Apr 27, 201204:34 PMOnline this Month
Guest Blog Spotlight
"Little Spoon" with Save the Kales!
It was a rainy, gray day. A grainy day. Days like that are meant for stories, the ones on pages, kind that live in memories and the scent of a well-loved cardigan sweater. I set off to find them.
I live a few blocks from the Bethlehem Library. The walk there is one of my favorites. Living in historic Bethlehem feels like living in a snow globe year round, if snow globes had flower gardens in June and autumn leaves scratching pavement in September.
The Library is a sort of romantic throwback of the good ol' days still thriving presently. Libraries in towns across the countries are losing their budgets, but there is never a shortage of people here. The fact that I can't remember to return anything on time, the fact that I always owe money, helps to keep this place going. You know how it works, don't you? That you can take books, movies and Cd's home with you for free? Use them and love them, and welcome the ideas and inspirations they give to you.
I love the library and it's mid century chairs and the way the books smell like the ideas and hearts of the people who've loved them before.
I love the vintage wall sculpture looming in the stairwell, like a teacher hushing the kids in the doors from recess.
How I wish the mere act of perusing the gardening books was enough to infuse those skills inside of me, to finally rid me of the great irony of being a vegan who kills every single plant she tries to grow.
After browsing several cookbooks, I felt inspired to cook, but not before I went to a local boutique to check out their new stock. I was happily contacted by Helene at Loose Threads Boutique so she could tell me about some new items in her shop, specifically faux-leather shoes that are all-real in style and quality.
Just take a look at these beauties. Platforms help out a lady such as myself coming in under the 5'4" mark.
This nail polish is vegan and gluten free (I'm confused, too, but hey, the more accessible the better!) and comes in the sort of colors that make your eyes grow brains and dream up at night.
And perfume oils that smell like summer camp.
And clutches handmade by a local woman. Aren't all functional pieces are better with hand-sewn ruffles?
I made my checklist of wanted items, but didn't leave before I picked up this necklace made by co-owner of Loose Threads, Laura, under the name "Bourbon and Granola". (I've worn it several times now and get so many comments and compliments on it. If you are going to wear jewelry, wear some jewelry, right?)
I made a seamless transition from vintage-inspired to actual old stuff. The thrift on Fountain Hill is always great for used furniture or ornamental belts, but that day I was checking out their dinnerware.
Writing a food blog means I take a lot of food photos, amateur as they may be, and plates and napkins can be as much accessories for a tofu quiche as the right earrings can be for a date night outfit. Thrift stores are perfect for finding eclectic pieces to compliment or show off a dish. And bonus: these items are usually very budget friendly.
Sometimes the thrift stores get sneaky and realize the value of a remarkable piece, like this silver bowl. It looked like the fruit bowl equivalent of a Frank Gehry building, architectural and striking. It was also priced at nearly $20. Hmmph.
After I poked through the shelves of mismatched dinner ware, some one's grandmother's plates, the mugs once wishing someone Get Well Soon and #1 Teacher, I found a few pieces to add to my collection of adopted-orphan china.
Back home, I felt inspired... and hungry. Every year when the weather changes from cool to warm I become more interested in raw foods dishes (in which no ingredients are heated above 104 degrees). They are plant-based, fresh and refreshing.
That doesn't just mean salad! Raw foods include (not limited to) raw nuts and seeds, sprouts, dried and dehydrated foods. I used a little of everything for this dish.
(RAW VEGAN) PIZZA SPREAD
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (shelled)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (acts as a Parmesan cheese substitute; horrible name, delicious ingredient!)
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbsp fresh basil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Put all ingredients in a food processor. Process until everything is mixed into a thick spread. You can add some hot red pepper flakes if they suit your taste. That's all!
I swear this tastes like a delicious, fresh Margherita pizza. Plate and serve with bread or fresh veggies. People that usually don't like veggies will eat them, if for no other reason then that they are merely a vehicle with which to get this spread into their mouths. YUM.
It may turn somewhat brown in color, which happens when you blend red and green. It's natural. Embrace it. (Though it helps if you garnish with some leftover basil or parsley.)
After sampling the recipe, washing the dishes and cleaning up, I went to a cafe on Main Street to write it out. The puddles on the ground reflected a hundred watery trees along the street.
Sitting in the windows with French Roast and the waves of neighbors through the windows, my ideas of food and community were reinforced (again).