As this is not exactly a regular menu week, I wanted to send out a holiday note to all of you on both my lists. I hadn't planned on sending out a newsletter at all...BUT... as I started gathering the recipes for the pre-orders that I had received, I just got so excited that I had to share these recipes and photos with you. If you see this today and feel as bursting with excitement as I do, then by all means place an order. I will be delivering/ arranging pick-ups tomorrow evening.
It is easy to lose sight of the meanings behind holidays when you spend too much time in stores or online, or anywhere else that is heavily targeted by advertisers. So I set out to take some time this week to meditate on gratitude. Let me be real. This has been a hard week for me. My old friend Grief (meet her here in my blog post if you haven't already met), came in to town for a surprise visit. I have a friend from Chile who told me drily that "Closure is an American invention. You never have closure." I had to admit this week that maybe she had a point. Some cultures are more comfortable with and accepting of the inevitable suffering that comes with living in this world of change and temporality. In fact, another friend from India jokes that Indidans take pleasure in their suffering (especially when telling others about it).
Yet in America there is in fact a tendency to want to capture grief, anger, sorrow, regret (all those "downer" emotions), keep them in a box and hide them away somewhere. I have to honestly say that my relationship with Grief is one of the things I am grateful for this year. I can't exactly pinpoint why, but suffice it to say awareness of my own emotions has not been one of my default settings in life. I am usually too busy running around to know what it is I am feeling. When an emotion as big as Grief shows up, she makes you stop, sit yourself down and pay attention to her. Meditation has become a serious life-line for me; music, undeniably healing; my work, a sanctuary and relief; connecting with you all and writing, an absolute saving grace. Thank you so much for being part of my world, for reading this newsletter and encouraging me to continue writing. Thank you for supporting my music and/or Govinda's Catering. May you all have a blessed holiday. May you realize that no matter how difficult things get, you make a difference in the life of someone next to you. That's right, you do, so keep on going and growing!
This Week's Menu: Entree #1 -Vegan Green Bean Casserole This dish was a standard at my mother's holiday table. We kids loved it! I think it had something to do with the cream of mushroom and the fried onion topping. I think most of you know that I do not cook with alliums (garlic, onions, shallots, etc). So how to replace those delectable fried onions on top? I am going to try an experiment. I hope you can tolerate the suspense because I am only going to report to you on it afterwards, once I find out if my brainstorm works or not. I know. We live dangerously. *GF, soy-free
Entree #2 - "Three Sisters" Stew It's a de ja vu moment! I had a dear, sweet, fantastic, loyal (is that enough terms of endearment?) customer who just loved this dish last week and wanted it for her family feast. If you missed out 7 days ago, here is your chance now! *GF, soy-free
Spiced Nuts - $6/serving. This recipe comes from my good friend Sarah. I couldn't find one that was really close enough to hers, so I only linked the photo credits for this lovely photo. The magic flavor of these nuts comes from tamari sauce, ginger and coriander powder, and the roasty, smoky flavor of the almonds themselves. If they come out well enough, I may do what Sarah told me she did - give them out as holiday gifts. *GF
Cranberry Orange Relish - $6/lb. This is one of my favorite "Mama's dishes." No canned cranberry sauce here. No, no. This recipe calls for celery, chopped pecans, fresh orange and cranberries, and jello. Yep. That's right, jello. That is why this lovely relish was out of my life for many years. If you are not up on why vegans don't do gelatin, you can investigate here. Even if you do think you are up on your gelatin facts, I suggest giving the article a read, as this substance may be found in many more places than you would think. However, I digress. Enter vegan jello (most likely made from sea vegetables & agar agar) to the rescue! And not a moment too soon, for I have missed this crunchy, mildly sweet/tangy Thanksgiving side too much.*GF