Posted by: njbrown | December 28, 2009

Vegan birthday meal


December 28, 2009

Today was my daughter’s 28th birthday, and she chose a main course and dessert from the beautiful vegan cookbook that she gave me for Christmas.  Last night, we went to get the ingredients, and out of a list of forty-three, I had about six in my well-stocked cupboard.  We bought raw cashews to make cashew cream to be used in the horseradish sauce for the tofu Old Bay cakes, vegan cream cheese for the banana cheesecake with maple syrup/rum sauce, nori sheets (part of the tofu cakes), etc. etc. etc.  I began making the cheesecake before noon, took about a 45 minute break in the late afternoon, and finally put dinner on the table about 8:00.  It took more work than Julia’s Buche.  The main course was quite nice, and I never would have known the Old Bay cakes contained only vegan ingredients.  They were served over corn, peas and cherry tomatoes seasoned with basil, and topped with diced beet and apple, all finished with the horseradish sauce.  The banana “cheese”cake was less successful, since in my state of fatigue I used tofu instead of vegan cream cheese.  I promised to make it again for her, but with the right ingredients.

As I was toasting the nori sheet, preparatory to grinding it, I wondered what Julia would say.  When I later told my daughter, she said she was sure Julia would have been fine with it – a new culinary frontier!

I have read most of my three Julia books from Christmas, and continue to be amazed at what a wonderful, unique person she was.  Into her mid-80s, she remained jet-propelled, good natured, and unendingly curious about life.  She seemed to enjoy almost all people at almost all times.  Her staff were forbidden to use the “t-word” (tired).  As she got closer to the end of her life, she took 8-minute power naps, but continued to work from very early morning (before 5) and to party into the wee hours.

It is 10:46, and that for me is the wee small hours.  Good night.

Nancy

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