Bright Thursday at Grand Rapids Natural Health Event & Curry Kitchen

So last night Amanda and I went to a fundraiser at Grand Rapids Natural Health. When I saw they’d be serving raw food, I was imagining something fancy like cucumber hollowed out and filled with tapenade, so at first I was bummed when we walked in and saw platters of fresh fruit and raw veggies. That did not seem very exciting. However…

The fruit was served with a delicious coconut cream that tasted like Cool Whip! And for the veggies there was a cashew “cheese” dip, and red pepper hummus. Later I discovered a bruschetta made with garlic grown in the garden of one of the girls working the event. There was also a really wonderful dark chocolate. And wine! And I have to say, Amanda is a good drinker 🙂

We could’ve also gotten massages and henna tattoos, but we were too busy standing in the corner shoveling in the food and refilling our little biodegradable plastic cups with red wine while we caught up on all that has been happening in each other’s lives since before Holy Week.
All of this was just $10, to benefit Ele’s Place, “a nonprofit, community based organization dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children and their families.”

Afterwards we were this close to going to Founders, but…

we were distracted by the call of fried Indian foods. Sorry this picture is so horrible, I have no idea what I was doing – probably hurrying so I could eat more! We had the vegetable pakora and onion bhaji, plus I got a bowl of lentil soup. I decided the soup worked better for dipping than the sauces.

And this crispy chickpea flour thing, whatever it is. So addicting.
Zohr joined us and had rice pudding, not pictured.

After I dropped off Amanda, Z and I headed over to the church to help set up for a big sale we’re having this weekend. We hand curated a collection of Hipster goods. It was a late night, but we had fun.

Tonight I am hoping to treat myself to decadent tacos…or something.

*very* busy weekend: fundraiser & Lenten pancake breakfast

I am typing this laying down on the couch with my eyes half closed. For the past few months, I’ve been working with a group of ladies from church preparing for our Women’s Month fundraiser. This year each women’s organization in our Archdiocese was asked to raise money for the Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund, and we decided to do something other than a bake sale – not that I have anything against bake sales, of course. But we just needed to mix it up.

I don’t normally watch reality TV (or much TV at all), but one night flipping through channels I caught an episode of “Dina’s Party” on HGTV. Dina Manzo was staging a house with donated furniture she fixed up to sell for a charity fundraiser. Of course she had a mansion for her setting, but we decided to try the same for our fundraiser using the lobby in our church. After the potluck Wednesday night, I spent about an hour carrying things up from the church basement. Thursday a couple other ladies came (and one strong husband, thankfully) and we finished bringing everything out and started setting up. Friday we started pricing the items. (Friday night we had the first Akathist service of the year, but I forgot my camera to take a picture of the lovely Romanian church it was held at, and the awesome food they served after.)

Here’s a video walk-through I made once we had most of the items out…

Anyway. Between finishing with setup, the actual sale, and putting things away, we spent a good 8 hours on the sale Saturday, followed by Vespers, followed by Little Africa. Then I was so wound up I couldn’t sleep until 2:30am. I had to read the epistle yesterday but had no time to practice, so I taped the reading to the outside of the glass shower door and practiced while I washed my hair before bed. Theeeeeeen in the morning before Liturgy I started setting up for the annual Lenten Pancake Breakfast, hosted by our Ladies Guild.

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The breakfast takes place on the first Sunday of Great Lent. We have to make A LOT of pancakes. We use 4 boxes of regular pancake mix, 3 half gallons of milk alternative (this year we did vanilla soy milk because on of our parishioners has a tree nut & coconut allergy), almost a whole 32 ounce bottle of vegetable oil, and tons of Ener-G Egg Replacer.

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For the first hundred or so pancakes, I poured the batter while a friend flipped.

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The goal is to fit 18 pancakes at a time on the flat top grill. It took a few tries, but I got it down!

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Did I mention we also had gluten free pancakes?

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They turned out really thick and fluffy. I ate a couple of the extras and I thought the texture was really nice, just like a normal, gluten-filled pancake. Yum.

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I couldn’t get out of the kitchen until the very end, and only got a couple shots…after most of the food was gone (the far table started out covered with platters of fruit).

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But I did manage to capture someone just about to enjoy his gluten free pancakes. A word of advice about shoes for something like this, though…

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These are my favorite shoes, but my feet are killing me! Probably better to wear flats next time. On the bright side,

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one of my friends donated the necklaces that were draped over the jewelry box and hanging from the jewelry holder at the fundraiser. I told her I had been admiring this necklace, and after the breakfast I found it hidden inside my purse! I’m trying to convince her to open an etsy shop : )

I’m very thankful for all the help I had with the fundraiser and breakfast. I have a lot of great ladies in my life!