July 10, 2011
Summer is Here!
The last two weeks seem like I've been in continual motion. Summer is here, and I've been taking full advantage of it. Our vegan/vegetarian potluck was June 26 and another success. We had about 25 people and the sun showed up so we were able to sit outside and visit. The musicians who contacted me didn't show up, but it was not a problem. We had a great time getting to know each other and sharing what we prepared with each other. We had some door prizes this time and my husband made some great flower arrangements with flowers from our yard. Our next potluck is August 21 and my friend John has agreed to play music for us. He has his own original folksy-blues kind of music, it should be very enjoyable.
Right after that, we held a bake sale at work for our Relay for Life team and baked for three days. I made about 12 dozen vegan cookies, spelt foccacia bread, and some chocolate beet cake. Donna, Tracy, & Michele were also busy in their kitchens, we filled two long tables with goodies and I think we raised a little over $200 for our team. My favorite was Michele's chai muffins with pistachios.
The very next weekend was the fourth of July and we played with the hippies up at the Rainbow Gathering. That was an enjoyable experience, it involved a bit more hiking than I was ready for. If we ever decide to go backpacking, I might have to start working out a bit more before we get going and definitely pack less. I am so glad we made it, much of it did feel just like home. I had so many memories of our friends and family in La Honda, especially the ones that are no longer with us. I volunteered at a vegan kitchen on "Serenity Ridge". It was a beautiful spot with a lot of friendly people, musicians playing their guitars, drums, and singing camp songs. The weather was great, a bit cold at night, but the sun came out for all three days we were up there. It was just like being a kid at summer camp.
Last week we were blessed with a reunion with old friends. Tony & Catherine were visiting Oregon from Virginia to support their niece who is walking the Oregon Coast for charity. We spent Thursday afternoon walking around Portland and had dinner at the Blossoming Lotus, in Portland, and in my opinion one of the best vegan restaurants in Portland. The last time we saw them was about 22 or 23 years ago when we met in Yosemite for some camping and hiking.I've known Tony and Catherine since I was about 22, we've had some crazy times together. Cathy & I were reminiscing about a weekend, long ago, we traveled from LA to Las Vegas in the back of our Chevy Luv truck. Yes, we went all the way on a small mattress in the back of the truck and had a great time. Can't imagine doing that now. I remember our 'truck lag' lasting all weekend. Standing still felt like we were still moving.
The garden is growing well and I'm beginning to find treasures every time we go out. Last week I harvested kale, spinach, garlic scapes, a couple artichokes, and lettuce. Garlic scapes are the curly flower top that shoots out of the hard necked garlic. I cut them off to give more energy and nutrients to the garlic head growing below the ground. The garlic scapes are great sautéed and can be stored and used for flavoring future dishes. I've rough chopped them and placed them in the dehydrator. Woo who, the house is filled with the smell of garlic, so strong, I wonder if the neighbors can smell it. I'll grind some into a powder when they are completely dry to use in raw marinara sauces and other goodies I make this year. Our artichokes are coming in strong this year. I've already plucked a nice big one to try.
This weekend I'm attending a 2 day Vegan Fusion workshop taught by the co-author of my most favorite vegan cookbooks, Vegan World Fusion Cuisine, Mark Reinfeld. I'll be sure to post about the fun I had there.