Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saving Water

What some people might call lazy, I call saving water.  When you live in a dry cabin you quickly learn how to make the most of every drop of H2O.

  • When I have a big raw food production day I plan out my recipes in order of sweet to savory, so that I don't have to wash Viv or the FP in between.  Soups and dressings come last, so they can absorb a bit of all the day's goodies. 
  • I don't wash my fruits and veggies.  We eat organic produce, so I'm not worried about pesticides. This may gross out some people, but I think it's beneficial (B12) to eat a little dirt.  (I do look for bugs and worms and try to avoid ingesting those fellows.)   
  • I serve TH's dinner in a Pyrex, which then holds his leftovers for lunch the next day, no washing in between. I thought I was brilliant the day I  figured this out!  Huge dirty dish savings, as he washes the Pyrex at work. 
  • I buy undies every time they are on sale.  I must have about a hundered pairs now (why do we say "pairs" when talking about underwear?), which allows me to avoid laundry for loooooong periods of time.
  • I've already mentioned this, but I drink the water leftover from rinsing sweets out of Viv, and TH or our plants enjoy the savory water leftovers.
  • TH thinks we should get a dog to wash (i.e. lick clean) our dishes.  I know dogs are supposed to have super antibacterial tongues, but I think that's taking the whole hippie cabin dwelling thing a bit too far.  

Now that nobody will ever eat at my house again....on to food talk!  I finished up Russell James's Spinach and Wild Mushroom Quiches, in spite of mishaps that might have derailed me in earlier raw food prep days.  (I swear, after a day battling middle school hormones, my brain is so beleaguered it's all I can do to uncork a bottle of wine....) 

I'm not sure if I made my crusts too thick, but I had way too much filling for my three tart pans.  To use the remainder of the filling, I made more crust dough, realizing in the process that I had forgotten the flax in the first batch (that's why my first crusts were a little cracky and volatile!)  In the second batch I filled the crusts and put them in the D overnight, forgetting that I was supposed to dehydrate just the crusts for 8 hours first.  Ay carumba. 

No worries, it turns out this recipe was quite forgiving.  The end result is delicious, but very dense and rich due to the high nut content. I think it tastes rather gourmet, but I will report back after serving them to some non raw foodies.

After Lisa from Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) posted her Stuffed Truffle recipe, I had to try my own.   I didn't have palm sugar, so I made my own chocolate coating:

3/4 cup raw cacao
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
dash of vanilla
pinch of salt

(I have no idea if these proportions would be considered acceptable to a real chef, but it makes an almost milk chocolate type coating and the 1-1-1 ratio is easy for me to remember.)

I used Lisa's recipe for the almond butter filling, substituting maple syrup for the palm sugar.  I put a layer of chocolate sauce in a paper cupcake liner, let it harden, then placed a flattened spoonful of almond butter mixture on top, followed by more chocolate around the edges and on top.

I had extra chocolate coating and Heathy's Caramel Sauce #2, so I made more chocolates.

Question:  Do you wash your produce?  How do you feel about eating a little dirt from time to time?  


  1. I'm very happy to eat dirt! I agree that it's good for us. In HI, there was a really dangerous nematode carried by slugs that could make you sick to death if you ingested it (which was why many people wouldn't eat raw veg): even there, it was hard for me to remember to wash veg. Ack!

    Love the water-saving shares: and know that you're not alone! I do just like that when I'm making a bunch of stuff, and right now I have a jar of vitamix rinse-water in the fridge from the onslaught yesterday! I tend to drink out of the same pint mason jar for days and days and days, and I save teabags and use them for cleaning.

    Raw quiche looks great and sounds yummy. I would love to get a dehydrator one day but don't know where I'd put it.

    One other thing: when I comment back to your comments on my blog, does it go to your email automatically? If I know someone's email address (I don't know yours) I just forward it myself...

  2. When you say a dry cabin do you mean you guys don't have any plumbing? Gosh you would have to be super organised, I am not sure I could even attempt that! But go you, I will aim for it someday. Pat often gets upset at me when I overuse any water here.

    Also I was only just talking about the whole washing organic produce last night at my Natural Wellness course I am taking. I agree it doesn't need washing however when it's come from store to store and been handled I sometimes want to give them a quick rinse. We are not that fortunate to have much fresh organic here, so I tend to do baking soda washes for my inorganic fruits and vegetables.

  3. @Ela

    I love that you know exactly what I am talking about. TH and I also use the same mason jars for drinking for weeks on end.

    How do you clean with teabags? I am very curious about this.

    My dehydrator lives on the porch, and I usually run it outside, unless it's really cold.

    And, to answer your question, your comment replies don't go to my e-mail.

    Thanks so much for your comments!

  4. @Girl on Raw

    Hi Girl on Raw! Yes, our dry cabin means no water or plumbing. The only thing that really drives me crazy is not being able to do laundry. Other than that, I love it! I bet you are pretty careful with water in Saudi as well.

    Your Natural Wellness class sounds fantastic. How does a baking soda wash work?

  5. I am not consistent on the produce washing. I basically give most stuff a small rinse, which I consider totally ineffective. Sometimes I think, "why do I rinse it at all?". Stuff from the farmer's market doesn't get a wash from me and most stuff just gets a graze under the faucet. I do get a lot of slugs in the greens from the market, so I try to put them outside but it's hard to catch them all. Protein I guess.

  6. @CC

    Slugs- I've never experienced one of those in produce. That's a small price to pay for having access to a farmer's market, I guess.