Monday, June 30, 2008


I generally get my non-self-invented recipes out of cookbooks rather than off the web. I don't have a printer, so getting them off the web tends to involve precariously balancing my laptop on a pot rack or a stack of pans so I can read the recipe off the screen. Once in a while, though, I decide to shake things up a bit and head over to sites like Vegan Yum Yum, Vegan Dad or Yellow Rose Recipes for inspiration (I am one of the testers for the new Yellow Rose Recipes book, by the way!) Yesterday it was time to harvest the biggest leaves of spinach in the vegetable garden, as well as some lettuce and strawberries, and I happened upon this spinach salad recipe on Woody Harrelson and his wife Laura's website which is dedicated to their vegan, mostly raw, eco-friendly musings. I did my own thing salad wise (spinach, red and green lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, toasted almonds, avocado and red onion), but did use a modified version of his dressing recipe (with a whole lemon instead of half a lemon and the stated amount of apple cider vinegar. I also added more balsamic because I loves me some balsamic vinegar like all get out). I liked the maple element to the recipe, and how viscous the dressing was with the use of olive oil. Anyway, even though I tinkered with the recipe, the site is still nice and has a lot of information about all manner of green living. If you enjoy the website, you may also want to check out the Ron Mann directed documentary "Go Further", which features Woody and his crew in the throes of vegan raw foodism, yoga and all manner of woodsy activities.  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Early Summer Flowers

I am so in love with the ornamental lupins (pictured right) that were all over the farm for the last month, and with the peonies that are all over the farm now, especially the extremely fragrant white peonies. I am such a sucker for fresh cut flowers, and my favourite bouquets are the ones that are picked from my own neighborhood, or in this case, backyard. 

Yesterday I stumbled upon this website for a florist in Vancouver who works with eco-friendly packaging and organic, fair trade flowers. It will be nice to have her as a go-to when all there is left out here in the Langley Township is dried blackberries on the bush and the flowerless rose bushes swaying in the breeze. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

Great-nola Blog By Another Who I Hope I Become Friends With One Day.

I am a vegan, and I am gluten free and I am a hippie, and am always happy to find that rare book/blog/magazine/etc. that caters to all my weird sensibilities.

If you are any of those things, or like reading about people who are any of those things and who write about food, then check out Gluten Free Hippie.


Things I am Learning About Strawberries

Strawberries and spinach and chard are the first crops of mine that are ready to be harvested in the edibles garden Adam, my mom and I are religiously planting and tending. As I picked a mix of both alpine and garden strawberries today from our two big patches, I had some revelatory moments about this lovely plant which before had pretty much existed to me only in the form of berries in a plastic clamshell.

Strawberries are surprisingly generous.
They are like that friend who you think forgot your birthday, but then you come home and she has planned you a whole surprise party and all your friends are there. One day you are looking at the plant and thinking there may be a pretty scant supply for the summer, but then thte next day you look and you have to carry them in your dress because you can't fit them all in the little bowl you brought.

Strawberries are a lady.
They like to be picked gently off the plant by the stem. I always thought I would be plucking the berries themselves, but they don't roll that way. When I tried to do that they pretty much exploded in my hands, especially the alpine berries. I also destroyed quite a few by power washing them in a colander. I forgot that these are truly ripe berries that need to be handled with care, not the store bought faux ripe ones that you could send through a car wash without incident. 

Strawberries are nomads.
Hey, Strawberry! What are you doing in my lettuce patch? You girls are crazy!

Strawberries are simple.
Before moving here I pictured myself making all manner of strawberry pancakes, pies, jams, and ice creams out of the harvest from these plants, but I have not been able to bring myself to fry, bake, stew or chop even one berry. I'll leave that to the U-Pick berries I'll be getting and throwing into my freezer in a few weeks, for now, this is the taste of early summer at it's most unabashed and stained with pink smears.

picture of stawberries to come...


Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's Get Baked.

update: oops, the links in this post need fixing...tomorrow...xo.h
for now, please enjoy the above picture of the cake i made for my mom's birthday.

I planned and hosted a fundraiser last month in Toronto for Farm Sanctuary at the Tranzac Club. It was a wonderful night with a concert and a vegan bake sale, and I was so impressed by the vast array of vegan baked goods! I was too busy to take pictures that night, but if any turn up of the massive spread, I will make sure to post them.

I was inspired that night to post this here -- it's a link to Isa Moskowitz's (of Vegan With a Vengeance fame) "how to bake vegan" page. Now when people ask  you how you replace eggs in things, you can frighten them with your scientific knowledge of alternative sources of binding, leavening, etc. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can find hundreds of people nerding out over issues such as the top secret recipe for vegan meringue and "Steven the Vegan" here, on the Post Punk Kitchen forums. 


p.s. i am very happily living in Langley, B.C. now, and will be posting all about that soon.