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Saturday, January 23, 2016

‘LIFE IN THE ELF LANE'

Gosh, it seems like all of the rockers we grew up with and cherish are leaving us…gone too soon. Spread those Eagle wings, Glenn and Godspeed. So, in honor of Glenn Frey, we celebrate with our title this week. Heck, we’ll just try to do titles of great songs—Elfery-adjusted, of course.
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Last week we mentioned that The Elf had a new adventure…cooking vegan stuffs and E.P.I.C. cookies. Well, it got started off with a BLAST of a Preview Party on Monday night! It was beyond our greatest expectations as it was standing room only. The Crossroads Café is not totally vegan or even vegetarian so the crowd was treated to a great variety of dishes. We had the hot bar loaded with (vegans, close your eyes) roasted turkey, a host of yummy vegetables, smoothies and juices. I never KNEW how many juice combinations there could be. Lynn is our JUICER SUPREME and believes in the power of juice. She keeps a spotless juicing center where magical concoctions occur.

We had a terrific blues duo who entertained us with some of the great blues songs of all times from the great blues singers of all times…Buddy Guy, Otis Redding, Mississippi’s own late B.B. King to name a few and THEN threw in some Led Zepplin, Beatles, and Bob Marley -- "Every Little Thing is Gonna Be All Right'.

Folks had a wonderful time eating, mixing and mingling. 

The Elf made Cauliflower Fried Rice as the vegan option which included sautéed plant-based chicken pieces. People were really surprised at a) the ‘rice’ was actually cauliflower that had been ‘processed’ to appear like rice and b) that the ‘chicken’ was actually plant-based. One gentleman said, “You know you can’t call this vegan because there’s chicken in here”. We told him that it was a plant-based ‘chicken’ and he said, “How do you know?” to which we replied, “We made it.” Here’s The Elf in her debut! We also prepared an 11 Spice Soup with a cashew cream base that folks really enjoyed..especially on a chilly MS evening.

Smoothies by John (the owner and driving force behind The Crossroads Café), juice samples, energy bar samples, and the hot bar ruled the evening. Brandon and Henry were kept MORE than busy making sure we did not run short of clean utensils and dishes!

 



And then there were the EPIC cookies for everyone to sample. We made about 250 cookies—‘Slap Your Own Face’ Oatmeal Walnut Cherry Crasin and ‘Bar None Better’Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Folks seemed to like them as there were none left at the end of the night!


The Superstar of the Evening (beside visionary John and The Crossroads Café itsowns-elf) was the Chef—Joe! He was a mixture of whirling dervish, concertmaster, juice tester/taster, and poise under pressure as he had complete control of his kitchen. His dishes were awesome and people realized right off the bat that he’s the real deal! But, he IS hard to get a picture of because he won’t be still!
 

And finally, at the end of the night, after all the patrons and music folk had left, we cleaned, scrubbed, mopped, swept and ‘high-fived’ a great evening. We also got everyone to be still enough to take a group shot. Some CC staff had already left for other obligations, this isn’t everyone. From left to right, we have Morgan, Henry, Joe, Sunny, Jori, Holly, Brandon, Lynn, John, and yours truly, The Elf in the Crossroads Café.

Opening day on Wednesday brought a separate set of challenges and we won’t say the day went perfectly..gosh, there’s a LOT to this food ‘bidness’ but each day has gotten better. One of the cool things about John is his enthusiasm to promote healthy eating (as T.E. continues to work on his plant-based eating). We asked if we could feature a vegan item from Susan Voisin’s FatFree Vegan Kitchen at least once a week and promote her as a local vegan enthusiast. He was all for it, so we will continue to cook what we’ll call ‘Something from Susan’ and highlight it on our recipe board. That way we can report out to you how Susan’s recipes wow the public as well as The Elf. Not sure about next week, but definitely the week after!
OH!! And one MORE thing! Yesterday, John unveiled a LOVELY COMMERCIAL mixer so The Elf can make and bake LOTS more E.P.I.C. (remember, Eating Plant-based Is Cool) cookies! As soon as we return from our trip (we had to postpone because of this wretched weather), we are gonna dive into that baby with gusto! We are also thinkin’ of some new vegan dishes to add to the menu. Gonna be fun! Gonna be challenging!! Gonna be El-FINE! If you are in the area, you can find (and eat with) us at 398 Highway 51 in Ridgeland MS.
We are next door to John's other great venture, Healthway Foods!  And, we also have a Facebook page:
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Til next week, y’all breathe deep, eat plants, laugh a lot, love life and DO EPIC!
The Elf!



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