Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan Mofo

I haven't blogged for a long...long...long time. Ever since I started working on book #3 with a certain celebrity someone, my life has been hijacked. I used to love throwing elaborate dinners...writing about things for no reason...all that seems a distant memory.

But we threw a party last night, of sorts--some good friends who also happen to be current and former neighbors, with kids of similar age who all shared a strong desire to trick-or-treat and/or wander around in the dark pretending to wreak havoc. So we cleaned. I cooked (vinaigrette coleslaw with black sesame seeds, crockpot pinto beans with onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, etc., pico de gallo). We even fired up the grill. We dressed like Joan Wilder and Jack T. Colton, complete with big green glass stone and homemade map of El Diablo. I even pre-made pitchers of homemade mix for making bloody margaritas and black martinis.

And if I'm going to do all that, despite the not-quite-finished status of somebody's book, then surely I can muster a daily blog post in the spirit of Vegan Mofo.

So, let's move on from Halloween, since it's now officially November. Let's embrace Vegan Month of Food (aka Vegan MoFo). Let's talk about squash.

Last year, I couldn't eat all the winter squash from my CSA. I got tired of it, frankly. It didn't charm the children. And although I love a good winter squash curry as much as the next girl, I couldn't get inspired by the Stripetti squash everybody always raves about. I thought it tasted watery and stringy. I had two-or-three-too-many butternut squashes--I was tapped out. And all those pretty little colorful squashes so perfect for stuffing with quinoa or chili or whatever ended up drying out and going bad (sin!). Many of those beautiful squashes, I'm sorry to say, ended up in the compost pile.

This year, I vowed to do a better job, and so far, so good. I've hidden the spaghetti squash in lasagna, I've dumped big forkfuls of the acorn squash puree into my oatmeal, etc. etc. But just the other day, I found a truly inspired idea in Hobby Farm Home. The article is "The Gourd Gourmet" by Adrianne L. Shtop, and although all the recipes look good and are almost effortlessly veganized, including Basic Baked Squash and Seeds, Squash-parsnip Bisque, Squash Poriyal, and Three Sisters Polenta, the recipe I'm most excited about is: Squash Truffles.

Squash...made into *candy*? Oh yeah. I've always loved squash most in its incarnation as a dessert, and this is an idea for squash I can really get behind. It brings back fond memories of the mashed potato candy I made years ago. I get a little weepy just thinking about it, the kind of weepy where I want to sit in a big armchair and stare out the window for a few hours while listening to Billie Holiday and smoking a cigarette. Except that I don't smoke.

So instead, today I'm going to make squash truffles. It requires an egg, but I'll try the flax route instead, or maybe the banana route, whichever seems in the moment like it will work the best. I'll post the results tomorrow.

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