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Hey guys, check it out – ancient cookbook envelopes! You know the kind of cookbook that has the index with the illustrated alfalfa leaf and the recipes for brown rice pudding with apricot and kale and buckwheat egg-mash? Yeah, the kind that wouldn’t suffer much from being folded into something beautiful and useful, I think.
Oh, okay, just one more thing. A quick bottomless apple pie made with the crust from Fran Costigan’s More Great Good Desserts. Amazing! It’s made with frozen oil and it’s the flakiest darned thing I’ve ever managed to top a pie with! Really easy, too, and stood up to my adaptations (mostly spelt flour, some whiskey added). Makes me think I might master pies someday. I’m still no expert, but this one was getting close… the apples were just kissed with 5-spice powder, ooh. We drizzled it with coconut cream and it was very good.
So it’s been 10 days, and I was all going to post this picture and be like, “well, dinners like this are pretty much the reason I haven’t had anything blogworthy to mention all week. Simple and summery and involving a lot of corn, nothing terribly new.” But then I realized I was sitting on a whole bunch of pretty photos! (It’s funny, I also swear I’ve been living off of miso soup, but it’s so perfect for end-of-term eating – quick and cheap and energy-giving for late-night drawing sessions).
Okay, okay… so at the beginning of last week I thought I’d recreate that magically fermenting sesame slaw I made before, to much success. And I managed to get a photo of it before all the colours bled and muted out, too! (and like my new bowls? I so do!)
And Pomme surprised me with freaking spring rolls! It was in thanks for her birthday dinner, and they’re pretty much my favourite food ever, I ated so many of these it’s a wonder I didn’t roll around myself afterwards, but they were sooooo good, with mango and red pepper inside and peanut dipping sauce, egads. I even bought a thing of brown rice vermicelli to make them even healthier the next time I make them (and thus even more like a perfect food).
I love summer and farmers’ markets! A big basket of random sumptuous berry-things! Plus ground cherries, teeny grapes, figs, flowers and tart little red dots-on-the-vine, all for $5. I made the oatmeal of kings from this basket.
I also made pretty awesome vanilla-vanilla cupcakes for my drawing group, ’cause waking up early on saturday to go downtown and muck around with pencils is just that much more enjoyable with frosting. :)
I love how R on the left spontaneously drew a garden, with a mole in it and everything, and a Mr. Potato head! He couldn’t remember what radish leaves looked like, and I so knew exactly, having just eaten a salad of them the night before… so houray for the new kids knowing about their foodstuffs (there were discussions on the relative frumpiness of potato leaves and how appropriate that is to their taste, hehe).
And uh… I ran out of li hing mui yesterday, so I went to chinatown and picked some up for 85 cents….. and then totally couldn’t resist buying a wack more goodies, cause that place is pretty much like my idea of culinary disneyland. This was all under $20, too! Clockwise from the left is some wakame, black rice, abalone flavoured wheat gluten in a can (can’t wait to try that one!), yuba/dried tofu skin, cornstarch, brown rice vermicelli, regular rice vermicelli, mangoes, a mysterious package of some sort of pickled vegetable for 10 cents, wonton wrappers, assorted sesame/peanut/cashew brittles, sweet pickled radish, really cheap tofu, bean sprouts, and (of course!) the li hing mui that started this whole debacle.
I had to HAD TO experiment with that yuba, so stir fry it was, and WOW is all I can say – I love this stuff! It’s so chewy and soaks up sauce like a chewy soyfood of long-pantry life and pure awesome! And for the record… pickled turnips are delicious but pretty much 92% salt, so serve with caution (or at least a lot of water).
And is this related? Oh, I dunno. Girls and bugs living in symbiotic vegan harmony sounds okay to mention! And plus one-shot zines are super cute and everyone should try their hand at making one, be it full of manifestos, sketches, goth poetry, bread recipes, or like… everything in your apartment listed alphabetically.
