Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Newest Waggoner Family Member

Well he's technically a Beldman, but that's of little consequence. This is Jonathan Tae-Hun and my Aunt and Uncle just met him for the first time in Seoul, South Korea today. They've been through a lot trying to have a child and we are all SO excited for their joy!!!

We got the email about 10 minutes ago. This situation is when I just LOVE technology! I was watching Philip McCluskey's video on Juice Feasting on lovingraw.com and my Blackberry buzzed in with an email. When I saw the header, this little girl went a running down the hall and into the living room with the news! Grandma was called as well as the rest of the family. It's not like we couldn't have waited until we checked email tomorrow, but we're awfully glad to know about all of this tonight!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Will Work For Raw, Organic, Vegan Food: Lessons in Foraging

This week I've been foraging for wild food around town and also for work. Let me just put it out there: I hate (HATE) job searching! Thank God this one didn't last long. After pressing the career reset button, I was a little anxious about finding something quickly so I wouldn't have to depend on Mom and Dad to pay bills for long. I got lucky and was hired today by Lifetouch Studios. I had pretty much every school portrait of my young life taken by Lifetouch and now I'll be the one behind the camera.

I'm feeling extremely grateful to the universe for being able to find work within the field I'm pursuing. School photography won't exactly earn me a Pulitzer, but it does teach you a lot about lighting very ill-lit rooms and I'll be working with complex cameras that will be fun to learn on. The chance to work with cameras on a day to day basis makes me want to squeal with joy (*Sqeeeeeeeeeeeeee* That was for you Blaqberry!)!!!!!!

What else makes my joy runneth over? Freegan finds!!! Within the last week I have been lucky enough to find both apples and blackberries! These didn't come from a grocery's dumpster (I'm still wary of this technique--so many germs in a dumpster!). They came from an even better source: Unsprayed urban trees and bushes! The City of Eugene does not spray any of its properties with pesticides, leaving plants that yield produce mostly organic in nature. In addition, many, like the trees we got windfall apples from, are located in parks that were once part of farm homesteads and did not grow from Genetically Modified seeds.

You would be surprised what you can find around your city if you begin looking. Beyond a backyard, porch or windowsill garden, using free urban resources to supplement your groceries is such a freakin' great practice to adopt during the warm months. Instead of paying $5.00 for a pint of organic berries, we've found a spot and I get as much as I want for FREE! That's zero, zip, nada, zilch! Wild greens are another easily found money saver. Think about how much you would spend on dandelion greens at Whole Foods. Seriously! It's worth a little research and/or covert planting on your behalf! I haven't found a source for wild greens in Eugene yet, (mostly because I've been working on the mammoth load of organic ones in our garden out back) but I've only been here a week, so just give me time!

Before I wrap this up, I've got to talk about those blackberries Mom found in the park at the end of our street. These babies were sweet and succulent--just the way a blackberry should be. Can't wait to go get a giant bowl full and stuff my face with them! Raw Blackberry Cobbler anybody? No doubt it will be in the dehydrator before the day is up!

But first we've got to let the fruit leather we are making from the pulp of the apples we juiced in the AM finish and I've got a craving for corn jalapeno chips too! I might just have to invest in another dehydrator. The one we have is constantly full of goodies! I love it!

Speaking of...off to make those chips (Using Sarma Melngailis's recipe out of Raw Food, Real World that I discovered via Penni from Real Food Tulsa's recipe! Thanks Miss Vroom!) .

Ciao bellas and beaus!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Each Day Gets Better, I Just Can't Let It Go

If you aren't a native or transplanted Northwesterner, then let me enlighten you as to how a perfect summer day goes here. It always involves getting outdoors--ALWAYS. We are blessed with a constant drizzle of rain about nine months out of the year, so as soon as the sun peeks out, we take full advantage of her with no apologies! Yesterday was no exception.

My friend Elizabeth picked me up round lunchtime and we headed out with her dad's raft (The Fish Hunter 360--which is evidently a pretty bad ass boat, seeing as some dudes with the Fish Hunter 280 were really quite envious of her as they watched us put into the river), a six pack of Oregon brewed IPA, Liz's orange waterproof camera and hearts ready for adventure!

Our group of eight just happened to include many of my favorite Oregonians and a few newer faces that turned into great friends by the end of the trip. It was absolutely the most glorious day to be out on the water: 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. We floated, we played, we surfed the rapids and foraged for wild blackberry's on the banks (you can bet those haven't been sprayed with evil chemical pesticides!).

I brought raw snacks for all to enjoy and was super pumped that my GLT (Guacamole, Lettuce and Tomato) sandwiches with flax seed bread were such a hit! Nobody went hungry munching on those, organic cherries and cantalope--YUM!!!

Upon arrival back home I also found that behind my back, my two best friends and my parents had organized a little get together to welcome me home! I was so totally clueless as to what was going on. I didn't even get it when we "randomly" came upon my parents and Elizabeth's boyfriend in a neighborhood park. I mean, really? I have a college degree right?

I said it several times that yesterday just couldn't have manifested itself any better and I stand by my word on that. Water, sunshine and good friends is all we need here to have a fantastic time and we had all three in spades. I hope you all had a day just like mine: refreshing and inspiring!