Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Un-Cooking Lesson: Learning from Mistakes

Exploring raw foods is an adventure, especially if like me you are not satisfied with eating a lonely banana or carrot and calling that a meal. Especially if like me you have attachments to certain foods and want to recreate that wonderment, just in a healthy way. But sometimes you will get an image in your head and things won't go exactly as you had hoped.

This past weekend I tried dehydrating for the first time. My parents have an oven which has a dehydration setting and I was going to make the best pizza crust ever. I pureed butternut squash with olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and oregano. I laid it on a baking sheet and dropped it off at my parents' house and went along with my daily chores for about 4 hours. Well, apparently 4 hours was nowhere near enough time to dehydrate the crust, which probably needed twice as much time. Unfortunately, we didn't have that time. My mother needed to use the oven, and we had to get my son home, feed, and off to bed. What we had for dinner that night was the crust mashed up in what resembled more of a raw polenta.

Another experiment I tried recently involved spaghetti squash. I had seen some online recipes for raw noodles that didn't even  involve a spiralizer. Apparently if you just used a fork and scraped the inside of the raw squash you miraculously had angel hair pasta! Whether my squash wasn't the same ripeness or I was using the fork incorrectly or I was not blessed with magic noodle-making hands, this was not what happened. I was left with mush. I tried to put the un-mushed part in the spiralizer, which resulted in more mush. I may have cried. A little. But instead of giving up and ordering carry-out, which definitely would have been far from raw (if even I could find anything vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free), I made soup. And that spaghetti squash paired deliciously with tomatoes, hemp milk, and a little paprika. One of the best raw soups I have ever made.

So, in learning from my failure- STOP FORCING THINGS TO BE WHAT THEY DON'T WANT TO BE. A good potter will tell you the same when they are at the wheel. Or a good surfer on a wave. Or even someone in a healthy relationship or raising a child. You may have your visions and your wants, but there may also be something far better than what you are clinging to. If you hang on so desperately to what you envision you may not be able to taste the sweetest flavor of all.

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