Sunday, 24 January 2010

I haven’t ‘blogged’ for ages. I realise now, one has to really want to sit down and write, one must also have plenty of interesting things to say, or share. I have also realised, that when one is busy ‘living’, its difficult to freeze time and sit to record it all on the computer.

So, the last couple of weeks have been quite busy really. Last weekend I went to visit a biodynamic farm in Forest Row, Sussex. The lovely Julia, whom I met at The Steiner school market, before Christmas, runs it. She is a raw foodist, so we sparked up a conversation there. The snow prevented me visiting the previous week. I met my mum at nearby East Grinstead and we drove through delicious countryside, quite rolling, through forest and down country lanes. There was still a considerable amount of snow and the weather was the most romantic, atmospheric I have seen in a long time. A glistening, pearlescent mist hung in the air, over frozen ponds and lakes…..

We arrived at the farm and were shown in by Julia’s sweet daughter. Julia made tea and we chatted about recipes and her raw journey. Since New Year, Julia has decided to go 100%, struggling to find balance whilst still cooking meals for her family. I listened with interest and felt how each persons relationship with raw is so different. I feel my honeymoon period has finished, whilst hers is just beginning. We swapped comfort food recipes and she gave me some of her coconut keffir culture in a little jar (I have had great fun growing it, making quite a big batch. I am now experimenting with sesame mylk keffir, watch this space)!

She showed us round the farm, it is a dairy farm with plenty of vegetables too, however, at this time of year there isn’t much to see. The cows were beautiful, they also have pigs. The farm shop is a busy little hub, serving the surrounding villages and nearby Forest Row. They sell raw dairy, vegetables, fruit (some of which is from Biodynamic farms abroad) bread, cakes…..the usual..

Julia wants to stock my brownies, as there is a thriving raw food community in the area, plus, who could resist the temptation of ‘healthy chocolate”???!

Last week I discovered a fabulous new vegan café, on an old route master bus in Brewer Street, Soho. The guys running it are very genuine and radiate great energy. I spoke to the owner and he wants samples tomorrow, of chocolate pies and chocolate spread. I have been busy all day today, developing recipes. My housemate, Claire, was more than willing to lick the spoon, as a guinea pig!

I have also just had my first orders from Spitalfields Organic in Commercial Street and De Beauvoir Deli in Hackney. Watch out for Coxeter’s Fayre goods in the next couple of weeks.

I invested in some fancy new commercial catering scales and a label printing machine last week. Oh, the little things that please....!

Gaggle are going from strength to strength. Exciting plans afoot and the imminent single launch. We were featured in The Times last week. It was a piece on the rise of the alternative choir. Those girls are so important to me. Mondays are like some kind of dysfunctional family gathering/slumber party, choral knees up. It also serves as gossip session/group therapy and a chance for us to swap our talents. Anyone for a reiki session in exchange for some raw chocolate, or a dress alteration in exchange for some legal advice?!

I have been eating lots of seasonal greens and cabbage. I try to ferment it but can never seem to wait long enough before devouring it! I have also enjoyed some lightly steamed greens and some raw Sheep’s cheese from the farm. Of course, sweet tooth ever present, I have also been devouring my own chocolates and some samples that Amy (rawlikelion) had from windmill organics. They make lovely brownies, unfortunately they use stabilised oats, but they are tasty, and not too heavy. Chia porridge is still a firm favourite, in the winter months. Soak the chia seeds overnight, then blend with Yacon, Maca and stir in goji berries and pollen. Coconut oil or flax oil makes it more luxurious. It is also lovely blended with apple and cinnamon. I made a lovely hemp mayonnaise, from Kate Wood's 'Raw Magic'. Shelled hemp seeds blended with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and Maca. Yum.

My USA trip plans are SLOWLY coming together. I’m very excited but need to focus and work out exactly what I want to do and see in the short time I will have. I am trying to connect with the Raw community in LA and San Fran, I hope to spend some time in one or two of the restaurants, watching the chefs and what magic they are creating! I also intend on meeting and staying with some friends who live there, a couple of girls I know who are very talented and creative fashion designers. We share a love of all things 1970’s. I hope they will show me all the best thrift stores and take me on adventures in the Hills and bays of California…May re-read 'Im with the band', for a dose of trashy but evocative inspiration.


Been d.j'ing again which is fun. I love discovering all my old records. Also, went to see the new blur film "No distance left to run'. Brought back many teenage memories and also some memories of being in Strange Idols. A bit too close to Spinal Tap for comfort! Ha!

