Monday, November 30, 2009

Motoring along....(image heavy!)

This is a very disjointed blog post - I am still trying to get used to my new laptop...moving pics around and inserting text is killing me!!!

So, what have I been up to? Well, we had a nice long weekend - We spent part of the weekend raking and bagging leaves - 19 bags so far, packed VERY full...more to go...

LG was a BIG help, he raked and bagged, and took a couple of small breaks. :) I was really impressed with how hard he worked. It was a beautiful day - hard to believe that it is almost December!

I've talked about our kitchen renovation - here is a shot of our make-shift "cooking" area - a toaster oven and microwave in the garage! We thought it would get us through - and it has, but we had no idea the amount of other 'stuff' that would get packed all around it!

This is where I have been prepping food for the past two weeks - eeeewwwwwwwwww!

Here is the kitchen with just about everything removed. It makes the space look so tiny!

We made it through Thanksgiving - despite not having a proper kitchen. The day was quiet and largely uneventful. (thank you God!) We purchased a turkey and some fixings and sides as we still have no oven. It all came together quite nicely. And was actually rather tastey from what everyone said!

I ate raw - had a big salad and made myself a mock pumpkin mousse - it was delish!

In the kitchen we now have a new floor, new cabinets and countertops. We now have a new microwave installed and a new working dishwasher! We have new lighting - and there are closets in progress in the garage and the paint is going on the kitchen.

There is still a lot to be done, but WOW the place is looking good! I need to grab a photo of the counters which are now in place. Oh, and we have a sink and running water!

I've been experimenting with some different raw recipes -

This is a berry tart I
made a couple of weeks ago - all raw....made with nuts and berries and other good stuff. :)

I managed some bench time over the Thanksgiving break. (YAY!) I have 4 or 5 pieces in the works. I am also knocking around some ideas for a custom set of anniversary rings. I was contacted by a lovely lady who is looking for rings and had some previous work of mine in mind which gave me a great starting point as I normally don't do custom work. She has made this very easy for me to work in a theme that is familiar (and dear) to me. I hope to have some of the pieces finished and take photos by tomorrow night and then new listings in my Etsy shop.
I was also contacted by a sweet girl I met at a show I did in October. She has a bracelet/cuff that broke and we are discussing options of fixng it or creating something new. I am excited about these two projects. Neither are 'raw' custom orders, both have a starting point that I can work with which takes off any pressure that might come with a typical custom order. For that I am thankful. I am enjoying working with people in this way but really don't want to do traditional custom work as it stresses me out too much!

Some more pics of LG in the leaves...........

Will be more coherent next time - this post took me a half hour to write rather than a quick ten minutes....


  1. Wow - your new kitchen looks like its going to be fab & that berry tart is making me hungry!
    V x

  2. Progress is good!!! A new kitchen's definitely on my wish list! What a handsome boy you have, Janice!

  3. Thanks Vicky and Kirstie!

    The kitchen has been a long time coming - it was all the original cabinets etc - from more than 35 years ago. I can not WAIT for it to be done!! Its going to be so pretty! I'll grab some more progress photos tonight and try to get them up.

  4. Your kitchen is going to be great! We ordered our kitchen as a flat pack and assembled it ourselves, an experience I won't repeat in a hurry but it did save us some money. I love the idea of eating raw, I'm really in awe of your inventiveness when it comes to creating appetising meals for yourself. What was in the base of your slice?

  5. Hey Karen!!!!!!!

    The kitchen is a big challenge with someone else doing it - I can't imagine doing it myself! I could, but not all the lighting, and plumbing reworkings that we've had done.

    I get ideas for raw foods from raw food bloggers and websites. The tart has a crust made of raw nuts, raw cocao powder, and dates. The filling was made with soaked raw cashews, water, raw coconut oil, and mayeb something else. Half of that went in plain, then I took the rest and blended it with raspberries. That is the colorful part - I put that on top and then tried to swirl it but my bottom layer wasn't really thick enough.

    The pumpkin mousse is the same sort of deal - the white part is ground cashews and water and agave blended into a cream. Then I blended some butternut squash and spices and blended that into some of the 'cream' - layered those and topped with some raw almonds.


