4pm Fri 9 Feb, 2007 to 3pm Sun 11 Feb, 2007
Milson Island, Hawkesbury River, Central Coast, NSW
Account of the Weekend by Joy Mozzi of FruVeNu
Christine wanted to know how the raw weekend went, so ...
If you can imagine a potluck that goes on and on with a kaleidoscope of rainbows, never-ending food, health, tastes, textures and talk! Oh you know how we never have enough time to talk at the potlucks, time runs out and we still haven’t finished. Well after 48 hours together we still had not finished talking.
Okay some talk more than others especially when they are hungry. Somehow even being raw has not taken away my desire for frequent grazing. Like Winnie the Pooh I keep saying to myself ‘time for a little something’ and do a little humming tune while I prepare a treat. So the first night... well maybe if I started at the beginning....
The ferryman was dumbstruck when he saw the 20-30 boxes of produce we loaded up, bags and bags of equipment and he kept saying ‘Right, right, okay’. I think he was scared that some of the enthusiastic energy of a group of wiry, lean, mean, raw machines might somehow rub off on him.
We unloaded the ferry.
John, who met us on the island with a trailer, stared in bemusement as the trailer loaded up with barely an inch to spare and then we drove 200 metres up a small hill, unloaded the trailer and put everything on the grass.
Two cabins side by side - worked out girls in one and boys in the other except for one double room in ours for Sheralee and boyfriend Kerry.
We unloaded and carried everything inside, running out of space in 10 minutes.
A bit of furniture was rearranged, with a flurry of talking in between. Just have to say Grant & Lynita are LEGENDS for organising the weekend, they brought Vitamixes, Tupperware storage containers, books, food processors and mountains of fresh produce. Grant and David from Alfalfa House had been out that morning to the organic markets and spent up big. Thanks to David and his connections we got some luscious stuff. To take the edge off being a bit peckish, there was Medjool dates and fruit to nibble on, in between more talking.
We got some food preparation happening and then decided to explore the island before dinner. Milson Island, run by the NSW Dept. of Sport & Recreation is beautifully maintained, with bushwalks around the edges and small beaches. Some went for runs: Grant, David & Harley (oh yes, Harley aka DurianRider came too), a nice surprise. Kerry & Sheralee had paddled their canoe over from the wharf. We all went walkabout to explore and found tennis courts & swimming pool and the only other two families on the island were getting the barbecue thing happening, poor sods. We walked past with noses in the air pitying them...just kidding :)
But food was a good idea and dinner was finally served at 9pm...the only time anyone shut up for any length of time. But were our raw foodies ready for bed after such an exciting day?
No! Anyone for a swim?
I opted out and relaxed with books and everyone went out for a stroll which I hear turned into a night time ghost walk as they stumbled through bush and Harley made wild pig sounds. I think that’s how the story went.... At midnight, finally the lights went out. And that was only Day 1. Everyone still with me?
Up early considering the late night and Leanne (aka Freelee) was going to lead us in a yoga session if we could just get everyone out the door. With some feeling a bit peckish, they once again snacked on fruit.
I was peeling prickly pears and we decided to experimented with making prickly pear and yellow peach frozen sorbet and fruit rollups in dehydrator. What a success, combined with the girl’s chocolate mousse which was made twice by popular demand. Leanne made decadent nut balls and Lynita did a nut cake and...well...we just ate ourselves silly!
The yoga was intense. If that was a mild warm up, I ain’t ever going to do yoga again. Only kidding Leanne but my core is still sore?! I know my tummy had muscles once upon a time but they forgot they were there. Leanne is a brilliant teacher you would think she had been doing it for years but it was her first time teaching. By now it was 9.30am which is usually my mid morning snack break. Torin King and his daughter Cailyn arrived having caught a boat trip over to join us for the day. Torin writes for the magazine Vegan Voice.
Breakfast was finally prepared, oh those fruit salads - dragonfruit, mango, lychees, fresh figs, and cherries served with an orange and date sauce. Worth waiting for, we only finished at 11am because we were all having a bit of a chat. It was therefore debated whether we should actually have a lunch or not. We decided to skip lunch and have an early dinner at 6pm (yeah right).
Everyone went off to do various things, with some of us in the kitchen as we started another round of food preparation. I got a batch of tomato crackers going the night before in the dehydrator and made a nut cheese. Kerri (just to confuse us all we had a male Kerry and a female Kerri), went down to swim and just for the hell of it Kerri & Dave swam to the other side and climbed a mountain. Others paddled on longboards, went round the island on the canoe etc. They were out in the water having fun. By 2pm I realised I was not going to make it to dinnertime. I needed my lunch. Turns out I wasn’t the only one, and the tomato crackers were ready. If I could make kilos of crackers I would be a rich woman right now. They are THE most popular item I've made with the dehydrator so far (in the savoury foods department). Everyone trickled back in about 2pm and a unanimous decision was made to have lunch - crackers, nut cheese, sprouts & salad.
Dinner was not going to happen at 6pm in time for Torin and his daughter before they had to go home so we persuaded them to stay the night. We feasted on eggplant pizzas, fettucine and spiralised ‘zucchini pasta’ and sauces with salads.
The hula girls were in action with frangipani crowns and Kerry’s massage table was in use in the background. He brought it to give a promised massage to Sheralee but then offered free massages to all of us! What a wonderful giving thing to do. After that wonderful big meal when most ordinary humans are settling down with bloated stomachs our intrepid group decided...
Anyone for tennis?
Once again 10pm at night. Goodness knows what the meat eating families thought.
Midnight (sigh), end of Day 2. Mad possum activity at night. There were loud kerplunks on the roof and the frangipani bowl of flowers was thrown on the floor by a bush turkey Leanne said. She was the only one who got up to look, hmm turkeys?? Must have been that wild um, coconut juice she drank?
Sunday greeted us far too bright and early. This time the boys got cracking and made watermelon smoothies with 5 different flavours. They used a 13kg watermelon! Then we carried a box of glasses and juice up to the covered area because it was drizzling. Grant led us through the Five Tibetan rites. We drank our juices and had a Trivia quiz about being raw. Thanks for being the South American snapping/ticking beetle Torin, ahem can’t find it on the Internet but perhaps I misunderstood the name.
Got back to cabins and realised the watermelon was breakfast, it was just help yourself to fruits which was fine by me as that 'bit peckish' feeling had returned. So we had about 4 hours left to use up all of our food, have final runs & walks around the island, fit in more conversation, watch a quick DVD of Harley winning a Durian fruit eating competition in Malaysia and pack up.
NOT ENOUGH TIME - we need to do this again.
Served our last lunch at 2pm, a huge platter of baby spinach and rocket, a magnificent red salad the girls put together with beetroot, tomato & pepper I think. Not sure but it was wunderbar and the colour was stunning.
In fact, the whole weekend was stunning. Grant thanked us all and gave us gifts and we applauded him for organising the whole thing. It was a lot of work on his part and we really do appreciate it. It was harmonious, invigorating and just damn fantastic.
Joy...fully (Joy Mozzi of FruVeNu