Reading-wise, I finished a pile of books at Christmas and am awaiting new inspirational reading material to come my way. Enjoying watching 'The London nobody knows' again. Getting ideas for songs and photos.

I am also planning and looking forward to doing some deep cleansing in March. I really feel the need to fast and do a liver flush. Sorry if you are reading this whilst eating dinner! Anyway, I found Barbara Wren's book 'Cellular awakening' very interesting (if a little whacky in parts). It does all make sense, however, no matter how much it reminded me, my water intake is till not good enough! Bring on warm weather. California, here I come!

Today I feel kind of, well, I don’t know, watch this. It was my soundtrack to this morning’s workout session!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Tickets available for my Valentines Raw chocolate demo!!!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Oh, on my shopping list today.....

Durian day!!!

This morning I rushed downstairs like an excitable kid at Christmas! Its Durian day!!! It wasn't as ripe as it could have been, I had to cut it open with a knife (it should naturally open itself)
DIVINE!! Didnt eat it all, saved half for my mum and I to share a the weekend.
My Kale chips were ready too! 4 whole trays of them. The Nutritional yeast flakes add such a good flavour (not to mention the B12). I am going to try and ration them!!!
I watched an interesting video on youtube last night. Makes me realise that i am probably doing the right thing having some raw goats cheese in my diet. I might even eat some fish to see what happens. Excited to see if i can get some raw dairy at Plaw hatch farm on saturday.
The ONE thing i have really craved since going raw is Quinoa. I think it is one of the best things to eat, full of protein and amino acids. I tried sprouting it but it isnt the same. So i think i will start eating some cooked Quinoa from now on. I am having my blood tests done next week, to check my iron levels, B12 levels and all the other basic tests. Might throw some interesting info up...? All raw foodists are experimenting. No one has really done it long term, to see the results, also, we are all very different, so many factors and variables are involved. Its important to do what feels right for you, not what someone else is preaching about. The only thing with eating raw goats cheese for me is that it makes me quite 'flemmy' (sorry if that turns your stomach)! Not good when im singing, still, everything in moderation!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Today there is more snow in London!!!! Can you believe??!! I headed out into the crisp, white glistening powder....clad in Wellies, thick coat, hat and an empty bag.
I filled my bag with Kale at the local deli, big heads of it, quite beautiful. Its a shame people buying kale in the stupermarkets only ever see it chopped up into strips, in bags. It is a remarkable looking veg! I also bought some lemons. Guess what im making later?? Kale chips...Yee ha!
Yesterday I had a mammoth blondie/brownie making session. Im taking samples to various health food shops in the next few days. Fingers crossed!
I also have a potentially VERY exciting meeting on monday. A new Raw-related venture coming soon to Central London that I may be getting involved in...Watch this space.
I have also booked in to do a Valentines special chocolate making demo at The George tavern on the 13th Feb......More demo's and workshops in the pipeline-Watch this space!
Im off to have Lunch now (Red cabbage with apple cider vinegar and cloves, yellow pepper, alfalfa sprouts, raw goats cheese and crystal manna.
Then I have to call my new supplier, I have been recommended a fabulous co-op company to buy my Organic nuts from, the lovely Felix at The Living foods kitchen gave me some good advice yesterday over the phone. I also have found an amazing company for my new, biodegradable packaging.
Tomorrow, due to unforseen problems, my friend Amy's Raw food Q& A sessions at Planet Organic has been cancelled, so im meeting a few friends in town anyway, for a gossip and a meal. Maybe Vita Organic in Soho?
Friday I am having lunch with the beautiful, talented Rachel, then friday night is a Gaggle birthday extravaganza at The George (where else?)! Im spinning some records. I think im going to have an indulgent Acid-Folk, Prog, 70's Country session. Yeah!
Oh, and the Durian I treated myself to on monday (Deptford is blessed with an asian supermarket that always has Durian in stock) has been sitting by the radiator and should be ripe for breakfast tomorrow. I think my flatmates will be relieved once its eaten, the smell is getting pungent, they have been trying to mask it with incense!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Thought i would share this with you....some lovely looking pies and great free recipe book......Check it out!

Hello guys! I am holding a 'Valentines special' chocolate making demo on february 13th at The George Tavern, Commercial Road, London, 1pm-3.30pm. I will show you how to make decadent, guilt free chocolates and truffles. There will be lots of things to try and magazines and books to flick through, whilst you meet new friends, have a drink and make learn how to make this valentines the best ever. There will also be the chance to purchase some chocolates, gift boxes, moulds and ingredients. Remember-Chocolate makes you feel good and it is an aphrodisiac!!!
Contact me for more info! Tickets available to purchase online soon. Places limited! Costs just £22.50.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

"Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside"

I just got back from a few snow- filled days in Brighton!

