Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grandmothers Cookies

I think yesterday was my grandmothers birthday. November 11th was the day she celebrated her birth …when she was alive. She never knew her exact birth date, so she chose November 11th.

My grandmother loved to cook and feed others….

These almond biscotti-like cookies were always available at her house. She called the ends and any broken pieces, “damages” which she happily fed to any takers.

This version of her cookies has been vegan-ized and adapted with the addition of some whole grain flour, a vanilla bean instead of extract, chopped almonds instead of sliced, tofu in place of eggs ….

Grandmothers Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

Prep time- 10 minutes
Total time-1 hour 10 minutes

3/4 pureed silken tofu
3/4 cup sugar (if possible vegan, fair-trade and from an environmentally sustainable source)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pureed tofu in a mixer and add sugar, beat well. Add oil and vanilla, beat until well blended.

2.Combine flours, baking powder. Mix into tofu mixture until smooth. Stir in almonds.

3.Divide dough in half and shape each portion into a 10- x 3-inch log. Place the two tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon on a large plate. Roll each log in the cinnamon sugar coating it on all sides. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

4.Bake cookies for 30 minutes.

5.Remove cookies from oven and let cool for five minutes. Cut each log crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Place slices on baking sheets.

6.Reduce the heat in the oven to 225°. Return cut cookies to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Monday, November 10, 2008

traveling without electronics

We ended up without a charged battery or plug for my daughters DVD player last night and four hours of travel time ahead of us.

I am somewhat television-phobic.….Regardless several years ago we started to always travel with a DVD player. The DVD player is handy especially on long trips. Sometimes I watch a movie with Martin-Lane but more often I work, read, think or nap. Martin-Lane loves movies and for her the opportunity to watch them is always a treat.Link
When we discovered that we were without electronic entertainment there was a moment of despair…

Turned out to be a gift….we leisurely watched clouds and gave them identities and played multiple games of hangman. I had the latest copies of two favorite magazines, Bloom and The Ecologist which we slowly poured over discussing articles, photos and idea after idea. We drew pictures together and separately, laughed, talked and silently observed the world whizzing by through the window.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Eating NYC

We regularly make quick trips up to New York. Sometimes there are plans for cultural events, social events, work…always there is eating!!
Just back from the quintessential street food eating visit:
Just off the Bolt Bus, our preferred method of DC-NYC transportation
we headed to Vanessas dumplings on Eldridge close to Broome for steamed vegetable dumplings, sesame pancake with vegetables, pickled cabbage, cucumbers and seaweed. Then around the corner to Babycakes the amazing vegan bakery. The night was beautiful so we walked and ended up near Pure Food and Wines, One Lucky Duck, where we decided to get a pint of raw “oreo” ice cream to bring home for a late night snack….
Sunday morning started with a trip to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene which included a bean tamale and a pizza made in an ingenious traveling brick oven (they made us a special cheese-less one). Also found some amazing chocolate made a few blocks away from the market called fine and raw. There were many potential flea markets finds most of which we enjoyed without purchasing. Most intriguing was a stand selling old pieces of Japanese fabric…each one unique, worn and inspiring…many patch-worked together.
Then back to Manhattan where we got some new pickles from the Pickle Guy, a sesame stick at Kossars and a chestnut organic doughnut a few doors down at Doughnut Planet.
After all that needed a walk… went to check out Tadashi Kawamata’s treehouses that are in Madison Square Park until December 31st.
Jumped back on the bus with a bag full of fuji persimmons that we had picked up from a vendor in Chinatown.

Monday, November 3, 2008

feel good

About a week after we all found out who Sarah Palin was I got severe fatigue of talking to people who agree with me. There were endless emails from fellow Obama supporters, I had an uncountable number of conversations with people just like me who were appalled by the possibility of a McCain Palin presidency.

At that point I decided that I would attempt to replace at least some emailing and talking time with volunteering. The result has been very satisfying. and many friends led me and Martin-Lane to door to door canvassing in Virginia, post card writing to undecided voters in Pennsylvania, a random fund raising event with performance art, a phone bank and yesterday a small event at home.

We invited friends and their friends to our home to make get out the vote phone calls and to bake cookies for voters waiting in long lines to vote in southern Virginia. About half of the volunteers that showed up were under 9 years all felt good!

Tomorrow morning I plan to make a few more get out the vote phone calls and then... anxiously await the results-