I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Delightfully Raw Near Walla Walla - Part I

Our Sunny Raw Kitchen has been officially back on the road since mid-October. We stayed at some friends' place in British Columbia for a couple of weeks before embarking on the American side of our journey.

The Journey South Begins
The first leg of our trip went as smooth as could be. It's always a tricky one as we never know for sure whether we will be able to get into the US. The way we see it, it's always in the hands of The Mystery, therefore we can't really know what's meant to be. This border crossing, however, was one of our easiest yet! The guard hardly asked us any questions at all beyond where we were going, for how long and whether we carried any drugs, alcohol and firearms. (Lord knows we've had our share of weird questions in the past, such as "how we met" and "what kind of couple" we are. lol) Before we knew it we were in! Yippee! I guess that having a fifth wheel now makes us fall into the category of "snowbirds" which helps the process. Did you know that more than a hundred thousand Canadians flee the cold towards the southwest US each winter?

We didn't have very far to travel, only a few hours away to Spokane, WA. Our original idea was to find a spot by the side of the road to spend the night in order to avoid the rush hour. We quickly learned that stopping isn't an easy task with a 27' trailer; by the time we spotted a potential place it was already too late to pull over. Anyhoo in the end we landed at an RV park just outside town.

The next morning we headed over to the house of friends of Livina's where she happened to be visiting right then. As always it was fun to see each other away from the usual environment. (Livina is one of the caretakers of the Benailse Retreat Center where Don and I lived for several years and spend our summers now.)

We parked the trailer on the street in front of their home and hopped into Livina's car to do a bit of grocery shopping (read go to Trader Joe's! Yay!) as we couldn't bring any fresh produce with us across the border.

Halloween was the night just before our arrival and we were told that the house was visited by over 90 trick or treaters. Wowsers! It was a good thing that we spent the night out of town or it would have been a very busy evening!

Autumn was in full swing in Spokane. The air was fragrant with the rich smell of fallen leaves and the trees along the street had such vibrant colors.

On their deck, the table was covered with fallen leaves and made such a lovely spectacle.

The furry member of the Norell-Bader family, Rasta, is a real sweetie and we took him for a walk on a nearby field. Gosh, how we miss our daily walkies with our dearest Kylo!

We left the next morning in order to continue our travels. The drive from Spokane to northern Oregon was awesome; small mostly quiet roads through hills and endless golden fields. I had forgotten how much fun it was to be driving through the countryside. It's like having an ongoing live show of natural beauty!

The weather was gorgeous that day and the temperature surprisingly warm; we kept peeling layers off as we continued driving south. Our destination was a small town called Milton Freewater a few miles past Walla Walla, just across the border into Oregon. Of course I couldn't help but think of the famous sweet onions named after the town.

Meet Matthew and Dawnen
Our hosts, Matthew and Dawnen, have been experimenting with raw foods for several years. In fact Dawnen has been following my blog almost from the very beginning and we have exchanged a few emails over time.

This is their friend Brian (aka Leon) who's been hanging out with them and learning all kinds of recipes and tips from Matt to help improve his health.


Right now they're in the process of remodeling their house located only three doors down from where Matt grew up. And so, like us, they've been living in their fifth wheel. ;-) Right next to it you can see the dome in which they grow several types of micro-greens. (No worries, I'll soon share their technique in a feature post!)


The lovely view from their backyard.

The property is tucked away among countless orchards and vineyards. Sadly, though, virtually all of these spray their fruit trees with pesticides. ;-(

One day Brian showed us how we could stroll through the orchard across the street. Sure beats walking alongside the busy country roads! We were just a tad too late though; all the apples had already been picked.

Free Fruits & Nuts
Ironically, in spite of being right in the heart of so many orchards it can be a challenge to find organic apples and pears around here. Thankfully we were invited by a local lady to come pick apples in her yard, as she had more than she needed. There were lots that had already fallen onto the ground.

 Matt has a cool toy which allows him to easily collect the fruit that are higher up. It's essentially a long pole rigged with a rope and the Twister Fruit Picker at one end. What an ingenious little gadget! In fact we're so impressed with it that we've ordered one for ourselves from Amazon. You never know, it might come in handy once we're in citrus country. ;-)

Our beautiful and juicy loot!

A few flowers were still blossoming around the lady's yard. The roses were oh-so-fragrant! What a blessing!

See the little guy tucked away in there?

