Thursday, May 29, 2008

in which we eat while watching "Lost"


A kitty watches us watching Lost.

Daiku and I are fanatical about Lost. He introduced the show to me in season 1 and I've been hooked since. Back then, I lived in California while he lived here and so we would always discuss the show on the phone after it aired. Getting to watch the show together was one of the fringe benefits of me actually getting to move back to the east coast!

Flash-forward a few years. Last December, at the holiday party at Daiku's school, we were talking to a friend of ours who had just moved here from California. She mentioned that she and her husband are big Lost fans too. It just seemed natural that we would get together to watch the new season once it started airing. Two other friends of ours looked at us like we were crazy- they wanted to know what this show was and why we seemed so crazy about it. Well, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring two more people to the dark side! And so, starting with the first episode of this season in February, the 6 of us got together every Saturday night for food, drinks, and fun while watching Lost. I have to say, it has been the funnest semester, and an awesome way to watch the show. Sure, it meant a nail-biting wait between when the episode aired and when we got to see it, but it was so worth it! Through bad weather and dark nights, through school holidays and exams, through teaching highs and lows and travel and family obligations, we managed to watch almost every episode of this crazy show together, as a group.

One of the coolest things for me was that our friends made huge efforts to make sure that there was always vegan food for me to eat at their houses. In return, I made sure to cook the most delicious foods I could, so that they'd be happy and satisfied with the vegan offerings at hand. The result? Lost of delicious food!

Let me show you:



homemade pizza with tons of veggie toppings at R. & D.'s house. I love broccoli on pizza, don't you?



also at R. & D.'s house, homemade focaccia with marinara dipping sauce



an entire plate of vegan goodness at H. & E.'s house: black bean and sweet potato wraps, mango salsa, and pineapple rice. Wow, these were good! Notice how the wraps have a "v" baked into them, to made sure we could pick out which were vegan vs. which had dairy cheese in them- a thoughtful touch. I believe that these were all Moosewood cookbook recipes, and they were so good.



Here was an awesome make-your-own burrito station at R. & D.'s house- rice, beans, salsa, tortillas and tortilla chips, cilantro... all the goodies.



I especially liked R.'s "no tomato salsa" (no tomatoes here in Syracuse in the winter!) with hominy. I love the toothsome texture and satisfying flavor of hominy and it went well with all the other burrito ingredients on hand.



H. is the master of salads- here was a colorful and tangy mixed bean salad she made.



And here's the striking beet and parsnip slaw that she made, from Veganomicon! This salad was so good- we were all oooohing and aaaahing at the bright pink color and amazing flavor. Who know you could eat raw parsnips? Yum!



Here's one of our contributions. Daiku made this black-bean chili with cornbread topping on a particularly icy night. The spicy chili, comforting cornbread, and toppings (onion, cilantro, lime) really hit the spot on that snowy night.



But we mainly contributed desserts. Here you have some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate mousse topping. (That chocolate mousse is my favorite frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It is so flavorful, and yet so light).



Here you have Brooklyn brownie cupcakes with my own invention, a chocolate mint crumb topping. These cupcakes are so awesome- I'm sad I didn't discover them earlier! (There are so many cupcakes yet to be discovered in that book, right?)



Here we have a Lost cake! The design on the top is my clumsy rendering of the Dharma Initiative logo, and the blue frosting on the sides is supposed to represent the ocean. Ok, I'm not the world's best decorator!



But, what the cake lacked in looks, it made up for in flavor. I made Kittee's red velvet kake recipe- and it's a winner! It has a unique flavor and all our friends loved it.



Of course, one can't live on cake alone. (Well, one could but perhaps shouldn't...). Daiku made this fruit crisp for one of our get-togethers, using his favorite apple-cherry crisp recipe from Whole Foods. However, since this was the middle of winter, we had to improvise with the fruit a little bit, so we threw in what we had in the freezer- we ended up using frozen apples, peaches, blueberries, raspberries and cherries, as well as canned pears and fresh lemon juice and zest.



The result was an awesome and flavorful apple crisp. I love freezing as many fruits as possible in the summer, because then you can be rewarded with comforting fruity creations such as this one in the winter.

Finally, we had to have drinks! Usually, we drank lots of wine at our gatherings.



However, it is worth noting that prosecco (a dry and mild Italian sparkling wine) also goes well with vegan feasts and cupcakes.



