Monday, March 26, 2007

A new chef and banana-peanut butter ice-cream...

Life is like a big ocean for me these days...Some days I am up and
surfing the wave, some days, I am deep down is really fun
and interesting. I have 4 people working for me...It is even
surprising to me to see how things change this fast...

and I have a new chef, a true "celebrity" chef, from LA...I met him at
the cafe on my first week and he has been helping me every once in a
while, showing me tricks, ect...Though I wanted him to work at
Organico, he was always too lazy to commit to a "job"...Now, he is
cooking at nights and I am open for dinner...He is also really cute
and funny, so it helps to have someone to laugh with, someone a little

Last night we served 28 dinners, full house with a live drums and fire
show....Friday and Saturday all my tables were full at some point...It
is really working and I am happy...

We made banana-peanut butter ice-cream yesterday....really yummy!

Blend 6 super ripe bananas with 1/2 cup of peanut butter or more if
you are peanut butter fan...add a dash of vanilla and freeze in the
machine...super easy and tasty!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pedal Power

Wouldn't it be cool if the clients picked whatever they want and pedal
their electricity needed....In the first run, I am ok
with finding a way to do it myself, so maybe we can start with one

Watch out Mc Donalds, we are going to get you!

All I need a geek with a smile!

Friday, March 16, 2007

All by myself...

In between washing the dishes and making ice-cream and watching the
door to see if there are any clients, I catch myself singing and
smiling at myself and think this is really happiness to me....I have
written so much how hard things are, but it is also unfair that I
don't write enough how happy I am doing what really love...I do mind
doing dishes and taking the trash out, but I love feeding people with
the food I would die to eat everyday, I guess that means good
food:)....And it helps to see people coming back and back and smiling
and smiling....Such a great day!

Last night I tried green tea ice-cream with cardamom and wasnt sure if
it would sell here...I liked it anyways and thought it would be my
lunch for today...Armondo, who has a very Costa Rican palate, he likes
anything fresh but not much into asian flavors..anyway he tasted it
and said this is really it was on the board today...SOLD
OUT! It is amazing to meet with people who have the same taste with
me...I keep learning more and more that I am really not alone.

I also made blackberry, espresso organico and mango-tango ice-cream
today...My new love is working so hard! But, of course the electricity
bill is pretty ugly...the ice-cream machine is to blame:)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Goal....

Zero Waste...I am very excited to try to eliminate waste at the
cafe...It sucks that there is no recycling in Montezuma. I stopped
selling bottled water already but thats not enough. I have to learn
about composting. I collect the compost but nowhere to throw it or
don't know what I can do with it...I would like to make an herb garden
but not much space around..I can buy planters...any ideas?

Also, coffee grinds should be used somehow....ok, will do some
webresearch on this...

So far, the only brilliant idea I have is saving papaya seeds, drying
them and grinding them similar to pepper....Baby steps:)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ferry Strike

There is  a ferry strike in Punterenas so I had to stay one more night in San Jose. Hopefully I will be  able to take the 730 am bus and go back to Montezuma. Its been a week I have been closed and I miss my cafe...

Blessing our food...

My friend John came up with this beautiful blessing...It is so precious.

"While each serving has been blessed,  may we suggest that you place whatever intention you wish to create
into the this lovingly receptive and light generating Organico food."

More Love for Cilantro

I love cilantro and I get really sad when my friends don't like it, or even worse some "hate" it. The other night, I was invited to dinner and wanted to try my latest salad recipe on these friends..Apparently, the host "hated" cilantro and he wouldn't even let me open the cilantro bag...To his credit, it is true that when Cenk and i first got cilantro, instead of parsley, I puked. It was aweful...but then I developed this love for it and now, I can't imagine salsa or avocado, or lentils without it...hmmm so good...but ok, I realize people have different tastes...and I also have hope that my new salad with mangos, papayas and avocados will taste fantastic with cilantro than anything else and maybe I can convert some these anti cilanto people...Wishful thinking continues...

Here is what Sarma has to say on Cilantro:

Free radicals are everywhere - in the water we drink, food we eat, and in the air we breathe. The main defense to free radicals (coming from pollution, x-rays, radiation, chemicals, heavy metals) are antioxidants.  Cilantro leaves are rich in calcium, iron, carotenes, and vitamin C, which it happens are great antioxidants.  A Japanese investigator, Yoshiaki Omura, has made the revolutionary discovery that cilantro can mobilize mercury and other toxic metals from the central nervous system if large enough amounts are consumed daily. Reuters reports that cilantro contains a chemical which has been found to kill the Salmonella bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

The heavy metal detox capabilities of cilantro should also make it of great use in the treatment of depression, Alzheimer's disease, lack of concentration and other related disorders.  In other words, this herb can apparently help to keep you happy, focused, and sane!  Just eat it, don't smoke it.

Eat your Cashews!

I have never seen a cashew fruit in my life until Jose brought a bag as a gift. It is incredible. They look like bell peppers with a hook attached...That hook is the cashew nut we eat. One nut per one fruit...It is amazing and also explains why they are so expensive...No more popping cashews handsful, they should be eaten one at a time....well, they are so tasty, this will be hard:)

The fruit tastes interesting...It is similar to a star-fruit, very sour and leaves a tacky taste on your tongue after you eat it...The texture is very chewy, it is best if you chew it for a while and you notice the taste and texture changes if you keep chewing...Also interesting, I have no idea what they are doing with the fruit...You can't find it in the supermarkets, there are no byproducts like jam or pickles...somewhere out there is a land full of cashew fruits, waiting to be discovered...maybe it is used as organic waste and mixed with the soil....Hopeful thinking....

