Food has been an inspiration and a passion of mine since childhood. One of my most magical childhood memories is that of my mom baking Easter bread aka Paska. The way she treated it like such a sacred ritual was so mesmerizing and mysterious to me. She would usually send us, kids, out to play, so the house was peaceful. She would clean the kitchen first, because “the outside reflects the inside”. She moved around the kitchen so effortlessly, quietly humming. Every ingredient she touched, she did so carefully, like it was a precious jewel. She kneaded the dough in such a gentle way. She graced the food with gratitude. And the best part that the bread tasted of love and nurture. My mom still says that cooking requires attention, patience and love. And I am still mesmerized by her presence in the kitchen.
It is no surprise I chose a path in life that involves cooking. Some of you may have heard the story of how Rawfully Delish was created, but what I don’t mention in that story is how inspired I was when the idea came to me, and how far I had to come for it to appear. You see, I was searching for IT. For about 6 months prior I was restless. I was earning for something. I wanted to create something. I could feel the idea slowly forming, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I believe the ideas don’t just appear from thin air. I think they already exist in the world. You connect the lines (events, people, messages) and those lines lead you to that idea. If you pay close attention, it is revealed to you.
In 2019, I temporarily lost my home to flood. I just got back from visiting my family in Ukraine over the holidays and walked into the house full of water! There was so much damage that I had to move out for 3 months. After sleeping on my friend’s couch for a while, I decided to go back home to Ukraine (again!). And that’s where it happened!
One day, my 6-year old nephew, who shares my love for sweets, and I went on a "food tour", hopping from one pastry shop to another, devouring pastries and sweets. In order to compensate for all the sugar we consumed, we walked to our next spot, sometimes couple miles away (have you ever walked far with a child?!). Exhausted from all the walking, coming off our sugar high, we stopped at one last place to have dinner. We had some nourishing food and decided to finish off with one more slice of cake. ;) That cake happened to be Avocado Lime. We both loved it so much, we ordered another slice and some more to-go. Full disclosure: my nephew thought it was pistachio and I didn't wanna burst his bubble. The cake was light, refreshing and so delicious. And it made me feel whole! I was so impressed by the flavor and the texture of that dessert. I didn't feel guilty I ate two slices- I felt uplifted by the experience. That night, I went to bed inspired, with a stomach full of butterflies (or was it all the food?!). I could feel IT finally appearing. I felt the magical portal open and the ideas just came pouring into me- the desserts, their nature, their presentations, all the flavors, the textures, the taste! I imagined people gathered in a cute little cafe with greenery and sun, so much light, piano music in the background, and faces of people enjoying the desserts: lit up, happy, inspired… I wanted to create the delicious desserts, that were nutritious and good-for-you, but, most importantly, I wanted to convey those emotions I felt in that moment!
dictionary.com defines “joy” as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying". For me, Rawfully Delish dessert is joy, lovingly made to satisfy your cravings, to delight the senses, and to nourish your body, mind and soul!
Here is the picture of my nephew from that day. 😂
and one of him today with all the Paskas my mom made and he decorated :)