Sunday, February 7, 2010

Step Four and Four and a half on The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey

4. I study to become a fantastic raw food chef
4 1/2. I learn where my food comes from
Inspired by the mythical Hero’s Journey first compiled in The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (photos are of famous, recognizable characters on their own journeys)

Prior Steps:

Julia in Julie and Julia

I know I was on hiatus from blogging for a month, but something hit me today. An important step in the journey is studying how to make delicious raw food. It sounds obvious, but it's not.

The Raw Vegan Hero's Journey is a work in progress. It's alive and flexible while I get the steps in order. I realized today that becoming a seasoned raw food "chef" is important. I put "chef" in quotes because not everyone is going to culinary school; but "cook" is weird because we're not cooking. We're creators, preppers...something. So for lack of a better word, I'm going with "chef."

I love food. I am a true foodie. I dream about food. I dreamed about eggs last night (go ahead and laugh...I did too. :-) I ran downstairs to make scrambled eggs from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything (which I do not own, but he wrote an article that I'd saved from a magazine). I tasted them, then gave them to my husband. I said, "Oh my goodness, these are fantastic." Rom said, "They're okay. They taste like regular scrambled eggs to me."

I said, "I'm the Remy to your Emilie! You can't taste how awesome these eggs are? And I don't even eat eggs!" If anyone has seen the Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille, then you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it, it's another Oscar-winning movie from the geniuses at Pixar.

And I'll admit here that I am a Pixar Uber-fan. Total Pixar geek. I watch the credits looking for the people who work in the story department. If you've seen the Intel commercial where geeks go nuts over the guy who created the USB port, and at the end it reads: "Our rock stars are not like your rock stars," then you understand how I view the Pixar people. The only thing I appreciate more than good food is good storytelling. I'd work there for free just to learn how to write a great story.

But I digress.
Remy in Ratatouille

Frustration can build when you transition to raw because the food may not taste great, depending on where you learn. But with raw, you are preparing the freshest ingredients possible. You only have to learn how to put the ingredients together.

You must possess an unrelenting desire to learn how to make great food that is tasty and doesn't cost a fortune. Raw food books are everywhere. And like anything else, you'll find a couple of stinkers amidst the winners. But that's okay. Don't give up.

Check out books from the library first. That is what I do. I won't pay for a book unless I feel it's worth it. And if your local libraries don't carry raw food books, request them. Three years ago, my local library had zero raw food books in circulation. A librarian told me to write down what I wanted. That way, the library would know my interests and may possibly buy those types of books. Today, there's six raw books in circulation, with many more in libraries across Maryland.

Classes abound. DVD's are everywhere. Get serious. Start investing your money in these things so that the food you make keeps your interest. That was my revelation. My food should be awesome to me. Until I get back to
Chef Carolyn, or trek to Oklahoma to study at 105 Degrees Academy, then I've got to keep learning the basics of raw food preparation.I'm still working my way through Light Eating for Survival. I have added:
Everyday Raw by
Matthew Kenney
Incredibly Delicious (the Rawsome Recipes section) by Gentle World Publications
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too! by
Monique Bastien

I don't own, yet:
Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis
Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis

Sweet Gratitude by Matthew Rogers and Tiziana Alipo Tamborra

But I'm working on that. (If anyone would like to gift me early birthday presents, feel free! My birthday is March 7!!!). I see these books as textbooks. I am in training to learn how to make awesome raw food. Anyone serious about their raw journey will do the same thing.
I consider this Step Four and a Half: I learn where my food comes from.

Rom and I watched the DVD Food Inc. today. If you have kids, they need to see this too. I don't buy DVDs much. I'll rent them or get them from the library. This one I will purchase because I want my kids to watch it again as they grow up. Go get this movie TODAY!

From the official website:
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.

We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Go get this movie!



Terilynn said...

I love the post and I'm on that very same Raw Vegan Hero's Journey with you.


Lady Q said...

I am loving your blog more and more. Excellent post!

bitt of raw said...

I love Pixar too. I am a huge film gal as well as raw food gal. I'm trying to be a self-taught raw chef as well. I'm working my way through "Sweet Gratitude". :-)

Althea said...

Thanks ladies! And I left "Sweet Gratitude" off my list of books I want to purchase. I just added it now.


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