Getting ready for the Manassas Farmer's Market. Last week I sold out half way through the market and spent the last 2 hours giving our samples of product I promised to make more of next week. That was an unexpected situation! These markets will be much easier to manage when the Yum Truck is in daily operations and I have a couple of cooks helping me. But these early days are still so exciting. These are the days I will remember fondly.
On the other hand... I can't wait until the Yum Truck renovation is complete and I can cook on it. We are inching closer and closer to my dream mobile.
My new oven finally arrived and will be installed on Tuesday. Now just a bit more fundraising and quinoa cookie sales to get the $$$ for the solar panels, etc and we will be all set for the health inspection. That will be a wonderful day!
As for the BWWI office update: I have more exciting news to share. As bold as I thought my business concept was, it could have been more so. I am so glad that I started in an office building instead of buying a place. (Not that my non-profit could afford that just yet!) In the fall we will add another suite to our wellness center. This will allow us to offer individual and small group counseling, a physical healing space and educational workshops. So far, it looks like our team will have:
Manual Physical Therapy
Private Yoga and Streatch
Reiki and Spiritual Energy Giedance
So, my days are spent begging my chef friends to let me use their kitchens, hyper focusing on the Yum Truck, hanging curtains at the BWWI center... and dreaming up wellness programs for our future.
Getting ready to leave for the downtown Manassas farmer's market.
My first time driving the food truck on a highway. A 1988 Chevy step van,,, I am not sure it will go above 45 mph. I may be that annoying driver in the far right lane with my flashers on!
Update at 10:30 PM: The Yum Truck did great on the highway. WHEW! That was a relief. Then I had a blast at the downtown Manassas farmer's market! Had lots of fun teaching while I ran my table. Sold out of everything but a few bags of granola. I promised everyone that we will do a rice festival next week. What fun! But now I am ready to drop on my face...
Meanwhile, at home Zander was playing with the neighborhood kids. All in all, a fun and health filled afternoon for both of us!
I had a blast at the Smart Market Reston Farmer's Market. Brought my grill and did a few quick cooking classes. Giave away LOADS of samples to happy-hungry customers!
It was so much fun! I was swamped... with people happily enjoying the free samples and asking questions about what I was cooking. We will be at the Manassas Park farmers market this Friday, 3 - 7 PM. It will be my first time taking the truck on the highway!
9:41 PM. I have been cooking since 7:30 this morning. Tomorrow is the big day. Chef Bon's Yum Truck will make it's debut at the Smart Markets Reston farmer's market
. Then on Friday I will bring the Yum Truck to the Manassas market. I feel so unprepared! No worries. I made a ton of food and will give most of it away for anyone who wants to taste the goodness.But still...
I am nervous and excited! I still have a million things to do, but I am wiped. Time for sleep. Once again I wish I had a business partner... but 24 hours from now I will be glad again for my lone wolf attitude!
But for now, it is sleep time. Sweet dreams to all of you! ♥
Today Zander and I will spend a few pleasant hours at the Be Fit McLean Outdoor Expo sponsored by the McLean Community Center. I have presented at this event in the past, teaching healthful cooking classes and the like. This year, Z & I are happy event guests. I will make sure the Yum Truck makes the expo next year.
If you are in or near McLean today, do yourself a favor and swing on by. I hope we see you there!
What a treat! I was shopping at MOM's when I saw some of their fab whole grained bread being sampled with these two lovelies. FYI: Trickling Springs Creamery has been one of my favorite dairy farms for well over a decade. Of course we all know how delectably tempting Earth Balance's dairy alternative products are! To see these fantastic options side by side was a beautiful moment. There were other samples, like Heini's Amish cheese (sooooo good!).
For those of you who are have not tried coconut alternatives to dairy, you need to check it out! There are coconut ice creams, water, beverages, oil, butter, shreds & flakes, chips, etc... I use coconut butter in my gluten free baking. It adds a luxurious creaminess that regular butter can't meet. My Kefir Probiotic Water recipe also has Young Coconut Water for the base.
As you can tell, I am nuts for coconuts!
Last night I had the most extraordinary experience. I picked up my parents at National Airport when I noticed an elderly gentleman struggle to get his 2 suitcases onto the escalator. As he pushed one onto the step above him and pulled one onto the step behind, he miscalculated the change in distance as the steps rose up from the flat entrance. Soon he wobbled then fell backwards. Luckily he hit his head on his luggage instead of the metal teeth on the edge of the step. Then he continued with a backward somersault. By this time, I had thrown my purse & jacket down and raced across the lobby and up the escalator. I managed to swoop in under him and catch the gentleman before he fell further. I helped him to stand and supported him while pulling his luggage until we were away from the escalator. My dad joined us and stayed with him while I went back to help my mom with their luggage. Thankfully, my parents had picked up my belongings before some stranger did.