And, if an episode of Lost is particularly mind-blowing, there is nothing wrong with drinking some absinthe to add to the effect!

Tonight is the season finale of Lost. This is a bitter-sweet moment for me. It is the last time we will see a new episode of the show before next February (!), and it is the last of these weekly get-togethers with our awesome friends before we all scatter for the summer. This the last full day Daiku and I will be in Syracuse before embarking on our June travels. This semester would have been a lot less enjoyable had it not been for the good food and good company that we got to share almost every weekend while watching the weirdest of shows!

After today, my posting will be sporadic, but watch here for updates from Virginia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and St. John! And for those of you watching Lost tonight, let's toast to each other- namaste!


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41 comments:

Rachael said...

love the dharma initiative cake! awesome. Plus it's red velvet, which makes everything better. That show is so insanely addictive...I can't believe no new episodes until February! Have fun traveling.

Kati said...

+2 watching the season finale tonight. ;-) I think my favorites are the "V" burritos (so cute and thoughtful) and the Dharma cake (hehe). Wishing you safe and happy travels!

aTxVegn said...

Enjoy your show tonight. I know nothing about it except that you eat really well while you watch it. Do your friends borrow your cookbooks to cook for you? They are too nice to go to the trouble of finding a vegan cookbook to cook from.

Yes, I love broccoli on pizza. I love broccoli on everything.

pavotrouge said...

what a ginormous post. I wonder who had more fun watching, you or the cat. but then again, kitty didn't have any absinthe (I hope)!

tofuparty said...

Is this season nr.4? Because we just saw episode One of season nr. 4 here in Belgium.
And such a good idea of bringing this nice and great looking food for each other.
I like the Darma cake.

VeggieGirl said...

**My parents and I LOOOOVE watching 'LOST'!!! Unfortunately, we're sooo far behind on the episodes :0( We're working on getting all caught up, slowly but surely :0)


Okay, that Dharma Initiative cake?? BEYOND brilliant!! And I'm loving the pizza, cupcakes, and crisp as well :0)

Isil Simsek said...

you guys are having so much fun and lots of yummy food there :)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Okay, you are making me want to start watching Lost now. Actually it's just really making me want to have these kinds of get togethers with friends! What fun! I totally agree about the chocolate mousse from v-con... good stuff. Oh, and I'l' have to try the brownie cupcakes.
Doh! I was gonna email and ask you if yall had left yet, as I was gonna send you a little thank you for doing GVT (I know, like months late). I'll hold onto it and maybe I'll see you in NYC in July. Can't wait to hear about your travels! Have fun in St John!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

OK, are you sitting down? I have never seen Lost. Still friends?

Animal-Friendly said...

So much great looking food! I absolutely love broccoli on pizza as well. I plan on making pizza within the next few weeks, and I'm wondering if you cook the broccoli at all before topping the pizza?

Veg*Triathlete said...

What fun! I had a similar weekly gathering to watch The Wire every Sunday night. I swear it saved my soul this dreary winter (the company & food, that is--not the show; the show was utterly depressing, albeit f-ing brilliant). Have a great time watching the finale!

Urban Vegan said...

I am such a dork--I never know anything about TV shows like this; it's often mentioned in the NYT crossword puzzle and I never know the answer. All that yumminess--and Prosecco--would definitely get me hooked. You are quite the baker, little Bazu.

I love the photo of the kitty watching you as if you are TV.

swellvegan said...

wow, bazu, i don't even know where to begin. everything, sweet and savory, looks delicious! i'd start watching lost just to come to your gatherings (we got rid of our tv so i have no idea what's going on unless people at work talk about shows, though it's usually top chef at work). i hope you get to continue the tradition!

Theresa said...

Bazu, that sounds like such a fantastic way to spend Saturday evenings! Your friends sound lovely to cook so much vegan food for you. And have fun on all your travels!! Here's hoping you don't end up on a mystery island in the middle of nowhere, part of some freaky deaky experiment or something!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

What a fun ritual for watching the show! The food all looks awesome.
By the way, Hello from Portland, my fellow global bitch! xo.

KathyF said...

If you call hominy posole it tastes much better!

shellyfish said...

I'm so not into television, except for watching a few news updates on Aljezera & ITV and Sesame Street DVDs... but it sounds like this is a very popular show!
I think I could have been persuaded to hang with you guys on your TV nights with all this amazing food, though! Damn, I'm hungry!

