Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 1 Let's Get Rawdy

Let's Get "Raw"dy Menu

A new semester, a new crop of housemates. We lost about 6 house mates and gained 7 I think, so there has been a small readjustment period where we have new cooks in the house. Ashley moved into HOC in June and we became fast friends because we both love going to the juice bar, swimming in Barton Springs, farming, and listening to country music. When the prospect of us cooking together this term looked promising, I ordered three new cookbooks: RAWvolution by Matt Amsden, The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner, and The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose.
Garrison Keillor once said that July is the only month in which country people actually lock their car doors....so other country people won't sneak in and put squash on the front seat! We brought home several different kinds of squash from the farm this weekend, including zucchini, butternut and yellow squash.

You can see the pile of squash she's peeling in preparation for spiralizing.

Ashley Spiralizing Squash
I'd never seen anything spiralized before, it was very neat. It only took her 45 minutes to make a giant bowl of squash noodles. We let them sit out at room temperature for about 4 hours and they had a firmer texture by the time we sat down to dinner.

Spiralized Squash
The finished squash noodles.

I set about the task of harvesting coconut water from young coconuts. We went to a giant Asian market and were able to get these coconuts for $1.50 each. I hacked at them like a lumberjack and poured the water into a large measuring bowl. I scooped out the meat into heaping piles and carefully shaved off any of the husk. These were very fun to prep, it was almost like shucking oysters! Fresh coconut meat was very sensual in the mouth and not very sweet. I used the coconut water in the whole dinner: for the soup base, to water down the alfredo, to sweeten the tea, and to sweeten the halvah. I used the coconut meat to thicken up the alfredo sauce.

Tomato Basil Soup
Tomato Basil Soup
Coconut water, tomato, celery, fresh basil, garlic (lots!), lemon juice, olive oil, shoyu, sea salt all blended up.

Large quantities of fresh peeled garlic were available at the Asian market and I'm glad we chose to get that because BOY did we use a lot of garlic for this soup. I made the recipie X 4 and I think I used about 18 cloves for the whole thing.
Normally I dislike gazpacho-type soups but this one was so flavorful and interesting that I didn't feel let down. I also feel really good this morning from eating all that garlic!

Almond Halvah
Almond Halvah
Every raw/macrobiotic cookbook I read all put emphasis on dessert as an essential. Why argue with the pros?

Almond Halvah
Granted, this looks like oatmeal, but the juxtaposition of tahini/almonds/agave was very very good.

Almond Halvah
Ashley and the official taste-test. Holy moly look at all of our bulk and spices in the background!
Let me just take this time to say that this dinner was probably the most fun I've ever had (un)cooking. For one, we didn't have to turn on the gas stove, which makes our non-airconditioned house even hotter. Texas in September is just as hot as Texas in July! Also, since it was mostly prep work, we only prepped from 2:30 - 5:15 and had time to swim in our backyard for a good hour before dinner was served. It was very relaxing and not stressful.

Around this time we took a Le Tigre dance break and jumped around the kitchen.

Amelia and Ashley
Posing with the dinner.

Let's Get "Raw"dy Menu
Here is the dinner all spread out.

The completed dinner
White iced tea with coconut water
Tomato Basil Soup
Green salad with raw Italian dressing
Spiralized Squash pasta
Almond Halvah

The Verdict from house members:
- Lots of chewing
- "this is really good"
- Many members ate the dessert before and after the meal

Former members have tried to cook raw in the house and their previous failures caused deep skepticism by current house members. I think we turned their feelings around with this meal!

What we listened to while cooking:
Loretta Lynn/Jack White - Van Lear Rose (album)
The Ditty Bops - Wishful Thinking
Port O'Brien - I woke up Today
Gnarls Barkley - Run Away
Time - Jungle Love
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
Le Corps Mince de Francoise - Bitch of the Bitches

Until next week!


Sully said...

Holy mother! Teach me the ways of the squash! Although I don't think raw would fly in my house, I still want to know the ways of the squash!

Also why haven't I ever seen that Le Tigre video before? It completes me!

Please keep posting yummy foody times....

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.