There was also a walnut tree on her property from which I gathered a big plastic bag full. The nuts were covered with a black mushy coating - ewww - so we decided to soak them in water, thinking that it would make it easier to remove it off the shells. It turned out to be a bit of a tricky business. Some of the water got into the shells so Don had to crack them all open for fear of them going bad. Since they were already wet I had the idea to soak and dehydrate them. It worked but was probably not the best technique to handle them.

Speaking of nuts there's a couple of trees growing in the neighbor's yard that Matt has always wondered about. While blowing leaves one afternoon he discovered nuts on the ground and brought them over to show me. There were two types, one more roundish and the other more elongated, but I was pretty sure they were both hazelnuts (aka filberts). And so the next day I played squirrel and managed to harvest a big bucket full of them. It was hard work as some of them were covered with a coat of leaves but it was definitely worth it!

Soooo good!

Still in a foraging mood one time Matt drove us quite a ways into the countryside in order to pick wild apples and pears. Yay, free food! We formed a great team; while Matt extracted the fruits with his magical stick Don and I caught them and transferred to a box.

Matt, Master Fruit Picker

These were the yummiest and sweetest pears we had ever tasted!!! What a treat!

Next stop was an apple tree by the side of the road. It was actually dangerous work as sometimes Matt would loosen up a bunch of apples that would fall down to the ground (read raining down on our heads!) We should have brought hard hats! lol

Remember Brian that I mentioned earlier? I learned that he's been picking wild mushrooms since he was a kid. Mushroom hunting is something I've always been interested in, but I feel I need the guidance of a connoisseur to show me the ropes and avoid the poisonous kind. And so Brian offered to take us to one of his favorite spots in the area, Harris Park, to look for mushies.

Unfortunately it was too late in the season and we weren't successful in our quest, but no matter, we very much enjoyed our walk along the Walla Walla river. It was so nice to be surrounded by wilderness for a short while.

Mysterious berries which we thought kinda looked like popcorn. ;-)

Guess who?

Furry Talk
For the initial journey from BC to Spokane Miss Puss traveled in her little pet taxi, as we figured it would be safer with the border crossing and all. (I had visions of Pu escaping while a border guard checked the trailer. Eeeek!)

For this next portion of the trip we thought we'd leave her loose in the trailer, see how it went. Soon after our arrival I discovered her hidden under the covers at the foot of the bed. ;-) Otherwise she didn't seem too phased by the adventure. It will make such a huge difference for her to be able to stay in the familiar environment of the fifth wheel in spite of our changing location.

We were a little concerned at first to let her go outside, as Matt & Dawnen live on a busy country road and her being a boondocks pussycat and all. As it turned out she adjusted just fine, mostly hanging around the trailer. There are several other cats in the neighborhood, one of them quite mean we were told, but so far we've only heard one screeching encounter.

Hey guys, let me in!

Meet Velcro, the next door neighbor's cat who thinks he actually lives at Matt & Dawnen's. He never misses a chance to zoom into their fifth wheel, much to Matt's irritation. He's a cutie, though!

Matt and Dawnen share their lives with Mr. Bean, a chihuahua-poodle cross. Unfortunately he's had his share of trials lately as he broke four limbs (the same one twice) since last May. While we were staying with them the poor little guy had a metal plate in one of his back legs and metal pins in one of his fronts. He usually wears a collar to prevent him from nibbling at his bandages.

One of the really neat things about Beanie is that he is being fed a virtually all raw vegan diet, as Matt and Dawnen mostly give him some of what they eat. While he consummes an incredible array of fresh foods (and we thought our Kyky was getting lots of raw! lol) - he doesn't care much for juice, which he normally has to be fed with a dropper.


BUT he does love his green smoothies, though! The sight of him and Velcro enthusiastically slurping that green stuff was such a funny sight to me! he he

Of course Velcro had to make sure that Mr. Bean's bowl was utterly clean. ;-)

He's also notorious for stealing Beanie's bed. But how can you be angry for long at such a cutie?

Mr. Bean was in a mischievous mood one day and kept bugging Velcro; after all, the latter had stolen the new make shift bed that Matt had made for him since you-know-who was in his regular one (again!)

Hum, how about we take a little break here, as I have a lot more to tell!

Coming up next... How to whip up the BEST raw almond butter EVER in your own high power blender.

1 comment:

  1. you are so blessed. safe travels. thanks for the beautiful post. a feast for the eyes.
    peace and raw health,