What’s Happening Lately

hey folks, another personal update. I apologize for the long absence mostly Ive been sick and not cooking much, but Im doing well enough now. Thanks to friend for encouraging me to write. 🙂

This week Im looking forward to the Thanksgiving pick-up orders. The menu was pretty extensive but owing to varied travel plans not too many folks took me up on the offer. Im incredibly thankful for those who did, since theyre making my three-year anniversary trip with Nate this weekend possible. Popular dishes this year are the fried onion haricots verts casserole with mushroom gravy, seitan roasts, and the sweet potato souffle w/ homemade marshmallows. (Pictures to come!) Pick-ups happen tomorrow night and Wednesday, giving me just enough time to make a few things for lunch at my grammas on Thursday.

Yep, were celebrating three years. Three years ago we shared a then-not-impossibly-small twin bed and a yellow house with one freshly-caught tortoiseshell cat and an affable roommate. Since then so much. I fell in love with my man in November 2008 when he went away for a conference in Texas and I realized with a jolt how attached Id become. It was attachment that I had been denying in the wake of a tumultuous summer, attachment I indulged and delighted in once he returned. And since then Ive become even more in love with him, as hes proven his devotion, steadfastness, and quite frankly, continued to shape me into a gentler and better person. Hes my darling.

This weekend well be heading to Chattanooga, Tennessee two of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures. The city is this crazy rock garden with attractions like the Fat Mans Squeeze, Seven States lookout, and the Fairyland Caverns. Its pretty much what that rock dude from Neverending Story would put together if entrusted with a plot of land. Ruby Falls is basically a journey through a cave to an underground waterfall backlit by a light show. Everything will be holiday themed because of the time of the year. A rocky weekend for a rock-solid relationship cmon, groan with me now!

But thats forthcoming. Heres what weve been up to lately.

On the subject of guilty pleasures: tofurkey. No, I am not one of those vegans who thinks it tastes like 1) nothing or 2) something awful. I love tofurkey as a holiday food. As soon as I saw it at Trader Joes I snapped it up and put it in the oven with local organic vegetables. Nate loves it too, so I made it the evening he left.

Obviously, he would have liked to return to New York under happier circumstances, but at least while there he was able to spend a decent amount of time with his delightful family, biking, catching up, hanging with old friends, and visiting my hero for chocolates. His amazing grandfather will be dearly missed, but his spirit lives on in a couple of fellas who think its awesome to wake up early and bike twenty six miles:

Post-ride. A short one for his dad, actually but not so much for him. 🙂

While he was gone I busied myself with the meal delivery. I made the best-ever curried pumpkin soup. So simple: just three small pumpkins roasted then blended with an onion that had been sauteed with ginger, garlic, and curry powder, as well as a can of coconut milk, some maple syrup, and a little cayenne.

A fussy little lunch: ginger-baked tofu over Korean somyeon (somen) noodles and a freshly-pureed ginger-garlic-tahini sauce.

While doing prep work over the weekend, the power went out. While cooking on Monday, a pipe exploded. It was a tough week. An electrician was able to get things squared away quickly, but I still havent heard back from the landlord RE: the pipe. Yet another reason why I am ready to move!

On the upside, my man returned the next day. I stuffed him with a very curry brunch:

It was his first ever chickn-n-dumplings-type recipe, and he mightily approved.

A hangover brunch post-karaoke buttery fluffy vegan biscuits, muscadine and organic grape jams

And the richest-ever tempeh sage gravy.

That night we went to everyones favorite independent theatre, the Plaza, with friends to see John Waters divine dark comedy FEMALE TROUBLE. Hosted by Blast-Off Burlesque, there was plenty of pre-show fun and banter, including a gross-out fashion contest. Contestants, including favorite, above.

Standout performance.