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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Daddy's Little Elf

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL  DADDIES EVERYWHERE!! And to the children that look up to them with wide eyes, a full heart and not a small bit of respect. If you are lucky enough to still have your Dad, your are indeed blessed. Your Elf’s Daddy has been gone a while now but there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think of him and wish we had ‘just one more day’. Daddy was a P-51 instructor during WWII at the ripe old age of 22, pictured below!
This remains one of our MOST favorite pictures of Daddy getting ready for a flight in his beloved P-51 Mustang at age 84. When he found out there was a Mustang at Bruce Campbell Field in Madison in 2005, he could hardly be still until he got to see it. And, not only did he get to see it, but he got to fly in it, thanks to Stan Musack, the pilot, seen helping Daddy into the plane.

It’s been a slow writing time for your Elf but we are working to get back on track. So, let’s get on with what’s been happening in the Kinky Elfery Kitchen. First off, we have purchased yet another cookbook. This is actually a cookbook we have purchased a number of times but wind up giving it away to folks who say that eating plant-based is too expensive. Over the next few weeks, we intend to prepare several of these recipes to disabuse folks of that notion. It’s expensive if you WANT it to be, just like any eating regimen. BUT, this cookbook by Ellen Jaffe Jones details not only great recipes but also some terrific tips on how to buy smart and economically.

So stay tuned next week as we try out a couple of recipes…we have several picked out, so we’ll see which ones get the green light. And FYI, not only does Ms Jones have a FB page that offers information, but also a website. We hope you’ll give her a looksee!
As we mentioned in a recent post to our Elf page, since Big Solid (our elfin hubs aka Larry) read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall, he has been very easy to prepare supper for…yep, a baked potato with all kinds of foodie extras. Shredded Daiya vegan cheese (not the pre-shredded kind but the block cheese you shred yourowns-elf), steamed broccoli, and sautéed mushrooms. Please forgive the paper plate!!
He could eat this every night and sometimes when the hours get away from us, it’s an easy mealtime solution. We have also discovered, thanks to Consumer reports magazine, new pastas made with alternative flours (gluten free-ish). We actually found some of these pastas at, of all places, Wal-Mart. The first one, and our Elfin favorite, is Red Lentil Pasta. It’s really tasty and quite beautiful, to boot. We made a nice supper dish by cooking the pasta and stirring in some sautéed mushrooms and lightly steamed broccoli. No heavy sauce, just a nice squeeze of Meyer Lemon and a wee bit of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Here’s what the box looks like. Take a look at the protein count for those who feel vegans are always protein deficient. And, by the way, this pasta would probably not fall into the inexpensive vegan eating category!
And then the pasta cooked with the mushrooms added.
As a quick aside, we love to buy our mushrooms at Mr. Chen’s Chinese Grocery. They have great oyster and shiitake ‘shrooms by the bagsful/prepackaged at a very reasonable price…much more reasonable that some of the grocery stores in town. Shiitatkes and then Oyster.

And last, the full meal deal with the broccoli added. Not only was it quite delicious but also really pretty!! It did not last long at the ElfinHaus.
The next pasta we tried was the Chickpea Pasta.
Although a different shape than we are used to, this pasta does not cook up as nicely as the red lentil, and we are very careful not to overcook!! It’s a bit on the gummy side but has a decent taste. We added mushrooms, some chopped Plant-based Andouille sausage and Swiss Chard, again with the Meyer Lemon and EVOO.
It was good but we’ll opt for the Red Lentil from here on out. Another quick meal is ‘burger night’ using Gardein Meatless Burgers. This time we topped with Vegan Pimento Cheese (thank goodness for that block Daiya cheese and Just Mayo) and a home ‘growed’ tomato!!
We purchased one of those screen looking thingies to over fry our potatoes in and it works pretty darn good.
Last night, we went to one of our old Friday night pre-vegan ‘haunts’, Kathryn’s Steakhouse. Now that we are both vegan, we were still able to have quite a meal there and see some old friends. Big Solid had a HUMONGOUS baked potato with our own cheese/‘chicken’ and mushrooms. Your Elf had a great salad with our cheese and ‘chicken’ shreds with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
You’ll notice the croutons piled up outside the place…we are not fans of croutons of any kind, ‘CEPTIN’ Pumpernickel croutons for gazpacho or split pea soup. We have learned the fine art of eating anywhere and making it plant-based. And, finally, this morning, we had our usual slice of pumpernickel toast, mashed half-avocado and freshly picked and sliced Cherokee Purple tomato. As you can see, we almost forgot to take a picture of it before snagging a bite!
To round out this week’s blog, we are anticipating a really fun week ahead both foodiness-wise and personally. Your Elf is heading for Nashville TN to attend a book convention (UtopiaCon) where her favorite author (Amy Harmon) will be delivering the keynote. We’ve long been fans of this talented writer who does not often get to this part of the country, so we are throwing ours-elf into the Element and hitting the trail to Nashville. AND, even better, it’s close to where the Elf grew up, so we get to see some friends and relatives as well. Nashville is quite the food mecca with ethnic restaurants galore and LOTS of vegan options. Not only will be have at least one recipe from our new cookbook (Vegan on $4 a Day) to share with you but also some great Nashville stories and vegan eating as well. Lastly, we've talked about the Elf's Daddy but we would be remiss not to mention what a great Dad Big Solid is. The kids are all grown up for sure but still rely on him for advice and support. He's never led them wrong yet--he has such a knack for helping people see both sides of a decision and choosing the most appropriate one. So, Happy Father's Day to Big are the best! Shown here on his 70th birthday with daughter Lindsey Taylor and Granddaughter, Sara Powell. Son Powell and Grandson Benton were there but not pictured.
So, until we meet again, always remember to Look for the GOOD, be an EXAMPLE of the GOOD, and ACT for the GOOD as HARD as you can, in as MANY WAYS as you can, EVERY DAY that you can. In other words, “DO EPIC”!

Your Elf
(portrait by her Daddy in 1951 when she was 5)

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