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Labor Day and Gratitude

September 4th, 2010

My demo of how to make (raw) Hash Browns took 40 minutes. I shudder to think of how many hours of prep time preceded that brief performance!

I got to have dinner with cool folks like (from left) Chad Sarno, Dan Laderman, Elaina Love, Cherie Soria and Jenny Cornbleet!

Wow. Just this moment—when I looked at the date this blog will “go live” — I realized that it has been an entire year. It was exactly 12 months ago that the business that had been my career, my livelihood—and practically my whole life for 25 years —closed, and my former business partner and I went our separate ways. Now I get why I have felt sort of odd all day. I understand why it was unusually hard to get out of bed this morning, and the reason I felt sort of separated from myself today. Now it makes sense that I felt a little “misty” even while I was shopping at the Farmer’s Market. Isn’t it funny how the body holds memories? My body/soul knew before my mind caught on. Anyway, originally I was going to write this blog installment about my recent trip to Fort Bragg, California to participate in the Living Light Chef Showcase: Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen. I was going to thank everyone for voting for me and helping me win the Hot Raw Chef title. But what I really find myself wanting to say right now is: Thank you, God. Thank you for putting me here in this place at this time when I can experience so much freedom and so much joy. Thank you for standing by me during this (sometimes painful) transition year. Thank you for placing such incredible people in my life just when I needed them. Thank you for answering my prayers (although I didn’t always get exactly what I ordered!). I am grateful and I am humbled. And I never in a million years thought I would say such a thing in such a public way.

My trip to California is something else to be grateful for. I was treated splendidly. I got to meet chefs and raw food authors I have admired for years, and reconnected with people I met long ago. I ate fabulous food, attended inspiring presentations, and my demo of Hash Brown Potato Pancakes went off without a hitch (yes, I am posting the recipe. I think you’ll enjoy it!).

It has been a long journey from last Labor Day to this one. There were plenty of “What the hell was I thinking?” times and an equal number of “Woo hoo, this is how it’s supposed to be!” flashes. I am grateful for every moment. Thanks again, God.

Yield: 25-30 pancakes

Food processor

12 cups yams, shredded
1 cup shredded onion
1/3 cup flaxseed, ground
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon unrefined salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 teaspoon paprika

Using the food processor, shred/grate the yams and onion. Place into a very large bowl and mix.

Remove 6 cups of the mixed potatoes and onions, place in food processor equipped with the “S” blade, process until very smooth.

Add the processed mixture to the shredded potato and onion. Add the remaining ingredients (flax, lemon juice, asafoetida, paprika, pepper, oil, garlic, and salt) and thoroughly mix with your hands.

Use a 1/4 measuring cup for each pancake. Place on a dehydrator tray lined with a nonstick sheet and gently flatten a bit if desired. Flip pancakes and remove nonstick sheet when the tops are dry – approximately 4 hours. Dehydrate for 8 hours or more to taste, for a total of 12 or more hours.