Last time, I was feeling a little guilty about my veg night offerings. Everyone liked everything, but the last-minute canned tomatoes and well-traveled chick peas and coconut milk made me a bit uncomfortable. Plus, I kind of slipped up and used some (decent) eggs from my CSA in the Pad not-quite-Thai, forgetting that just because I'm not as vegan as I once was doesn't mean that I don't have to follow CSBS protocol. Thus, this time, I resolved to shift ever closer to local and seasonal ingredients.
Sometime until about November 10th, everyone was talking about "Indian Summers" and wondering when the cold would hit. Then, it did, so Niall and I opted for something warm and hearty. We also wanted to keep it simple, given that it was a school night. Here's what we came up with:
The usual hummus recipe (yeah, I know, not local, but it was a special request and appears to have become tradition), this time with some spinach blended in. The taste didn't change much, but the color was nice, and it was probably a bit healthier. Served with sliced bread, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers.
Niall's carrot/ginger stew. Stir-fry a bit of onions and garlic, then add in a bunch of carrots, ginger, water, and maybe a sweet potato or two to increase the creamy factor. Simmer for a while then blend it up and season with salt and pepper. Nice and warm, goes down easy, and has a nice kind of kick. Almost certainly good against the cold. And...uh...VERY easy to digest, yaknowwhattImean?
(one benefit of cooking soup: napping opportunities)
My lentil soup: admittedly not the prettiest thing I've ever cooked up, but definitely among the most delicious. Again, sauté some onions and garlic, add in some potatoes, carrot, and celery, fry for another minute or two, then add in a bunch of lentils and slightly more water than is necessary to cover them. Drop in a few cubes of your favorite vegan bullion (or use stock to start with) and cook for 30 or so minutes, checking every now and again to make sure the water hasn't boiled off. When pulled off correctly, the potatoes absorb the broth and turn out all creamy and delicious, nicely balancing against the heavy graininess of the beans. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the soup for some extra awesomeness and you're good to go.
Astute enough to notice the unusual decor? This time, rather than dining at our usual headquarters (known as the "Un-awkward Warehouse"), we gathered at friend and dependable member Bohemian's house in order to warm it. After the nice meal, we hung out and I taught everyone a card game ("Oh Hell") that I learned this summer staying with my family out west. Ever tried explaining the rules to a card game in a foreign language? When there are people who don't know the difference between Ace, King, Queen, and Jack present? It's a chore, but once you've mucked through it, very satisfying in that hey-we-all-share-the-basic-elements-of-humanity way.
In any case, Bohemian, congratulations on the new place and the completion of all repairs.^^
Oh, and happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I thank you for reading and caring about me even though I'm so far away. There's a song lyric that has been more meaningful to me for the last five years than just about any other, and now seems like a decent time to share it:
"I do not exist," we faithfully insist,
Sailing in our separate ships and from each tiny caravel.
Tiring of trying, there's a necessary dying,
Like the horseshoe crab in its proper season sheds its shell.
Such distance from our friends,
Like a scratch across the lens,
Made everything look wrong from anywhere we stood.
And our paper blew away before we'd left the bay.
So half-blind, we wrote these songs on sheets of salty wood.
(MewithoutYou, "Messes of Men")
Hope all is well with everyone!