Thursday, October 06, 2011

i accidentally made a vegan dinner

it wasn't anything extravagantly vegan; a simple squash curry with a mixed rice blend.  my in-laws keep giving us zucchini and while it's good, at this point i'm done trying "new" things with it and going back to what i do best, quick curries and various starchy sides.  i mix it up sometimes, with quinoa (ooh! exotic!), or brown basmati rice, but honestly, i just really like curry.  indian curry, thai curry, pidgin curry, it's all comforting to me.  i apologized to the kids for being so hippie tonight, but they didn't care.  i forget sometimes that the will just eat what i cook, with very little complaints.

a few weeks ago i bought D a book for the kindle, trying to get him interested in using it.  both he and the boychik are sometimes reticent to try new things (even though technically the kindle IS the boy's), so i thought if i bought a book i knew he wanted, he might try it out and see what he thought.  (he liked it. go figure.) the book i bought was wild fermentation, all about making various pickled things, breads, and beverages.  ooh, and cheese.  we're familiar with the concept because D grew up making kraut the old-fashioned way as a kid, and we've made many batches of kimchi.  this book is pretty fun, though, and has recipes for making kombucha, ethiopian honey wine, tempeh and other weirdo things.  the author is, as one would imagine, VERY into fermentation.  sometimes his writing made me giggle because he's just so darn earnest; he truly believes in all kinds of fermentation.  he's fervent about fermentation! my tastes do run toward the sour, though, so of course after reading about krauts all day, i had to come home and make some.

above are two simple krauts.  one made with cabbage, tart apples, and caraway seeds, and one made with only brussels sprouts.  making your own lactic acid pickles is seriously fun, and the juice the veggies produce is kind of fizzy on your tongue.  i love that so much.  it's hard to explain, but there's something about things that "pop" that do it for me.  i do think that fermented veggies are good for you, so it's fun to make and try them. (and relatively guilt free; you can't make a greasy pickle, after all. unless you fry it.) i like the experimentation aspect to it too, and seeing how a food can go from one flavor, to another, in a very radical way, with one or two added ingredients and some time.  i promise not to go too crazy and show you every pickle i make, but tonight i was a Super Hippie StepMom!


Spacebeer said...

Mmmmmm, fermentation! Although fried pickles are also pretty great...

sharyn said...

I wish my still-vegan child would be down with squash. Or heck, beans! It makes cooking meals for the both of us even trickier than before (now that I'm no longer vegan, but still consume typically vegan staples).

Thanks for the heads up on the wild fermentation book! I have a friend who will LOVE it.