  6. oh, I should say that it is ESSENTIAL to have a high speed blender to whip the cashews into a cream - a regular blender just won't do it - it ends up really grainy. ew. Also to cream raw hard squash -- the high speed blender was essential. I tried with my regular blender and threw the mixture out - I just couldn't eat it. I bought a high speed blender about two weeks ago and I could NOT be happier. It was well worth the *gulp* 300+ dollar price tag.

  7. I have to say we don't usually think of pumpkin as a sweet ingredient here in Australia, it's usually cooked and mashed beside the mashed potatoes or roasted with a roast meal but your mousse does sound yummy! I'm not a fan of dates but I guess it's all about trying new things and being open to new experiences.

    I'd love to go raw but I'll probably just watch your journey for a little longer before I get the nerve to try it. Even thought I know it would be a great move for my health I'm still at the putting everyone else first stage.

    I've been very domestic lately partly to save money but also to save my toddler from the huge amounts of preservatives out there. I've been making all of his food from scratch. Thick soups and stews, stewed fruit, biscuits, homemade rusks etc. You wouldn't believe how much food a toddler can eat!

    Wow that was a bit of a rant, what I really wanted to say is... your an inspiration, keep up the good work! If eating raw is what makes you feel happy and healthy the money is worth it! :)

  8. That's a lot on your plate and I don't mean the food!

    Try to enjoy :)

  9. Your kitchen is looking great!

    We just ordered the Vita-mix, after seeing it in action at Costco a few weeks ago. We sampled the tortilla (fresh veggie) soup, a mixed berry ice cream/sorbet (with a little carrot and greens tossed in), and a fruit smoothie (also with a little green). LOVED them all!
    My favorite part was seeing a FRESH veggie soup come together & heated to a *ready to eat* temp in 4 minutes in this machine.
    We decided it will be our Christmas gift to each other.
    I found a mock "tuna" salad on youtube, made with raw almonds, sunflower seeds, celery, lemon juice etc., and posted on my blog if you're interested.
    Sounds like it would be yummy wrapped in lettuce!
    The Vitamix website has some recipes there you can check out.

  10. Hi Janice! It's wonderful, a brand new kitchen!! All of the inconveniences you are experiencing now will be quickly forgotten once the kitchen is complete. I have to hand it to you, I did not think this eating raw thing would last. You are amazing :)

  11. Hiya Stevie, Stormy, and Lisa!!!

    Stormy -- are you raw or high raw? I see a lovely recipe link on your blog and now I see you have a Vitamix???? WOW! I went back and forth between Vitamix and Blendtec, Vitamix or Blendtec. Finally went with the Blendtec because of all the comments that the Vitamix doesn't fit under a standard cupboard on the counter. With our kitchen being redone I wanted to be sure it 'fit'. The only thing I don't like about it is the lid. HATE the lid. You will LOVE your Vitamix!!

    Lisa - the raw thing is just to good to give up. :) So it makes it easy. The difference in how I feel is AMAZING. Truly. And I'm not perfect. I've had a really 'bad' 3 weeks or so in terms of eating. I've eaten SOME cooked food probably every day. I'm not upset about it - I don't want to get militant about my food consumption! But I want to get back to more of a 95% or higher raw. Its just been really hard without the kitchen, its thrown me off big time.


  12. Hi Janice!

    We just ordered the Vitamix a few days ago... it's just been shipped.
    After seeing it in action at Costco, we decided we needed to do this. I've never been big on meat, and LOVE my fruits & veggies etc. (cooked & raw).
    The last year has been awful (as far as eating choices) it's got to the point where we HATE going grocery shopping, and have found 2 "healthy" restaurants we've spent most of the summer at, ack!
    That has come to an end ~ we're back to our Saturday nite dinner out & that's it!
    We spent last Saturday between two natural food stores, comparing prices, and had a blast doing it! I'm just excited that Jamie is excited about getting more FRUIT into his diet. He's pretty good about veggies ~ we just got sick of the yucky choices at the grocery stores.
    The larger of the 2 organic stores we went to was amazing!
    So to answer yr question ~ we are not truely "raw" atm ~ and my guess would be 70% maybe is where we could go. Time will tell. I can't wait to try the recipes on my blog ~ Jamie has a sweet tooth more than i, and i would love to get him off the junk and replace with yummy *raw* goodies.