Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rawbin and Rachael to the rescue

My friend Rawbin is a lifesaver; she's always willing to lend a helping hand. For instance, when we met Dea for lunch at Java Green, Rawbin offered to take her to Whole Foods and then back to where she was staying, toting along some odds and ends to make her visit more comfortable.

She was also there for me this weekend, when my cabin fever had gotten the best of me. Knowing how bummed I was about missing the past couple Friday night farmers markets near my house, she made sure to swing by and get me on her way there.

I am so grateful that she drove me down to the boardwalk, where I picked up some local pears, concord grapes and kale. Rawbin, her daughter Willow and I also made our way to the end of the pier, enjoying the crisp fall preview air and the crimson-touched sky (the sun was just beginning to set when we left. Rawbin took some pics; I hope she sends some my way).

She also came baring gifts in the form of samples and a healing body scrub from her trip to the Raw Spirit Festival, as well as some produce from her CSA. She brought eggplant, pattypan squash, green beans and tomatoes; all the ingredients for a hearty cooler weather meal.

The next day, my hubby took me on a trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, so I could pick up some extras to round out the menu. We were going to be celebrating his brother's birthday at his parent's house, and I needed something to bring (they all eat cooked, so I usually make my own raw dish).

I had some help from Rachael Ray in deciding what to make (one of these days her producers will see my posts and do a raw segment; Martha Stewart and Oprah have already addressed this lifestyle, so I have my fingers crossed).

It was perfect timing; Rawbin's eggplant was the main ingredient I needed to "rawify" (a word I made up in reference to modifying a cooked recipe to be enjoyed raw) Ms. Ray's Eggplant Stew with Honey and Golden Raisin Polenta, a 30-Minute Meal I'd seen her make on Food Network earlier in the week. It would've taken me only half an hour to whip it together, too, if it wasn't for the crutches and the photo shoot at the end (I had to snap a pic for you). The mix of heat (the spicy marinated stew) and sweet (the creamy raw polenta on top) was definitely worth the wait. Yum-O! Thanks R & R :-)