful, perhaps with some raw muesli sprinkled on top.

I often find that I fall back from the grace of raw food into the trap of cooked because I become lazy and begin to think that raw is just too much effort and I 'could not be asked'. And so it was great for me to see Nina whip through 22 (!!!) recipes in the space of six hours, some of them pretty easy (Red Cabbage, Beetroot, Apple and Pecan Salad or Date Sweets), some of them more time consuming but so much more impressive for it (Savoury Stars; Banoffee Pie or Christmas Pudding). It was fun to be tempted into making my own chocolate again and playing with the recipe; I am not very fond of Mint Chocolate and so I changed things around and made a ginger one - WOW! That one has a kick!

It is not really possible to re-print somebody else's recipes but you can go to Karen's website and purchase the whole 'Winter in the Raw' e-book for yourself. I can definitely guarantee that it will be money well spent.