Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Elf

We’ve been in a bit of a lull lately with our kinky elfin cookery but with the advent of some cooler weather (THANK GOODNESS!!), we hope to crank up the creative juices or at least follow the creative juices of other cooks! We have prepared a few newer dishes such as the jackfruit curry (probably will pass on another elf-fort at that) but just haven’t had the drive to ‘git in there and COOK’. We’ve even gotten behind on our cookie bakin’ and that’s a bad thing!
We HAVE done a few things such as learning to boil our own peanuts while the green peanuts are in season. We like doing that so we can control the salt as Big Solid needs to watch his sodium intake. Not only that, we bought two sample packs of really cool flavored Sea Salt at a spice store in Asheville NC while up there a few weeks back:  Hickory Smoked Sea Salt and Ghost Pepper Sea Salt

Well we made some boiled peanut hummus and included a small bit of the Ghost Pepper Salt in the water and we swear you could taste the heat. This week, when we make the hummus again, we will add a small amount to the actual hummus itself and see how that works. The Ghost Pepper is the third hottest pepper on earth, so we will be prudent with our amounts!! By the way, this store does mail order; we are going to order up some Scorpion Pepper Sea Salt…it’s the #2 hottest pepper. And according to the website Crazy Hot Peppers, the hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper. Check this cool site out for more pepper info!!

Those of you from the South will understand the love of boiled peanuts.  For most folks, they are an acquired taste. Here we have 4 lbs. in various stages of boiling…takes about 3-4 hours and again, we do it at home to control the salt content and to add extra hot stuffs as mentioned.

We think one of the reasons behind this obvious slow down (aside from the god-awful heat and drought of this LONG HOT SUMMER) is that The Elf has a tendency to ‘ready, fire, aim’ instead of planning stuffs out. Consequently, what happens is too many dishes get going at once.  SO, we’ve decided to organize our Elfery time on a daily basis and only prepare one (maximum two) things a day (and of course AT LEAST one of those dishes is supper). We are such big fans of plant-based meat dishes (most auspiciously The Gentle Chef aka Skye Michael Connolly) and we typically go through a recipe of Bacun and/or Shredded Chikun a week. We have also enjoyed the spiralizing of zucchini and other veggies to make noodles that are much healthier than pasta.
Given that Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen is up for another round of ‘Julie et Julia’ Vegan Style (we had such great fun earlier in the year), we hope to crank that back up as fall IS IN FULL SWING!!
We have also had quite a few folks on our Elf in the Kitchen and personal Facebook pages to talk openly and honestly about how they would like to explore more meatless and/or vegan meals, become more plant-based in their eating regimen and adopt a healthier lifestyle. BUT, they are not sure a) they can actually do it; b) don’t have a clue where to start; c) don’t think they can give up meat but KNOW they can’t give up cheese and eggs. Well, you know what, been there. So, TE (The Elf) has decided to come up with a Primer for Plant-based Eating. We are working on it daily and will hopefully have it ready to share as either a stand-alone document or included in the next blog. Most likely as a standalone since it’s getting rather lengthy!
So, this coming week, here’s the plan—in addition to any meal preparation stuffs. Tomorrow (Monday, September 14), The Elf will be celebrating the newest cookbook from Skye Michael Conroy (Seitan and Beyond) by preparing a couple of what he calls “Recipe Essentials and Incidentals”.

The first will be a vegan Worcestershire Sauce and the second will be Instant Chikun Bouillon Powder. Now, The Elf is a huge fan and follower of Chef Skye Michael and will be using several recipes from this newest book; we are here to tell you that the pictures you see of his plant based meat analogues are just stunning. Both the Worcestershire Sauce and the Chikun Bouillon Powder will help tone down the panic The Elf feels when a recipe calls for either one and there is nothing vegan available.

Tuesday (September 15), we will be baking cookies. In fact, in a fit of preparatory pique, The Elf ‘fixed’ 6 Ziploc bags of dry cookie ingredients, so that all we need do is add the wet, oatmeal and whatever other stuffs (e.g., chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts).  With a couple of events on tap in September and October that call for an abundance of cookies, we will be making cookies a LOT!! Sales will benefit the Animal Rescue Fund of MS at Wellsfest on September 26.
Wednesday (September 16) will be a surprise recipe endeavor.  We say surprise for two reasons…one, we want to surprise the recipient of this recipe and don’t want to dash any hopes in the event the next surprise is that it sucks. BUT, if it turns out like we think it will…it will be vegan porn at an epic level and we WILL include pictures.
Thursday (September 17) The Elf will be making a guest appearance on behalf of the American Cancer Society and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on WLBT’s Midday Show. We will be discussing the upcoming Making Strides Walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (always October). The kinky elfery cookery for Thursday will be making (once again from Seitan and Beyond) Cuban-Style Pulled Porq. Big Solid will be out of town, so this will be another grand venture and we won’t feel awful if it doesn’t turn out like it should.
While many vegans do not support eating plant based meat analogues, Chef Conroy says what many of us feel, “Many people who embrace a plant-based diet do so for ethical reasons and not because they dislike the flavor and texture of meat.  But finding satisfying meat alternatives is not always easy for individuals who once enjoyed the flavors and textures associated with meat-based dishes, or for individuals who grew up with meat-based dishes as a traditional part of their family or ethnic heritage.”
It’s important to realize that when The Elf prepares a meat alternative or analogue, we don’t consume JUST that recipe. We combine with vegetables (the more colorful the better), grains (quinoa, brown rice) to assure that we have a well-rounded meal.
And maybe it won’t be TOO long until we might be harvesting an elf-sized melon that grew from rinds, seeds and plant stuffs thrown in the garden. So far, we have identified a watermelon and a cantaloupe!!

That brings us to the weekend and you know what that means…Friday night Date Night and Saturday night out as well. Sunday night is burger night and then we begin again.
And last but not least, we forgot to include Mail Order Annie’s Labor Day reveal.  She was most put off that we did not include her in last week’s blog, so we are scurrying to regain favor.

So til next week when we hope to have all sorts of cool kinky elfery cookery results to share, we hope you will to breathe deep, laugh a lot, eat plants and love life. And speakin’ of sharin’…please share this little blog with your friends. We enjoy writing it and hope it brings you a smile or two as well as some cool stuff to cook.
The Elf


  1. The Elf's stupidity is up close and even more stupid than ever. Chef Skye Michael's last name is CONROY!! Not Connolly!! I got it right at least the rest of the time. Sorry Chef!

    1. No worries! Love the blog and thank you for the nice promotion.