Oven 1 – Cassie 0

As I slide into the raw food world like a greasy sausage off of the roll I ponder my decision to become a mostly raw food consumer. It has been a very interesting year dabbling in and out of raw foods. From a $400 Vitamix with a two horsepower motor that can jump start my Honda to a buzzing top line Excalibur dehydrator that makes everything oh so yummy and crispy. I have no doubt that eating raw has not only changed my life thus far but will continue to do so even more. That is if my oven doesn’t kill me first.

But I have to be honest about the frustration raw food causes, nothing is perfect in it’s entirety. Products must be stored and handled correctly and with patience. These sensitive raw foods are quite unlike the mystery meat you purchased a week ago that is still hanging in there with help from unknown, ungodly additives. The ease of  boxed macaroni and cheese and boiled hot dogs is now a very dearly missed thing of the past. Now time must be filled with sprouting, cleaning, chopping, blending and dehydrating for hours on end.

I love to cook, I always have, so these changes have been very difficult and I will never give up cooked food %100. I see no point in living without Italian food and if I die so many years younger for eating earthy cheese on bread with pasta covered in whatever has been on the stove all day then so be it.

I have tried to organize my now, very small kitchen that looks as though it has a severe case of multiple personality disorder. Half way in the middle sprouting equipment meets the finest French cookware, piles and piles of fresh produce and nuts meet stinky earthy cheeses and bags upon bags of Italian pastas. Throw in a couple grilled cheeses on sprouted bread with oh so much butter and we have quite a mess on our hands.

My oven knows… as in the thing is now betrayed, we have been the best of friends for years, I feel the hostility. I keep a pretty clean oven and I still cook in it. But yesterday as I went to give it a cleaning I found at the bottom a very disturbing amount of what can only be animal fat drippings (as it was solid at room temperature). I know it did not come off of anything I had cooked (I am too anal, I wouldn’t let that spill over, also I do not cook bulk meat in the oven) but I live with another carnivore so my imagination was left to fend for itself when no answers were presented as to the origin of this disturbingly large pool of grease. I truly felt that the oven was mocking me as it spewed forth smoke from its bowels and even more so as I scraped up its “leavings”.

To say the least I looked lovingly at my Vitamix (which cleans itself) and my dehydrator (which requires little more than a damp cloth). For all of the work involved in preparing raw foods I feel it just may be worth it. The oven and I are not quite on good terms yet and dirty looks are still being given but I feel we may come to an understanding, hopefully. As I lean more to the raw side of my kitchen I expect that the toaster oven and my All – Clad cookware may get a bit feisty and take lead from the oven. I made sure the oven was watching this morning as I removed my raw granola from the dehydrator and gave it a few pats and a job well done wink. Perhaps this was a hostile move but I see no other choice I must even the score.

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