That, plus walking around across the city and back all day today made me totally and completely go into SANDWICH MODE. Gallery-hopping is fun but hunger-inducing, and I even took some extra detours to get the perfect soft baguette-bread to make the Vcon cornmeal-crusted tofu Po’boy and it was SO worth it. What a perfect damn sandwich, I mean seriously. Dude. DUUUUUUDE. Anything involving chipotle mayo has to be good, but this was a major synthesis of happy components making perfect lunch science in my mouth. Making this again! With even more mayo! Bwahahahahaha. So evil, yet so delicious…
I also hope next week is similarly uneventful so I’ll have nothing to post about again.
I’m thinking of making bread with sprouted wheat berries soon!
Well, I’m back! I’ve scrubbed the dirt out of all my crevices, uploaded a billion gorgeous pictures of natural beauty and human wackiness, rubbed my belly after meal upon meal of delicious vegan forest food, and now I’m finally ready to get back to city life… and update my blog!
So this is the humble kitchen, rather unassuming by day (though inviting), and positively radiant by tiki torch at night. There was always fresh fruit and whole grain breads around, and a steaming gigantic decanter of yerba mate for the lacking-in-energy camper to drink copious amounts of (4 mugs a day, anyone?)
One afternoon Star and I even discovered sushi being made! Forest sushi! It took all of 3 seconds for her to jump into the kitch and start showing off her fantastic rolling skills. There was even apparently onigiri with pickled plum being made later, which I unfortunately missed, but still… that’s damn cool.
And here’s the bounty of fresh herbs and vegetation at the right of the kitchen, which gave the food this wonderful vitality. (note to self: donate something that is green and growing in a pot next year)
The tea tent! It was this dear little spot, glowing white and smelling of herbs/the always-lit iron stove that kept the kettle boiling outside. There were teas for everything — lung cleansing, ephedra-energizing if you wanted it, lucid dreaming, even getting in a sexy mood! With agave nectar, fresh citrus to cut, ginger, books on herbs, and just a great atmosphere all around.
Okay, onto the plates. (every attempt I made to take night photos got thwarted, so none of the dinners got photographed, but rest assured they were pretty involved and distinctive and delicious, even moreso than the first two meals of the day. ah well.)
This was my first breakfast – note the conservative portions, before I realized I could totally take my fill from the table – morning quinoa with hempseeds, soaked/raw whole wheat granola, and spicy applesauce.
Oops – this is the one standout meal that sucked for me. 1 out of 21 ain’t too shabby at all, though! Another split pea dhal with much much less flavour, and saltless dry millet. Still – totally healthy.
Most colourfullest breakfast EVER, and it tasted even better than it looked! Tahini-dressed salad, quinoa with star anise and clove, apple chutney, pickled carrots, fruit salad with papaya, pineapple, watermelon, pear, orange and honeydew, and one of those awesome E-Balls.
And the last brekky – creamy rice pudding with apricots and sunflower seeds, sugarless (yet sweet) cocoa apple crumble/granola, a citrus-y salad, and a slice of dense rye with apple butter. Plus a view to totally die for…
More often than not, I skipped the smoky campfire scene and hiked a few minutes away to a secluded sunny rock with my meal to listen to mild ripples and rustling trees instead. You could have given me a half-eaten Boca burger in that setting and I would have been in foodie bliss anyway… but really, in conclusion, I got totally inspired by the spices and innovation that I saw at Om, and the dedication that the kitchen organizers had to keeping 500+ people fed and nourished all day, every day, for a whole week! For one – I’m gonna start respecting the “mere” salad a heck of a lot more, play with grains and seeds more, put tahini in more stuff (because tahini = AWESOME), and basically just focus on health and colour instead of rigidly following silly things like recipes all the time. I’ve even put it into practice at home, but that’ll have to wait for the next post. ;)
( Oh, and I wish I could have taken a picture of the meal that I helped prepare, it was my favourite of all the dinners (maybe I’m biased, but it WAS amazing). Just imagine saffron-coconut apple soup, fried bananas, truly spicy aloo gobi, and cardamom-almond rice. OMG. I weep for the lack of picture! :O )
So I was tagged again for the 5 Things meme, by Swell Vegan and Rabbit Food! Eep, I’m not sure what else there is to say about myself, unless we had a lovely beverage and a sunlit cafe to talk in for a while… I suppose the most important things about a person are those things they strive for, though, so I’ll list my top five upcoming projects.