Why are cashews good for you? Cashews are full of enzymes that are good for digestion. They are low in fat compared to other nuts, most of the fat is unsaturated and contain oleic acid which is good for your heart.  They are all roasted though, so not truely raw...

I also planted a couple and we will see if I will succeed growing any....

In addition to using it on Linda's Noodle Nut Salad, we make all kinds of vegan ice cream using cashews like chocolate mint chip or chocolate.nut or coco.nut ...delicious!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fruit for breakfast!

I wish more farmers understood the importance of organic produce. How important it is to eat chemical free food not only for our physical health but also mental health, too. We spend very little time thinking about what happens after we swallow...Eating is the most real thing we do for our survival, so we can do the things we love, let it be vacationing on the beach, writing screenplays or singing or dancing or whatever you are passionate or destined to do... Eating good food, fresh and organic food prepared with love, is the sign of your self respect, your commitment to your well being and to your comminity as a creative, productive human being.

I get into these arguments with friends all the time, how boring it is to eat "fresh fruit" for breakfast everyday...No it is not. It is refresing, fullfilling and energizing...Then the next question, indulgence....why can't we, the superior human race, indulge a bagel with creamcheese or eggs with bacon? It is an abuse to our bodies. Once you swallow, see what happens...Your body starts working on digesting...and digesting and digesting....for hours long...for indulgence...if you like to indulge, why not indulge your stomach, so it can rest a couple hours for a change?

>From Sarma:

Eat crap = feel like crap.  Eat fruit = feel fresh and yummy.  Eat chemicals = get weird diseases.  Eat natural = be naturally healthy, like we're supposed to be.  Eat raw = live long.  And feel happy. 

P.S. I uploaded lots of pictures from Organico...Enjoy when you have time...

What you eat makes a difference

Just read an interesting post from Meg. on local vs. organic farming article on Time magazine. I face with the same issue everyday...I buy most of the produce from the organic farmers market on Saturdays. But the selection is limited there...So, I go to Cobano to buy more from the farmers market on Mondays. Stuff there is not certified, but claim that lettuce is organic and bananas are organic as well...Rest is not. Still, fruit is ripe, fresh and right from the farm...

If you go another 6 hours from Cobano and come to San Jose, you can buy almost anything organic. Most of it is imported from the U.S or Chile.. Nuts, apples, grapes, peanut butter, almond butter...However, I did not come here to support import-export business. So, do I only offer local organic sesame butter?

I am no Alice Waters and I am confused. Best would be to have my own farm, grow my own vegetables and fruits and offer only produce from my farm. Baby steps, I am starting with an herb garden. Jose gifted me rosemary already, all I need is mint, parsley and cilantro.

Quote of the day

Las escoba nueva barre bien el primer mes! A Costa Rican proverb...

New broom sweeps very well the first month!

All my employees have left within the first month...So true!

From San Jose

One of the benefits of being in San Jose is enjoying fast speed internet....It is amazing how much we take things granted like the cell phone or the internet....Once you move away from it, day by day the importance fades away, it becomes a nice to have but not really a necessity...I kept telling myself that I can't live without a phone...Well, I had to....and I did fine..It is really hard not to have any phone, I could have gone without a cell phone if I had a lan line, but it takes at least 2 years to get one...It is important for the business to have a phone and I am fortunate to have a great neighbor,  Armando, who bought me a new cell phone because my mother was so upset that she had no way of reaching me...Now I have a new phone...Armando, I love you! If you ever come to Montezuma, you have to meet him! Delphin II ROCKS!

Viktoras and Happiness

Viktoras Kulvinskas is moving to Montezuma in a couple months...Its pretty cool to be living in the same town with a guy who started sunflower sprouts...He is a good friend of Jose and gifted me his famous book,  Survival in the 21st Century. Highly recommended...He also liked the avocado ice-cream and said "actually it is quite excellent"...that makes me happy!
A review from his book on happiness:
A surprising section talks about being happy. Those who condition their happiness (or unhappiness) on accomplishing (or not) their desires are generally unhappy (this is demonstrated pseudo statistically). A superior state ( i.e. happy more time) is to be come happy when things come your way, and stay cool if they don't or things are neutral. Those who don't depend on any wish (i.e. get a car, get a TV, etc.) are happy at any time. No wonder religions preach : give all/everything and you will have everything.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are crowds of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat every guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond...

From Rumi....

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ice-cream sold in pints!!!!!!!!!

Some guy walks in today and asks for 3 gallons of ice-cream...I start
laughing...Do we look like a store with fridges full of ice-cream in
10 flavors??? Not yet...

Anyway, we agreed on pints...Chocolate and Pineapple....This was yesterday...

This morning he came back, asking for more Chocolate and Banana.....He
is from Nebraska and into raw cacao!

Other than that, this months employee is Linda! She is from Holand and
she is just an angel! So far, my best employee ever was mom but Linda
is out of this world....She is travelling and stopped here with her
boyfriend a month ago and she came back to work for a few weeks...It
couldn't be any better, as I had a group of 15 people for breakfast
for this whole week! She is sooo smart, she got everything in less
than a day...It makes such a difference to work with smart people,
everything flows much faster!

I wish she stayed, but she is on a journey and maybe one day she will
come back....She is on the menu with her special salad...Linda's
Noodle Nut Salad with Soba Noodles, Cashews, Walnuts, Avocado,
Plantains, Tomatoes and Greens with a lemon dressing...soooo good!

I am very happy today....Making good money, meeting cool people,
trusting the universe and taking a few days off to go to the CITY and
meet up with some friends!!!!!