Mid MoFo Jojo -vegan.in.brighton- posted about her cheese sandwich tasting party and used a term I hadn’t heard since I was a kid: Jaffle. I went up to Mom & Dad’s and asked if they still had jaffle irons. Without hesitation, Mom pulled two out of the cupboard.
I think these are meant to be used over a camp fire but as kids we cooked them on the stove top. I vaguely recall using it down at the beach fire pit.
I didn’t have any cheese but I’ve been wanting to try Claryn’s -hell yeah it’s vegan!- Tahini Caramelized Onion Sauce. I made the sauce this morning and it is so freaking good! Tangy, creamy, sweet. I need to have this in the fridge at all times from here on.
Silver Hills sprouted grain bread – sort of local, the factory is at the north end of the valley- coconut oil spread on the outside of the bread, hell yeah it’s vegan! tahini onion sauce and slices of smoked tofu. Next time some sauerkraut, or hummus would be good in this.
I made a simple chunky tomato soup to go with it. Sorry siblings, now that I’ve liberated the jaffle iron from Mom & Dad’s I’m keeping it. I asked Mom to bring me back a big jar of vegemite from Australia. To be fair, you’re welcome to come over anytime for vegan cheese ‘n vegemite jaffles.
I’ve always been a letters person. I love sending as much as receiving. At the beginning of MoFo, I immediately put my name in Cadry’s: Speedy Delivery Postcard Swap and I sent a letter, just south of the boarder from me, to Washington state.
Today had wafts of rude people wearing me down, but when I got this surprise package from Chicago, it was like the scene from Boris Karloff’s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ where “his small heart grew three times that day!” Exceedingly generous, with two kick ass fair-trade chocolate bars, the sweetest of Portland Herbivore stickers and a banging Mountain Goat postcard.
Yes, Sarah, being vegan is grand! This gift washed away today’s suck and put the biggest smile on my face. Thank you so much!!
Thank you, Cadry, for hosting such a rad get together amongst the letter loving Mofos.<3
Winter 2010, Kevin was second cook on the farm and made damn good, vegan burger patties. I ate a lot of them. They were dense and flavorful. I could run into the cook shack between shows, palm a couple and head back out, into the wintery dark.
One afternoon I was leaning against the island while Kevin and Illona were kneading bread and asked how he makes the burgers. He just shrugged that it was easy. I pressed further. He said the basic recipe is a bag of dried mixed beans, flax and chia seeds, masa flour, random leftover vegetables and cumin but what makes them, is dried sumac.
During the closing night cabaret, Kevin and Illona summed up the six weeks they’d been cooking for the company by giving out awards like: Heartiest Appetite, Aesthetic Plater, Most Hot Sauce Consumed. Being the only vegan, I was a shoe in for their: Most Complacent Vegetarian award. I turned to Zach and asked if complacent was used in the right context, or a back handed compliment? He assured me they meant well but were kind of using the word wrong.They handed me a left over ziploc bag full of bean burger mix. I was utterly delighted.
I figured I could recreate it but it still eludes me. My guess is his were fried rather than baked, like I choose to do. I dried the patty out too much in the oven. I have no patience for standing over a cast iron pan flipping burgers. Either way these turned out pretty good, super cheap, compact protein, fiber bombs.
Every autumn Mom packs her freezer with plums and dries the rest using her homemade dehydrator. Growing up we ate a lot of plum and apricot fruit leather. To me, the smell of drying stone fruit is indicative of fall.
I love the dusty color of prune plums, rub off the bloom and reveal the deeper hue. My brother and I asked for her plum ice cream recipe. She responded ‘prunes’. We were dumbfounded, that frozen overripe plums blended in the food processor could taste so decadent.
The flesh is perfect right now, firm and sweet. I stood under the tree and ate four.
The community garden in town started in 1998 and expanded to 51 plots a couple years ago. It’s mostly food production with a few flowers and pollinators mixed in. Demand for more plots is high with a huge waiting list. This town has the largest population per capita of retirees in the valley.
A few years back, the local paper had an streak of angry letters to the editor, railing about theft and vandalism happening in the garden. Blaming ‘vagrants’ and ‘drifters’ for not only stealing vegetables but destroying them too. ‘My tomato plants were all smashed up. Sunflowers broken! Someone has to catch these fiends!’ I found the letters amusing, imagining Hobo’s stuffing their brindle’s with carrots and swiss chard, pissing on basil, gleefully tossing pots and pulling up corn.
At dawn, I was driving past the community garden to a carpentry job I had in the next village over. As the sky lit up, I could see silhouettes of a deer herd standing in the planter boxes, gorging themselves on tender greens, stepping on cabbages, knocking down trellises. I laughed myself all the way to work. There’s now a ten foot high fence around the garden.