1. A cookzine, finally! I can’t boast a lot of recipes, but those that I do have are special and fun, and it’s been too long since I’ve made a zine. I just need to come up with a name first, and then all the cutting and pasting will follow after. It’ll probably be decorated to the nines. :D
2. I saw Rachel Brice on tv recently and fell in love. At least with the concept of tribal bellydance. It’s almost like how I dance anyway, but I’m really interested in adding some real structure and tradition into my own thing. I’ve already found some instructional videos on Youtube and I can make my belly swim like a snake! (this also has the added bonus of increased ab-strength, which just makes life easier in general). Not to mention I get to make a similarly decked-out costume for the next solstice festival I go to!
3. The etsy store, but I’ve already mentioned that! I went to the bank yesterday to find out why I have a Visa account but no card yet. They didn’t know, and advised me to call Visa themselves, but I AM taking steps toward this!
4. Finish the final and fifth installment in my Treehead painting series. I got an A on the four I have so far, but I want to make a fifth on my own time and see if maybe a bar or small cafe around the city would want to put them on the walls for a bit. Five is a good number for an art proposal, I think.
5. Start volunteering at the Santropol community garden. I couldn’t schedule it in between classes last fall, but I can do it now, and I want to learn everything about growing things. Also, keep nurturing my tomato plants into strength – I hope I can transfer them soon. (and my herbs are starting to smell like herbs, which is such a thrill!)
And one thing I CAN cross off the list? I finally got Satchmo fixed, and she is so relieved and relaxed now, stretching out her funny little shaved belly! I’m pretty relieved, too. The summer should go by a lot easier now.
Love Like a Vegan also tagged me to post 6 words that describe myself, and I could save everyone a lot of time and say paradoxiquacious, but I can use english, too. :D
serious (no really, it’s true)
I love end of term. I love the delirium, and the not-sleeping, and the out-and-out stress of it all. No, actually I hate all those things, but I DO love how productive I get in all other areas that aren’t school. I made a bunny! It’s for my sister, and I’m seriously considering starting an Etsy shop (even though that would mean getting a – *shudder* – credit card). I could see myself sewing on summer afternoons on a regular basis, plus I’d get to make adorable things all the time. Also, supplemental income – always nice. (she’s wearing an apron which makes her OK for a food blog, btw ;)
Onto the white beans! What better than Vcon pasta fazooool to throw together in less than 15 minutes so I can pretend my priorities lie with paper-writing and not in the kitchen? Nothing, it’s totally the best thing! I liked this a lot, though the inclusion of beans in anything pretty much guarantees I’ll be nuts for it. And I totally stand by eating this on spaghetti, it ups the challenge factor, and you can’t slurp tiny pastas as far as I know. (at least, not with the modicum of neanderthal grace I allow myself when I’m snarfing noodles alone, ha!)
And yummy lunch today was Vcon hot-sauce glazed tofu, baked sweet potato and really really cheater baked beans (white beans + bbq sauce). More than enough fuel to proofread. And not get distracted by Harvest Moon. With any luck! Course, I am stuffed and groggy now and could use some time attempting to woo the bartender’s daughter, hee hee. I’m so responsible. :)
(as for the tofu, it was spooky – I could almost sense the tempeh in the store calling out for this marinade, insisting that tofu was way better suited to more delicate things. I only vaguely recall what tempeh even tastes/feels like, but I’m pretty sure it would rock so much more than the ‘fu here. That said I was practically sipping the leftover glaze!)
It’s friday again! woooooo!
