In the raw

My friend C. is on a healing quest. I consider her to be already among the healed; if I ate as purely as she eats I think I would float and maybe even flutter occassionally.
I eat chocolate with a commitment on par with life long wedding vows; I am a slave to the processed flour in my baguette. I love wine. Coffee is my tatoo.
Can you imagine 75% of what you eat, raw? I went through my regular day and realized I am prone to cook everything. I look at a carrot and my hand starts shaking until I can blanch it in boiling water seasoned with salt and a drizzle of beautiful olive oil and cover it with bits of slowly cooked onion, garlic and toasted fennel seed. Apples are so good caramelized and stuffed into a tart. And who doesn’t love celery that has been slowly baked in a spill of heavy cream with garlic and thyme?
A. Being married to an Englishman doesn’t make it any easier. B. Being me doesn’t help.
The other day though, I tried to go as raw as possible. The party was for my friend C.; it was only right.
I made a salad of raw zucchini, sliced lengthwise and as thinly as possible, tossed with olive oil, a little lemon juice, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a teeny weeny bit of finely minced raw shallot, shredded fresh basil topped with a French feta and (cooked, couldn’t help it) toasted croutons. We had fresh fennel with lemon juice, salt, and fresh parsley. String beans (cooked, couldn’t help it) with whole cloves of raw garlic. Cannellini (cooked, couldn’t help it) with lemon, olive oil, garlic–cooked, balsamic and fresh marjoram and thyme, set in the middle of a plate, surrounded by raw baby arugula and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano (you can’t make cheese without cooking it). A dish of ripe tomatoes, I only sauted for one minute in olive oil that had been infused with slivers of fresh garlic and more of my basil, as crisp as paper from sizzling in the olive oil on their own until they were dark green. In another little bowl I mixed marinated artichoke hearts with tiny black olives, fresh oregano, a squeeze of (raw) lemon juice and sauted red onions. The last little bowl was a raw cucumber salad with yogurt, garlic, lemon, salt, toasted coriander and mint. For dessert, fresh cantaloupe and sweet green plums with a Sicilian Passita wine poured over the top.
Only a few chocolates to finish it off. Afterwards and much eating later, I was still lively and light–it could have been all the raw food–or it could have easily been just because I love my girlfriend.

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