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I found a growing kernel of corn peeking up from the moldy dishcloth that holds my drying rack in place.  A perfectly healthy and strong shoot hiding out just behind the glasses and bowls… I seriously thought I’d just dropped a scallion back there and for a few days I didn’t look twice at it.  A scallion!  Even though last time I checked scallions didn’t grow straight up and greener every day, 8, 9, 10 inches higher………  I hope it transplants to a real planter okay.  
Why is mold so awesome to me?  It’s so unpredictable and almost never makes me sick.  In the beginning stages it can just indicate pretty accurately how your produce is doing, or your planting soil, or your pita bread, or your… dishcloth.  So alive, and a little bit fuzzy, much like tarantulas!

Maybe it’s because looking at a patch of rot makes it easy to imagine the micro universe in a real way.  It’s like a magnifying glass on what’s really no worse for being visible, all these microbes and cultures and things.  Something vital… something just a little bit gross.  And real!  Pineapples taste best of all when they’re starting to ferment and the flesh tickles the tongue with a bit of carbonation…. there wouldn’t be mushrooms without fungi.  Kimchee and kombucha and natto and beer!
I’m allergic to penicillin.  
Maybe… the ability to placidly accept the appearance of white fuzz on your food supply will be a deciding factor in determining who survives longest when the world changes forever.  :O
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apple sprout!
Every so often (in fact, very often), on those days I have left my apartment with a slog in my step or even just no specific inspiration for the day to come except possibly another coffee and another ride on the bus… I will check my little metal mailbox and see personal mail inside.  And instantly I’m five and it’s my birthday and I’m grinning cheekily and cracking open a pretty envelope and the day is, so to speak, saved.  Needless to say I was happy to see my copy of Swell Vegan’s cookzine last week!  It’s beautiful, first of all – the covers are home-silkscreened in a burnished gold on creamy green card – and inside are 15 absolutely enticing recipes.  I’ve already tested a spare few (the Maple Mustard Chili Tofu, Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, and OH the Sweet Potato-Cranberry Scones with that gooey maple glaze!) and been really impressed each time.  The recipes are easy and vibrant, definitely on the healthy side and did I mention delicious?  The only thing I’ve made since getting my copy is Sarah’s Savory Baked Tofu, but of course that was perfect too, even when I just eyeballed the measurements to make a 1/3 recipe.  I actually really like the way A-K’s food tastes, there’s something really great about it.  
some past swell food…

Sweet Potato-Cranberry Scones – as WannabeVegan mentioned, these are worth the price of admission, I’m 100% serious about this.  Consider the price of a huge batch of the best scones you’ve ever eaten, then factor in being able to make them again and again each fall (or anytime), plus a few tempeh recipes and that just makes sense, doesn’t it?

Maple-Mustard-Chili Tofu – this recipe keeps wanting to be made and then I remember I don’t have maple syrup and then I am sad, because the maple flavour is vital and really delicious.  The salad underneath it was weird (artichokes and grapes, huh past self?  WEIRD!!) but that tofu was addictive.

And the first thing I tested were the Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, which are a combination of some of my favourite things ever (almond butter, leeks, millet and sweet patats), in a more-ish kind of spicy burger.  You gotta eat these fresh, they crumble in the freezer (unless the recipe has changed, and A-K you can correct me if I’m steering anyone wrong here?), but they then turn into taco salad crumbles.  So not bad!

The latest dish!  Sarah’s Baked Tofu on some rice & millet, steamed vegetables, and a lemon-y sesame-thai dressing from the Millenium Cookbook that livened up broccoli like crazy. (It’s the dressing from the Chilled Soba Salad if anyone’s wondering).  Straightforward looking, but take a bite from this and it’s got zingy depth.  Serve it to omnis.  Mention whole grains and steamed veg and lean protein and then let them try it and giggle when they go all “ohhhh.  Wait, this is good!”  At least, that’s my secret plan.  Swell will be my secret recipe weapon, I’ve got the Mole Roasted Cauliflower on the mind to make next. 