In recent news, I’ve finally started talking on the ppk (I am upforair, hear me spod!), and I’ve also been tagged again to reveal 5 things about myself – by S. of The Student Stomach, AND Chelsea from No Whey Jose!, and apparently there’s no insisting that I’ve already done this, oh no – I must bore you once more with the randomest of random me-facts that I can think of. The meme is cumulative! And so I list…
1. I used to have dreads until pretty recently. Loooooooong dreads. (about six years of growth maybe?)
2. As a kid I would eat ANYTHING if it was chocolate. Baking chocolate, waxy wedding favours hidden in the closet, smarties that were most definitely rancid, leftover dried up frosting, and yes, even easter eggs….
3. I like to go to summer festivals in the woods, and camp, and make vegan food, and dance to psy-trance music. The OM reunion festival especially.
4. My favourite band is Depeche Mode. (I’m aware of how awful that is)
5. I’m currently trying to quit smoking – I smoked half a pack a day for 7 years, but I’ve cut it down to 3 or 4 a day in the last few months. The only problem is stopping entirely, ’cause every time I try I get insomnia so bad I sleep maybe an hour a night. :/
6. I wanna be famous. For art! I used to stress over what direction my life should take (art or food? ART OR FOOD, WOMAN?!). But now I hardly think it matters. Hell, if I work in a bakery to pay the rent and keep my art a pure and personal thing, that’s just great with me!
7. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.
8. I’m currently debating moving out of my 2-bedroom to live in a 20-person coop downtown. They dumpster dive, make collective vegan meals, run workshops, have a bike room, compost room, dj booth, library, meditation wing……. I dunno. Maybe. It’s all pretty inspiring, but I’d have to leave Satchmo-cat behind…. and I’ve been known to REALLY like my alone time. We’ll see.
9. My sister and I burst into song pretty constantly. Our favourite is rambling off all the lyrics to REMs “it’s the end of the world as we know it” while not breaking a sweat. :)
10. I’ve never tried vegan cheese!
Whew! Okay, that was fun. Now I suppose I must taggggg… Stonielove, Comfort Food Vegan, Seitan Is My Motor, Rural Vegan, VeganCowGirl, To Live and Eat in LA, rocket ship go!, Hugger Food, Bigmouth Strikes Again, Vegan Deliciousness, and ummm… has anyone tagged Cakespy yet? If I oopsed and any of you guys have already done this, well guess what, you have to do it again just like I did! It’s the neverending internet meme of better acquaintance!! (“noooooooo!”, she says dramatically)
Er right, sorry. I made Susan’s tofu quiches too, but I’ll wait for tomorrow to take sunlit pictures. They were so quichey!
Thank you so much to Veggie from the So What Do Vegetarians Eat Anyway blog for giving me a blogging award of excellence! Her blog is quite excellent as well and she’s a fellow Ontarian, too! I’ll do my best to not post when I’m tired and cranky and hopefully live up the that pretty little Jpeg of awesome. ;) As for passing this along, I’ll send it to Vegetalion, Dabbles with Apples, Tofu For Two, The Metal Femme’s Vegan Living, and Don’t Lose Your Lunch!, even though there are SO many others that deserve it, these are the first 5 that come to mind.
And sweetie Lori of Pleasantly Plump Vegan has tagged me to reveal 5 facts about myself, which I hope I can manage without going off of a bunch of tangents! Ha ha, anyway, here goes:
2. I’m a super geek – comics, anime, sci-fi, fantasy rpgs, video games, you name it, I probably have some history of obsession with it. Especially Final Fantasy and the Chrono series, and wacky shows like FLCL and Haibane Renmai. I also have a black/blue Magic card deck that could probably smoke your artifact-deck to little pieces. :D
3. Both my parents are from B.C., and I think I have a bit of a west coast accent, at least I drawl out my short A’s sometimes, especially if I’m feeling lazy.