I spent my time visiting a few friends whilst trying to keep warm! Unfortunately Manna was not open so wasn’t able to go and see those guys, shame as I was looking forward to trying some of their nice food. I had also planned to visit a Biodynamic farm, called Plaw Hatch farm in Forest Row, however, due to the snow, I couldn't get there. Another time.

My good friend Matt and I bravely walked through the icy streets, skidding and slipping all over the place. He took me to an exhibition in an old library. I dragged him into several of my favourite antique/junk shops in the Lanes. Just as we were gasping for a cup of tea, we discovered a new- ish place called 'Aloka', a 'Quality of life centre', as they called it(!) They have a therapy room and serve some raw food…I sampled the blueberry pie. The atmosphere was quite ‘clinical’ and could have been a little more ‘abundant’ on the food side of things, however, the staff were friendly and the fact that there is 'more raw' in Brighton is a good thing!

We walked to the beach and saw the bird's foot prints in the snow! I bumped into the lovely Amy Star in the Lanes and she invited me over to her place . That evening i ventured out into the thick snow, to her cosy house and shared a meal with her and her housemates. We had kale salad, red cabbage salad, mulberries and apricots and of course, some chocolate (Amy used to work for The Raw chocolate company)! I was fascinated by her collection of crystals and her collection of mushroom ornaments (I too, have a Fungi obsession!) a lovely evening…

I had a really nice day at Mandy’s house. Mandy is a talented lady-

she makes dolls…amongst other things. Her flat is filled with a collection of curios & treasures, displayed so beautifully. I got snap happy! We both share a passion for all things vintage, obscure and unique….

A proper girly time was had in her kitchen, whilst catching up. We made some kale chips, a salad and some super- food truffles with Goji berries, figs, almonds, cacao nibs, fresh coconut meat, cinnamon and honey. Mandy showed me some amazing herbs, spices and berries brought back from Iran. She described some of the dishes and sweets her family make, I was salivating and thinking of ways to make raw versions. In Iran they use Persian rose petals in savoury dishes. They smell divine. I also tried Barberries for the first time. They are like mini sour cherries.

That evening, Matt and I went to see ‘Nowhere boy' at The Duke of York’s. Its very good, made me cry….!

My few days in Brighton were punctuated by wheatgrass shots from Guarana bar (I couldn’t find anywhere in Brighton for a good juice, crazy!) I also resorted to some cooked vegan food….Beetroot and lentil stew, aubergine and chickpea curry and porridge with berries, made by my dear friend Matt. I felt good eating this food. My spleen felt happy and it helped warm me up, Matt’s flat isn’t exactly warm….! I couldn’t get over the weather. It hardly stopped snowing all week. Before I left, I stocked up on some lovely organic vegetables, pure water and a couple of Kate Magic's chocolate bars from Infinity foods. I arrived home to find there was no heating or hot water. So, I promptly brewed some tonic tea and filled a water bottle….!

Friday, 1 January 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, it’s January 1st! Another year! I am excited about 2010!

Thought I would post some foodie pics from Christmas. I spent some time in France with my family, in the countryside. The weather was lovely and we had a log burning stove, an abundance of delicious food and nice, muddy walks!

Christmas lunch for me was as follows: Red cabbage. I finely chopped the cabbage and marinated it in apple cider vinegar, raw honey and cloves. I made a HUGE batch, it lasted 10 days!

I also blended some spinach, courgettes and pine nuts for a touch of green to my plate and with these I had a loaf made before I went away, with multiple layers of vegetables and flax seeds.

After this we all shared some of my raw mince pies and chocolates. I made a pumkin-less pie (we couldnt find any squash in the supermarkets)! I decorated it with goji berries, pollen and seeds.The whole festive period was full of oranges. Mum went Orange-mad, we kept buying them, we kept eating them! I also took the opportunity to purchase some lovely raw goats cheese. The French supermarkets sell an amazing selection of local, unpasteurized cheese. I don’t eat it often, but it is nice to have occasionally, however, I noticed I got a little congested after eating dairy so will try and ration it (I have 3 packets in my fridge now!)

Tomorrow I will start planning my trip to USA! I am heading to Austin Texas in March, and then plan to go on to LA and San Francisco! Woop!

Next week I am visiting friends in Brighton. An obligatory visit to Manna is in order and I am also planning to go to Plaw Hatch Farm, a biodynamic farm in Forest Row.

An early night for me tonight, once I have watched my favorite-Miss Marple