November 30, 2011

wednesday excitement!

well i finished my application essay for the grad program i am applying to, which i may post...?
annnnnd i ate my first batch of homemade, raw, goat milk greek yogurt. ohh...i guess i never mentioned i started making yogurt. and joined an asheville raw milk co-op. I dont actually know if i believe my body truely wants dairy, but it's fermented and i like it, so experiment started. oh, and the difference between raw milk, organic milk, and normal milk is like the difference between life and death, disease and health. no lie.

November 26, 2011

sugar free thanksgiving

so, we did it pot luck style, at my place. of course i went over board with the cooking...

chestnut "stuffing" with duck drippings, baked beef heart, turkey-bacon and almond green beens, freaking amazing gravy, orange fennel cranberry sauce, sautéed duck organs and onions, and of stuffed roast duck. seasoned and slow cooked to perfection. drooling? wait, wait, there's dessert...

no pumpkin pie, orange and chocolate hazelnut swirled tort, brownies and ginger snaps (two variations)

I was in total sympathetic mode from the tuesday before t-day, until everyone left with leftovers, and the house was clean, and i sat with my cats and a cup of tea. then my digestive system kicked on again and i took a very nice poop. i have no followers, i can say that. plus, i love talking poop.

November 22, 2011

thanks mis thanksgiving duck

Well, i finally did it, got personal with my food (no, I'm not talking about eating with my hands, i've been doing that forever.) I culled a duck today...meaning i picked a duck from a batch of six pasture ducks, and brought it home to process for a made-from-scratch thanksgiving dinner. Yes, this means i killed a duck. a cute duck at that, with a little knob on her head. She would not have been bred, and all the ducks were in line for dinner, people dinner.  The killing wasn't even the hardest part, de-feathering, de-gutting and perfectly roasting all came into play.
This duck is the first living thing in the animal kingdom that I've intentionally killed. It's crazy to think just a few months ago i was nauseous at the idea of eating something that was once alive, and now not only am i eating animals (mainly fish and poultry) but i'm eating the odd bits. For example, I'm excited about the brain!
Right after the bird went limp the first thing to cross my mind was...oh shit, did i really do this, can i confess to my yoga teacher and repent? Is there such thing as a born again vegan? But then i remember how sick i was as a vegan, and how fast i am healing now. I remembered how much more sustainable eating this local duck is compared to eating tofurky (which i would never eat anyways) or shaping a bird from rice. I remembered not only am i feeding myself and friends, but i am feeding the community. I remembered that death is life, a cycle, and i am not above it. And i remembered my mind set going into this thing: Someone will kill the animal i buy from the store for my thanksgiving center piece, and if i am going to be eating such a sacred thing i want to be in touch with the whole process. If i am going to be on a traditional diet, i should be familiar with my meals from start to finish, and use every bit possible. I don't want to be my former teenage removed-from-my-food-self, like so many people are these days. I wanted to see this birds eyes alive, treat it with respect, kill it as humanely as possible, offer it's blood back to the earth, and fully appreciate that this creature is now part of me.

so here is how it went down, I'll rate this PG-13, or actually PG-if you dont like reading about death dont read this part. I'm about to get detailed.

A few weeks ago Heather brought up the idea of killing our own bird for thanksgiving, at first thought i was all..yea right, i am so not ready for that...which immediately turned into, yea we should definitely do that. I had made the promise to myself when i took off my vegan blinders that if i ever ate flesh again i was going to have to beable to kill it myself. So, it being November already, farms far and wide were out of turkey's. We started looking for any live bird with no luck. WFT we live in farm country, but i guess birds are popular this time of year. It was getting close to t-day, with no hope of a bird. It started feeling like this wasn't going to happen like so many of our other brilliant projects we have pushed aside. But, 2 days out, Heather found a dude with six ducks for a very fair price, and organic! awesome. We went out to his place and chatted it up a while. Mars Hill is really beautiful. We really had no clue what we were getting ourself into, but eventually picked out the duck with a bump on her head, but her in the cat carrier, and headed home. Minor detour to the kitchen store for a larger roasting pot, totally necessary, where we discussed who would make the incision. Once we arrived home, it hit, this was a living thing and we had no clue what we were doing. up until this point i had turned off part of my brain, but now it was real. where the fuck is the jugular vein on a duck? how do i know i am not cutting its wind pipe? Is our knife shape enough? how are we getting it out of that carrier? We wanted this all to take place on the front porch, but it was dark and rainy and decided on the basement, creepy i know. we let elenore (the duck) out of the crate (a whole task in itself) and kinda walk/chased it around a bit. This is when the second thoughts really started creeping in. Can i really do this? i cant even catch the bird, how will i kill it? Plus it was very pretty, white with a big yellow bill and cute little flipper feet. I thought Heather would catch it since my balls were receding, but alas, i wrapped a towel around its body, grabbed her feet and lifted. She did as Jason said she would and went passive. we brought her up to the porch where the wind had picked up and really set the mood, changed our minds, and went back down to the basement with the blood pot and sharp-ass knife.

