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I’m going camping in a few days. Camping at the Sumkidz Om festival for a week of community-building discussions, burlesque workshops, art jams, fire spinning, gigantic Ontarian skeeters, the smell of fresh woods, and hopefully spending a good chunk of my time in the free open-air volunteer kitchen that they have every year. Open-air and vegan, even. There’s a special meal planned for the full moon on wednesday, and the annual 1000-garlic clove firey Shanger Sauce for friday! Not to mention the actual solstice night meal… I’m pretty excited. The food runs entirely on donations by festival goers, so amidst mountains of oranges and potatoes there are always some crazy treasures like chia seeds and galangal and ume vinegar that get used in the most tasty of ways. The salads alone are a touch of exquisite!
I even made some homemade larabars to take with me for tent-munching, aren’t they adorable? :D
I can’t wait to get out of this city and get rid of a few of my less-useful ideas about the world to make a fresh clean start in the second half of the year. And I’ll for certain have copious feast photos and a few more culinary tricks up my sleeve when I get back around the 24th!
One last thing I have to post about is this beautiful burrito picnic we had a few nights ago to say goodbye to the city. Except for the chips, everything was homemade, even the whole wheat flax tortillas. The salsa was piquant and freshilicious, there was creamy cheesy cashew dip, the best guacamole I’ve ever had, refried black beans I would give my eye-teeth to get the recipe for, rice, lettuce, cilantro, lime, and little purple plums for dessert. Like kings we ate, and played guitar, and watched the park get soft and dusky to the sound of a raining fountain, bellies full of cumin and feeling no lack for anything, at least on that night.
Back in ten days!
Yep, those are jackfruit carnitas taco-deliverers of spicy delish! This is all part of my grand master plan to celebrate all and every holiday that means I get to eat party food on a monday night. And thank you Melisser for the recipe!
Oh, and it really is cause for celebration, since I got these wonderful things in the mail a few days ago – JCD’s More Than Twigs & Berries zine, which is full of recipes I can’t wait to try out, like soup with homemade noodles, nanaimo bars and peanut butter banana muffins! And my first postcard in the ppk mail-art swap came! (thanks Pixel!)
I love getting things in the mail… in fact so much that my local postage-guy (who curiously works every single day, all day) seems more than a little amused every time I walk up to the counter with yet more mysterious and brightly-stickered/doodled packages and letters… postage is like a treasure system, really.
(oh, and the zine is crinkled like that cause I’ve already cooked with it :)
I lost my camera last night! *sob* *wail* *gnashing of teeth* ….. *more sob*
There were a couple tears… but I definitely learned a lesson in there somewhere about scatterbrains, expensive toys, and wild nights on the town not mixing so well. Sigh… this is the last batch of beautiful food pictures, and then it’s back to macbook camera for a while….
*okay, one more sob* ;_______________;
Now on with the food:
I’m trying to press and marinate my tofu more, cause I squish it up into mash a LOT, and eating it like this is probably a good exercise in patience and, uh…. planning. Plus chewy chunks of ‘fu are the building blocks of life, or at least a dinner that resembles something you might want to throw some candlelight over. Or something. Anyway, it was yummy, and completely encrusted with sesames, totally worth the trouble. (with roasted eggplant and zuke on bass, lemon quinoa doing drums and glockenspiel)
Little mini enchilada casserole, with refried pintos, avocado chunks, salsa all over, diy-pitted black olives, and lots of Vcon cheezy sauce with green chiles in it for kicks. Also some tabasco was thrown around and appropriately enough there were corn tortillas involved. SO. FORKING. GOOD. msnarf and such.
I loves coleslaw so much… I’ll probably make my way through every major variety before the summer’s out. This one is kind of curry-based, with toasted mustard seeds, red chiles, cumin, wonderful long green raisins, thin-sliced green beans (to use up 4 green beans I had) that look PRECISELY like long green raisins (ha!) and almonds and stuff. I think I hit that sweet spot of coleslaw where all of a sudden it starts tasting like piquant juiciness and you want morrrre, which is okay, cause it’s good for you.
EDIT: I found out the raisins are an Iranian thing, and they’re called Keshmesh in Farsi. They’re dried in the shade and aren’t treated with sulphur so they’re much more fruity and less sweet than the regular kind. This page describes them SO much better, though —
“Highly concentrated, like all dried fruits, keshmesh strike the palate with a trinity of flavors; pineapple, lemon and a nutmeg-tinged green apple to be precise. Even the sound they make when poured into a dish draws the attention as they delicately ping against the bowl like small hollow stones…” – Glass Petal Smoke
And finally, I can’t recommend the Vcon tomato rice soup enough – I like, never (hardly ever) remake recipes in the interest of trying new things, but this soup has officially entered Rotation. I’m such a tomato-soup head, and this is basically what my belly wants when I start craving the red stuff (plus it’s way more healthier than tinned goop <– bonus!). And the moon biscuits? Well… I tried to quarter a biscuit recipe and only halved the amount of margarine, sooooo…. they didn't need extra EB slathering, I can tell you that. Good, though! I eated up every melt-in-your-mouth crumb with gusto. Now I go make myself chocolatey chocoblock chewy-choc cookies to make up for being such a stupid last night, or at the very least watch Nigella do the same thing, which is almost as good, and just eat a brick of Lindt. yay.
There’s bad news, though. See… I think I have two enemies in the kitchen. Or at least, two things are making themselves apparent as factors I need to watch out for. The first of these is vegetable stock cubes/overly salty broth, which just seems to stomp all over any delicate flavour in it’s path (I sincerely don’t know why I even have that box in my cupboard!!). And the second is impatience.
Two cases in point: I come home last night to see my innocent little crock of very recently born sourdough starter just LAVA-ing all over the top of the coffee maker. How very exciting, I figured – it was ready! At the very least it was about 3 times the size it used to be and smelling really nice and making a respectable yeasty mess of my kitchen, so I threw together a sponge for rye bread and went to bed. Then this morning I made the rye bread, which rose not at all and came out of the oven as dense as a log (despite smelling great). Completely inedible. I had a piece and I felt like I ate a rock! I hate wasting food so I’m going to have a supply of caraway breadcrumbs pretty soon, but I’ve never had bread turn out so badly! *sniff*
(note to self: sourdough starter is ready when a white foam shows up. no sooner, silly girl!)
My other enemy, salty broth, reared it’s ugly head for what I thought would be a lovely counterpart to fresh caraway-rye bread – the Tomato Dill Lentil soup from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. First off I threw in more broth than the recipe called for, to use it up. Then I had to substitute a bunch of stuff – dried dill for the dill seeds, brown sugar for molasses, dijon mustard for mustard powder, etc – and maybe after all that I was silly to expect perfection, but it came out really heavy. I had to water it down a TON, and the flavour was good, it just didn’t have a fresh tomato and dill kind of thing going on, so that was sad.
On the plus side, I made fajita-y type things the other night with refrieds, peppers, onions and sour tofu cream that were really excellent, and I’m closing with that so I don’t feel like a total complain-y susan. Yay mexican! At least I know there’s no such thing as too much hot sauce. :D