Oh, and I made the Lemon Zucchini Bread and the batter was great and then the most disastrous thing happened ever.  My oven had the audacity that afternoon to turn into a dehydrator, resulting in the most depressing baked thing I’ve ever had the misfortune of creating.  It turned this beautiful lemony-sweet cake batter into a block of chewy (albeit tasty) crust with raw lukewarm uncooked battergoo inside.  I weep tears.  No, actually, I threw it out.  And I NEVER do that.  So um… word to the wise, before risking a lemon zucchini bread make sure your oven works, or else microwave yourself an end piece and put enough Earth Balance on it so you don’t notice you’re eating liquid cake… errr. yeah.
That’s a horrible way to end a supportive post!  But it happened.  It’s my funny story.  :)
PS: A-K you rock!

I’m so bad… I have been all but absent from the blogging world for a long time, I know… art has been taking up a lot of my creative attention these days. It’s been oatmeal/miso/salad forever (and I don’t mind, it’s just not worthy of post). I will try, though – I took down my Veganmofo banner thinking I wouldn’t have the time… but you know what? I’m gonna *make* time. I will even get around to all of your blogs, because I know you’ve been doing incredible things that I will be sorely tempted to make but won’t have time for… but isn’t that the way of inspiring food? :D

So yeah… there were actually two dinners of total note in the past few weeks. We made the most perfect chili dinner EVER, I mean, it was off the hook. The chili was spicy chipotle-chocolate with shrooms, corn, peppers, tvp and 4 kinds of beans and it did that… um… chili-thing, where the texture is kinda like… kinda thick and sticky. In the best way!
(there was even red rice and super garlicky sour cream, meaning that Liz swirled her whole plate together like one giant steaming burrito and proceeded to cry little pearly tears of “OMG vegans eat SO WELL!”).

We even fried something! Lots of somethings, meaning corn chips. In heart shapes (and moon shapes, and snowflakes and each of our names, but mostly hearts because being twee is cool again, I swear.)

All right, dinner number two… pagan thanksgiving! Or autumn equinox if you prefer. It’s the time when the day and night are the exact same length, on September 22, and some like to celebrate with wine and apple desserts, and stories and tarot readings. (hint: we are those people)

Pomme cornbread of another flavour, this time with peppers and zucchini, because cornbread is basically the best accompaniment to everything. Including ice cream! …. okay, okay….. maybe not. But yummy with ratatouille, which we did have.

There it is! From Aux Vivres, actually, so basically super fatty and tasting kinda like gold. Along with couscous, steamed chard and veggies, and the most amazing sagey roasted veggies, it was easy pants to put together this dinner after work and still covered every “festive” base, I think.

And having an ugly apple pie for dessert doesn’t hurt that cause, either. Ugly and the best thing that ever happened to apples, that is.
(a mix of cortland, granny smith, macintosh and yellow delicous)

Oh right! And I almost forgot to mention! THAT is my harvest! My weeny teeny tomato harvest. Yep. And it was alllllll worth it. For serious, for true – being able to look outside of my 4th story window to a fire escape full of fragrant vines was the real benefit to this whole endeavour. They’re just really cute, tart, perky symbols of urban defiance, woohoo!

It’s interesting these sayings one hears and doesn’t think about, like “cheap as dirt”. Yes, apparently dirt is very very cheap! Shows me. I picked up a ginormous bag yesterday and lovingly transferred my slightly cramped tomato plants to their rightful places in separate pots. They’re so beautiful, and not even so stunted for a few mishaps along the way (icy cold nights with the window accidentally open, and Satchmo deciding to munch on a few of them, ack). I’ve never grown things before, but I hope I get tomatoes by the end of the season. At the very least they make the apartment look great!

So that was the living part. The LEARNING part is hoboy, I should listen when a cookbook author describes something as a warming defense against winter weather, and possibly not make that on a gorgeous sunny evening. I mean, it used up all these mysterious odds and ends of things I had, and I tallied the total cost of this meal to be pennies (so really nothing lost), but I just wasn’t in the mood for braised seitan with chicory and brussel sprouts. The broccoli polenta was awesome, though. Thank goodness for freezers, maybe there’ll be a cold night later on.