 I held her feet tight, I sent her love as woo-woo as that sounds. i just wanted it over. plus, she was kinda heavy, probably scared. Heather had really wanted to to make the actual incision, which i thought i'd be fine doing to until this point of realness. Now i was relieved she was the one holding the knife. I just kept telling her to make it fast, but she kept fidgeting around the light, trying to get the best view. She was worried she would cut in the wrong area and decided she couldnt go threw with it...i would have to do it. shit. shit. we couldnt back out now...could we? no, i was going to eat a bird on t-day, and it was going to be this one. plus it had just been threw a lot. and i can't have a duck as a pet. ok. I took her head in one hand and the knife in the other. she was so real. i felt for her jaw line, i felt for the veins, my mouth started moving..."I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry, It'll be ok It'll be ok It'll be ok...ok ok ok..." i dont think i really knew what i was saying. My breath got heavy and strong, kinda like in uji pranayama during asana, my movements sycronized with my breating. i went into this transe and pulled the knife hard and deep across her neck. Blood squirted out and i screamed but couldn't let go of her head. the blood gushed out and i freaked out. She was still the whole time, until the very last bit, she gave one more spread of her wings, i finally let go of her head and she looked back at me, really, it freaked me out more. I thought wtf she's not dead, but when i touched her again she was limp. We strung her up over the blood pot while we heated a huge pot of water to 160 F. She died in a minute, it was so fast. an hour later we were dunking her and removing the feathers. The first couple of tuffs were difficult, not physically but mentally. I guess the idea of pulling at somethings skin got to me even though she was now dead, but then i feel into a mode,  and before before i knew it this seemingly never ending tedious task was done....

Now the house smells of sage and duck and i feel worn out. Animals in the store should really cost so much more. After the experience of this compared to the poultry farms i recently visited i can see why they had seemed so amoral and impersonally. Although this was pretty hard, and i cant stop questioning myself, and wondering about my vow of ahimsa, i feel like i had to do it. I think it was much less harm and much more love then the store brought bird or soy processed alternative.
tomorrow we shall deal with the rest of the entrails....

November 11, 2011

grain-free world not as small as i once thought!

so, my latest thought is to give up cacao and carob for 6 months, which if you new me, and realize we are going into winter, would understand why this is the most sad elimination of all. oh well. most cacao production is shitty anyways

November 8, 2011

airport rant

The airpot is a reality check for me. Out of my comfort zone and into the mainstream world. People rushing around  in cheap third world produced clothes, diretos in hand. Snacks, snacks full of non-food and sugars. Coffee stands at every corner. A constantly stimulated society, in a hurry to get somewhere. What they are really rushing towrd is disease. Death. My frist thought is what a waste, processing, packaging, petromleum. Why don’t people carry spiced seaweed or nuts as a snakc (ok some of us do..) but my second thought is, why even snack at all. We don’t need snacks when we eat proper meals loaded with dense nutritional fats and proteins. It’s the damn overabunance of carbs and sugars that fuck with our blood sugars and  urge us to snack…”feed me sugars” whishpers your second vrain. I’m currently five months into a diet completely devoid of all sugars, meaning anything normal people consider sgagr, like sugar anything alternative people consider sugar like honey and maple syrup, and anything that braks down into sugar like all grans, stachy veggies, and beans. I’m not even really eating nuts or seeds. So ya, things get weird when I do go out with friends. They rool their eyes at my questions of “do you add sugar to that” and “can I just get some steamed greans or a salad without dressing?” then I feel bad, like im the difficult overly picky one. But hello! This is my body, I should be concerned with what goes in it! I want quality life and that required quality foods that produced a quality brain and body so I can have a quality spiritual practice and so on. I think you are the weird ones, constantly hyped up on sugar. DAM sugar is in everything! I can’t even get smoked salmond without eveaporated cane uice in it. But that’s cool, it makes me really get down and dirty with cooking everything myself. Plus, like I said before, fuck packaging. (yes, I’m a 25 year old female in the 21st century and when I get fired up I say  fuck.)  so back to what I was saying. Bout sugar. I really think it’s the cause of like a billilion if not all health issues in America, yet we think its just normal yo be sick or get cancer. Oh well, it happens. But NO it shouldn’t we weren’t designed to be  degenerative and diseased. We should feel great until the day we die at a ripe old age of 105 or so. My grandma is in her early 80’s and loosing her mind, yet everyone thinks its great how well she is at sucha old age. In traditional cultures there are women in the re 90’s still  taking care of children.
So what really gets me is when people tell me I should be able to treat myself every now and then, “c’mon, you don’t have to be so strick.” Do they not get that I want to be? I treat isn’t a crème brulle or hot chcolate or pecan cookie during my book club meet up at the café. Those things might smell yummy but I couldn’t tell myself it was a treat to but homonginized patueureized diary refined sugars crappy rancid flours and grain fed cow butter into my body. I’d rather grab a tea and make my own raw warm chocolate full of super greens and herbs and healthy fats at home. Which by the way is freaki delicious!

So there, take your sugar and ill take my sanity back, thank you very much. Call me werid, I call you crazy. But whatever floats your boat.

November 4, 2011

diving in

I'm inspired to go the route...use the whole animal, tongue, liver brains and all.

and how can i make it all into desserts for my up coming book? humm brain creme brulee?