Monday, January 30, 2012

Thoughts & Events

Its been pretty busy around these parts lately.  We of course have guests coming & going all the time, but on top of that we're entrenched fully in what we call "high season." Restaurants are buzzing, there's organized events going on seemingly every other day to keep us locals and visitors alike busy, and of course for a last resort, there's always keeping up with whatever media spoon feeds us to pass off as news every day.

In the last week between tending to my fire ant bitten feet, I've been to Key West three times.  Once for an educational event and presentation by Dr. Will Tuttle author of the World Peace Diet, next for a birthday party for one of my friends, and finally for the Key West Craft Show.  The presentation by Dr. Tuttle was eye opening, even though I've read his book about 4 times, maybe more.  Somehow, hearing him speak on the subject matter impacted me more.... truth be told I was shocked by the statistics and facts he quoted at his event.  Dr. Tuttle is an educator and activist for many important matters, including a plant based diet.  There was a good size turnout for the event, which made me happy because sometimes I get overwhelmed by the state of our world, and I feel unable to communicate well the importance of a plant based diet.  After attending the presentation, although I admit I felt very sad about the state of our world, at least I had the renewed passion to help educating others when information is sought.  Thank you Dr. Tuttle.

Next, a friend had a birthday party at a restaurant in Key West.  It was a gathering of about 11 folks, some I knew quite well, and a couple I hadn't even met before.  Turned out it was a lovely mix of people all with the common goal of celebrating the birthday of one of our fellow princesses.  Indeed, we celebrated with good food, good drink, and good friends.  I do believe she had a memorable birthday, while I was just thankful for that particular ride I didn't have to drive.

Also this weekend past was the annual return of the Key West Craft Show.  I write about this show every year, its among my top picks.  I like it because it attracts a high quality of artists, with diverse works. Once again we came away with some very unique items, none of which I define as clutter.  Items were either for the garden or to be worn.  Nothing I shall term "dustable."  We had a nice couple hours mingling with the artists, admiring their wares, and even saw a few of our friends in the fray.  Afterwards we headed over to the Sugar Apple for a fantastic lunch.  Oh, I forgot to mention, after Dr. Tuttle's presentation, we headed over to The Cafe, on Southard.  It was pretty late when the event broke up, so we wanted to have dinner before heading back up to Big Pine.  Funny thing especially that we saw at least 8 people come and go into The Cafe who also were at Dr. Tuttle's talk.  Perhaps he made an impact sooner more than later. I should email him to report the good news.

We're heading back to Key West tomorrow.  Our friends at Help Yourself are hosting a community party.  The restaurant has taken over the space next door which formerly was a laundromat, and is expanding with an organic market.  I'm so happy I could sing with joy (but I won't because trust me you don't want to hear that off key disaster).  Although Help Yourself hoped tomorrow night would be a celebration of a grand opening, here in the Keys things typically take longer than planned.  They've made stellar progress on the huge task of remodeling the space, and they will be open very soon.  Despite the fact its not a grand opening, its still a celebration; one where we as a community can come out to support this heroic effort, and see all the great progress so far.  As mentioned, we're very excited about this market, and can attest by eating at Help Yourself too many times to count that the food is exceptional quality, organic, and VERY darn delicious.  We are so lucky to have a place like Help Yourself so close to our home, not to mention the owner (Charlie Wilson) and her wonderful, dedicated employees who give wonderful and caring service, with a smile always.

The blessings of the wonderful food coming out of places like Good Food Conspiracy, Help Yourself, Sugar Apple and The Cafe were highlighted for me just tonight.  After boot camp, I settled down with my (organic! vegan!) salad and opened a food magazine I purchased last week.  I don't usually buy this particular mag, its not veg, and not really anything at all I'm interested in.  But, on a whim I picked it up to see if I could get any new ideas from mainstream conventional cooking to attempt to veganize (in my spare time, haha).  Well, I freaked out tonight as I flipped through the pages.  The recipes were awful; dripping with unhealthy saturated fats from cheeses and copious amounts of butter and meat products.  More than half the items included fried entrees.  Any breakfast recipes were made with so many eggs I wouldn't even attempt to veganize them (never before have I come across a recipe for muffins that started with six eggs AND butter).  It was disgusting, the photos I'm sure were meant to be tantalizing, but it was a heart attack on paper I swear it. That, and a waste of my $5.

So, its another long drive down and back to Key West, but I'm pretty sure this upcoming visit will settle us for a while at least before heading back down.  Sometimes I find that I don't even leave the confines of my house, let alone my property, for days on end. Heading to Key West 4 times in one week I think is a new (unwanted) record for me here.  I'm looking forward to it though, and especially to support the great work of Help Yourself, for their commitment to our community, and their commitment and caring towards our good health.

That catches you up just a bit I'd say.  Tomorrow morning will be here before I know it, time for me to make our beautiful (organic! vegan!) cholesterol free, non-fried and delicious healthier choice breakfast.  Why would anyone choose anything else?!

See you soon!

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