Vani Devi Dasi remembers…
“At six years old it can be hard to appreciate what goes on around you, yet I remember quite clearly. I was asked to ‘assist’ Auntie Yamuna in the kitchen for a raw feast she was preparing—stuffed red peppers with a mock cream cheese filling, various types of raw soaked rice salads, a raw pie topped with beautiful light and fluffy whipped macadamia cream, and various other preparations, each unique in flavor, color and ingredients. It was my first experience being utterly fascinated by what you could prepare with food. Every movement, smell and texture was all new and exciting. The way Auntie Yamuna engaged me and explained to me and took care to teach me made it a completely unforgettable experience. From that day on she inspired a spark inside of me to continue to learn to cook and feed the Vaisnavas. She didn’t just create delicious prasadam, though; she taught cleanliness, Srila Prabhupada’s standard, and she showed by her example how not to waste any part of Krishna’s creations. As I went to throw away the pepper seeds, she stopped me and excitedly explained how if I let them dry for a while I could plant them and grow more peppers.
Immediately I proceeded to follow her instructions and was eager to learn more. She named me "seed saver,” and I felt proud to do a part and re-grow the peppers. She made every aspect of cooking and all that it could entail possible and exciting. Sure enough, in time, a beautiful pepper plant grew, and I picked my first pepper with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that it was possible for a little six-year-old girl to grow peppers for Krishna.“