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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Music City Elf

Anyone on the planet lately KNOWS that your Elf went to a Book Convention the weekend of June 22-25 in Nashville TN. The convention was titled UtoPiAcon and featured authors from all over the country. The featured genres were Young Adult/New Adult, Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy and Supernatural. We primarily went to see one author in particular whose books we love and who we’ve always wanted to meet…Amy Harmon. She is as lovely and sweet as she is beautiful; she delivered the keynote address on Friday morning.
We were so excited to meet her!!
More about ‘Amy and The Elf’ a bit later on, as we had a most excellent adventure.
Now, as most vegans know, sometimes traveling, especially in the South, can be a challenge so we packed up a cooler of food stuffs we knew we’d need…such as non-dairy creamer for coffee, avocados and tomatoes for breakfast, our lemon/ginger/turmeric tonic, and hibiscus tea. On the way through Memphis, we HAD to stop at Raw Girls Food Truck (WE LOVE RAW GIRLS) to stock up on some pre-packaged meals to sustain us in the event we could not find vegan options close to the convention or where we were staying.
We bought some of their wonderful Watermelon Gazpacho, Black Bean Pasta and Pesto with Fresh Corn and Tomato/JalapeƱo, a Raw Burger, and Chocolate Ganache. UtoPiAcon was held at the airport Marriott in Nashville and we were staying about 10 miles east. Your Elf spent much of her life in this area so there were relatives and friends to see and we needed to be close to both. Plus, the Elf’s Little Mama is buried in the area as well and it’s been a while since we’ve paid our respects in the form of a yellow tomato (Mama's favorite).
Thursday evening was spent with family and we had a lovely meal at the Olive Garden in Mt. Juliet TN. Did you know that Olive Garden now has online identification of vegan and vegetarian options? Your Elf had a HUGE salad and a breadstick or three. AND, we had one piece of the Chocolate Ganache from RAW GIRLS for dessert…it was yummy!! A planned lunch Friday with a friend and former work colleague fell prey to the rains/storms of Tropical Storm Cindy, so we decided to eat-in at the Marriott. And BOY HOWDY, are we glad we did! They have a Rice Bowl on their menu that was easily veganized by omitting the jack cheese. So, that’s what we ordered. OMG! What a delicious meal! We selected the Brown rice (white optional) with sweet peppers, roasted corn, onions black beans, avocado, ‘housemade’ pico de gallo. It was wonderful! Friday evening, we opted to stay in our room and eat from our Raw Girls selections. We had the Black Bean pasta and it was yummy!! And yes, we did get quite a few 'worm' responses when we posted on Facebook.
And we polished off the Chocolate Ganache. Slept like a log—which is rare for The Elf.
Saturday was a MOST SPECIAL DAY!! We had a lunch date with Amy Harmon!! We were like a teenager we were so excited! We had decided on Ethiopian and Amy, being a food adventurer, was game for it, having never eaten Ethiopian cuisine before. We thought it smart to ‘pre-drive’ to the restaurant JUST to be on the safe side, as we are not that familiar with Nashville. AND IT’S A GOOD THING WE DID!! The first selection turned out to be a dud. The second selection was a bit farther away but we were assured it was quite good. After an initial failed attempt to find it, we did get there and it was quite nice. The place is name GOHA and the food is authentic Ethiopian.
Amy ordered a sampler with a beef stew and your Elf ordered the vegan sampler.
Amy was quite the good sport, eating by scooping up her food with a piece of Ethiopian bread called injera.
The food was delicious and the owner, Dawit Lema was very helpful to Amy about what to order and how to eat. We LOVED our experience there and hope that Amy had a story to share with her family when she got home to Utah on Sunday. So, if you are in the Nashville area and have a hankerin’ for great Ethiopian food, by all means go to GOHA…it IS hard to find so it might be a good idea to have your phone handy to call. We almost missed it. Also, Amy won two awards at the Banquet on Saturday night for her Supernatural series The Bird and the Sword Chronicles. Well deserved because she is a brilliant author.
So, this is a short blog about a food/life adventure and meeting someone we never thought we would! Stay tuned as we catch up this weekend with some great recipes from How to Eat Vegan on $4 a Day! And Other Assorted Good Food Stuffs!

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