Thursday, May 29, 2008
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!