September 3, 2012

Labor Day Vacation and 70 pounds of Tomatoes

A lovely week, busy, but lovely.  I began Wednesday afternoon stopping by the grocery store one last time and then home to prepare for my second plant based cooking class at Country Village.  I should say I started Tuesday night as I got to go out to Ruth & Mike's organic farm and help pick the produce I needed for my class.  I started working at home Wednesday about 4:00 p.m. getting fresh kale in the dehydrator, sauces prepared ahead, three chocolate cakes baked, and various spices and supplies marked and ready to go.  I finally stopped about 11:45. Up early frosting chocolate gluten free cake, shredding zucchini, and making cauliflower rice.  I had 38 people signed up for the class and I'm already learning that means I'll have about 24 people, so I prepared for 30.  It's nice to have some samples for the store employees too.  It's a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it.  Took it slow, taking a few tea breaks along the way and just getting it done.  I smiled to myself a couple times when I remembered I was "working at home" which is the long term goal.

 The class was a whole lot of fun.  Twenty three people attended to learn some tips about plant based cooking along with some nutritional information.  It went very smoothly, didn't seem like we forgot anything important. There were some great discussions. A couple people even came in from the store, curious about what was going on, paid and sat in on the class. I learned that I should find a way to cook in the fall.  Based on the comments I requested, many people would like to know more about cooked vegan cuisine.  I've purchased a couple induction burners.  I am hoping they'll work for the class.  It would be fun to do some cooked root dishes in the fall.  We might schedule an all-day class on a Saturday, we'll see.  The most important thing is that we all had a good time and I'm welcome to do another class. Woo Who!

Sharing Some Fresh Garden Stevia

Friday came with some oral surgery and sleep through most of the day.

Saturday we enjoyed a leisure morning and picked up our Kaylee for a day of fun.  We stopped by the garden for some weeding and watering and then off to Sauve Island to enjoy the Blackberry & Bluegrass Festival and giant corn maze.  They had given us tickets when we bought the peaches so we thought it a good way to spend a sunny day with Kaylee.

 A little fine face painting.

It was a good family fun event.  Lots of space, not too crowded,  and vegan and vegetarian choices at the food trucks too.  We enjoyed a roasted eggplant gyro and a felafel gyro.  The corn maze was pretty fun, but it was way too big for me.  It spanned 2 and a half miles and wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  Kaylee thought grandma and grandpa were giving up because we finally went out the entrance.  We were in there quite awhile and based on the checkpoints we saw, we traveled quite a bit.  I did feel like an older grandma after a bit.  That doesn't happen very often.

We stopped by Proper Eats on the way home for a bowl of broccoli bisque and I was feeling quite winded.  I think it was probably too much fun after my Friday adventure at the dentist.  Sunday I took it easy, read, napped, and relaxed in the sun.

After a full day of rest, I was ready to tackle the 70 lb of tomatoes I had gathered over the weekend from our garden, 50 lb organic heirlooms from Willow Grove Gardens, and 20 lb of beautiful big heirlooms I picked up at Bella Organic Farm.  I packed the big heirlooms with fresh rosemary and lemon juice.  30 lb of the small organic red heirlooms I roasted with onions and garlic, then removed their skins and simmered them all with some fresh oregano and rosemary until thickened for a nice tomato sauce.  I got about 12 jars of the sauce.  Then I canned some of the nice big red ones and dehydrated about 10 lb of the smaller ones.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I went at it very slow, systematically, and I was done by 5:15 p.m.  I even found time to put together a black bean enchilada casserole.  I still have time to do this blog and relax before bed. Nice Monday!

Vegan Black Bean Casserole with Homemade Cashew Cheddar Cheeze

It's been a full and productive week.  I'm feel rested and ready to head back to work where we'll be "ramping it up" with the month end work, then the planning fun ahead. 

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