4. My favourite colour is red.
(Incidentally I’m addicted to hot sauce. I went through half a tube of harissa yesterday, just by squirting it on pickles as a snack! :P)
5. I hate sleep. I’m constantly sleep-deprived because I think staying in bed is SOOOOO boring. Eek, right?
(BONUS FACT, because it’s the most important thing about me and I forgot to mention it — I live and breathe food, it’s true, you know that. But to give some sort of perspective, my mind is actually divided 44%/60%/6% – Food, Art, and Not Tripping Over Stuff. For the record. :D)
So that’s five (or more) random things about me. And now I’m passing this on to….. , Vegan Soul Power, Adventures in Vegan Cooking, Bitchin’ Vegan Kitchen, Epicurvegan, and Half Baked Vegan. Yay for getting to know everyone better!
And just so this post isn’t entirely devoid of food, here’s the best video on Youtube, ever —-
Okay, seeing as people are getting into the nitty-gritty of their vegan ways, I guess I should follow suit. Plus, it’s excuse to post a sketch instead of my dinner. :p
I grew up in a very british-styled household, at least concerning food. My mother was the master of scalloped potatoes, pork chops, beef stews, rich cakes, yorkshire puddings, casseroles of every flavour, you name it. I don’t think I ever really took to it (except maybe the potatoes), so when we eventually started living in a communal household with some hippies and midwives and professors and nerds, all of a sudden food came alive. Every night all 11+ of us (plus a rotating roster of semi-permanent and always welcome houseguests) would sit down at this HUGE round oak table they’d gotten in the Phillipines to a spread that just filled the senses with it’s love and variety and interest. I don’t think we could do a meal without having at least 7 or 8 various optional dishes; tapenades, marinated seasonal vegetables, dips and spreads, homemade breads, always a soup, and always a gigantic salad bowl with greens from the garden and a homemade vinaigrette or two on the side.
So I kind of fell in love with food there, and was vegetarian pretty much the moment I stepped in the door. That was at twelve or so, and then at sixteen I decided to climb the horse and go all the way vegan! I made it a year, and I’ll be honest – I couldn’t let go of Sour Skittles completely, and my nutrition was probably lacking around the edges. But it felt really really right.
After that year passed I got busy. School got hard, I think I accidentally ate a slice of pizza, and veganism was shelved for a long long time. And it always kind of tickled the back of my mind, like I was really only eating yogurt and eggs because they were cheap and healthy and not because I really enjoyed them. So I was thrilled when I realized this summer that YES I have time to soak beans again and YES I have a few extra bucks to spend on supplements, and I CAN BE VEGAN AGAIN (thank all that is soaked in tamari!).
So yeah, it really comes down to, this is who I am, this is how I like to eat. I love animals and I’m vehemently against the farm industry, but I haven’t seen Earthlings or any of those movies and don’t really care to. I’m just happy (and my soul rests a lot easier) knowing that my footprint is smaller for the way I choose to eat, and plus, food like this just tastes better, you know? :)
Edit: I saw Earthlings and it disturbed the bejeezus out of me, which is pretty much why I didn’t want to see it. hmm. Still glad it exists, though.
I also made a batch of Celine’s ww oatmeal bread which I’m eating right now with a bit of EB, and let me tell you, it’s delicious! I subbed 1/4 cup of the bread flour for 12 grain cereal mix, I left out 1 tbsp of margarine, and I didn’t have soy milk powder so I subbed 1/2 cup of the water for almond milk. The dough was really easy to work with, and the bread itself is so comforting and slightly sweet… perfect to give to my ailing roommate who just got sick. ;_; I totally recommend it, but as a novice-ish bread maker I noticed the oat flakes didn’t stick too well to the top even though I brushed the loaves with a bit of oil… is there something stickier but not-too-intrusive flavour-wise I could use? Not that it’s all lost, I’m gonna throw the toasty flakes into tomorrow’s oatmeal which should be interesting.
also, I’m a dreadfully austere person when it comes to fatty food – HOWEVER – because of the MoFo ima gonna make mac n cheese tomorrow!