Rural Vegan said...

I heart the Dharma cake! And Lost parties! When I was in college, we'd have 90210 parties like real dorks. The food is much better at your Lost parties though, I can assure you!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

When you're in St. Louis, you should make a stop at Meskerem Ethiopian -- yum!
How awesome that you have friends who accomodate you so well at your Lost get-togethers! Those black bean and sweet potato wraps must have been fabulous with mango salsa, which I have a passionate love affair with.
Love the pink beet/parsnip salad! And the chocolate mint crumb topping on the cupcakes -- that is genius, right there.
Great post -- there's too much deliciousness going on here! But you really can never have too much delicious, can you? (I think not.)

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Such a nice post! I'm also lucky to have friends who are so accommodating and thoughtful about my veganism. Happy travels!

Vivacious Vegan said...

How fun! What wonderful and accomodating friends.

I have to admit that desserts are always my favorite as well. And I'm in full agreement. The chocolate mousse is the best! Curious about how you made the chocolate mint crumb topping.

Jean said...

The LOST cake looks fanta-bulous. Long time ago I saw a pic of LOST cake on ppk forum and now I see another one on your blog, I'm tempted to make one too!

bjorkedoff said...

so many cupcakes yet to be discovered?!
i'vw made em all,bisque,even the *shudder* lychee ones.

Hannah said...

Talk about one seriously tasty spread! I've never watched Lost, but I totally would if I could partake in these goodies. ;)

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

how fun. I have never seen Lost, but once I get through a couple of shows I am watching right now, Rome and OZ, I am starting at season 1 of Lost (thanks Netflix!!!)
i'm jealous of those perfect looking cupcakes! also, i think yr cake is awesome!

bazu said...

ray ray, I know you baked all the cupcakes in the book, but I'm not a baking wunderkind like you! and I was going to try the lychee ones- were they really bad?

Carrie™ said...

I don't watch Lost, but would sure like to hang out with you guys and chow down. Wow!! Everything looks so good.
Have fun with your travels. When you said St. John, did you mean Saint John, New Brunswick or St. John's, Newfoundland? Maybe?

Liz² said...

you have awesome friends, and I *love* your jacket! I suppose I should let myself get sucked into Lost one of these days... but there won't be any turning back, will there?

Liz² said...

also - absinthe !! :DDD

Candi said...

Bazu, the Dharma Initiative is awesome!! haha! I have to show Britty that photo. We *love* Lost and never thought we'd be addicted. i wish we had lost parties like you do!

The food looks great. I love the make-your-own burrito station!

Mihl said...

I never watched Lost - maybe because a lot op people told me how addictive it was?
Your TV and friends evenings sound great, I can imagine that you were always looking forward to them!

meesh said...

Looks like you guys had a great season of tasty food, good friends and good tv. :) THanks for sharing allt hese amazing pics. The cupcakes look scrumptious and that bean salad looks like it was great. Raw parsnips, huh? I never woulda thought it.

I hope you have a good vacation. Be safe and have fun!

Peggy the Veggie said...

Wow, what stunning food! That all looks sooooo good, but I'm especially drooling over the beet and parsnip slaw.

Aha, one of my friends has always been trying to make me watch Lost, but she hasn't succeeded yet :P

vegetalion said...

the tomato-less salsa looks great - and sounds perfect for me!

edamame said...

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Vaala said...

What an awesome idea. We used to do something similar back in high school when Roswell was on (boy were we obsessed by that show!).

Jackie said...

Fabulous food as always.

I love lost but cannot get it on my TV as it shows on a paid channel so I hired Series 1 to 3 from the video shop over the course of a month and binged on it and many many snack foods. Can't wait until I can get Series 4 at the end of July :)

daten retten said...

I hope pizza made in home is tough.We can go Dominoes or Pizza Hut for get the real and deferent taste.

dreamy said...

Looks like you had a really great time with so much good food :9

kitty muz be curious why humans like to look at moving humans in a box :)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

I've never seen Lost, but from the looks of this, I've really missed the band wagon. For sure. Bazu, the food is mouth watering - all of it, and I esp love the photo of you holding the bottle of wine. :)

CHEERS!!!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

ps: I tried absinthe recently and it is out of this world....