And this isn’t living nor learning, but actually the exciting lead-up to what has immediately become my new obsessively favourite dessert thing ever —

Banana chocolate chip bread pudding! Oh yes, oh yes yes yes. Feel the mapley cinnamony soft deliciousness through the computer screen? I hope so, I would devise a device to do so if I could, forget wonka bars through the television, I wanna make bread pudding for everybody.

Seriously, I’m completely gah gah for this, I’ve had it for lunch for the past three days (with, you know, some bean salad so I don’t drop dead of malnutrition). Thumbs up again, Vcon!

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)
determined
idiosyncratic
thoughtful
idealistic
tough

Neat! Okay now I tag… Sugar Shock, Damzlfly, Tropical Vegan, Ruby Red Vegan, & Vegan Eats and Treats to do the same thing.

I’ll level will you guys – I am not a friday go-er out-er. I dunno, just doesn’t happen! Mind you, mondays and wednesdays and the occasional sat. will find me sloshed or at least pretending to be witty since that’s when my favourite people have their days off work. But yeah, that’s why I’m posting about beans on a friday night, for the record, no I’m not self-conscious about it!! (ha ha, maybe). I usually make a special dinner and I watch a movie or read experimental lit, drink insane amounts of tea…. post on my blog. The usual stuff. Listen to the hotspot greek restaurant next to my building entertain scads and hordes of polished, smoking merry people peruse their fish and block traffic whilst wearing crazy things like high heels and 3-piece suits. Which is legitimately entertaining, and I’ll probably miss the noise real bad when I move. I also avoid doing schoolwork and awkwardly segue into botany with no warning at all….

My tomato sprouts grewed! This is so so so revolutionary since every plant I’ve ever had has died a horrible shrivelled death, and I’ve harboured fantasies of a fire escape garden since the day I got one. A fire escape, that is. It’s gonna rule so bad! I love these guys and I’ve added them to the morning routine, getting water right after Satchmo-cat does. I know they’re a little crowded, but I’m gonna wait for some ‘true’ leaves before I try to transplant them. Whatever ‘true’ leaves are. I read that somewhere. Anyway, I love my sprouts, they’re so awesome. They’re gonna have radish, green bean, spinach, carrot and parsnip friends, too, and there are some herb seeds next to the radiator just waiting to unfurl their fineness and be all like, “hello! I’m fragrant! yay!”

Oh boy, I’m a nerd. XD

Lunchtime, and there was some crazy voodoo going on with this soup, by the way. I’ve made black bean soup before (okay, it’s been a while), and maybe it was because this time I saved every last drop of luscious bean-gravy that I could – I used half home-cooked beans that I had in the fridge already (plus liquid), and half canned stuff (plus liquid!) but the velvet awesome that this became… hoboy. I just shovelled and felt loved from the inside by thousands of thick happy beans. Does that sound weird? Oh V-con, the things you make me think….

I don’t really want to wonder why this happened. Is it natural? Is it hormones? Are a secret race of frankenberries (hey, wait a second…) gonna rise up out of their plastic boxes and start absorbing nearby fruit around to become MEGABERRIES??????

Only my generous grocer will know, I guess. He was selling these for 80 cents a lb. I know! SO making a pie, maybe kittee’s pie, which I’ve wanted for my ownsome since I saw it last summer. (either that or just buy box upon box of strawberries and eat them like it’s going out of style, which is pretty much what I’ve been doing)

And this is an old photo, but to be fair I did finish these tonight so I guess it belongs in a post about friday eatings, right? Yeah, so leftover pickle juice… if you boil cut up vegetables in it until they’re tender and then drop everything back in the jar you get badass custom pickles. Which I eat slathered in harissa, it’s like reaching in the fridge for a stick of dynamite. :D

And super healthy soup for lunch requires some balance, ne? I had apples to use up. I like crisp (actually of all desserts this IS my youth). So I made crisp for dinner. I tried to not use so much sugar, but the candied ginger really wanted to join the party, and if I was making this for company I probably would have tripled the amount it was so good in there. The apples could have been tarter, but hey, that’s what I had, and I don’t think the mushy Macs had ever received better treatment than being baked up with almonds and cinnamon and looooove, nope.

*cue the greeks shouting opa! from downstairs*

Yay friday. XD

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