The 4 of us chatted a bit while we calmed down and caught our breath and went on to our divergent destinations. It was lucky that the gentleman was unharmed. After we parted, I realized I didn't get his name. Not that it was expected in this sort of situation. I was so glad that he was OK, and also glad that I was there when he needed someone.
Today was so much fun. I was invited to give a luncheon presentation to the McLean Rotary Club. Aside from the fact that I love being fed, especially when the meal is as good as today's was, catered by the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Then I spoke on my favorite subject - how we digest food and easy tricks to manage a healthy diet within your every day life. I brought in some gluten free brownies (made with black beans) and the caterer added them to the dessert platter. While I was answering questions, someone asked "But can you bake gluten free brownies as good as this one?" That's when I realized I had forgotten to tell them about the brownies. Everyone hooted when I let them in on the unintended secret. I had given out copies of the recipe, and suddenly everyone was a whole lot more interested in reading it.
Tonight Zander and I are attending "Leave No Trace" workshop, to strengthen our skills with unobtrusive wilderness camping. We recently attended a wilderness survival course and now know what to do if things go wrong, if the weather turns on us, or if first aid is needed. Tonight we will learn how to do all of that and take our trash home as well!
I hope that you all are enjoying an equally festive day!
Sorry to have been gone for so long. This has been a year to give me great empathy with all my clients. After an amazing summer of camping and hiking all along the Eastern Seaboard with Zander, we returned to DC in mid August. 3 days later, Z & I spent a hot and rainy day visiting one air conditioned museum after another. Not surprisingly, I caught one heck of a case of pneumonia and encephalitis. Two months later I crawled out of bed rest. Six months later, my brain finally started to work again. I am still calling people by the wrong name and getting sentences jumbled up, but my doctor and I expect a full recovery within a few more months.
So between being a single mom, my job as Associate General Manager for Dining Services at University of Maryland, the constant headaches and the massive amount of sleep I needed... BWWI had to be set aside while I regained myself.
Refreshed and recharged, I am back with my favorite organization! More exciting news: We are setting up a new office at:
Bonita Woods Wellness Institute
140 Little Falls Street, Suite 110
Falls Church, VA 22046
So far, we have myself and an amazing massage therapist. We are looking for a few more wellness and nutrition counselors (and maybe a life coach) to complete our group. I will post picts as soon as we finish moving in and unpacking. I have to tell you, after several years of running BWWI from my dining room table, this is so exciting for me. It is even more exciting for Zander, who has had to share his home with my office and a large pile of commercial kitchen equipment & supplies.
The second bit of good (I mean GREAT) news is that we have a food truck! It is old (1988 Chevy step van), but the renovation is almost complete. We are changing it from a kabob & gyro grill truck to Chef Bon's Yum Truck, a mobile gluten free bakery and educational kitchen. After 35 years of working in kitchens that stay put, this is an interesting commercial evolution for me.
I spent the last 2 1/2 years developing and testing gluten free recipes, designing packaging and labels. Our plan is that most of our gluten free baked goods will be sold as wholesale pre-pack to local grocery stores and wholesale bulk pack to cafes and caterers. Of course, we will also operate as a classic food truck, selling though the window. You can check out our calendar to see where we are and peruse our menu. We will also teach parking lot/roadside healthful cooking classes.
Over the next month, our calendar will fill up. The Yum Truck will be at farmer's markets, wellness centers and hospitals, garden centers, and during weekday lunch time, at a local parking lot with a bunch of other food trucks. After so many years of planning, testing, organizing and fund raising, then capped off with the regaining of my health, this is a truly exciting stage for us to come to. I am so glad that all of you will be there to explore it with us
A 3 day drive took us from lovely Maine back to the Shenandoah Mountains near Blacksburg, VA. While I help the Camp Powhatan food service team design an amazing meal program for next year, Zander is taking more merit badge classes. He is very busy with water sports (including lots of fishing & canoeing), nature studies, wood carving and astronomy. The night skies here are brilliant with stars, including the shooting variety!
We will be back home next week, thus ending our month of camping along the Eastern Seaboard. See you all then!