Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm a registered Republican

If you are very very quiet and listen very very closely, you will hear the sound of my Aunt Kathie's heart breaking at this shocking news. But yes, this tree-hugging, raw food vegan, hippie girl did just register as a Republican in order to vote for Ron Paul in the presidential primary.

I hate politics. I am so tired of the string of lies and bullshit that comes from Washington on a daily basis. I don't even watch or read the news anymore, but all their garbage still manages to reach me somehow.

Then along comes Ron Paul. He's remarkably honest and principled. His platform is simple - follow the constitution and keep the federal government out of the people's business and out of the world's business. Even more remarkable is that his 20 year congressional voting record actually supports his positions 100%. He voted against the war and against the Patriot Act.

This country doesn't just need to leave Iraq, or fix the health care system. This country needs a MAJOR overhaul. To be honest, I'm uncomfortable with some of Ron Paul's positions, such as on abortion and global warming. But he truly stands up for the freedom that we are supposed to enjoy, and I believe that is what this country needs right now more than anything else.

Please, Aunt Kathie, you know that in my heart, I will never be a Republican. I just want my constitution back.

Raw food dish of the week - Cinnamon Rolls

This was so much fun to make! And not nearly as complicated as you might expect. You can find the full recipe here. They were said to be "awesome!" and "f***ing delicious!".

Dough: Almond meal, ground flax seeds, olive oil, dates, water, Celtic sea salt, and cayenne pepper

Filling: Dates, apricots, cinnamon, water, walnuts

Frosting: Cashews, water, agave nectar, orange, and vanilla bean

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How to furnish your home for free

When I moved here to Asheville from Seattle, I sold everything except my cats, dog, and a few boxes of random belongings. Now that I'm settling into my own home, I have to buy all that stuff I ditched just a couple of short months ago. That could be awfully expensive, but I've discovered a method, quite accidentally, for furnishing my entire home for little or no money.

My expenses for furniture and household items are already pretty low because I buy almost everything off of and at yard sales. If you're patient, you can get some really nice stuff for cheap. But I also have a bad habit of buying things I don't need in the yard sale frenzy just because "it seemed like such a good deal", or "you never know when one of these will show up again".

For instance, I ended up with one too many coffee tables, food processor blades that don't work with my food processor, a small vacuum, an unusable antique desk, and an extra dresser. I put these items up for sale on Craigslist to get them out of my house. For kicks, I tried listing them for at least twice as much as I paid. Here's the break-down:
coffee table$10$20
food processor blades$1.50$5
antique deskFREE$40

So far, I've spent just over $300, but since I discovered this new trick, I've made back almost $100. My house is about half-way furnished and there isn't a single thing in there that I don't like.

Raw food dish of the week - Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe is awesome. I can't believe how amazingly delicious this is. When I eat meals like this, I don't miss cooked food at all.

Base: Eggplant, sliced and soaked in salted water for 1 hour

Breading: Pine nuts, Celtic sea salt, blended in the food processor

Cheese: Cashews, macadamia nuts, Braggs Liquid Aminos, lemon juice, water

Sauce: Tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, dates, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Celtic sea salt

Friday, July 20, 2007

The privileges of home ownership

After just one week of proud home ownership, our plumbing backed up into the basement. Yikes. My first inclination, as always, was to go to work, not think about it, and hope that it would heal itself by the time I got home. But reality prevailed and I called a plumber instead.

He said he would roto rooter the sewer line that goes out to the street and that should clear up the problem. That's assuming that we weren't facing the worst-case scenario - a damaged pipe that needs to be ripped up through the driveway and replaced.

So....the plumber will be coming back early next week with a backhoe, some lovely new sewer pipes, and a bill for about $2400. I'm not sure how I'll pay for it, but maybe I'll just not think about it and hope that there is a pile of money waiting for me when the bill comes due.

Raw food dish of the week - Chili Rellenos

Maybe I messed up the recipe somehow, but these were not very good. Edible, but not much flavor. This recipe was taken from Living on Live Foods, which is normally fantastic.

Ingredients: Macadamia nuts, orange, red bell pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and Braggs Liquid Aminos, blended in a food processor, stuffed into red bell peppers, and dehydrated at 105 degrees for 3 hours.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Home at long long last

This last month, waiting for this house to be my home, has seemed like an eternity. But even before I got to Asheville, I've been moving from one temporary home to another for well over a year. My last tiny little apartment was temporary - I knew I'd be leaving Seattle, but had to stay for several months because of other commitments. Before then, I was renting a small room in my friend's attic for just the summer, because at the time, I wasn't sure what my plans were.

But even before then, my entire 4 years in Seattle felt so temporary. It was too expensive to buy a house, and Seattle never really felt like home anyway. I always knew I would leave within a few years, I just didn't know where I'd end up.

Asheville is home. And more importantly, my little, beautiful, bright, perfect house is home. I didn't realize how exhausted I was from all this drifting, until I finally stopped.

Raw food dish of the week - Truffles

Yes, they are delicious. This recipe was adapted from Eating Without Heating by the Boutenko kids.

Truffles: Walnuts, figs, young coconut water, cacao powder, and Celtic sea salt.

Topping: Strawberry sauce (strawberries and agave nectar), shredded coconut, cacao powder, or cacao nibs.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Social Butterfly

One of the goals I set for myself before moving to Asheville, was to become a social butterfly. My tendency has always been to stay at home, even if something fun is going on elsewhere. The Seattle freeze encourages this behavior. But here in Asheville, I seem to be making great progress toward my goal, despite myself.

The people here are so dang friendly that you really have to go out of your way to not make friends. People sit on their porches and wave 'hello' as you walk by. They tell you to have a nice day and they really mean it. On at least three different occassions, I have witnessed someone giving a dollar to a total stranger who didn't have enough money for bus fare. I went to a raw food lecture and the organizer, who recognized me from my picture, gave me a hug - she was so happy to see me. I have a genuine conversation with a stranger almost every day.

On my way to the bus stop the other day, I saw a fellow bus rider leaving her home. Naturally, I sped up my pace so that she would not feel obligated to talk to me. But in standard Asheville style, she yelled across the street to me, "hey, are you walking to the bus?" We talked the whole way downtown. She gave me lots of good information about Asheville. Then she gave me her number and told me that she and her husband would help me move next weekend.

It's nice to know that after only one month in Asheville, I might already know enough people to invite to a housewarming party.

Raw food dish of the week - Strawberry Cheesecake

This recipe was so incredibly simple, and made a very nice after-dinner snack.

Ingredients: Almond meal (left over from making almond milk), strawberries, and agave nectar, packed together in alternating layers.